When recently asked, “who were your formative style influencers?” it took me some moments of pondering. But upon rummaging through the recesses of my mind, I soon uncovered four fashion-forward names from my sartorial memory box. I thought I'd share them with you.
1. Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie
I had an early obsession with I Dream of Jeannie and would spend countless hours admiring Barbara’s billowing Middle Eastern pink and jewel-encrusted outfits. I also loved the inside of her bottle with the velvety couch and contrasting jewel-tone pillows. All of this brings back very fuzzy fantasy memories from my childhood.
2. The Fong Family
My more modern minimalist sensibility came from my early exposure to the Fong family whose daughter, Tracy, was my best friend in Pasadena, California, for years. Her father, Miller Fong, is an accomplished modern architect and furniture designer. He designed their homes and much of their interiors. Growing up, this was a huge influence on me.
In my early college years, Madonna was coming on the scene and I loved her bold mix of feminine and masculine influences. For many years, I tied big silk or lace bows in my boy-cut hair and wore the stacked bracelets of that ‘80s period she epitomized so well.
4. Grandmother Rosalind
Last, but not least, my amazing grandmother Rosalind Tiger (pronounced Tayger) Jeffer, after whom the site is named, had an enduring impact on my understanding of style. She always kept her stylish clothes, handbags and blocked hats from when she was in her ‘20s and ‘30s in a big closet. I would pour through her stuff looking for vintage gems. She would laugh at me in her big hats and have me take whatever I wanted. She always had great style without exertion and a very humble attitude.
After my college years, I came into my own look. This is one of the great things about getting older — you care less, mainly because you know what makes you feel good. When I think about how much effort went into dressing as a young woman I smile and cringe … happy that those days are in the past. Now, for me, it’s all about ease, comfort, tweaking the uniform and having some fun here and there with accessories. I never was a big trend follower and am even less so now. I appreciate comfort and quality and things that are unique. That being said, the embedded memories of Jeannie, the Fongs, Madonna and, of course, Grandma Roz are forever a part of my historical style DNA.