It’s unusual for me to feature a Facebook Group Member in this series who has been a member for less than a month.  After all, how could someone so new to the community make such an impression so fast?   But if you knew Elle, it wouldn’t surprise you at all.  She came in with a bang, not a whimper, and had the group in stitches immediately.  I think the funniest moment for me was when she showed us all her outfit for doing some chores at home and was holding a broom.  At first, I thought she was off to play Quidditch. My interest in featuring Elle was because I just had to know who the heck this spitfire from Manitoba Canada was?

As luck would have it, Elle was game, which didn’t surprise me.  She hasn’t been shy about bringing her whole self to the group when sharing generously with others and she frequently uses her quick wit and charm to support others.

So without further delay, let’s get to know this lovely lady, her style, and what makes her tick.

facebook group member of the monthName: Elle Pukalo

Location: Sundown, Manitoba, Canada

Age: 2022-1949= 73 (?) whoa. I hadn’t done the math in a while!!! Someone double-check that and let me know!

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

A: I’m the new kid on the block and I showed up in my housework garb looking for help! This is my Tribe! These gals are friendly, fun, and first-rate helpers.

Q: The biggest benefits you have received from being a Group member 

A:  Sisterhood! Women need women, IMHO. We are surrounded by women from birth as they swaddle the babe and comfort the mother, through life’s ups and downs and then again at death as they draw the covering up for the last sleep. We need the strength, the support, the wisdom of a like-minded community. Women interested in putting their best foot forward will help us see ourselves in the best light. And do it respectfully, kindly. Because how we dress/present ourselves is how others perceive us.

Q: What would you tell women who haven’t joined the Group yet?  

A: This is where you can learn what was missing from high school home ec classes. Women need the skills to understand the effects of color, body shapes, proportion, styles, and accessorizing. This is a safe place to get tools for the style toolbox and experiment with how they work. This is where gentle advice is given, insights are gained, laughs are shared, and friendships are forged!

Q: How would you describe your style? 

A: I have found it useful to eliminate what I’m not. Then I am left with a bit of this and a dab of that. It kinda sums up as Unexpectedly Eclectic. I love combining refinement levels. casual and classy! sneakers and diamond bracelets!

Q: How did you discover your style?  

A: Through style lessons and quizzes.
About twenty years ago I took a personality quiz that used animals. A lion, a beaver, a labrador retriever, and an otter. I have been Mrs. Average my whole life so I figured 50% lab and 50% beaver. My family and friends just laughed when I turned up 98.99% otter! Really? I began to wonder who I really was!

Then about five years ago I was in a flat spot so I asked Prof. Google for help. I joined a free-for-a-month style group and I learned enough to press the special paid membership a half hour before the expiry time lapsed. I learned SO much and I did another quiz. Meyers-Briggs This slotted me into a small group of INFP’s that have quirky in their DNA. My translation is:

Then Danielle Laporte and Carrie McCarthy’s book Style Statement fine-tuned my perceptions. And finally BINGO, Kaboom. the quizzes and lessons collided and my Lightbulb came on! If you find that excruciating imagine my frustration at being the tail end of style club as my new friends embraced their looks. But some of us are just slow learners. but in the end… we get it!

Facebook Group Member of the MonthQ: What advice do you have for others trying to find their style?  

A: Selfies! And this is coming from someone who hated looking in the mirror to comb her hair. But if you want help ya gotta show yourself. So I learned how to set up my camera for auto photos, how not to cringe and how to smile. And after a while, I was schlepping my way through my wardrobe and a funny thing happened. I stopped and LOOKED at the images. Somehow they become impersonal and I could look at them from a neutral position. I could see obvious no-no’s and then I began to get the feeling that something was off so I learned more and tried things that my fellow stylemates suggested. A full-length mirror helps now as well.

Q: What fashion issues are you currently struggling with? 

A: I have been a homemaker so 75% of my style needs are for being at home. Leggings intrigue me. I want my bum covered when I bend over to chase dust bunnies. I want comfort when I collapse into my chair with a good book. I want to be somewhat stylish if the guy delivering an Amazon parcel shows up for a signature. Being pretty short, this is a challenge. But my new fashionista friends are helping.

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

A: Pencil skirts with some stretch, graphic tees, 3/4 sleeved shirts, and layering pieces like cardigans, jackets, vests.

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

A:  Otters don’t look back. They fling their shiny stone and swim ahead. But I do wish I had understood about contrast and proportion.

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

A:  Would you believe it was a thrifted grey tulle skirt that I got for a loonie! ($1) It was kinda small so I had to pull it on over my head. I swished my way to church, senior lunches and day trips, and for errands! I dressed it up and I dressed it down. I finally passed it on to the grand princesses and upgraded!

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

A: A couple of decades ago I went with friends to have my colors done. I was designated as a Winter Gamin. But cold, bright, clean, high contrast and saturated colors just made me uncomfortable. I went from wallflower to neon billboard. And I didn’t have the skills to lower the contrast levels nor the color wheel sense to go monochromatic or analogous. A couple of years ago I learned that eyes, skin, and hair soften and lighten with age. who hoo! Bring on the senior moment. I could slip down to a more comfortable Summer. ‘Course now I am looking over the warm muted section of my fence. Style is fun. Learn the rules, hopefully, faster than I did, and then break the darn rules!  It was only a bunch of swatches, not one’s social security number for gosh sakes!

facebook member of the monthQ: How do you envision yourself when you look your best?  

A: Comfortably- the bunion doesn’t pinch

Lightly- I only carry myself

Appropriately- for the occasion

Sleek- skimming over lumps and bumps for a smooth silhouette

Stylish- current

Youthful- timeless

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

A: Figure out my ‘Youniform’

Minimize the closet for quick and easy dressing

Upgrade for quality basics

and lose 15 pounds (?) what can I say! ;^)

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

A: Personality trumps style!

Q: The first thing you take off when you get home? 

A: Are we allowed to loosen the band on our bras? No! Okay, it would be to switch out the jacket for a soft cardigan.

Q: Favorite color(s) to wear 

A: I never met a colour I didn’t like, especially after I figured out value and intensity. But my favorite color is the one I choose for each brand new day!

Q: Favorite stores to shop? 

A: I am not much of a shopper. I used to go every couple of years to the Bay to replace worn-out garments and get a new pair of black shoes. Now I enjoy the challenge of finding and experimenting with thrift store offerings. They have taught me styling and how to identify quality.

Q: What makes you happiest? 

A: Creativity! I like to mess about in my hobby room with mixed media and fabric. I like solving decorating problems and creating vignettes. I like designing garden beds, teaching art to the grand students, reading inspiring books, turning lemons into lemonade, sharing what I learn, encouraging others, living our retirement dream, and counting my blessings.

Facebook Group Member of the MonthQ: What inspires you? 

A: My 110% hubby’s support for 54 years and more..

My fan club (my 3 grand kiddies)

A great book where the hero/heroine overcomes and makes the right choices.

Solving a challenge successfully

A clean page, a new day

A stranger’s compliment!

Q: Use One Word to Describe Your Style


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Whoever you are, whatever your style, wherever you are on your style journey

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