6 Style Lessons My Grandmother Taught MeKaley H. has written for onlineuniversities.net and is working towards becoming a sonogram tech.
Both my grandmothers were eminently stylish. One was the product of the depression, a woman where stylish and frugal went hand-in-hand, and the other somehow managed to raise four boys without ever smudging her lipstick. Here are six things that I learned from them – life lessons disguised as style lessons.
- My maternal grandmother and I used to play a game in the mall. She’d hold a blouse, or a dress, or a pair of shoes, and say “who is this?” It was up to me to pick which mutual acquaintance this piece best embodied. The game could tend towards the mean-spirited at times, but the one thing it taught me: own it. If you have a style all your own, you’re going to become recognizable, even to that five year old tagging along with the adults. Isn’t that what style is about?
- Accessorize. The maternal grandmother, again, lived through the depression. Once material things were affordable again (for her, the 60’s and 70’s) chunky necklaces and earrings became her signature piece. She’d let me play with her jewelry box and, heaven help me, the accessory bug hit me, too.
- It’s all in the attitude. There’s a photo of the same grandmother driving her children around in my grandpa’s old army jeep. She’s wearing a giant bow and a polka dot dress. You can tell from the look on her face that she think the jeep is just a further accessory of this ensemble – army wife chic.
- Lipstick is a necessity. My paternal grandmother, of the aforementioned “perfect lipstick,” bought me my first tube at age eight. It was Disney Princess themed. I was never quite the same adept as she was – that first tube, in pastel pink, was her favorite color but I’ve never been able to pull it off – but she made the point that if your lips are worth looking at, your words are worth listening to.
- The Little Black Dress. She had tons of them. Some of them were clearly from the 70’s. Others would have been classic for years to come. She was the first person I ever thought was beautiful, and I feel like the little black dress had something to do with that.
- Shoes are the icing on the cake. Paternal grandma wore heels every day of her life until one fateful day when a variety of foot, tendon, and heel problems made the doctor ban pumps from her life forever. Not to be daunted, she found the most stylish shoes I’d ever seen any grandmother wear. If you’re dedicated to fashion, you will be able to find something that will satisfy yourself and the health experts.