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3 Generations of Women on How They Connect Through Personal Style
10.11.18

In partnership with THE OUTNET.

We tend to think of personal style as a manifestation of individualism. It is, after all, personal — inherent, differentiating, special, etc. — but when you consider the underlying forces that make us who we are, the overall stylistic output becomes all the more intriguing. The manner in which we express ourselves is an amalgamation not only of the places we’ve been and the things we have experienced but also of the people closest to us — our families, chosen or biological.

To shine a spotlight on the fascinating relationship between family and personal style, Man Repeller and THE OUTNET played dress-up with Chantel, Sandra and Ino — a daughter, mother and grandmother. Scroll down to read about the evolution of their personal style, as well as how they have been inspired and influenced by each other along the way.


Chantel, 34

Tell me a little bit about your family dynamic.

My immediate family lives in New Jersey and my extended family lives in Brooklyn, where I was born and raised. We see each other every day. My mom and grandma are hands-on with my twin girls and my son. They are nurturing caretakers (taking my son to go-sees in the city, to reading books with him) as well as disciplinarians when needed, just like I am. Our family is filled with strong, capable women and the importance of honesty and respect is something that my mother and grandma have instilled in me. I’m grateful that these values are being instilled in my children as well.

Spending time together is a big priority. To be able to say that we are now four strong, healthy generations living side by side is so special. I think our strong dynamic stems from our West Indian culture (my mom’s side is Jamaican-Chinese, and my dad’s side is Trinidadian). Growing up, I was always comforted by the assurance that even if one of us was mad or annoyed by something someone else did, at the end of the day we had no choice but to work it out. Family has always come first.

How would you describe your own style?

I would describe my own style as “urban chic.” I’ve always loved mixing classic, structured pieces with accessories that are a little more glam (think J.Crew from 2013-2015). Lately I have been drawn to vintage pieces in particular — Tokio 7 has a great selection. Part of what I love about living in New York is the constant exposure to cool style. I’m inspired by women I pass during my commute every day.

How would you describe your mom and grandmother’s styles?

My mom’s fashion style definitely errs on the side of casual, which I admire. She makes it seem easy to look comfortable and put-together at the same time. One of her go-to combinations is a pair of dark-wash denim with a cotton tee layered under a long-sleeve sweater and sneakers. I think it helps that she thinks carefully about each and every thing she buys for herself, so it’s easy for her to throw anything together and know that it will look good. (The benefits of a capsule wardrobe!) I would like to see her try some more sophisticated styles. She is a bit hesitant to branch out because she’s always on the go and comfort is very important to her, but I think she could find a balance between comfort and sophistication that works for her. My grandmother is more open to my suggestions. Once I recommended that she wear skinny jeans and a fur vest. I can’t think of any other 97-year-old who would put it on and rock it, but she did.


Sandra, 56

Tell me a little bit about your family dynamic.

We truly enjoy just being around each other, whether we’re on a family vacation or simply sitting down for Sunday night dinner (which we make a point of trying to do every week). Now that I have grandkids I try my best to spend as much time with them as I can.

How would you describe your own style?

My style has always been very causal. I like to look comfortable but polished. My ideal outfit would be jeans or slacks with a button-up, a blazer and comfortable shoes.

How would you describe your daughter and mom’s styles?

My daughter’s style is a combination of preppy, chic and elegant, which I love. She takes risks with different styles and makes them her own. One time I saw her wear a pair of heels with sweatpants. Wearing those together never would have occurred to me, but she knows what works for her. My mom’s style tends to be casual like mine, but she loves the opportunity to dress up. Her go-to outfit for church is a skirt suit with a silk blouse.


Ino, 97

Tell me a little bit about your family dynamic.

I think of myself as our family “archivist.” My dresser is filled with photos of my immediate and extended family. Some photos are as recent as this year, while others date back to before my grandchildren were even born. I love to look back and relive my favorite moments. It’s so important to document the good times we spend with each other. I have always emphasized the importance of family and making memories together. For my 90th birthday, the majority of my family including my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and my sister came to New York to surprise me. I’m grateful that the tradition of making family time a priority is being passed down from generation to generation.

How would you describe your own style?

Trendy! Even though I am 97 years old, I still like to try new things and experiment with my style. My granddaughter loves to pick out different pieces for me to wear.

How would you describe your daughter and granddaughter’s styles?

My daughter’s fashion is sporty/casual, and my granddaughter is classic and chic. My daughter is a nurturer…always taking care of many people, sometimes all at once. She likes to be comfortable but still put-together. My granddaughter is a go-getter. Their style is a perfect reflection of their personalities. I love and admire their ability to express themselves through what they wear.

Photos by Edith Young at Tribeca Journal Studio.

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