Fashion Forward: Locals Dish About Their Fashion Philosophy

“I’ve always heard you can tell a lot about the way someone dresses by how they’ve decorated their home, and for me that’s certainly true.” Jennifer Toussaint

Jennifer Toussaint pulls off a smartly-styled look.

Photo by Eric Kellar

Jennifer Toussaint pulls off a smartly-styled look.

Jennifer Toussaint refuses to take credit for her flawless sense of style. Instead, she says that all credit rests squarely on the well-dressed shoulders of her mother and grandmother. “Growing up, my mother and grandmother went shopping together every single Saturday and Sunday. They used to dress me up like their little Barbie doll,” remembers Toussaint. In fact, Toussaint’s mother and grandmother were fashionistas long before that term ever even existed.

Today, the Naples-based lawyer carries on the family tradition. We spotted Toussaint at a recent PAWS Assistant Dogs event where she was pulling off a perfectly appointed tone-on-tone outfit. Wearing a taupe sheath paired with a beautiful taupe coat, a few interesting accessories and sleek, pewter-colored Donald Pliner pumps, Toussaint was showing that great fashion truly runs in the family.

How do you describe your style?

Oh, that’s really hard. It’s conservative and traditional but I always have to have something sparkly on too. I like what I like, I know that’s not really helpful, but it’s how I shop.

When did you realize you had a real eye for style?

Well it’s funny, I never thought of myself as a visual person, but that’s changed over the years. I really enjoyed decorating my home and recently I was looking around my home and I realized I’ve decorated it much the same way I dress. I’ve always heard you can tell a lot about the way someone dresses by how they’ve decorated their home, and for me that’s certainly true.

So wait; if you sit on your sofa do you match it?

Actually, kind of. The same pattern that I used for my sofa actually repeats itself throughout my wardrobe.

What do you never leave home without?

Something sparkly. I always have to have something sparkly on. I love jewelry; I’m bad about buying jewelry. I swear in a past life I was one of those birds that are attracted to shiny things.

What aspect of your style did you learn from your mother and grandmother?

My grandmother is who got me into scarves. She could tie any outfit together with a scarf and I still have the first scarf she ever gave to me. From my mother I learned to pack for trips in color palettes. So she’ll say, “okay, this is the blue trip,” and then she packs all blue clothing and accessories so that she can mix and match and it will all work together. Now I pack like that too.

How similar is your style to the style of the women who came before you?

Pretty similar. It’s funny, whenever my mother and I go out together we’ll invariably end up wearing the same color. One time I wore coral, thinking to myself, there’s no way she’ll wear coral. When I picked her up and she was wearing coral. It was so funny.

Why is looking nice important to you?

Well, first it shows that you respect yourself. But also, when you look good you feel good. I have this one suit, I’ve had it forever, and there’s just something about it. I feel so good in it, and when I put it on it’s like, “oh, it is on.”

You’ve got such great clothes, we have to know, where do you shop?

Actually, I’m totally not brand or store loyal. I really don’t have one or two stores that I just love. In fact, I’m not even that interested in trends, I like what I like and I don’t really care what’s in or what’s out. If I find a beautiful shoe I’m going to wear them because I like them not because they have rounded toes and that is what’s in right now. I totally do not care about what’s hot right now, I like what I like and that’s it.

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