Forever aiming to achieve fabulous style identities, New York City fashionistas Valerie and Jean take pride in standing out in a crowd. But instead of targeting specific styles, or adopting the newest trends, the pair focuses on allowing their personalities to shape the way they look.
“A desire to enjoy life inspires my individual sense of style,” said Jean, who, along with Valerie, co-writes a blog entitled Idiosyncratic Fashionistas. “I look up to personal style icons like Nancy Cunard and Georgia O’Keefe—but I admire their strength of character more than their personal looks.”
For Valerie, who conveys a “graphic, textural and architectural” style, fashion represents an opportunity to express individuality: “Wearing clothes is like inhaling a bouquet of flowers,” she responded. “When people react to what we’re wearing, they look like they’re inhaling the same bouquet.”
In late 2013, a celebrity editor for prominent fashion website Stylecaster noticed Valerie and Jean’s unconventional sense of style. He later listed the dynamic duo in his annual “50 Most Stylish New Yorkers” feature (see slide 45), describing Valerie and Jean as “two of the most fashionable women he’d ever met.” In Valerie’s words, Cain smelled their bouquet.
But for the stylish pair, achieving an identity in the “fashion capital of the world” requires a strong sense of self-awareness. Jean believes aspiring fashionistas must know who they are and what they want to look like—and then, they need to laugh. “When people look at me, I hope they see confidence with a sense of humor,” she continued. “After all, dressing should be fun.”
Valerie encourages women to practice patience from start to finish: “Start simply and make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself” she said. “Just like cooking, you should slowly add to your style. But remember—nobody gets it overnight!”
Jean and Valerie navigate New York’s busy streets on a daily basis, all the while donning their fabulous outfits. But admittedly, they couldn’t do so without supportive, comfortable shoes.
“Details count!” said Valerie, offering final words of advice. “You CAN find shoes that are both stylish and comfortable. Take the time—you’ll be glad you did.”
Jean, who prefers to paint, sticker and add platform heels to her Dansko clogs, also believes in the power of comfort and style: “I have worn Dansko for decades,” she began. “I do a lot of walking and my feet never, ever hurt!”
We love the confidence, sense of style and personalities of these remarkable women.
“Cunard and O’Keefe were not interested in looking like everybody else,” Jean concluded. “They looked like who THEY were, and that worked for them.”
[Photo Credit: The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas]