Photos by Hillary Ehlen
There are many ways to tell a story. From words exchanged over a cup of coffee to text messages to the girlfriends to even a Shakespearian sonnet, we’ve always used words to express something about ourselves to the world around us and to anyone who will listen. But clothing can often speak a world of stories and experiences without uttering a word. A little black dress can tell of a dreamy first-date, a pair of dingy sneakers can tell of a cross-country adventure, and a blazer can bookmark the first day of a new career. We entered the closet’s of some of Fargo’s most stylish and let them give their clothes a platform to share their own unique stories.
Manager at Clothes Mentor Fargo
“It’s not as much of if it looks good, but if it makes me feel good.”
For starters, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I work at Clothes Mentor, I have been there since the very, very beginning, we’ve been open for 8 years and I was there when it was just a thought in our owner’s head. So that was a super cool thing I could be a part of. I like to say it was my baby before I had my actual babies. Clothes Mentor is an upscale women’s resale store. We buy and sell gently used women’s, misses, and maternity wear. I run the day to day things there and I really enjoy being able to hang out with people and form relationships. The amount of customers who have turned into friends is kinda crazy. We offer free personal shopping at the store and I get to do all that too, so it’s fun that I get to play dress-up every day.
What is a piece you cannot live without?
My Spanx. Every day I get made fun of, but every day I wear Spanx, like the Spanx tank tops. It’s more of a security blanket at this point. It’s probably one of the most embarrassing things I have, I have an entire drawer dedicated to my Spanx tanks.
Do you have any pieces that have a special story behind them?
So at the store, that’s something we try not to do, to grow attached to things, because we are in the business of reselling clothes. But I do it. My husband gave me these amazing pair of Steve Madden fringe heels that I oodled over. It was for my first Mother’s Day, technically my second cause my son was born on Mother’s Day. When you become a mom, it was like, man I’m not going to be able to dress cute anymore cause I have to chase after a child or whatever. But he surprised me with those and it was like an “okay girl, you still got it!”
He also got me a purse. So for Christmas, we always say no presents for the two of us, but then he comes with this amazing red Tory Burch purse and I was like what? I didn’t get you anything! It’s more the stories behind these things than the pieces themselves.
So you have something exciting to go to coming up and you MUST have something new to wear. What are your go-to stops?
Of course I have to go to Clothes Mentor. I know it’s super cliche to say this, but I rarely shop for clothes for myself anywhere else. Because we get the best selection and we get first dibs on everything that comes in. If I know I have something coming up, I start to process early at the store. I have access to literally the largest closet ever! We carry so many different brands and styles.
How would you describe your personal style philosophy?
If someone were to ask me what my style was I really don’t know. It’s really all over the board. One day I’m badass rocker mom, the next day I’m Becky-Home-Ecy. It’s whatever I’m feeling, that’s my style. It’s not as much of if it looks good, but if it makes me feel good. Do I have the greatest body in the entire world? No. But If I have a pair of jeans on that I’m like “hmm yes queen!” I can do anything.
Do you have a fashion icon or style you love to emulate?
Always in the back of my mind is my grandma. She would have been 98 this July. For the 31 years that I got her, she embodied every sense of a fashionable woman to me. She never owned a pair of jeans, which is mind-boggling to me cause I own like 40 pairs.
When someone sees you and what you’re wearing, that’s imprinted in their minds. I still know exactly what my husband was wearing that first day I met him his freshman year of college. But that’s always stuck in my mind, that what you’re wearing is a complete representation of yourself. My grandmother always said, you never leave the house looking like a slob. I wear heels to work, I’m on my feet all the time, and people always are like “how do you do that?” and I say that my grandma always said “you need to wear heels as long as you possibly can, because there will come a day where you cannot wear them and you will be upset.” My grandma had these 6-inch heels that she wore until she could not. She was always put together, you never leave the house unless you’re put together. I always think of that. Do I want to go out and think someone thinks of me as a slob? So I always have my grandma in the back of my mind.
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