This handsome man is Joe. He lives in the same assisted living place as my dad does in Perham, Minnesota. Last month when I was back there to visit Dad I got a lot of time to enjoy Joe and his precious wife, Yvonne. They are around 88-years-old, Dad says. Besides enjoying their company at mealtimes, we invited them to our potet klub party. Potet klub is a Norwegian delight I grew up with. Many people find it disgusting to look at. These dumplings kind of look like the surface of the moon. And then there’s the ingredients list: potatoes, bacon, flour, salt and then bacon drippings as the generous garnish that swims over those moon balls. (I provided a link for you to watch a clip of how they’re made). It’s something we enjoyed during holidays or at church suppers or whenever out of town relatives gathered. We love it and so does Joe’s wife. There were lots of great stories shared around the potet klub table in Perham in April.
Joe always looked dapper and on Palm Sunday when I sat next to Yvonne and Joe in church, he really impressed me. He was wearing a white shirt, his red tie was perfectly knotted and then he wore a modern, clean cut quilted navy vest over his shirt. He was in black trousers and wore polished black shoes. I showed his picture to Erin, my daughter, and she said, “Wow, his vest looks like it came from Vince.” I know!
Joe’s style comes to San Francisco
Well, the other day we were working with a client of ours, Michael. We were planning on getting a suit for his sister’s wedding in July but he also needed some easy pieces for every day life. What I love about Michael is how his style DNA is quite proper even though much of his work is in casual settings. I was encouraging him to stay true to his style DNA as we figured out what pieces would serve him well. Michael complains about being cold a lot so we definitely wanted to consider layers.
Then I thought of Joe. Joe! The octogenarian! I had to find the picture of Joe.
I showed it to Michael and he related to Joe’s style instantly. He could imagine himself wearing shirts and ties and vests like Joe did. You could see the excitement in his face!
Searching for Joe Style
We met our guy Gil in men’s suits in Nordstrom. It took us about fifteen minutes to find the perfect suit for the wedding.
Now we could consider other things. I showed Gil the picture of Joe.
“Do you have any vests like this on the floor? I know they’re probably out of season, but could you check?” I said.
Gil gave it his best but nope, no vests. “How about the July Anniversary sale? Do you think you’d have vests in that sale?” I said.
“Oh yes, I’m sure we could find something,” Gil said.
So Michael and I made an appointment for July to get to the sale early to find him some vests that look like Joe’s vest.
Flipping fashion sources upside down
We’re used to fashion being inspired by the youth, but this was the other way around.
It tickled me to pieces that my new friend Joe was inspiring a forty-year old with his great style. I love how the world goes ’round. Someone in his eighties in Perham, Minnesota can be the style inspiration for someone from San Francisco and in his forties.
I guess in modern fashion vernacular, this was a moment of street style inspiration. It wasn’t exactly discovered on the street; it came down a corridor and the gentleman was steering a wheelchair. You never know where you’re going to discover style!
I was so glad I’d taken Joe’s picture that day. Do your photos help you help your clients?