WHO: Karen Howard Sposato, 47, co-owner and vice president of marketing and sales at Sposato Family Vineyards in Milton. She also is a fitness instructor.
WHY: She was nominated by personal chef, sommelier and guitarist Paul Cullen, who says, “Karen is our sharp-dressed woman of Sussex County. She is amazingly fit, chic and unbelievably energetic.”
HER STYLE: “I like flowers, lace and classy lines.”
WEARING, at Sposato Family Vineyards:
FIRST OUTFIT – Black Alexis dress from Neiman Marcus, “a beautiful dress to wear for holiday wine dinners.” Sparkly earrings by Max and Zoe from Rehoboth Beach Marshalls; ring from Tiffany & Co., an anniversary gift from her husband; sparkly pumps from Bebe at Christiana Mall.
SECOND OUTFIT – Sweet blue lace dress from J Crew. Diamond hoop earrings from Lia Sophia; spade-shaped diamond necklace purchased in Las Vegas; and statement blue shoes from Nine West.
THIRD OUTFIT – Floral Romper from Marshalls. “This outfit has gotten more compliments because of the cuteness factor and great color combination.” Dangly pearlized earrings from Sole Boutique in Rehoboth and pearlized bracelet from J.Crew at Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach. Tommy Hilfiger floral wedges from Marshalls in Rehoboth. Prada sunglasses from the Rehoboth outlets.
WHERE SHE SHOPS: “Our area has so many fantastic quaint shops on Second Street in Lewes and downtown Rehoboth. I love our Rehoboth Marshalls and the great Tanger Outlets.”
FASHION ICON: Her mother. “Mom was a classy dresser. When I was a teenager she would take me to Towson, Maryland, and we would go shopping at the big department stores Hutzler’s and Stewart's. She always had me dress up on Sundays for church and reminded me to never forget my ears (earrings) and lips (lipstick) before leaving the house. I live by that earring and lipstick motto today.”
FAVORITE LABELS: J Crew, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, Free People, White House Black Market, BeBe, Michael Kors.
MOST RECENT PURCHASE: Blue statement shoes by Nine West.
OLDEST ITEM IN HER CLOSET: A BONGO denim jean skirt and BONGO jeans that she wore in college. “I cannot believe they have held up this long. Believe it or not I have worn that skirt and jeans over and over for costume parties, 1980's flashback parties, and other happenings. I will never part with them.”
MANE, MANICURE AND MAKEUP: “You will usually see me sporting a pony tail or hair clip because I teach spinning, Zumba and work out daily at Everyone Fitness in Rehoboth Beach. I enjoy change when it comes to my hair so I frequent many of our local salons and spas, from Paisley Moon in Milton to The Village Salon & Spa in Lewes, Bling on Highway 1 and Bad Hair Day in Rehoboth Beach. Each has given me fantastic service with hair, makeup, manicures and pedicures. K&S Nails in Lewes is terrific, too. My favorite for luminous lips is Red Door Red by Elizabeth Arden.”
BEST FOOT FORWARD: “All kinds of shoes are all over my house: running, spinning, walking, hiking, Zumba, wedges, flip flops, heels, flats, and my favorite Argentine boots.”
FAVORITE COLOR: Pink. “I adore blue, as well. The bottle for our new Sposato Sweet Blend is now my favorite blue.”
FAVORITE FRAGRANCE: “My college roommate Dorothea gave me the fabulous fragrance Paris by Yves San Laurent. I was hooked from the first sniff. It reminds me of all of the wonderful memories from college, especially meeting my husband Tony. I enjoy purchasing fragrances when traveling because when I wear that scent I am reminded of the experiences from the trip.”
FASHION EVOLUTION: “I have been into fitness all my life. Growing up I was a gymnast, dancer, cheerleader, runner and swimmer. Most of my time was spent in sportswear. After graduating from Salisbury University I became a first-grade teacher. Little people tend to notice everything about what I would wear. I enjoyed wearing fun, whimsical jewelry, fancy shoes and painting my nails. Now that I am head of marketing and sales at Sposato Family Vineyards, adults notice what I wear while pouring at wine tastings and dinners. I find that fashion and travel are an interesting area for lots of great conversation, which ties into wine and food discussions, as well.”
ORGANIZATION TIPS: “I arrange my clothes according to colors, and then by styles such as pants, skirts, dresses, rompers, shorts, etc. I have found that a hanging see-through jewelry organizer works well to be able to find my costume jewelry.”
GO-TO OUTFIT ON SATURDAY NIGHT: “It’s fun to step out a bit and show a little of my wild, creative side so I like wearing short skirts with heels or shorts with wedges. Edgy tops and fancy earrings make me feel glamorous. I love wearing my black leather jacket in the winter with tall black boots.”
BEST CELEBRITY HAIR: Kelly Ripa.
WORTH THE SPLURGE: A great pair of boots.
NOT WORTH THE SPLURGE: Expensive mascara. “I have tried so many mascaras but I always go back to Loreal Telescope Mascara Black Noir. I love the thin wand because it doesn't clump and it separates your lashes beautifully.”
WISH I HADN’T BOUGHT IT: Shoes half a size too small. “I loved them so much. They were the last pair and I thought they would stretch. Wrong!”
THE GREAT PANTYHOSE DEBATE: “On some occasions I will wear pantyhose in the winter when my legs can't get out in the sunshine. Plus I see so many choices in sheer hose that make your legs look and feel great if you are standing on them all day. So I say do what works for your gams.”
INDISPENSABLE WARDROBE ITEM: Black boots. “The one item my mother made sure I had when I was a student teacher in 1990 was a classic pair of black Etienne Aigner leather boots. I had them re-soled and still wear them today.”
ACE ACCESSORY: Earrings.
PANTS OR SKIRTS? Skirts, “for sure.”
HEELS OR FLATS? Heels, “no doubt.”
DIAMONDS OR PEARLS? Diamonds “are a girl’s best friend.”
WHY FASHION IS IMPORTANT: “Fashion is an expression of who you are and how you feel. Fashion is fun and gives people the ability to wear their feelings, favorite colors and styles. Fashion can bring joy to others and can start conversations that lead to meeting some amazing people. Fashion is important because it describes periods in your life that you can reflect back on with joy and sometimes astonishment. Fashion makes each individual shine in his or her own special light.”
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