Real Life Real Style is about celebrating everyday women who are anything but ordinary. They’re the women who smile through life’s ups and down—and do it all with style and grace. Women like Michele are true Real Life Real Style inspirations.
When you meet Michele, you would never guess that she’s been through more difficulty in the past few years than many people go through in a lifetime. She has survived breast cancer, dealt with the death of her father, and grieved the passing of her husband Paul—all with unyielding faith and an unbreakable spirit.
Her oldest and dearest friend Kim, also one of the creative minds behind Real Life Real Style, nominated Michele. “When I was developing the campaign,” Kim says, “I had my best friend Michele in mind. She just lives that life. And that inspires me.”
Kim has known Michele since they were dorm mates at LSU and has witnessed many momentous occasions in her life, like when she started dating Paul. He was the anchorman at a local Baton Rouge news station. She was an intern. “We fell madly in love,” says Michele. “And the rest is history.”
Kim also watched as Michele fought breast cancer with grace and dignity. After her diagnosis, Michele cut of her hair and donned a sassy pixie cut while leaning on her faith in God to get her through treatment.
And when her husband Paul was suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease, Michele considered it an honor to leave her career behind and care for him until the very end. She then channeled her grief into helping other women whose husbands were also struggling with the disease.
Despite some obstacles, Michele focused on the positive, like the birth of her first grandson Kaden who lives with her and her daughter. “My day usually begins with the smiles and giggles of my two-year-old grandson—my most prized possession.” But she’s not your typical grandma. As Kim describes her, “Michele is now a grandmother—the blingiest, best-dressed one you’ve ever seen! In fact, a friend of hers nicknamed her Coco because she’s stylish and loves chocolate. She could never be ‘grandma’!”
Michele also stays upbeat and positive by spending time with her family and friends, going to the theater, traveling and fundraising for The Fight Against Breast Cancer and Finding a Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. “The Lord and love. That’s how I get through every day. And fashion!”
Michele loves to wear jeans and a t-shirt, but she still wants her personality to shine through. So our stylists chose a trendy cold-shoulder tee with lace detail, as well as other pieces with unique details to jazz up a basic look.
Michele describes her style as casual, but cute. She loves to experiment with new trends, but she knows how to balance trends with basics. “I don’t want to look younger than I am, but I don’t want to look older than I am,” she explains. So she pairs jeans, a fashion top and casual shoes with jazzy accessories and makeup that add a pop of her personality.
“For me, it’s always a first impression,” she says. “It’s really what I want someone to know of me. I want them to know me by my style, which is casual and trendy. I’m trying to stay away from mom jeans. No mom jeans.”
Michele gets her style inspiration from other women who are able to make something as simple as jeans and a tee go from an office meeting to a nice dinner out. Her go-to piece is a denim vest or jacket. “I love the new trends and I kind of always go towards that,” she says. “I do like a little sparkle, a little glitter. I really, really like the blue jean casual look that I can dress up or down.”
Whatever she’s wearing, Michele is always dressed to the nines and ready to take on the day.
balancing the trends
Michele always stays on top of the trends, but she knows how to balance them with classic and basic pieces to keep the look sophisticated and age-appropriate. Here we’ve paired a trendy cold-shoulder top with a simple pant.