Style: It’s a State of Mind

Spa stylin’ in 20 degrees.

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

I’ve often heard it said that clothing, an individual’s choice in wardrobe, helps define a person. I guess I can see that, especially when I think of friends I have known that stand out for their personal style. The ultimate sharp-dressed man, Gary Dante, owner extraordinaire of Suit Mart, comes to mind. I have never seen that man in over 25 years look anything but polished, well put together, emanating impeccable taste. Doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday or Sunday, he looks like he just stepped off the pages of a fashion magazine. I suppose that’s his business – literally – and he does it so well.

I, on the other hand, march to my own drum. There’s just no telling what I’ll wear on any given day. In fact, Lisa Ann reminded me over the weekend about the absolute worst outfit she ever saw me in – leopard yoga pants and a red embroidered top – to which she loudly remarked, “Where are you going in that, Walmart?” And yes, I still wear that outfit purposely in her presence just to get a rise out of her. It’s just too much fun.

Now Lisa Ann is one to talk. When she first moved to New Braunfels, I went to visit her. She emerged from her bedroom that first morning quite proud of herself in a garish garment that I can only describe as a full-length moomoo dress gone wild. “Don’t you love my new dress?” she exclaimed. “I got it at HEB. You can get everything there!” I abruptly put a stop to her style shopping at her favorite grocery store. Turns out there was a substantial wine section at that particular HEB that hosted copious amounts of sampling during Lisa Ann’s scheduled grocery shopping time. That explained it all.

Now I personally don’t think my style is outrageous, unusual or even memorable. I just wear what I like, and honestly don’t give a minute’s thought to other’s opinions. I truly didn’t think I was even noticeable in my ensembles until about four years ago. My dear friend May Tape invited me to a “Power of the Purse” luncheon benefitting OakBend Medical Center. The speaker was a delightful, uplifting woman who spoke briefly, took a short break and returned a few minutes later decked out in an over-the-top, mismatched outfit. She had completely changed characters and was hysterical. She shared with us her penchant for shopping at second-hand stores and reached into the pocket of the most outrageous jacket patched with leopard print, various floral prints, lace, silk flowers – a virtual hodgepodge of everything you could imagine. She pulled out a business card and asked, “Is Patti Kaminski here?” I meekly raised my hand, to which she replied: “I know you left your business card in your jacket so I could give it back to you, but I’m not giving it back!” That’s when I realized I had been outed for my fashion faux pas.

Now, I do confess that early in our marriage Mr. Kaminski would do double-takes from time to time when I would emerge victorious from our bedroom dressed a certain kind of way, but he quickly learned less is more when it comes to commenting on my fashion sense. As long as North meets South and nothing above the Rio Grande is hanging out, he’s good with my clothing choices.

For me, it’s all about how what you wear makes you feel. Yoga pants with fringe and feathers running down the side with snakeskin cowboy boots make me feel a certain kind of way. Leopard print blouses, thigh-high boots and fur hooded capes make me feel a certain kind of way. And yes, I have no issue leaving a spa in a robe, fur coat, flip flops and hat because I was feeling a certain kind of way. After all, style is just a state of mind. Now I don’t know what that says about my mind, but remember, in the South, we don’t lock away our crazy. We proudly display our crazy – on the porch. See y’all next week – on the porch!


Patti Parish-Kaminski

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