Strictly Stylish

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When I was a little girl I loved playing dress up in my mother’s bedroom.  It was the 1960’s and she had a Jackie O. look-alike suit, black high heels and a matching black bag.  I would beg to use a little of her treasured Chanel No. 5 and pretend to be the First Lady herself doing a breathless interview with Walter Cronkite.  I gave my own tour of the White House, gliding around my parent’s bedroom.

Our neighbor across the street, Helen Williams, (now long deceased) each year received the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog.  She would let me come over and we would look at it together in her living room, enjoying the surprise that each page offered with its copious treasures.  I loved looking at it and longed to wear the dresses and glittering jewels so elegantly displayed.  After Mrs. Williams finished with the catalog, she let me have it to take home and look at, over and over, until the now wrinkled and creased pages finally lost their appeal. She told me the story of traveling to Dallas and shopping at the store and how each year she ordered a small treasure.

So fashion and the love of style have always appealed to me.  Maybe it was the brightly colored fabrics or the way that basic black makes just about any woman look chic.  Whatever the reason, I love clothes, shoes, accessories and jewelry, and I always have.  It doesn’t have to come from Neiman’s to catch my eye; if she has the knack the stylish woman can do just as well at her local thrift shop.  Style is just that – style.  A certain something that turns heads and makes others take a second look.  Kate Middleton has it.  She, in my opinion is “the” most stylish woman photographed today.

Recently I watched Bill Cunningham New York, and marveled at how he could catch the most fashionable socialite or the trendiest trend setter looking his or her finest on the streets of New York.  I love looking at his column in the New York Times and drinking up the vivid colors and dazzling displays of glitter in one of the world’s most fashionable cities.   I would shudder to leave the house without looking my absolute best.

My mother at 88 still looks stylish in her heels and now most of the time pants instead of her pencil skirts.  Even though I worry about her falling, she claims that age is a state of mind.  My mother does not think much of my, as she would describe them, chunky looking UGG boots, but then every woman and man must develop his or her own style.  My mother’s style has always involved heels. She even wore them with bathing suits. When I was small she wore a stunning white Jantzen bikini with white high heels.  I remember thinking how glamorous she looked compared to the other mothers.

I think my style always revolves around leggings in the winter and skirts in the summer.  As long as I can begin my outfit with that one basic piece I can add on from there.  I love to accessorize with a necklace, scarf and just the right bag.  The fashion finds I really love have been in my closet for a long time and are brought out for the right occasion to accompany that new item I could not resist.

Even though right now Spring seems far away, it will arrive eventually and bring with it another fun season of brightly colored fabric.  However, basic black even in summer still looks good.

Do you have a fashion basic or favorite?

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