Your Style: Cynthia Sheppard

Motto:Shop local — and that includes consignment shops with surprising quality and prices.

Cynthia Sheppard says she puts heart and soul in everything she does, including her volunteer work on the Feb. 23 Go Red for Women event at Mayo Civic Center and her role as an independent business owner here.

A 1980 graduate of John Marshall High School, Sheppard left to earn her bachelor's and master's degrees from Mankato State University, where she met her husband, Judd.

"After we graduated in the spring of 1986, we moved to Bedford, N.H., where Judd's family lived at the time," she said. Soon they decided to move back to Minnesota, where they were spending all of their vacations.

Sheppard enjoys time with her husband, their son, Ryne, 25, who works as a Mayo Family Medicine clinical assistant, and Gannon, their 11-year-old Siberian husky.


Please tell us about your style.

I'd say it is typically a notch up from business casual. So perhaps professional casual. I feel that (women) have much more flexibility with our wardrobe — by accessorizing with jewelry, scarves, pops of color, boots, shoes, etc., it's easy to take drab to fab.

What do you hope your style says about you?

I don't think that your style defines you — it is who you are as a person on the inside and how you treat others that is most important.

Origins of your style?

I worked at the Dahl House, a former high-end women's clothing store, at Apache Mall for several holiday breaks from college, gift-wrapping. The job afforded me a great discount, and I probably spent every penny earned on clothes and more.

Has your style changed through the years?

I think that my style has come full circle from my early career, when I dressed professionally in suits, nylons and pumps. I can't remember the last time I've worn nylons or pumps — tights and boots, yes, nylons and pumps, no. That look is great, too, but the pumps kill my feet now.


What should every well-dressed woman have in her wardrobe?

A versatile, classic black blazer and comfortable black boots to be worn with either leggings or skirt and tights. And I'm a sterling silver jewelry girl. Mixed metal is OK too, but I'm never strictly gold.

The most essential components in your wardrobe?

Comfortable shoes and boots. For shoes, I look for quality, value, comfort and, of course, style.

Something in your wardrobe people would find surprising?

Most of my friends would be surprised to learn that on my last vacation, I packed only five pairs of sandals. Typically it's 11 to 12 pairs.

Preferred season in terms of clothing?

I'd say fall and winter. There are a lot of great choices for layering. But summer is great when we can break out our sandals!


Recommendations for readers?

Find your own look and dress for comfort. Life is too short! And if you haven't checked out local consignment shops, they have name brands, oftentimes with original price tags still attached, at a fraction of the cost of new.

Also, shop local. Two of my favorite shops in Rochester are Mainstream Boutique and Exquisite Leather. And another best-kept secret is 20 minutes to the north in Zumbrota. Check out Luya shoe store.

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