What is the Orgin of Your Style?


Having just returned from France where women are known for their innate sense of style, I couldn’t help but recall my first trip to Paris in my early 20s and being impressed at how fashionable the women – young and old – were.

The way they put themselves together was strikingly chic and it was obvious that they weren’t designer driven to carry it off. French women must have it in their DNA to be imaginative when wearing a scarf, which results in transforming a plain outfit into a chic silhouette. The French seem to play with fashion and win the game effortlessly. And they don’t follow the latest trends, instead opting for outfits that flatter and match their personal style.

Back then I learned a fashion lesson from French women that continues to impact my style even today. But other areas around the world have also left their imprint. It took only one trip to Stockholm to discover that winter hats can be both functional and fashion-forward.

It was about 20 years ago when I bought a faux leopard fur hat there and still wear it regularly. Until then I had a real aversion to hats, due in part to my mother’s quirky hat collection. She must have befriended a taxidermist, since at least three of her hats were decorated with colorfully plumed birds too realistic looking to be fake. Boots and bare legs in summer? That was one trend picked up in Los Angeles that didn’t last long.

Thanks to discovering summer weight sweaters in San Francisco, there’s enough of a variety in my closet to wear year round, either layered or solo depending on the temperatures. Sometimes fashion ideas can be gleaned from simply walking to work and passing someone who stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons. But in the end, personal style is defined through more than a wardrobe. A great hairstyle, complimentary makeup and even attitude all come into play.


About Sherren Leigh

Sherren Leigh is president and founder of Today's Chicago Woman and Today's Chicago Woman Foundation. She muses about life - the good, the bad, the ugly - and anything else that's on her mind in “Girl Talk.” Sometimes funny, other times serious, she's always thought-provoking and often controversial.