Today I am mourning the loss of my first real fashion icon.  Although he never had designs flashed on the pages of glossy magazines nor his name embellished on the behinds of millions of adoring fans or even his looks gushed about on many of red carpet, he was truly a classy and stylish individual.  I’m talking about my father, Barnette R. Holston, Sr.

My father taught me many things about fashion that I still hold close to this day.  When suits were slim and ties skinnier, he wore them.  When things got flashy in the 70’s and labels and ties hit the extreme and were wide he jumped right on that bandwagon as well.  He taught me the benefits of owning my own tuxedo and I still have the one he purchased from Raleigh’s department store back in the late 60s.  That suit still holds up well today!  He seem to say, “Never be afraid to own your own sense of style.”  I loved him for that.

Sometimes he may have held on to looks too long as he sometimes needed a nudge to let go of some of his looks as they became dated.  But he could do that because he took such good care of all of his clothes.  Whether it was the grey charcoal cashmere overcoat that he had handmade on Saville Row or the seersucker suit that he bought at a deep discount on the side of the road, he treated all of his clothing with care.  His clothes lasted for years.

Not only did that work for his clothes but shoes too.  He swore by Allen Edmonds and had a closet full.   He kept them in shoe trees and never wore the same pair consecutively.  He said shoes needed time to breathe. Hardly a Saturday would go by when he wasn’t polishing several pairs to make sure they were in tip top ready to go shape. I can honestly say I developed my appreciation for a good shoe from him and yes I use shoe trees!

As he got older, he didn’t have to dress up as much but I could tell he still enjoyed it.  It always made me smile when he complimented me on my suit or shoes.  He would say, “Let me have them when you’re done with them.” I’m glad he appreciated in me what I’d always seen in him.  Especially since I’d like to think it was a tribute to him.  I’d gladly give him anything he asked for.  He will surely be missed he was a real fashion icon.

Until next time, Happy Shopping!