November 21, 2013

Do you like this?

Everyone has one—whether it’s inspired by a pop celebrity or a handmade hand-me-down. Many of us are obsessed with it. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be tens of thousands of blogs, articles and shows about the industry and so much money thrown at it. 

I’m talking about style. But style isn’t some sort of secret encryption to decode. And when approaching your own style, you don’t have to subscribe to clichés like “Boho Chic” and “Nautical”. I couldn’t put a finger on what my style would be. I wear scarves all year around and frequently combine paisley with Art Deco-ish prints. After many years of morphing and transforming my garb, I’ve learned that it’s totally OK. Last I checked, there were no real style police around—although there are a few who imagine themselves to be.y favorite part of pulling off a look is the accessories. Their well-chosen presence can truly enhance and embellish a look. From the daring individual looking to stand out of the crowd, to the quaint, polished personality that prefers a finished appearance, a common denominator to essentially every style is the right piece. Polishing off a look with accessories is like the cherry on top of a hot-fudge sundae. A casual knit top is just blah—until you wrap up in a Moroccan-style pashmina. The shock of a fire-engine red oversized bag, swinging alongside the wearer of a simple black-and-white dress? Oohs, ahhs and compliments abound. It’s fair to say that most famous icons were known not only for their work; they can be pointed out from afar by just that one accessory.

“Style is how you put something together,” says Kelly Brock, co-owner of newly opened Verdé.

Think Diane Keaton’s “Annie Hall” vest. Think John Lennon’s frames. 

For those who wear frames, this could be a good place to start with style—especially since they’re almost always with you. It wasn't until I donned my first pair of frames—thick, leopard print Oscar de la Rentas—that I even glimpsed my unique sense of style. Who knew that a small accessory like eyeglasses would boost a look? 

It's all about the details, says Melinda Rosenthal, optician and manager of Pearle Vision at Hamilton Place. Melinda has spent the better part of 22 years helping the fashionably challenged see their individuality clearly through a wide selection of eyeglass frames options and sunglasses.

This includes my sister, who has a collection of spiffy frames and, like her jewelry and shoes, always changes them out depending on the outfit and the occasion. 

“We try to give people different looks,” Melinda shares. “We like to find out about everything about [our patients].”

Those in pursuit of a fashionable frame should consider both form and function, as one pair doesn’t always meet every need. Purchasing more than one frame to suit your lifestyle and activities would be practical—whether it’s staring at the computer screen at the office, working outdoors or relaxing on the coffee shop patio on a Sunday afternoon. 

And this idea translates well to pretty much any accessory. Having a wide assortment of accessories can make your wardrobe look bigger than it actually is. Simply swapping, mixing and matching purses, scarves and cardigans in an array of colors and prints can really freshen up a modest collection. The trick: the more “toys” you have, the more you can play.

Style isn’t a sixth sense. And being fashionable isn’t a superpower bestowed only on a lucky few. Instead, style is a discovery…or reaching a destination. 

Morgan Griggs, owner of Fredonia Provisions for Women, agrees.

Morgan recalls coming up with the name of her Southside shop, partly because of her love of vintage women’s names, but also because it sounded like a location. “Like you arrived…at the store,” she says. 


November 21, 2013

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