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Karen Mann, Personal Shopper

"My whole belief is chic and cheap. This necklace, this shirt: H&M, can you believe it?"

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What kinds of things do you shop for?
My whole belief is chic and cheap. This necklace, this shirt: H&M, can you believe it? And the pants and shoes are from the Gap. Many people think those stores are inappropriate for someone my age, but if you’re selective, it can really work. I don’t wear designer clothes anymore.

Why not?
It’s a financial thing, but also it just made me feel old. My friends and I all agree: Designer clothes make us look like matrons.

What are your clients like?
Personal shopping is all word of mouth. My clients tend to be 40 years of age and up, and what I try to do is teach them that style is not about priceit just has to do with knowing your look.

Does your husband have good style?
When I married him, he said, I don’t wear brown. I didn’t understand that. So now he wears brown all the time, and I guess it’s okay, because we’ve been married for 44 years and we’re best friends.

Any tips for aging gracefully?
I have not had plastic surgery. Well, not yet. I do heavy weights just once a week for fifteen minutes. No gym, no sweating. And slather on body lotion with SPF. I’d been scouring the city for a good one forever, and I finally found it at Fairway, in the organic aisle. It’s a brand called Alba, and you can get a quart-size bottle for $20, with an SPF of sixteen. It’s my obsession.


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