Style Counsel: Frances Garr

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Occupation: Retired; former owner of 18 Karat boutique in Walnut Hills
Her Style: Timeless trendsetter


Frances Garr
Frances Garr

Photograph by Annette Navarro

Lots of women want to cover their gray, but not everyone chooses purple!
I’ve had it purple for about 10 years. I bought a little book at Half Price Books, and on the cover it said, “When I grow old I shall wear purple.” I thought when I got to my 70s I needed to shake things up. I like it best when the gray peeks through.

Have you always had a penchant for fashion?
I grew up in Akron, and when I was 16 a friend got me into the fashion thing. I’ve always loved putting things together. I enjoy being me and wearing what I like. I like to find things off the beaten track and put my own spin on it—shopping off the mannequin is so boring.

What are your favorite haunts?
I really don’t shop anymore, but I like thrift stores. I found a Ralph Lauren black-and-white gingham dress for $6. It was a size 14 so I took it to my seamstress who made it my size. I wear a 2. I don’t buy high-end stuff. I do like Forever 21 and H&M, but you have to be careful because they have a lot of junk. I got a black taffeta coat from Forever 21 that’s a classic.

What’s your advice on aging with style?
It’s less about the look than how you feel. You can look like a million dollars and spend $50. If I want a red sole I can paint it myself. When you get older you don’t care what people think. You just do what you want and to hell with them. Being old doesn’t have to be the end.

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