The Wardrobe Code - Be Yourself

Why Your Way is the Best Way

As is necessary to do from time to time, I’ve been updating my style muse board on Pinterest.

What is a muse board, you ask?

Basically, it’s a virtual vision board for your image. You pin images of people (actual or fictional) who inspire you, who you want to emulate, etc. You pin, you unpin and just generally stay open to any inspiration you may receive.

Rinse and repeat.

Lately, I’ve added Julia Louis Dreyfus (who looks freaking fabulous in the show VEEP) and Nigella Lawson (also freaking fabulous on The Taste). I admire these women for several reasons: they’re a few years ahead of me and they’re super-duper classy. I really can’t articulate it any better – I just dig these ladies.

But, recently, for no reason I can explain, some inspiration came to me, totally un-prompted.

Phyllis Nefler.

As in, Shelley Long’s strawberry-tressed character from the 1989 movie, Troop Beverly Hills.

Ladies in their 30s love the notorious Mrs. Nefler because she was sweet and sassy. She almost always got her way, yet was always pleasant and sometimes a little vulnerable. She enjoyed luxury, but wasn’t afraid to try new things outside of her comfort zone.

But, most importantly, she did things her way.

When a camping trip didn’t quite work out, she didn’t force the issue by keeping the girls in a situation that didn’t work. Instead, they took their camping party to a (very fancy) hotel and still enjoyed all the camaraderie one would get from a Wilderness Girls camping trip – maybe more, even.

When a rival plotted her downfall, she maintained composure and killed it with kindness – going so far as to persuade a spy to abandon said rival’s clandestine plan for revenge.

And when presented with a uniform that – let’s face it – was hideous, instead of face the humiliation of wearing it, she totally redesigned it into something that communicated her specific vision and style sensibilities.

Did she break the rules? Maybe a little, but it didn’t hurt anyone.

Now, we don’t all have the resources that Phyllis, Countess of Beverly Hills and wife of “Nefler the Muffler Man,” had. But that doesn’t matter – because it’s Phyllis’ spirit which is so valuable.

And when it came to her personal style, Phyllis was unafraid to make any changes she deemed necessary. She remained unapologetic about self expression, generally freaking fabulous under pressure and graceful when others condemned her for expressing her unique sensibilities.

Plainly, Phyllis DGAF. Why? Because she knew her way was the best way.



  1. I so remember this movie and watching it over and over again with girlfriends. There was something about her confidence amongst the snobby parents and smug trooper leaders that made me admire her, that and her huge strawberry blonde hair.

    Yes, as you know I love having a personal style, especially for me in my own home. Of course I want to try and put a bunch of paper doilies on my dining room wall and by golly I am going to try it.


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