Ermalinda

My dad sent me the prettiest old photos of my grandmother the other day. I've always wondered where I got my interest in fashion since none of my relatives seem to care much about style. I now know that it's 100% from her.

The photo above was taken in the mid 1970s. I love everything about it — her broad-collared polka-dot blouse, loose-weave sweater with button details on the shoulders, oversized glasses, and perfectly made-up face. My grandmother ran a beauty parlor with her sister during the depression, while my grandfather was at war. She said that even when women barely had enough money to eat, they still insisted on getting their hair done.

My grandparents traveled a lot during the '70s and '80s, heading south to Fort Meyers, Fla. each winter in a big RV. I love my grandma's chic resortwear — lots of blouses, headscarves and high-waisted skirts and slacks. She had seven kids, but never let herself go.

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