If you were to ask me the first thought that came to mind when thinking about Nicole Elzenga, I’d say, great legs. Not having great legs, I have tremendous leg envy and Nicole has fantastic gams.

Of course, there is so much more to Nicole than how I just objectified her. I select members from my Facebook Group to feature based on their standout nature and how they contribute. I always enjoy it when Nicole shows up in my feed, her supportive demeanor and the posts she shares.

I thought it would be great to get to know Nicole Elzenga better by featuring her as this month’s Facebook Group Member of the Month.

Name: Nicole Elzenga

Age: 46

Location: Redwood Falls, MN

Q: What do you like most about being a member of Bridgette’s Facebook Group? 

A: The wide array of people for various locations around the world with their variety of fashion styles and great pictures. This group is a safe space to ask questions and share advice.

Q: What are the biggest benefits you have received from being a Group member?

A: The positive feedback I receive when I have a question about an outfit or pair of shoes. My hubby will say I look great in everything as he has a blind eye when it comes to fashion. I appreciate getting a second opinion.

Q: What are the biggest benefits you have received from being a Group member?

A: Join the group and follow along until you feel comfortable to share or ask a question.

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: I’ve always been afraid of the word “style” as I feel I’m sometimes outside the box. I like to dress up for work and even if I’m just heading to the grocery store. I don’t do casual often unless I’m on the golf course or working outside. I like wearing a cardigan with pockets as I am cold most of the time (year-round) and would prefer wearing heels because of my height (4′ 8 1/2″). My preferred colors are blacks and greys but try if I can to put a pop of color in. I love wearing pearls, my secret obsession I learned from Julia Child. I sometimes ‘suit up’ for work or meetings. I feel confident and powerful in both my suits and dresses. I do feel like my closet could use a “What Not to Wear” episode because most of the clothes are the same style or pieces.

Q: How did you discover your personal style? 

A: Growing up I was a bit of a tomboy, probably as a result of having three brothers. I tended to set my own style at each age, not adhering to trends. I was the first in my neighborhood to wear leggings and sneakers under my skirt (cold walk to the bus stop). When everyone else was doing it, I stopped. In high school, I belonged to a group called D.E.C.A. that had competitions for marketing and advertising, this is when mom bought me my first suit outfit. I fell in love with dressing up professionally. Seeing my mom wear a skirt, blouse, and jacket to work was a normal thing so that’s how I felt you had to dress for work.

Q: What advice do you have for others trying to find their own style? 

A: Try it on and play with accessories. Don’t forget lighting in the dressing room at the store is way different than at home or at work. Your style is your style. Make it your personal armor or showcase. Each day may be different. I make my smile part of my style.

Q: What fashion issues are you currently struggling with?

A: I tend to have a hard time finding ‘casual’ attire I feel comfortable in. I feel bad for my hubby as he tends to see me in my PJs more than real clothes. I’ve fallen into my mom’s habit, as soon as I get home I take off my work clothes and put on my pajamas. I don’t think he minds since he bought me another pair for Christmas but when I’m just working around the house I’d like to have some kind of style. I’m not a pair of jeans or pants person normally. It isn’t really a ‘fashion issue’ but I still haven’t found the ‘perfect bra’ that fits right. Finding leggings to fit is also an issue but recently I found Muk Luks Women’s Fleece Lined tights and their size small fits perfect.

Q: What are the most versatile items you have in your closet?

A: I have a cap-sleeve black dress I can pair with many of my sweaters. Many of my tops work with my skirts or dress pants under a sweater or a suit jacket. I tend to shop by the mannequin. I like what they put on the mannequin and I buy the outfit. I don’t seem to have the patience to put an outfit together on my own.

Q:If you could go back and change a way you dressed in the past, what would you change? 

A: I’ve had many of those ‘what was I thinking’ moments when I’ve looked back at pictures but I’m pretty happy with the memories I’ve had with my outfits over the years. I loved my jean jacket I wore in middle school with all my buttons (still have the buttons but the jacket is long gone) and I don’t regret my fluffy sweater phase even though they were not flattering on my frame. I would go back and throw away the white bathing suit I wore to the city pool when I was around 13 years old before I had a chance to wear it. I would love to take that fashion mistake back, along with the embarrassment. I never went to the city pool again.

Q: Is there a fashion purchase you made that you found more useful than you thought it would be? 

A: I bought two dresses for my daughter’s wedding from Macy’s. My husband picked out one and I found the other while waiting in line to try on the other dress. The dresses fit perfect so I couldn’t resist buying both. My family decided I should wear the burgundy dress for the wedding and the dress my husband picked for the rehearsal dinner. The burgundy dress leaves evidence wherever you wear it in the form of sparkles. The beautiful dress my husband picked is versatile and has pockets!

Q: What about a fashion purchase that you thought would solve all your problems, but didn’t? 

A: Dress pants that aren’t black. I’m just not comfortable wearing dress pants that are different tones or have stripes. They just don’t look right on my frame. It was a way of adding color to my outfits that failed.

Q: How do you envision yourself when you look your best? 

A: Taller, because when I feel confident in my clothes I stand taller.

Q: What are your biggest fashion goals for the year? 

A: I bought three new dresses that are flared and fit me perfectly. I would like to find some casual but still classy looking outfits to wear when I am not at work.

Q: What is the best fashion advice you ever received?

A: That you can wear navy & white striped blouses with colors other than white or navy.

Q: What is the first thing you take off when you get home?

A: Besides my coat and shoes, I walk into the bedroom and take off my work clothes. I am trying not to do the pajamas right after work thing in 2020. I love to cook so now I’ll put on something I don’t mind getting food stains on and a pair of jeggings or tights. Hubby buys me a pair of Isotoner slippers each year so I grab a pair to keep my toes warm. Warmer months I might just keep on my tank top from work and throw on a pair of shorts.

Q: What are your favorite colors to wear?

A: Grey and black tend to be the colors I gravitate towards but I have been trying to add more colors, red especially and some florals as long as they are not too big or are pastel.

Q: Favorite stores to shop?

A: I shop a lot online as you have to drive two hours to go to a decent store. There are a lot of small boutiques in my area but they don’t carry clothes that fit my frame. Lately, I’ve been disappointed in my regular store, New York & Company (their sizing has changed quite a bit) and happy with JCPenney (where I just bought three perfect dresses). I’ve found a lot of cardigan sweaters with pockets at Christopher & Banks lately. I need to find more petite options.

Q: What makes you happiest?

A: Cooking, making people smile and time on the golf course with my hubby.

Q: What inspires you?

A: I am very happy in the life I am living and hope I can inspire others to have a positive outlook on their day.