My mom has always had great style and I think she probably has influenced me a great deal over the years, but I also used to go to Houston Oilers football games with my dad, and I recall thinking that the majorettes who took to the field during halftime were the most glamorous things going. So much so that in high school, I (briefly) became one. Susan Dey on The Partridge Family always seemed deeply chic as well, but obviously in a different way than the majorettes. How about you?
I mean, total cliche, but it was Audrey Hepburn photos. Her crisp, tailored look was in such contrast to the insane 80s hair and clothes, and it spoke to me. As I got older, since my figure was anything but gamine-thin, I looked to Sofia Loren pictures to give me better ideas of how to do that retro glamour. Now that I’m in my 40s, I have almost entirely ditched the retro thing (nothing like actual aging to make the retro wink-wink style look just fuddy duddy), so, you know, ever-evolving…
Mary Tyler Moore initially, and later, Madonna and Molly Ringwald’s character in Pretty in Pink.
Jackie Kennedy. She always looked so put together in an effortless, elegant way, no fussy or flashy accessories, everything understated but beautiful. Much later, I met a friend’s Parisian wife who had that same look and now before I buy something, I first think whether it’s something she would wear.
Oh of course! How could I forget my love of Jackie??
Exactly. Also, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. These two are the ultimate icons for me.
Anne Bancroft in the graduate!
So this was probably not supposed to be the takeaway of Mrs.Robinson but..
I completely remember thinking that when I’m old like her (ha ha)
I want to look that damn glamorous and bad ass.
Brooke Shields in Calvin Klein jeans. My mom bought the exact pair when I was in seventh grade. She let me wear them to school, and I styled them with boots and a blazer. I felt so cool.
I bet you were so cool! I still love that look…
My grandmother (textiles and jewels from her travels), Ali MacGraw, then Seventeen Magazine, then Carly Simon, then Stevie Nicks, then Glamour Magazine…
Have you seen the recent pics of Ali MacG? Best looking 78 year old on the planet, and clearly NO work. I’m too lazy to link, but check out the piece on her in Man Repeller
Ali McGraw looks amazing! Not only that, but she is a beautiful person inside too. I love her!
No way! She is 78? Talk about an icon! I loved her style in “Love Story.”
Denise Huxtable / Lisa Bonet & Jennifer Grey’s wardrobe in Dirty Dancing. To be honest I think they are still my touchstones. I love that boho/Americana mix that Lisa Bonet & “Baby” excelled at, and every time I wear one of my Ace & Jig pieces my husband says I look like D.Huxtable which I take as the highest compliment!
Lisa Bonet’s wardrobe in the Cosby Show was spectacular!
Whoever was styling her was a freakin’ genius.
Who DID style her? That would be a great read.
Right?! I wish I knew!
PS, As usual, The Internet knows all: https://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1987-11-07/lifestyle/0160060063_1_cosby-show-lemire-sweaters
100% the same icons. I even got a shorter cut with perm to replicate Baby’s hair. Spoiler: it did not take.
Ali MacGraw and then Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail
My mother, I wore all her 60s/70s clothing in highschool and still have some that I wear. Molly Ringwald, Nancy Drew, Espirit and Benetton ads, people watching in NYC (I’m from Maplewood, NJ), French and Italian movies from 50s-80s…Sassy magazine for sure.
Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) from The Avengers – loved the mix of mod, Mary Quant, English country-style and dominatrix.
my mom, Seventeen &Fiorucci.
Most of my influences are familial–the way my mom looked in photos from college and her single years (1950s glamour); her stepmother (a kind of ageless chic; my older cousins (70s preppy boho).
But then, Debbie Harry! Patti Smith! Even Madonna.
My preppy east coast dad and the Preppy Handbook was my bible! Later it became Ralph Lauren.
As poor as the proverbial church mice we were when I was growing up my muther ALWAYS had a subscription to Architectural Digest and Vogue. They were like picture books for me. And as provincial as the town was where I grew up my muther managed to look like Jackie Kennedy every Sunday for church (which would horrify my muther since she defended Nixon to the very end and STILL tries to justify her trump vote). Interestingly, I’ve never dressed like Jackie Kennedy nor would never be mistaken for a Vogue model which leaves Architectural Digest––that would account for my minimalist taste in both dressing and my home.
OMG yes! I had a haircut in 9th grade for which I took a photograph of John Taylor to the JC Penney hair salon.
The sister (Julia, played by Diana Quick) in Brideshead Revisited. I somehow approached 80s fashion from that upscale-flapper angle.
That wins for most interesting answer!
When I was a high school freshman in the early 80s, there were a few senior girls who looked like they were in their 30s: feathered Farrah hair, velvet Calvin Klein jeans, stiletto-heeled sandals, and satin blouses. This is rural Sussex county in the far northwestern reaches of NJ, mind you! This particular group had access to cars and cash and made their way to NYC on a regular basis. Not hicks at all (though I was). They talked about going to Studio 54, the Mudd Club, CBGBs; I wanted “in” to this world and by 1981, I was riding the bus to the city and a year later, driving in. New York opened my eyes, my mind, and my entire being to subversive art and literature, music, free expression, gay culture: all of it had a profound effect on me. Klaus Nomi, Debi Mazar, pre-fame Madonna, East Village punk girls and then I saw Man Ray’s famous photo of the Marchesa Luisa Casati. That image drove me to research her resplendent and decadent life. She became a muse as I applied layers and layers of kohl to my eyes and draped myself in tattered thrift store velvet and fur. This look later morphed into punk/goth/metal hybrid and I’d have to say I probably stole a lot of my style from Cycle Sluts From Hell back then, too. Some of the goth style stays with me as I am usually wearing black but at 52, I’m sporting quite a bit of Eileen Fisher these days!
We’re the same age and it sounds like you and I had a similar upbringing/influences!
My punk phase, melded with that 1970s/early 1980s Farrah/Calvin (Lauren Hutton was an influence, too) look you describe, is what has stuck with me to this day (minus the hair). So that I feel most comfortable in flares and heels, a good blouse and blazer, or skinny jeans, booties, T-shirt, slouchy jacket. If I wear a dress, it’s got a slight disco/Halston element to it, or it flirts with the edge of boho.
I was born in 1963. My earliest fashion influences are from the late 60s and early 70s. 1) British Mods– Trapeze or A-line mini-dresses, mini-skirts, textured tights, fishnets, BOOTS, low-heeled and flat Mary Janes and T-straps, giant plastic sunglasses, culottes, scooter skirts. 2) JANE BIRKIN!!! Faded bell-bottom jeans and a white eyelet camisole. Corduroys and a chunky turtleneck. Denim cut-offs and a stripey boat shirt. Peasant blouses. Frye boots. 3) Rock-star girlfriends like Patti Boyd, Anita Pallenberg, and Marianne Faithfull. Long velvet swing coats, smocked peasant dresses, leopard print, fur (or fake fur) coats and jackets with tight, faded hiphugger jeans. Your boyfriend’s tuxedo jacket or smoking jacket thrown over whatever you’re wearing. Scarves. Big gemstone rings. Granny boots. Floppy hats. Berets. Bed-head and smudgy eyes. 4) Hopping to the 80s– Punks. Black everything. Studded leather bracelets, short boots, Docs, graphic stripes, concert t-shirts, every garment Chrissie Hynde put on her body.
I am still influenced by all of these!
Those are the first, the biggies. They continue to influence my style.
Re majorettes: pictures or it didn’t happen.
All evidence has been destroyed.
Well perhaps that is for the best – I have a ton of photos of younger me and … yikes!
Pre college: Elizabeth McGovern in Ordinary People
In college: Chrissie Hynde
Oh what a difference a year makes…
Annie Hall came out in 1977 when I was a senior in high school. I went to the theatre FIVE TIMES to see that movie. Diane Keaton’s style in that movie, and her personal style, have inspired me ever since. A few years ago I had the opportunity to sit next to her at a dinner party and I am happy to report that she (a) is just as chic in person and (b) is a delightful person. Win/Win!
Yes yes yes to Annie Hall style in high school … skinny ties and vests for the win!
First is the significant word in the question, because there were many influences, and they changed over the years. I guess Ali MacGraw, more her preppy “Love Story” incarnation but also the sort of boho looks she wore IRL. Then “Annie Hall” a few years later and in the 80s, Ralph Lauren. I was a very young fashion editor in the early 70s and I bought fabric and had a dress made that echoed the mood of Yves Saint Laurent’s Russian collection. I wore it to an industry party and when Eugenia Sheppard, then a grande dame of the fashion press, asked if I was a model I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. How we change, and don’t, is interesting. Mrs. Z (above) went from boho through punk and goth and wears Eileen Fisher now. In the 90s I went through a pencil skirt, cropped cashmere cardigan and stilettos phase. As much as I think I know my own style, I can still be influenced.
Seeing the picture in this post forces me to share my deepest darkest desire: I have always – ALWAYS! – coveted a pair of majorette boots with the tassels and clicky/scuffy sound they make.
And if someone offered me a pair in my size right now, hell yeah I’d be putting them on and wearing the f~*k outta them.
That is all!
If you want to get over your majorette fetish right quick, go see the first five minutes of Tom Ford’s movie Nocturnal Animals.
I’ll bet my mom still has mine from HS (late70’s) in her basement! Size 9?!?
When I was young, my grandmother (cigarette pants and driving mocs), and Ali MacGraw in “Love Story.”
As I got older, Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail,” Gwyneth Paltrow in “Sliding Doors,” and Rashida Jones.
Jami Gertz’ character Blair in “Less than Zero.” And, come to think of it, Robert Downey Jr.’s character, Julian, too.
1.) The Preppy Handbook was my guide, 7th grade through 9th. (I’m from suburban CT, that was the uniform.) I coveted the L.L. Bean, Olaf Daughters clogs, and Levi’s cords in every color that the kids with more means all wore. 2.) Got bit by the “designer jeans” bug of the late ’70’s/early ’80s, as interpreted by the same coterie of girls with perfect Farrah hair and long, skinny legs. (I had neither, nor was I admitted to their circle.) Gloria Vanderbilt, Calvin Klein, and finally my mom broke down and bought me a pair of wide wale corduroy Sassons in a burgundy shade. But around this time I also started scouring the thrift stores and picked up a military wool Eisenhower jacket that I wore every single day. 3.) Off to college ’83-’87 and I was still emulating my more moneyed peers. Now it was all Forenza shaker sweaters from The Limited, leggings, Mia flats, and I added my personal touch, an Indian block print scarf with fringe. I studied and copied Molly Ringwald’s look from The Breakfast Club. It’s still one of my go- to’s. Oh, and no one was more happy than I was when Adidas Stan Smiths became a thing again. I bought mine online a couple years ago when they were still hard to find, and I maintain them a pristine white. 4.) Out of college and my obsession with the styles of girls who had more money than I did resulted in a pretty bad spate of credit card debt. But I took thrift store hunting to a new level, and added the obligatory Doc Martens and black leather moto jacket. I cut my hair short and did a fair imitation of the “Jane” character from Melrose Place. Yes, I’m very pleased that matte red lipstick is back in style, I wore out many tubes of in during the ’90s. 5.) 2000’s and beyond… I’m addicted to Mod Cloth and Anthropologie and affect a sort of boho hippie/prep/rocker look depending on my mood. I don’t know if I should be proud of the fact that I make very few concessions to being 52. I probably look like an idiot half the time- you know how they say that if a trend comes around and you were wearing it the first time, you’re too old to repeat it- that is a rule I break daily for better or worse. I’m carrying a good 30 pounds more than I was back in the day, but that only adds to the challenge, and I’ve always enjoyed presenting a cool image that doesn’t adorn a body that weighs the same as my 13 year old daughter’s. The other day at work I saw a new hero in the elevator: this woman had to be at least 60, her gray hair was shaved on the sides and had a big pink streak in front. She was wearing black nail polish, sandals with a high chunky heel paired with a prissy print dress that would have made Princess Diana ca. 1982 envious, and she had just the right number of tattoos so she looked cool and not skanky. I’ve been copying her brand of in-your-face business casual ever since.
First influence? Twiggy.
This is such a fun question! I’m loving reading everyone’s answers – it kinda helps me picture everbody in my head a little better.
I was pretty much born loving to dress up, so from an early age I had strong ideas about what I wanted to wear that didn’t really come from anywhere. This still shows up in my wardrobe as a love of bright colors, clashing prints and fun textures. But my first and most enduring influence, predictably, was my parents and their friends. They were the kind of hippies who shopped for clothes at the farm supply store, so basically this translates into a lot of workwear, with ethnic prints and big, handmade-looking jewelry thrown in for kicks. They also made or augmented a lot of their clothes (and mine), and for awhile during grade school they were so strict about not buying us new stuff that I started to sew things for myself. So I’m also very attracted to things that are hand made by someone, or have a hand made look.
Also, my maternal grandfather was a tree farmer (it was his retirement gig), so pretty much whenever I saw him he was wearing coveralls. And I know this sounds precious, but I think this is why I love jumpsuits so much, especially mechanic-style ones. They remind me of him.
Other influences include people like Debby Harry or Lisa Bonet or Laurie Anderson, but from afar; I was obsessed with their looks, but they felt unattainable to me. They’re in the background lending an edge or (I like to think, anyway!) a little more sophistication than what I’d have without them.
So basically…a very normal mix of things for someone my age!
Clarification: I dug Lisa Bonet both as herself *and* as Denise Huxtable (I mean, COME ON).
What a great bunch of responses! +1 for the Duran Duran mention… I had an unfortunate mullet in high school with dyed blonde bangs. And those damn jazz shoes were everywhere.
Also, Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.
Lots of Elle magazine fashion editorials in the 80s.
By college it was mostly all black, Doc Martens, ripped jeans… not sure where it came from, but there it was.
I kind of track my whole life by what I wanted to wear and what other girls were wearing, probably because we moved a lot, to very different places. And my mother did not believe in spending any money at all on clothes. Before the internet, styles were more localized, it seems. Amy and I are the same age, and our influences are very similar. I went to private school in NYC in the 1970’s. One of my friends had a cool and beautiful older sister who dyed her tan levis cords a great shade of pink. It was all about straight legged pants, clogs and indian print t shirts. But I wore a uniform in school so I didn’t have a lot of clothes. Then my family moved to Northern California, and boy that was a shock. The girls wore bell bottomed pants and either Korkease or high heeled sandals. When it rained, your pants would get wet up to the knees, but that was cool. In 8th grade, I bought a pair of black chemin-de-fers (spelling?) on lay away because I had so little money for clothes, but my mother was embarrassed by that, so she paid for them. In high school the older girls wore levis 501s, birkenstocks, and those indian blouses, so that became my look. Then back to the East Coast for college. My good friend wore the baggy off the shoulder sweaters, and flats. I bought a pair of white cropped guess pants that were way more than I could afford, but I loved them. And, jean jackets. Then I lived in NYC — so much inspiration! I got a pair of those cowboy booties that Madonna and Sandra Berhardt both wore, and I wore them with white socks. And a pair of Justin cowboy boots (I still have them). Sassy was an inspiration in the 90’s — I had a babydoll t shirt, plaid shirts I found in thrift shops, and baggie vintage levis. With my cowboy boots or booties. Now I live in the Bay Area which is kind of a style void but thanks to Kim (thank you Kim !!!), a few stylish friends (one who has an adorable nose piercing -so I’m debating that!) and traveling to NYC as often as I can I find inspiration.
Ha ha I got black Justin cowboy boots too and I still have them and still wear them! And I never quite recovered from that Indian block print trend. What it all comes down to is, my style has not evolved too far from whatever I craved in 7th grade that my mother would not buy for me.
Isn’t that the truth! Therapy wardrobe…
Seventeen and New Ingenue magazines.
Cyndi Lauper, early Madonna, the females on Three’s Company, Vogue, Seventeen, Sassy, John Hughes movies, and MTV.
This is such a fun question, and one I hadn’t given much thought to before. In my earliest memories I recall loving Jacklyn Smith (Kelly) on Charlie’s Angels, Blair Warner on The Facts of Life, Brooke Shields in those infamous CK ads (I still remember that burgundy silk blouse)and Princess Di. In fact I was about six when the royal wedding took place and I begged my mom to let me watch. To her credit she did! We woke up at the crack of dawn (NY time) and I dressed up in my favorite dress; white cotton voile with puffed sleeves, a lilac ditsy floral print and lilac satin sash. My Minnie-Mouse slippers completed the look. Mom cooked us breakfast, and I watched the whole thing in my little pink & white wicker rocking chair. In the early and mid eighties I used to also love looking through my mom’s catalogs; Spiegel was my favorite because it was huge and also Honeybee if anyone remembers that one. I would pretend to be a grown up choosing a complete new wardrobe, and coordinate all the items I would buy; blouses, dresses, suits, coats, handbags… the whole schlemiel. In fact my favorite thing to do on a Friday night in the early 80’s was getting to stay up late to watch Dallas, and “picking outfits” in mom’s catalogs.
I loved Blair, too! How I dreamed of being as glamourous as she was!
Oh, I loved to look at catalogs and pick out clothes. I also loved to read the descriptions; probably the only person on the planet that thought acetate was exotic!
Laura Ashley and Gunne Sax, oh my!
As a little girl I loved I Love Lucy and I was fascinated by Lucy’s wardrobe. Hence my retro/Vintage phase in college. My aunt, who had no kids, was the best dressed woman around. She played dress up with me and was like my Auntie Mame. From her I learned about quality and style.
My childhood best friend’s mother. I was a mid-size deep southern town tom boy and she from New Rochelle and wife of dentist. She drove a Cadillac coupe(!)…to say she made a splash on our community is a understatement. That woman was the picture of glamour and sophistication and I could spend all day playing her closet! She was a stark contrast to the typical southern look I had been pushed into. No more florals and lace for me. The irony being that my friend, her daughter, had no interest in any of it…but I did! When she cleaned out her close she would give me things – that I still have now.
Edie Sedgwick. Then Audrey Hepburn as I aged.
Ugh – Bananarama. Specifically, the Cruel Summer video with the artfully messy hair and the dark lipstick and the slouchy clothes.
My mom’s high school clothes (circa 1962) that I played dress up in, Seventeen magazine circa 1982-1984, Blair Warner from Facts of Life (I still love corduroy blazers!) and starting in high school it was girls I saw around south Florida looking cool and put together, usually from out of town. So basically, teenage girls visiting from Long Island. I started working in retail in tenth grade and after that I got interested in what was coming up in the cookbooks and what was next and was really influenced by what people who were into clothes thought.
And Gigi Guerra and Andrea Linnett. I thought they were so cool! Oh, Sassy.
First influence was Janis Joplin. Enduring influence Audrey Hepburn.
I grew up on Long Island and as a little kid in the 70s, I experienced pretty much every single trend. “Prairie” style, Charlies Angels style (including the enormous winged hair), designer jeans (including the coveted crayon-colored Gloria Vanderbilt cords). Then I went to an Episcopalian prep school for 9th grade, and that was a culture shock for sure – candy-colored Ralph Lauren polos matched to Jack Rogers flats and belts. I was a punk child, so I felt completely alienated.
Then from 1983-87 I went to boarding school in Connecticut, and I wore a long army coat and combat boots with the dress-code regulation skirt and blouse. Spending the 80s in a dorm with rich girls was amazing – hideously obnoxious Benetton sweaters over knit pencil skirts. And CLOUDS of hairspray and Giorgio perfume (gag) in the halls every morning. Meanwhile I was in my tiny room dropping acid and listening to Joy Division and the Doors. It was heaven.
In college I did the vintage thing, that’s when you could still get amazing things like Pauline Trigere jackets and dresses at the thrift store for a song. I wore psychedelic polyester dresses (one had a stained-glass pattern) with purple Doc Martens that I got at NaNa on Amsterdam Avenue.
In grad school I was very classic, black and white and tan. I was influenced by architecture culture with angular black glasses and a leather knapsack.
I got more colorful as I got older, buying Japanese pieces and vintage Montana on Ebay. Then in my 30s I went through a heavy 70s phase with lots of print wrap dresses and knee-high boots. I remember also being influenced by the Manson Girls with their minidresses and sandals. I did a cool modern drapey thing while I was still working, but since I have been on disability for 3+ years I’m back to my punk youth, with a biker jacket, a hoodie, ripped Levis and a pair of Doc Martens Clemencys, which have an almond-shaped toe and a higher heel.
Were you at Miss Porters? Ï ask because ïm right down the road and ïm always so curious about what they wear off campus.
I’m still stuck trying to fit my other arm into a pillowcase dress thanks to Sassy.
any and all ad’s i saw in the NYTimes style section and Seventeen magazine…as well as one of my mom’s friends who dressed like what i thought a “real” person (as opposed to a 70’s mom)would wear…and now looking back 2 great aunts who always dressed and were always up to date and on trend, even into there 80s….
In the summer of ’77 or so I saw two Ralph Lauren ads for suits in Fashions of the Times. They were very equestrian and luxe. I cut the ads out and kept them on my bulletin board for months.
When I wasn’t even old enough to watch nighttime soap operas (unless my grandmom was babysitting) I was obsessed with Morgan Fairchild and Linda Evans. I thought it was SO glamorous how they would remove a clip-on earring before answering the phone. Also, slightly obsessed with Carol Burnett as Mrs. Hannigan in Annie. I could not wait to be old and wear nothing but slips, slippers with feathers, and lots of necklaces. Then when I was a teenager it was Lisa Bonet in The Cosby Show and Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink. To this day I still look to those two beauties for fashion inspiration.
Barbie in the 1960’s. Her Jackie O clothes influenced me into the future. Years later, as a fashion editor, an outfit I put together looked familiar, and then realized it was the coral sweater set and gray pencil skirt that my Barbie had rocked. And of course, Annie Hall.
I was going to say Barbie, too! I had a whole wardrobe of clothes for her that had been made by an older lady my mom knew, and the were very Jackie Kennedy.
In the late 80s thumbing through the pages of Elle inspired my style and what I wore that day. Madonna, The Brreakfast Club, boy George, Annie Lennox. All big influences.
Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate was and still is my idea of what a grown-up woman dresses like.
Mrs. Robinson was cool, but I have an endearing memory of seeing Anne Bancroft at the Brentwood Country Mart (for you LA girls) when I was about 40 and she was 60ish. She was wearing a blue button-down shirt, roomy khakis and white Keds. She looked so cool and ageless. Ever since, she’s been one of my style icons when I think about how a GOACA can look casually great, avoiding the traps of trying too hard, dressing too young or too old ladyish.
Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap and Mary Tyler Moore, especially in The Dick Van Dyke Show. Mind you, this was in the 90s. I think I was a strange child.
Also, I was a serious ballet student, and dancer fashion was absorbing to me then and still is now. So many trends and variations with such a limited vocabulary.
I wasn’t smart/stylish enough to have a style icon as I grew up. But NOW it’s LInda Rodin.
My English/Scottish dad who was a dapper man, 17 Magazine-which I devoured in high school, later , Slim Aarons and my mother-in-law, a beautiful and gracious woman who I’m lucky to say our youngest daughter takes after.
As a child, Punky Brewster. Not because I achieved anything remotely that cool, but because I always had her in mind as an icon. As a teenager, Courtney Love and then the Beastie Boys/Kim Gordon/Chloe Sevigny. I would say that my CL obsession was evident in my clothes for a while. The Beasties, general XXL influence was more like that I deeply loved that look and admired any boy who looked like that and found it to be the best look of any look for men or women. In general, and I am not pandering, but Sassy had a huge impact on my style. (Also, I’m thinking anyone could probably estimate my precise age based on this answer!)
Later on, I have admired Sofia Coppola’s look, consistently for years. But I don’t strive to imitate it. I’m not that understated. As a contrast, my other favorite look is Elizabeth Taylor during her caftans and turbans era. Similarly, I’ve loved nearly every one of Jennifer Lopez’s looks since the Waiting for Tonight video. But as an adult I don’t think I’ve imitated any other adult that I found inspirational. I just like them from afar.
Ps. It would be a mistake not to mention Cyndi Lauper and Madonna, obviously.
My mom was my first influence, with her love of Jackie O. shifts, head scarves, and white pants. Also, Mom saved her very classy Dior-ish wardrobe from when she modeled after H.S. and I was always fascinated by her cashmere coats, silk heels and cashmere dresses with the nipped in waists and full skirts…not that I wanted to dress that way, but it taught me to appreciate the finer things in life! Then I briefly went thru my “returning Nam war vet” look with my dad’s old Army jacket, hip huggers, and Kork-eaze platforms. Followed by my Joni Mitchell phase, my sewing phase (I’d make what I saw in fashion mags), my “I want to be Patti Hansen” period, and then hot, sexy, free lovin’ braless black Danskin wearing chick in college. Talk about trying on personnas! 😉 oddly, my Princess Di phase came next. Too many to talk about. I’m glad I’ve settled on semi-boho and tomboy chic. They’re much more me.
I have a vivid memory of my friend Becky and I very seriously planning our “look” for high school. She decreed that mine should be the jeans and blazer with a quirky accessory style favored by the women then on Saturday Night Live (Jane and Gilda in particular). I loved my Fry boots and vintage men’s blazers. Have to say that looking at my closet… the boots are a bit more moto and there’s a leather jacket but I’m still roughly in the same uniform.
The Charlie perfume ads of the 1970s: women in suits or at least pants, going to work in a big city, completely independent, while still being sexy and cool. I purchased a 3- piece pinstripe suit from a catalog, paying it off in installments, at age 14. I didn’t know a single “career woman” in small town Ireland. But I knew I wanted that one day. And the clothes (I never bought the perfume) seemed to be the crucial factor.
My earliest influences were my mom, my Barbie dolls, Stevie Nicks, and Bond girls. For some reason, I recall really loving the glamour in the commercials for the movie For Your Eyes Only (plus Sheena Easton’s video), I had no idea of who James Bond was then, but it stuck (I was about 10 when it was out) and I got really into Ian Flemming and Bond as I got older.
And I would say magazines from 1981-1990: Seventeen, Elle, Taxi, a little bit of Vogue (I was more of an Elle girl), Mademoiselle, Sassy; there was one called InFashion that would put 2 famous people on the cover(I recall Charlie Sexton and Rosanna Arquette) that I’m still trying to find a skirt that looked liked one featured in 1987- it was a long brown bustle back from Urban Outfitters when Urban had better clothing. I seriously miss good print magazines.
What a fun question. For me, it was a combination of Seventeen, movie stars from days of yore, and my impossibly chic grandmother. My grandmother was a petite woman who could make a suit out of a yard of cloth and would clean the roof gutters of her Santa Monica house wearing Bermuda shorts and kitten heels. When I was in grade school, my mom let me buy the May 1968 edition of Seventeen at a library sale (this was around 1975) and I fell deeply in love. In the Pacific Northwest, where I grew up, we used to pick strawberries for our school clothes money, so I would save all summer. The summer before 7th grade, my grandmother took me shopping in Beverly Hills, and I came home with a gorgeous pair of corduroy gauchos and a cool pinstripe button-down that no one in my small home town appreciated at all but was straight out of Seventeen editorial. I loved the late 70s style icons, but I was way too curvy and dark-haired to pull that look off, so I looked elsewhere. In high school, I followed the Preppy Handbook/Elizabeth McGovern in Ordinary People religiously, then I became passionate about old movies and was highly influenced by Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich and other glamorous stars. This led me to vintage. I started wearing my dad’s old army gear after he passed away when I was 15 (Linda Cardellini’s wardrobe in Freaks and Geeks was essentially my wardrobe, plus some vintage accessories.) In college, I discovered punk rock and added black boots (in every variety) and leather jackets to these preppy-army-vintage-ensembles. I still wear many of these elements, although I am more going for the Emmuelle Alt vibe these days.
My mother. And then not my mother.
I was encoded with a preppy and proper dress. In my 20s I twisted it somewhat in my 20s but the elements were the same. Somehow anything more ‘knowing’ or sophisticated seemed verboten. In my 30s I started my delayed resistance to ‘anodyne’ style. Wearing high heels caused a small stir, and I went from there. Now I favoured a sharper more explicitly grown up look. Relaxed glamour – if I had to put a name on it. It makes my family (mother, sister) a touch uncomfortable and serves nicely to underline the difference between us 🙂 (case in point: at a family dinner last week I wore an ivory silk skirt and blouse (not matching) with high black boots and gold hoop earrings. My sister wore a blue button down with a navy blazer with contrast piping. It was so consciously establishment dressing that I cringed for the lack of volition.shed probably called it classic, but I’d call it staid, and safe.)
First, my very chic mother, who went from living on a farm in Nebraska to an apartment in Gramercy Park that she shared with fellow “stewardesses”. As a young mother, she had the Mary Tyler Moore of the Dick Van Dyke show vibe. I vividly remember her pastel leather pointy toed pumps with kid gloves dyed to match. I was next influenced by Marlo Thomas- That Girl, anyone? In the 70’s it was all about Frye boots, faded jeans and head shop tops. On to Princess Diana in the eighties, followed by Ralph Lauren. Always pretty classic, which is where I still gravitate to.
My parents, for sure. My mom was differently-shaped from me, but I wore a pair of my dad’s (born in 1957) hip-hugger bell bottoms until I LITERALLY wore a hole in the bottom. Also, his awesome plaid Wrangler shirts.
Now, I am my own style icon; I wear flared jeans and silhouetted I loved when I was in junior high and high school! Smocked tops, plaids, etc. I didn’t keep much, but am finding them here and there.
I loved reading all these posts. and thanks for the compliment. i don’t know who or what influenced me, so your question gave me a good thing to think about. love, Mom
I became obsessed with Demi Moore’s sweaters in About Last Night. I watched the movie several times to remember those sweaters.