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Thursday, May 24, 2012
If you’re involved in fashion in any way — blogger, designer, magazine editor — people often ask you to describe your personal style. I have a tough time answering that question. I don’t have one of those colorful, yet confusing, descriptions that all the real fashionistas seem to have on the tips of their tongues: “My style? Urban-safari, acid-flashback gamine with a soupçon of Amish-during-rumspringa. Thanks for asking!”

Sometimes I look like a cowgirl ...

Whenever I get the style question, I try to find someone else to describe me on my behalf.

... and sometimes I look like a sailor.

A while ago, when I was answering questions for an interview by email, I asked my gorgeous mother, BarbaraB, to describe my style. She sent me such a hilariously thorough answer that I decided to save it for my blog for a rainy day. Well, it’s pouring in New York today, so there’s no time like the present.
BarbaraB said of me that I was, “…always a lady, even when she was a wee baby … she was and is a lover of books, creativity, jewelry and fashion. I have to put the fashion interest down to the fact that I had her in brown corduroy as a four-year-old and she never recovered. “

In 1974, my younger sister and I looked like little Swiss Misses.

BarbaraB continued:

“She read books after lights out with a flashlight and carrots stowed under her bed. I used to read to her as a newborn and so she developed her first interest. Actually, Reader’s Digest was very exciting to her as she used to crinkle the pages and become quite excited over the sound and colors.

“Wendy was interested in plastic jewelry from the time she was quite little. In those days she also loved horses … plastic horses that were maybe 5″ high. When her grandparents took her to see real horses, I guess she was overwhelmed by their actual size, thinking that a 5″ horse was big enough. As a 12-year-old, Wendy was obsessed with John Lennon and wrote books and stories dedicated to the Beatles and to John. I will always remember her touching remark when she came home from a Beatlefest. Wendy said, ‘….that was the best night of my life.

“I’m sure she has had other wonderful nights since then. She continues to make me proud of her.”

Thanks for your vote of confidence, BarbaraB, as well as your amazing memory for embarrassing details. And it’s true that Lennon was my first love before Paul McCartney became my almost-husband. I can’t remember when and why the transition happened. It might have been purely practical. If you’re going to almost-marry a Beatle, it should probably be a live one.
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19 Responses to “What’s My Style? BarbaraB Responds and Then Some.”

  1. Megan Mae says:

    Awww that’s so cute. I still can’t define my style. I can tell you if something IS my style, but I don’t have a name for it. I just know what I like.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I remember Beatlefest! Loved it – I wonder what I would think of it now?? And black armbands in 8th grade when John Lennon was shot.

    Beth

  3. Rocquelle
    Twitter: ConsiderMeLuvly
    says:

    This is such a cute post Wendy!! I too loved books early on and would read with flashlights at night, and I developed a love of plastic jewelry and plastic heels from the toy section early on!

  4. Pam@over50feeling40
    Twitter: over50feeling40
    says:

    Such a cute post…I also have trouble putting myself into any fashion descriptions or boxes! AND, in fifth grade, I wrote stories dedicated to the Beatles, the Monkees, and Ilya Kuryakin in the Men from U.N.C.L.E!!

  5. stacy says:

    Aw, this is just the sweetest post. Your mommy is so proud. I share your pain of brown corduroy :-( And I hate that you (we as creative peeps) have to “define” our style. You’re unique. Your style is individual…

  6. Lara says:

    Awww that was so lovely! Your mom is adorable and so are you! Look at wee you! So cute!

  7. Awww. I love that picture of you and your little sister. So adorable. I used to read in bed with a flashlight too.

    Your style is Wendy B!

  8. Sheila says:

    What a wonderful description of you, Wendy!

    I wrote strange comedic stories about butlers, and a lot of angsty poetry. I read in bed by the light of my electric calculator – if you punched in 8888888888888, it gave off quite a bit of light!

  9. A good Reader’s Digest can still make my heart go pitty-pat :P

  10. Terri says:

    What a fun post! I can’t imagine EVER publishing a description of me by my mother!

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      Would it be all “Stand up straight!” and “You can’t go out dressed like that!”???

  11. Who knew a cowboy print dress could look so good? I must find one for my own wardrobe now!

  12. K-Line says:

    Such a sweet piece by your mother…

  13. drollgirl says:

    you have style! you have flair! i wouldn’t know how to describe my own style. it varies! but i like to think it looks pretty good most of the time. :)

    have a fab weekend!

  14. Giovanna says:

    Such a cute post! Love your mom’s description of you!!

  15. Silvergirl says:

    love the words from your mom
    always fun to see yourself through someone else’s eyes
    especially someone who really likes you lol
    love that cowboy dress!!!
    brett

  16. The Style Crone
    Twitter: judithstylecrone.com
    says:

    The 1974 photo of you and your sister is very sweet; your smile remains electric. And your mother’s words are priceless.

  17. Sarah
    Twitter: sarahwithabow
    says:

    “Urban-safari, acid-flashback gamine with a soupçon of Amish-during-rumspringa.” I’m dying over here. Seriously. Thank’s for directing me this way because it was totally worth it!