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Ask Jess–On Changing My Name After Marriage, Favorite Blogs I Read, and More!

Jess is wearing Everlane linen blend tank, AE Jeans, Sam Edelman shoes, Baublebar Earrings, VV purse, VV white jean jacket, AE sunnies 

Everlane linen blend tank (runs big!), AE Jeans (run TTS), Sam Edelman shoes (Go 1/2 size down!), Baublebar Earrings, VV purse, VV white jean jacket, AE sunnies 

I want to purchase a pair of Abercrombie high rise super skinny jeans you always rave about. Would you recommend Dark Wash or Rinse Wash for a travel capsule wardrobe?

Yes! The Abercrombie high rise skinnies are the best bargain jeans eveerrrrrr! So I think this totally depends on your preference. I have the dark wash, but for summer, I usually go with a lighter wash jean because dark skinnies feel very winter to me. However, dark is easier to dress up, hides dirt easier. Also, It’s more flattering–so it’s totally up to you! Whatever you feel most beautiful and confident in is the right choice for you!

I also just got these light-wash high-waisted jeggings from AE (shown above, which is a sneak peak of my Summer Weekend Travel Capsule Wardrobe post coming soon!!) and I’m obsessed with the button fly and their stretch-factor, which makes them so comfy! They run TTS and I know you’ll be obsessed with them. (You know, while we’re on the topic of high school brand revival.) They look totally like Madewell’s version but less than half the price!

Are you planning on changing your last name? How/why did you come to that decision?

I was really torn about this, and I still am, and I didn’t really realize how much my last name meant to me until after we got married. I had always planned on changing it, and Neal is super supportive either way (as is the whole Loftus fam!) but after the wedding I just kept putting it off. A couple months in, Neal said something like, “I’ve noticed you aren’t exactly in a hurry to change your name…” and I burst into tears!

Here’s the thing: I’ve been “Keys” my whole life. I was never “Jess” until I graduated college–I was always Keys. I’ve built a brand on this name, I love this name, it makes me feel a connection to my family who I rarely see because they live across the country, and sadly, the name stops with me. My dad is the only Keys brother, and I’m the youngest of two daughters, and when I change it, that’s it–the end. No more Keys.

There’s also a lot behind my name. Funny story–my biological last name isn’t supposed to be Keys.

My dad changed it in high school to take his step-dad’s last name (the man who raised him)–so I really have no “Keys blood” at all–but I think it means so much more this way–it’s not a name my dad was born with but went out of his way to take because of how important his step-dad was to him. To me, this makes it even more special.

(And another thing–I am SO BAD at anything tedious, so how much work it takes to change your name everywhere just sounds like an impossible task for me to complete. Getting new credit cards (and changing them on EVERYTHING I have on auto-pay which is about 100 different things), getting a new drivers license, stopping at various government buildings–this just seems very unrealistic to me.)

On the flip-side, I don’t think I could’ve hand-picked a more incredible family to marry into.

It means so much to me to be part of them–one of them–and for that reason, I would love to change it. (Granted, nobody in the family thinks I am “less” of a Loftus because my last name is still Keys–I think I’m truly the only one who thinks about it.) But here’s the thing–Neal and I are a team–and I feel like that by taking his last name, it further strengthens that fact. Why wouldn’t I take him last name? We’re a package deal through and through.

So, I guess this is my roundabout way of telling you, it’s something I’ve been chewing on for awhile. What I’ve settled on is that I’m not ready to change it. I may decide differently in a few years. Or maybe I won’t. I don’t think there’s a timeline! 

As for professionally, I will always be Jess Keys, even if I change it privately. It’s my personal brand that I’ve worked very hard to build, so that part will always remain!

One funny thing that makes me feel better:

All my college girlfriends were at dinner this past winter and this exact topic came up. I’m the last of them to get married–some have been married for three years, even–we all looked around and said “wait, has anyone ACTUALLY changed their name legally?” and NOBODY had ? Clearly this is a millennial trend that nobody talks about ? Maybe this will just become kind of the social norm?

I would love to know what those of you who are married think–did you go through the emotional back and forth over it?

I’d love to know how you take care of your clothes! They always look in such nice condition and I struggle keeping mine looking good.

AH! That is funny that you ask, because yesterday’s blog post was ALL ABOUT my laundry process, how I care for my clothes and keep them looking new. It’s probably the most in-depth post I’ve ever written, but it’s a really good one and it will totally change the way you approach doing your laundry!

The biggest secret is quite simple: I don’t wash my clothes unless they are dirty. Really! When you think about it, avoiding over-processing anything is kind of my motto. It’s the same approach I take with my hair–I don’t wash my hair more often than I need to, and I avoid using heat and hot tools on it as much as I can get away with.

The long and short of it is–the dryer is probably the worst possible thing for your clothes. The only thing I dry in the dryer clothing-wise are t-shirts, pajamas, underwear and socks–I also always avoid using high heat, because it fades and wears your clothes significantly.

What does your wedding band look like? I would love to see a close up of your wedding band design!

Jess - CD Peacock - The Golden Girl Blog

Sure! This is what it looks like! We got both of our bands at CD Peacock and I cannot recommend them enough. They were so helpful and warm and it was a really great experience. I actually wrote a whole blog post about it here and it includes a video too! I love the vintage art-deco feel it has to it. It feels very “me”–I wanted something a little out of the box but still classic and vintage inspired. This was the perfect match.

Hi Jess, I just started reading your blog and love it! What are some of your favorite blogs that you follow?

Aw, first, THANK YOU! So happy to have you following along! Welcome!

And ah, such a great question! Okay so OTHER than my best friends’ blogs, because that would be too obvious haha. I’m going to list the one’s I’ve been following for years and am not friends with in real life (you know, so you don’t think I’m biased. Not that my friends blogs aren’t amazing regardless of my bias, but, you know!)

My #1 favorite blog is Cup of Jo–I check her site almost daily and she was the first blog I started following back when like, blogs began, I am still an avid reader of Cupcakes and Cashmere and I’ve also loved The Stripe forever (since before it was The Stripe!) and I have followed her since the early years. (I finally got to meet Grace on my trip to the Kentucky Derby and she’s just as cool in person as you’d expect!) The Everygirl isn’t a blog but it’s another one of my favorites and it has been since the beginning.

On Instagram, here are some of my faves: Kathleen Barnes–she is HILARIOUS, so down to earth, and so unapologetically herself, you can’t not just love her. Plus, she has some amazing style, too! I also love Krista Robertson for the same reason! She is just SO real and you feel like she’s your friend in real life ?. I mean, I consider Krista to be one of my internet friends, but really, we’ve actually never met in person.

What questions do you have? Make sure to submit them using the Google Form right here and I’ll answer them in a future Ask Jess post! Hope you guys have a fantastic weekend!