Welcome to our first-ever Personal Style issue! I’d love
to say that my own fabulous fashion sense was the inspiration for this theme
but…not so much.
My style, if you can call it that, has remained utterly
unchanged since about seventh grade. I have two looks: White t-shirt, jeans and
Jack Rodgers sandals (I own so many colors, they have their own shoe rack) and
turtleneck sweater, jeans, cowboy boots and puffer vest (don’t get me started
on how many of those I have. Somebody has probably already reported me to one
of those hoarding shows). Hey, you can take the girl out of Michigan, but you
can’t take Michigan out of the girl.
There’s one exception to my standard uniform, however.
Alongside all those jeans and tees, sweaters and vests, is a collection of
vintage couture dresses. And, on special occasions, I unleash my inner
fashionista by wearing these fabulous frocks. So how did I, the one-outfit
wonder, gain a secret adoration of glitzy gowns? It’s all thanks to my mother,
the most stylish woman I know.
Growing up, my mother stuck out like a sore thumb. While
other moms wore khakis and white turtlenecks printed with navy whales, my
mother wore form-fitting sheaths and other designer clothes she brought back
from our trips to visit my grandparents in Paris. Mom jeans? My mom had never
heard of them. In one classic sailing photo, she’s rocking high-waisted, flared
denim (that I want right now), a cashmere top, head wrap and jewelry. Yes, to
If that weren’t enough, her style also extended to her car
(no station wagon here, my mother drove a sports car—and not at 25 miles per
hours), what we had for dinner (rack of lamb. Mac ‘n’ cheese? A casserole? My
mother didn’t even know what they were) and how she decorated the house (ours
was filled with French antiques and pieces from her travels, like a basket from
Africa or a carving from Peru).
Back then, I found my mother totally horrifying. I begged
her to be more “normal.” But true to her own personal style, she steadfastly
refused. These days, I’m much more appreciative of my mom’s exquisite taste. In
fact, just last weekend, I pulled out a certain gold vintage frock for a
wedding in Palm Beach. I got compliments all night. When one woman came up to me
at the end of the evening and gushed, “I simply love your dress. Where did you get it?” I was happy to smile and tell her,
“Thanks. It was my mother’s.”
BY KAREN THE EDITOR ON 9/13/2011 2:23:00 PM
POSTED IN fashion, real girl style, Editor's Blog, Karen the editor, Oct/Nov 2011