Who Is Your Greatest Fashion Influence?
Real Simple readers reveal that a fabulous muse is the best accessory.
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Diane von Furstenberg. Her designs are beautiful, classic, and feminine.
Kansas City, Missouri
My mom. While all the other mothers sported “mom jeans,” my mom had cool hippie shirts, feather earrings, and leather skirts. During my teenage years, I sometimes wanted to crawl under a rock and hide, but now, looking back, I realize she was fearless and brave with her fashion choices and simply beautiful.
Monroe, New Jersey
My biggest fashion inspiration is anyone who looks and acts comfortable in her own skin.
Surprisingly, my three-year-old son, Michael. His fashion advice is always practical, yet it works for me. Once, while I fussed over a shirt that was too low-cut for work, he said, “Wear a different shirt.” He was right. Whenever I am lamenting about what to wear as I stand in front of the closet, he peeks in, pulls out one of my favorites, and says, “Wear this.”
Denise Zirkle Brouillard
The fashion designer Adrian. He dressed all the glamour movie queens of 1930s and 1940s Hollywood. Rent The Women, from 1939, to witness his genius.
New York, New York
Believe it or not, a traveling preacher I once read about in Guideposts. This woman, a missionary in Maine, had a wardrobe of exactly seven identical dresses. She said it kept her life simple. While I don’t go to quite that extreme, it did inspire me to stop worrying about how stylish I looked or didn’t look and to pare my wardrobe down to four skirts with mix-and-match tops, three pairs of shoes that can go from casual to dressy, a spring jacket, and a winter coat. Life is too short to spend it worrying about clothes.
Rochester, New Hampshire
My nine-year-old niece, Andie. She has the ability to make a fashion statement out of any item of clothing. She has many hand-me-downs from my 16- and 14-year-old girls, and if a shirt is too big, she simply ties a knot in it or adds a scarf as a belt and wears it as a dress. She can mix and match colors and patterns that most people would never dream of, and she always looks beautiful. She once went to school with a hanger still stuck in the back of her dress. She couldn’t cut the little plastic staples and didn’t want to ask for help. When questioned about it, she simply declared, “It’s hanger day!” I hope she always stays carefree and unique.