This is a portrait of my paternal grandmother, Ruth Whitehurst Nance (1919-2009). A true lady.

For as far back as I can remember, I’ve had a mild obsession with accessories. I understand and respect the power of a well-coordinated outfit and the precarious role accessories play in pulling it all together.

A lot of my favorite accessories are courtesy of the Ruth Nance Collection. Others are from Aunt Leslie’s House of Fashion. It was my mother who put the first pair of Adidas on my feet as a toddler.

Simply put, I come from a long line of fly women.

I can’t recall a time when my paternal grandmother, Ruth Whitehurst Nance(1919-2009), wasn’t polished. During the summers I spent at her house, one of my favorite activities was marveling at her wide array of lipsticks and nail polishes and perfumes and lotions. I later graduated from simply marveling to actually wearing those items, along with hats and pendants and shoes and purses and all the other closet couture I could find. Some of my grandmother’s  timeless accessories have made their way into my collection.

Some items from the Ruth Nance Collection

Another fashionista in my family was my aunt, Leslie Pinkard Odom (1950-2000). The walk-in attic of her Cleveland home was filled with hats, dresses and shoeboxes. Multiple over-the-door shoe racks showcased her fondness for footwear. The jewelry she bequeathed to me is eclectic, yet versatile.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my dad, who is one of the most well-dressed men I know. He often talks about having savoir-faire. See Exhibit A below:

My impeccably dressed dad, c. 1970.