Style according to Webster’s is an elegant, fashionable or luxurious mode of dress. But our definition of style is less about what’s fashionable and more about what inspires you and makes you feel good independent of the opinions of others.

In this style section, we include photos, videos, articles and interviews with persons who have a great sense of individual style, sometimes in unexpected ways. We provide information and inspiration on how we can have our style with function and ease, to support our lifestyles.

Phyllis remembers being embarrassed when her Mom came to school dressed in bright colors and with an Angela Davis afro…read article below

How My Mother Taught Me About Style:

By Phyllis Bowie

From the time I was 5 years old, I remember my Mom wearing bright colors and mixing patterns in ways that my friends’ mothers did not...Read More

I began borrowing some of these strange clothes to wear myself. But, I  wondered, how did she feel about it when people stared? She  explained it this way: after her divorce, there was little money and she  had to borrow clothes from her sister –clothes from J. C. Penney catalog.  Her primary focus as a young single parent of two children was to earn  enough money to get her little family out of San Francisco’s Potrero Hill Projects.

To do that, she had to work multiple jobs. In order to make herself feel good in this difficult situation, she began working with these borrowed clothes in ways that emphasized her own sense of color and style. It also told the world that circumstances had not defeated her.

In fact, it must have worked: With her slender 5’8” frame and memorable style she soon landed a modeling gig, and many of our money troubles were over. So when people stared at her (her style never did calm down again), she remembered what it helped accomplish and thought of these stares as both admiration and acknowledgement.

What I learned from this is that style is very personal—if it’s really style and not an imitation of style, it has to be. It’s what you choose that helps you feel good about who you are and where life has taken you. And I owe that valuable understanding and my own sense of style to my Mom. My God‐Niece told me recently, that I have been her style inspiration. So my Mother, her God‐Grand Mother, has taught generations about personal style.

My God‐Nieces’ style gets plenty of stares and modeling gigs! I love her blue hair. That gives me an idea. Inspiration! Stay tuned….