I’m thrilled to introduce you to this blog’s first ever Featured Fashionista! Colette Meller started a new job as a Key Account Manager for Darcie Kent Vineyards in California this summer, a job that brings her all around the Midwest meeting with distributors. ColletteI met Colette when we worked in the same building (which was until recently when she got her super hip new job). One day I asked her the story behind her leather belt studded with antique clock faces. I was expecting a quick “Oh I bought it at ______ boutique” answer, but instead she told me this story:

Belt close up

Collete Fashionista
“Nothing makes me feel more assertive than a pair of exaggerated shoulder pads.” -Colette

When she and her boyfriend were living in Colorado, they found a stray dog on the side of a busy road and rescued it. They were able to reunite the dog with its owner, who happened to be their nearby neighbor. The grateful neighbor invited them to dinner, and Colette’s signature style reminded the woman of herself in the 1970s when she’d been a country music singer. She took Colette into her closet and gave her a bunch of her vintage country star clothes, this clock belt and black dress included. Now that’s a back story worth telling.

This outfit is especially perfect for Colette because she says she is obsessed with clock towers. Since she travels for work, she takes photos of clock towers she finds in different cities. Her favorite so far? One in Philadelphia.

Colette is a truly wonderful person and it was a joy getting to know her at work. I hope she gets to rescue more dogs and meet more former country stars.

I asked Colette a few questions about her style:

What inspires your style?

“I’m inspired by the places around me. Growing up I loved soft clothes with earth tones that had movement and comfort. In fact I didn’t wear denim until college because I didn’t like the abrasive, inflexible fabric. As I grow older I like to think that professional settings inspire me to push myself intellectually and aesthetically. I draw a lot from architecture and strong lines that reinforce my power as a professional. ”

Describe your style:

“My wardrobe draws a lot upon my inherent thrift in a family that taught me too much money on clothes was an unneeded extravagance. It has changed a lot throughout the years, but what remains the same is an obsession with strange pieces that confuse people. K-12 it gave me a reputation of being frumpy, but I’m happy I stuck with it.”

What are your favorite places to shop?

“I found the most fantastic pair of 60s styled pink kitten heels at Goodwill. If you hit it at the right time you can get any professional or nightwear piece, courtesy of tasteful suburban women who love to make room for new clothes. But all of my fun clothes are cat shirts and short dresses from plndr.com.”

Don’t have a 70s star’s’ closet to raid? Don’t fret, you can still steal Colette’s style!

Want to be a Featured Fashionista? Tell me why you’d be fab for the feature.

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