Those of you who follow me on le twitter know that I spent the weekend in Virginia visiting my grandpa. Yup, the stylish one from “Old school is the new...” fame. My grandpa lives on 20+ acres in a town with not much but trailers, farms and ticks apparently. Our hotel was a bit more in the city but still very southern country life. The signs advertizing Hardee’s new fried bologna biscuits kind of alerted us to this. Well besides surviving Irene’s windy wrath and counting cows with my niece and nephew, I also learned some valuable style lessons from the country this weekend. And I snapped a few pictures so you all could get full “sticks” effect. So spray on some mosquito repellent and grab a glass of sweet tea as we travel back to my weekend in the country, and I share the lessons I learned.
1. Fashion can be judged but style is personal.
This picture is from the town’s magazine where our hotel was. These women are recognized as the fashionistas of their community. The style snob in me wanted to laugh at this page (well okay, I did laugh at first), but then I started to think. Every environment has their own definition and acceptance of fashion, and within each of this definitions stands a person who is always seen as getting it “just right” when it comes to style. These women are clearly in the upper echelon of style in Roanoke Valley. And who am I to say that they are not? If people come to them for style advice, and look to them to see what the newest trends are, then that makes them fashion forward. And even though they included a little girl dressed just like and American Girl doll, who am I to judge? Style is personal. And when you can get others around you to look at your personal expression and agree that it’s something worth talking about then you have moved right from fashionista on up to style icon. You betta werk, ladies.
2. Don’t be afraid to mix textures, prints and occasions.
Now this man was maybe the highlight sighting of my weekend. Waiting to be seated for lunch at Denny’s this man came strolling on by my family. The picture is a little fuzzy but I’ll explain to you what you are looking at. This vision is wearing Dickie shorts, black dress socks, black dress shoes, what looked to be an old track jacket and a camouflage hunting hat. Under that hat was slicked down gray hair, and under the jacket was a very large gold chain. He knew and flirted with all of the waitresses at Denny’s – it was clear that this man was dressed this way by no accident. This was a deliberate outfit. And once the laughter subsided, it got me to thinking about the bold mixes of prints, textures and occasions that I’m always trying out - and always pushing others to try too. I love to mix stripes and floral prints. A corduroy blazer with a flowing skirt. A casual outfit with great dressy pumps. Sharp Sam was doing exactly what I tell you all to do – bust out of that fashion box as much as possible. If pairing a print shirt with basic black bottoms seems like the best option, then push yourself a little more and coordinate it with another pattern or a color not found in the print. Live loud when it comes to you style, and don’t let anyone convince you that you have to dress according to what’s in for the season. Your style is just that – your’s.
3. When you find something that works for you, stick with it.
While heading back on the road today we got to see a lot of people as church services were letting out. Old man Sunday chic is always something to be witnessed, respected and learned from. I saw many bright-colored, six button double-breasted suits today. Some with pin stripes, zoot suit long jackets, and matching vests showing underneath. It’s clear that many of these suits are throwbacks. Sunday’s best from the 70s that still fit on these distinguished gentlemen all these years later. While not the best fashion choice in my opinion, these men remembered that this look always worked for them. That lady they have had on their arms for the past 40 years, fell head over heels for them in that exact suit. And if it’s ain’t broke, then we know we shouldn’t try to tinker with it. I feel the same way about some of my style staples. Pearl earrings, cardigans, vintage hand bags. These are looks that have always served me well for all of my fashion needs. So I stick with them. Signature style choices are always great to have – that go-to little black dress, those perfect slacks. Hold on to them. Great love and good fashion finds are heard to come by in this life. Cherish them both.
Anything to add to the list? Any style lessons you have learned from some unexpected sources?
I hope everyone stayed safe over the weekend, and that little to no damage was suffered from the storms. Enjoy your Monday and see you back on Wednesday!