The Suitcase Lady


October 16, 2007, 8:54 pm

The difference between style and fashion is easy. Fashion is someone else telling you what to wear. Style is you creating your own personal look. I will vote for style every time.

Growing up, I had the perfect role model to exemplify pure, uninhibited style. My Aunt Vi created a look for herself as a young woman and remained unabashedly true to her style until she died at age 89.

The major elements of Vi style were tailored suits in primary colors (Kelly green and red were her favorites), faux leopard accents, large hoop earrings, piles of real Navajo silver and turquoise bracelets and stiletto heels. Tabu perfume was the olfactory complement to her look.

Aunt Vi also had a real leopard skin coat in the days before conservation was a household word. When I inherited that coat, I was torn between my love for Aunt Vi and my love for animals. To solve this dilemma, I buried the leopard coat in our backyard.

My cousin Linda is one of the style stars in my life now. Her style is so fabulous that she has her own fan club. A group of young girls in her church can’t wait to see what Linda will be wearing when she does the weekly reading.

Linda’s clothes are boldly colored and patterned tops and skirts made of flowing chiffon. She complements these outfits with big, chunky, bead encrusted jewelry and amazing purses – one handbag is shaped like a teapot. Linda is a walking art show. I’m one of her groupies, too.

Among my many stylish friends, Donna has to be the absolute Queen of Style. Who else do I know that can pull off wearing a full length white, turkey feather coat?

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