Style Inspiration: Meet Pam Penney of Oak Park

Find out which famous funny lady inspires Pam's sense of style.

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By Christina Pippin

Local Shopping & Fashion Blogger

I have a confession to make. I thought there might be a dearth of fashionable ensembles to choose from for Friday’s weekly Style Inspiration blog post. Let’s face it: it’s hard to piece together a smart look when temperatures dip below 20 degrees. But the more I search, the more amazingly stylish outfits I find right here in town.

Midwesterners really have embraced these frosty temperatures and have managed to look cool while staying warm – it truly gives me hope – especially when I am inclined to wrap a babushka around my head and call it a day. There seems to be no end to the beautiful coats, scarves, hats, and handbags that grace our community dwellers. I’m never disappointed when looking for fashion inspiration here in town!

So today’s Style Inspiration is Pam Penney, of the eponymous Pam Penney Textile Arts in Oak Park's Arts District on Harrison Street. Pam’s one-of-a-kind, ankle length knit bohemian skirt in earth tones of amber and moss caught my eye. She wore it with a cinnamon-colored cotton crew neck, giving it a modern twist. Paired with weathered coffee-colored cowboy boots, well, this outfit had me at hello.

Let’s find out how Pam puts punch in her look!

Your fashion style: Easy. Bohemian. Timeless

Favorite fashion era: The roaring 20’s, when women were just starting to express their liberation a little in the shorter dresses and hairstyles. 

Fashion inspiration: Diane Keaton, in Annie Hall; I also like her funky real life way of dressing appropriately for her age and still youthful in spirit.

Favorite local boutiques: Deedee & Edee in Forest Park; Takara and Ananas in Oak Park

Greatest fashion indulgence: Expensive cowboy boots! But I get them ½ off in the summertime.

Fashion advice: I like to have timeless pieces, but not necessarily what would be considered “classics”.  I want to have things that are unique, funky and that you can’t figure out how old they are because they don’t fit the mold of the style of the day. I have a dress I designed and knitted by hand in 1979. It was based upon a pattern from the 50’s. I splurged on a higher quality rust colored wool yarn for the project. I still wear that dress at least a couple of times each winter. It helps that it is knit and forgives the changes to my size and shape from 30 years ago!

Visit the Shopping Blog next Friday for more fashion inspiration from friends and neighbors. See you around town and in the shops!

Reader Comments

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Barbara Woods from Marlette, MI  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 11:51 AM

This talented lady grew up on a farm just a skip and a jump from our farm. She had courage and the talent to make and wear outfits that didn't fit the fad of the day....and I am so happy that she has kept her flair for fashion alive. We love you Pam, and wish you continued success in your world of design.

Steve from Oak Park  

Posted: January 16th, 2011 5:23 PM

Christina, another great post! You always write with style and you have a gift for bringing fashion to life. Oak park is luck to have you on the lookout.

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