We're Gonna Make it After All

January 29, 2017

On Wednesday afternoon, I looked down at my phone as an alert crossed the screen that said… Mary Tyler Moore, TV and Movie Star, dies at 80 years young.

(Well, it didn’t say ‘young’ but that is the word that comes to mind when I think of her throughout her entire life.)

I think I uttered something out-loud like “Awe” as I began to think about this woman who had influenced me in the most positive of ways. She was a strong role model for me (although I didn’t really appreciate it until now) during my formative years.

My first memories of Mary Tyler Moore (MTM) were from the 70’s show “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Between the ages of 10 and 17, I had the opportunity to watch her as a smart, single, funny, endearing, and stylish professional.

Although MTM was absolutely beautiful, I don’t think it was her physical features that drove this notion. It was her mind, style, and demeanor. She wasn’t a superwoman or a supermodel and was someone I actually could be….and wanted to be.

Mary Tyler Moore was an INFLUENCER.

An influencer on young women like me (and probably you) not only from a career and human perspective but a style perspective.

As a style role model, MTM represented what ‘real women’ could look like at both home and on the job. As a stay-at-home mom (Laura Petrie), she threw out the Hollywood stereotypical house-dress and came in strong with the stylish, comfortable and more practical cigarette pant. It resonated with me.

And then as a midwestern girl and TV producer (Mary Richards), she wore smart suits, turtlenecks and layered outfits. She wore clothes that real women could buy! And she represented us well, didn’t she?

Her style! She mixed and matched her separates (just like we do.) She wore the same thing twice (Egads. Just like we do.) And taught us the art of layering.   It wasn’t special privilege or Hollywood money that gave her great style.  The clothes she wore were accessible to every woman. What gave her great style was her commitment to it…to present her best “real” self and to be a positive role model and influencer for women like me and ultimately the young designers who are creating fashion for us today.

It's a TV show, I know. But off screen, she had a thoroughly modern look even in her later years. MTM balanced elegance with fun. She was playful, classic and never boring.

Heck, at 71, she arrived at the Emmy Awards in a body-hugging black halter gown. And you know what? She is still influencing me because I want to share her passion for style as I continue to follow in her path with that thing called 'getting older.'

MTM did not give herself permission to give up on being a style influencer and putting her best foot forward.  Ever.  And I don’t think any of us should either. We have women behind us; daughters, nieces, co-workers, friends, children of our friends that are looking to us to be their real life influencers.  They need to see us fighting the good fight, setting a great example and inspiring them to be the best they can be.

By all accounts MTM was smart, sweet, kind, and generous. And had an incredible career that afforded her a great lifestyle.  But her life wasn’t perfect either.   Just like you and I, it was full of great success and devastating failure. She battled with alchoholism, diabetes, divorce and unexpected loss. But she never lost her sense of style or her desire for a better day to come.

Style does that for you…it offers hope of a better day to come, a boost of confidence, and represents your own special way of setting an example for those that look to your lead.   And it is one of the important reasons that we have talented stylists in both of our stores to be an accessible resource when you want (and maybe need) to reinvent your personal brand or living space. 

Heck, I've had to do it more times than I care to think about.   When I got my first (career) job, became a wife, became a mom, started my own business, hit my forties, lost my husband, hit my fifties, began my life at K. Renee (because I whole-heartedly believe in the power of style).  Life changes and so do we.    And we all need help along the way.

At the end of her life, Mary Tyler Moore made working look good, living look good and aging look good.     And I want the same. The song from her famous show swirls through my head… “You’re gonna make it after all.” 

I heard that as a child and I hear it now.  The song really just tells us to love and live the life that we want.   It's out there for the taking but we have to seize it for ourselves.  

The styling team of K. Renee is at your service to help you seize the day by helping you create the home you have always wanted or by helping you develop your personal style so that it enhances the influencer that you are and will continue to be.  The importance of great style is what we live and breathe.

The world needs positive influences.   Mary Tyler Moore, you were a meaningful one.