Whether they admit it or not, most women have a certain something in the dresser or closet they can t bear to part with. Whether it s a treasured college sweatshirt or an attention-grabbing suit, some garments wrap their arms around the psyche and don t let go.
For some women, such items may be the adult version of a child s beloved blanket. Or perhaps they simply are dependable garments that work. Whatever the reason, a few notable Toledo area women shared what s in their closet that they cannot do without:
Sandy Isenberg, former Lucas County commissioner: “I cannot live without my blue jeans. Really. I love em. I love the look of jeans and a turtleneck and a good-looking blazer, or with a good-looking white shirt.”
She doesn t have much brand loyalty - “whatever fits at the time, I love,” she says. But Jones New York and Ralph Lauren, preferably on sale, nearly always make her reach for her wallet.
“In a pinch, I will pay retail,” she confesses.
Shenikwa Stratford, morning anchor at WNWO-TV, Channel 24: “I have a pair of black boots that I wear all the time. If I get one pair worn down to the nub, I buy another pair that looks just like them.”
The beloved boots have square toes, reach just over the ankle, and have a chunky heel - “three inches high and three inches wide,” she says.
“You could probably take somebody out with them. They re killer boots!” she says.
Why this particular style?
“They look good with my jeans, especially boot-cut jeans. They re just so me. I m a not a skinny heel girl. I m not a flat heel girl. They just say Shenikwa. ”
She doesn t see switching to a different style any time soon, either.
“My mother says I m stuck in 1995. I haven t evolved at all. Gotta have those boots.”
Madonna Fong, owner, La Luna Salon: I have a black cotton, three-quarter-length sleeve shirt with a boat neck. It s so comfortable.”
Comfort and style are important in her line of work, so when she found the shirt, she made sure she would always have one available.
“I have five of them. It s cotton, it breathes, it s like my skin, only prettier. I wear it all the time.”
Faye Fenwick, volunteer for several civic groups and regular in The Blade s society pages: “Because I live in this, I think some days, Why do I have anything else? It s a black dress I ve had about 25 years. I always feel good in it, I can always grab it and wear it to anything from a wedding to a funeral to a cocktail party, church, just anything. It always works.”
The dress has deep pockets, crucial for holding small items. And a quarter-century later, she recalls fondly how it came to belong to her:
“I got it on sale. It was $200; I remember getting it for $88. I was thinking, why is it still here? It was just waiting for me.”
Teresa Fedor, Ohio state senator: The former teacher takes her fashion inspiration from three icons of the past, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, and Jackie Kennedy. Fittingly, her favorite item comes from one in particular.
“I could not live without my pearls,” she says. “I love the look . . . Jacqueline and her pearls.”
Pat Robinson, former Mrs. Ohio and volunteer for several local civic organizations: “It s my belts. Because they can change your mood, they can change your look, I just love the belt. The bigger, the better.
“My favorite is an Indian one, with turquoise stones, lots of colors, amber and some pearls. I just love it. It goes with everything.”
Her fondness for the accessory developed after a successful diet.
“I became belt person after I lost my weight. I had a waistline then.”
But when she s home, another item takes precedence: “My ugly old jammies. I m a pajama person. I love pajamas.”