Meet Sharon Harless. She works at Intermix at the Country Mart at Larkspur Landing in Larkspur.
I met her last week when I was returning a shirt I’d purchased at the Intermix store on Armitage Street in Chicago the week before. The shirt kept wanting to shift back on my shoulders. Since my wardrobe principle this fall is strict about no discomfort, I knew I needed to return it.
So after working with my client that day, I stopped at Larkspur Landing and headed to Intermix.
Sharon was at the register and graciously took my return. While I was getting out my credit card I kept admiring her style. I started talking to myself.
Oh my gosh, that hat is so adorable on her! It’s so fun and perky and seems to match her personality! I bet some people would shy away from wearing such a playful accessory. This is a perfect example of how if the look is yours, you can wear it at any age. It’s her personal style! Oh, I must take a picture. I’d love to put her in my blog.
I said, “I really love your hat. I write a fashion blog and I’d love to take a picture of you. Would you mind?” I said.
Suddenly we were in a flurry of conversation. It turns out she’s exactly my age, just a month older.
About her decision to wear the beanie Sharon said, “I thought, Am I too old to wear a beanie with a pom pom? But when I put it on I said, I am SO wearing this!”
She added with a giggle, “And do you know what else? It’s free Botox for my forehead!”
Learning about fashionable Sharon
We talked about our love of fashion. She told me that when she was twenty-one she went to work at I. Magnin in San Francisco. Her boss was just like Meryl Streep’s character, Miranda Priestly, in the 2006 movie, The Devil Wears Prada. Sharon said, “She was tough, but the best education I got was at I. Magnin.” I can just imagine.
I swoon whenever anyone mentions that store. It was one of my favorite places in Union Square to take clients on shopping trips. We’d shop and then have lunch downstairs in the basement. Scott, cute Scott, would wait on us and talk us into having mudslide cookies for dessert. Oh, those mudslide cookies. They were the best! Just last month I was reminiscing about I. Magnin with a client who loved it as much as I did. It’s legendary.
What our parents taught us
We quickly learned just how much we have in common. We love our beloved parents and what they’ve taught us.
Sharon’s mother said, “Never leave the house without lipstick.” My mother was the same way and as a result I NEVER leave the house without lipstick.
Sharon’s father was in a family-owned business and customer service was of the utmost importance.
My dad had his own business and customer service was everything. He was always curious about people and really cared about them.
Our Dads’ strong work ethic was passed down to their daughters.
Sharon said, “Since I got back into fashion at Intermix, I think about them everyday. I genuinely love what I do. I’ve never looked back,” she said.
Shopping in stores where some employees are my age
I LOVE shopping in stores where employees are my age.
We both champion women to own their style and not be afraid to wear what you love.
We can’t wait to get together again and talk more about our favorite subjects: women, fashion, parents.
If you’re ever in Larkspur Landing, be sure to stop in at Intermix and have a visit with Sharon. I’m sure you’ll pick up some style inspiration from her. And you might even pick up a beanie!
AnnGNovember 10, 2016 at 4:59 am
Love this beanie! I have a raspberry colored cashmere beanie that I love. It’s super warm and brings out my blue eyes. Can’t lose me in a crowd it on! Interesting election twist in the title of this blog.
BrendaNovember 10, 2016 at 11:23 am
That does sound cozy!!! Beanies really keep me warm too. I think I’ll be shopping for some fun colors this year!
I actually went in and changed the “election” related word a couple of hours ago. For anyone who had a reaction to that word, my apologies.
AnnGNovember 10, 2016 at 5:00 am
Oops! Can’t lose me in a crowd WITH it on.
BrendaNovember 10, 2016 at 11:24 am
I can picture that!
ColleenNovember 10, 2016 at 5:17 am
Sharon is adorable. Thanks for sharing her fashion perspective. We can all benefit from trying new things and loosening up. Fashion is supposed to be fun!
BrendaNovember 10, 2016 at 11:24 am
So so true!! Let’s have fun with fashion!
jodie filogomoNovember 10, 2016 at 6:35 am
This is a great lesson that style is truly ageless!! It’s funny how we associate certain items with a certain age…but if we (meaning older women) started wearing them more and more—then maybe they’d seem perfect for us too???
BrendaNovember 10, 2016 at 11:26 am
Great point. And I could well imagine having that same conversation in my head: Is this too young for me?
I think it gets in our way. That’s why “style first” is the better litmus test than age.
Thanks for your thoughts on this, Jodie!
Lisa WhiteNovember 10, 2016 at 6:43 am
I love this story! I think that is why so many women meet up on blogs and other social media sites…for the connection to other women, to be inspired by other women, to share experiences with other women. Thank you for posting this warm and delightful story.
p.s. I loved I Magnin, too! My mother and I would go shopping here once a year. My late father bought me a fox fur coat and hat from there 30 years ago. I still have them and wear my “Dr. Zhivago” fox fur hat
BrendaNovember 10, 2016 at 11:32 am
I was hoping there would be I.Magnin shares! Fun to hear about this one. And I think you’re right. We are finding more and more like minded people online. Maybe they don’t connect as much in every day life but we can connect here. Thanks, Lisa.
Katherine CramerNovember 10, 2016 at 8:29 am
Despite graduating from Santa Clara University (’78) and thinking my first job would be something spectacular–I worked at I. Magnin Union Square, San Francisco for many years. That real life Retail & Advertising Education kept my interest more than any desk job. I have lots of stories and continue to love fashion and encouraging others in their creative expressions. Speciality Stores are wonderful and the Sales Staff ARE Spectacular!
BrendaNovember 10, 2016 at 11:35 am
Wow! I didn’t know this about your I. Magnin experience, Katherine. I loved that store so much. I’d love to hear more stories. What a great education and a gift that has kept on giving. Thanks for sharing!
LauriceNovember 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm
I love this post Brenda. I’m only a few years younger than you, and I see older staff in frumpy stores (through the window – I never go in them) but never in the funky stores I love to shop in. I’ve almost moved past the “am I too old for this?” inner voice, and this is just the last wee push I needed. Thank you for your stylish perspicacity – you’re a breath of fresh air in a conformist world.
BrendaNovember 10, 2016 at 5:34 pm
Laurice, your words warm my heart. First of all, I love the fact that your inner voice talking to you about age is very faint. It’s such an interesting topic to me. And your last sentence…well I will cherish that for days! That is a reputation I’d love to have. Thank you!
Brenda NNovember 28, 2016 at 4:05 pm
Hi Brenda, I’m a long tome reader, just catching up on your posts. I lost my mom a few weeks ago (age 91) & her credo was “always be yourself”. This past year, even in nursing care, she had her hair & nails done & wore a favorite scarf daily, as well as her lipstick. She knew what she liked and never ever worried what others might think, boy, I could sure use a dose of mom’s confidence! (Still working on it at nearly 57 years old) 🙂
BrendaNovember 29, 2016 at 6:51 pm
Dear Brenda, let me offer my condolences. Boy do I know what grief and loss feels like. Just FYI, my confidence tool a nosedive when Mother passed. It gets better and I bet your mom will be sharing her wisdom with you a lot! I just love that you shared her with me. I’m understanding more and more what a confident person Mom was. I want to be more like her! Blessings to you. I wish you peace over the bumpy parts. I’m happy to be your rock if you need one from time to time. Xx
Brenda NNovember 30, 2016 at 12:39 pm
Thanks for the kind words, Brenda! 🙂
gkNovember 29, 2016 at 8:24 am
Oh, the photo of the two of you – it’s just wonderful! So much spirit!
BrendaNovember 29, 2016 at 7:04 pm
Thanks so much!