In Case You Missed It on HUFFPO 50

In case you did not see the post I recently wrote for HUFFPO 50 HERE.

 I decided to reprint it on this blog today…the discussion is about Personal Style and the legacies we leave….

She moved with purpose and joy. She was the ultimate hostess, welcoming everyone into a perfectly decorated home. At 10 years of age, I had never seen such beautiful china, mesmerizing paintings or heard music in a living room from a baby grand piano. Mrs. L.T. Burns of Wichita Falls, Texas, was a legend during my childhood, and I was in her home.

In 1954, the Burns began to place lights and displays on their lawn at Christmas. Every year it grew grander and lines became longer. Some years, she would join Santa in welcoming the crowds and handing out candy canes to the children. My memories include her smiles and lovely coats, coveted by my mother every year of her life. One year, my church choir was caroling in front of the house when unexpectedly, Mrs. Burns invited us in for cookies. I soaked in each decoration, each kind word spoken and the music playing accompaniment as the queen of our town greeted every person in the room. Her Christmas legacy was eventually donated to the local college, Midwestern University, and is called the “MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights,” where her memory lives on each holiday season.

Mrs. Burns’ left behind an impeccable personal style noted by joy, compassion and generosity. So many women balk at the phrase “personal style.” Most often they are only thinking of models in Vogue rather than the legacy left behind, but our style has everything to do with that legacy. In The Power of Style by Annette Tapert and Diana Edkins (Copyright 1994), 10 women are profiled for “transforming their existence into a living work of art.” They selected women who lived with discipline, a sense of humor, resourcefulness, originality, verve, fearlessness and intelligence. Women who left powerful legacies to inspire us all.

The authors remind readers it is less important to have money and more important to have purpose, for style so often is birthed from resilience over heritage. These are women who dress for every occasion — every time they leave the house — simply because they dress for themselves and no one else. They have an appreciation for the unexpected and how events work together. They do not fear what lies ahead.

I did not begin to care about my personal style until after 50. Now, how I will be remembered is something I consider. Each encounter, every day, is a part of my style. Each message I communicate with my dress, as well as my words, are a part of my style. Yet, it is important to note, style is just as much about our insides as what we wear and our home décor on the outside. An excitement for each day and decisions about how to impact others are components of style. The truth is we all have a style whether we like it or not. Perhaps, now is the time to consider what your current style looks like. If it transforms into a living work of art, what do the brush strokes say?

Stylist and television personality Stacy London writes in The Truth About Style , “Style is transformative.” I agree and know this to be true. At 50, I transformed from a depressed, dowdy, uninspired woman to a joyful, driven, diligent, purposeful one who hopes to leave a legacy of joy just as Mrs. Burns in Texas did. Maybe a 10-year-old girl is watching.
Please share with us… do you consider your style as part of your legacy?
Have a fabulous Friday!

(make sure you check out my new post on HUFFPO by clicking their logo at the top of my right sidebar)


  1. I did see the post and it really made me think about fashion a new way. I had never considered personal style as a legacy. When you think of your style as an expression of who you are though, you can more easily make the connection. The dresses shown here are just beautiful. While they are from a different era, they still look great which speaks volumes abuot buying quality classic clothing!

  2. Yes, I do consider my personal style as my legacy. But not just for the fashion. Like Mrs Burns, I hope persons remember my entire essence.

  3. I can't imagine you being dowdy or uninspired so your transformation has definitely worked! Thanks for being such a shining example – Mrs Burns will be smiling down on you.

  4. Great story! My personal style is not a legacy, but my company's sleepwear is. My sister who is an artist dresses in a style unique to her and it is a legacy she will leave hopefully many years from now as remembered by her grand kids especially.

  5. What a legacy! I remember my mom. Always in a house dress and apron for working in her home. Always dressing up to go out in public. Hair arranged. High heels donned. Lipstick applied. It's been so long, I had almost forgotten. I often look at others while I'm shopping and think, "Wow! You looked in the mirror and was satisfied with that?!"

  6. Great post! I've always had a sense of style, learned from my mother who was a model, then a buyer at a large department store. Speaking of models… Love the photo you included. They almost look like store mannequins. xoxox, Brenda/

  7. Absolutely…be that as it may! My home, my travels, and the way I dress all tell a story about who I am. "Age Appropriate" is not a bad thing ever and it is always in the back of my mind. But style and beautiful clothes alway interest me. Even my teenage granddaughter finds the things I wear ageless and will borrow my cardigans at the drop of a hat. I swear she checks my closet every time she visits. It makes me laugh. I am 73 years old!

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