My Favorite Outfit: Society Columnist/Photographer Moanalani Jeffrey


Moanalani Jeffrey photographed in her Nob Hill home with Jacques, her French bulldog. Photography by Clarine Wong.

Moanalani Jeffrey is the only person I know who can juggle shooting a party with a hefty camera while chatting up guests, taking notes, and teetering on four-inch stilettos–all with a brilliant smile. The society columnist for the SF Examiner and an event photographer about town, Jeffrey has an inimitable glam-it-up style that suits her ebullient personality. Whether she’s “click-click-clicking” her way through a Hollywood shindig or chasing after her next subject onto the dance floor, this trendsetting Hawaii-native always has the right mix of fabulous fashion meets practical function for her high-energy job.

Name: Moanalani Jeffrey

Age: 31

Occupation: Photographer/SF Socialite Examiner Columnist

Hometown: Hilo, HI

Where I live: Nob Hill, San Francisco

What I’m wearing:

“My jewelry is from Simayof. I like to keep it classic so I don’t have to think to much about it. The shapes of my earrings and pendant tie together with the shapes of my watch face and bracelet. I’m anal like that.

The dress is Tadashi Shoji Petites; the leopard print material is draped and gathered in places for interest. The fabric is a nicely done synthetic blend with a rich sheen to it.

The clutch is from Chinese Laundry and I’ve had it forever. I always wear it as a pop of color, never paired with the same green. It’s made from a faux crocodile design with a silver magnetic closure.

The shoes are made by Sofft. They are black patent leather with gold hardware including a tassel zipper pull. On my toes I am wearing OPI’s ‘My Private Jet.’ I almost always keep my hands in a pale nude polish.”

Why this is my favorite outfit:

“It’s new and makes me feel like a woman should.”

When I last wore this outfit:

“This is the first time. I’ve been saving it for the right occasion.”

How I’d remix this outfit:

“Blazer with a fun belt. You can dress that up or down. Or chunky mod accessories for a nice contradiction.”

How I got my start in photography:

“I was inspired by a Henry Wessel exhibit at the SFMOMA. I started shooting everything from street photography to backstage fashion documentary. I moved towards what felt right and made the most out of every opportunity. Today I am my own boss. I love the immediacy of seeing my ideas actualized. The photos I am the most connected to seem to capture thoughts in time.”

The last event I photographed was … :

“The Tiffany & Co private preview of the 2011 Patek Philippe Basel Collection, hosted by the president of Patek Philippe.”

Biggest hazard of the job?

“You only get one shot, pun intended.”

Biggest perk of the job?

“My job is one perk after the next. I get dressed up and go to amazing events that only a select group of people are privy to.”

How would you describe your personal style?

“Effortlessness. No matter how much thought or effort I put into my appearance, I want it to look effortless. I am at my best when the end result looks stylish with ease.”

Who (or what) has been the biggest influence on your style?

“I’m less influenced by individual style icons and more inspired by people I happen to see on the street. At the moment I think Gwyneth Paltrow is flawless. I loved Katie Holmes and Nicole Richie since they first cut their hair.”

How I keep my outfits stylish enough for the party scene, but practical enough for always being on the move:

“My newest and best examples are the shoes I’m wearing. Made by Sofft, they are my Charlie’s Angels shoes. If I had to fight crime in heels they would be my secret weapon. They are the most stylish line of ‘comfortable’ shoes I’ve ever seen. I tell everyone about them and just got my good friend a pair of their high heel boots for her birthday.”

My most impractical fashion buy was … :

Jacques, my French Bulldog. Given my hectic schedule and lack of experience having a pet he was an irrational impulse buy. However, love is an accessory you shouldn’t live without and it never goes out of style.”

My biggest beauty secret is:

Almay waterproof liquid eyeliner from Walgreens. Brown for my eyebrows and black for my eyes—both under $10.”

If I could only photograph one more person in this world, it would be … :

“My mother. I’d love to show her the beauty I see in her through my lens. Also, she needs a Facebook profile photo!”

My top three tips or tricks for always looking fabulous in a photo:

“1) Knowing not every trick works for everyone. Ask a model, even they need to practice in the mirror. 2) Accentuate [the] waist. 3) [Put your] chin down and slightly forward. My friends do a funny profile impersonation of me doing it, but I’m a sucker for a good photo.”

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One thought on “My Favorite Outfit: Society Columnist/Photographer Moanalani Jeffrey

  1. Thanks for the Charlie’s Angel shoe tip. I need to start treating my feet better, but I’m so reluctant to go the old-lady shoe route. Sofft might be a nice compromise.

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