Your Style: Personable Mickelson wears colors as bright as she is

Pam Mickelson

Motto:Be confident and love who you are. Discover your own style of hair and clothing and wear it proudly.

When asked, Pam Mickelson enthusiastically offers, "My age is 65 years young!" No qualms about it!

Mickelson grew up on a dairy farm in rural Zumbrota and attended the Institute of Medical Technology in Minneapolis.

She began her career at Mayo Clinic as a laboratory assistant, then worked in various positions there including in research, blood donor recruitment, software development and transportation. She started in human resources about 15 years ago. Today, she is manager of Mayo Clinic's leisure and lifestyle activities and employee recognition programs.

"I have two sons and their families, including four grandchildren ranging in ages from 14 months to 14 years," she said. "And Mr. Bear, my 7-month-old Coton du Tulear.


"My interests include sharing time with my grandchildren and attending their sporting events and horseback riding lessons," Mickelson said. "I enjoy travel, attending theater, sporting events, reading, walking, yoga and, most important, spending time with family and friends."

Please tell us about your style.

Professional with a bit of flair!

Where did your style originate?

Working at Mayo Clinic, I began 42 years ago as a white clad female, white dress uniform — pant uniforms were not permitted — and white hard-sole shoes. Not a lot of style! In 1980, as a result of a career change, I moved to "street" clothes. It all started then.

When in your white uniform days, did you ever long for more style identity?

Looking back, I was proud to wear the white uniform. I took pride in always keeping the uniform white — white and pressed — with polished white shoes. Also, made life a lot easier and likely, less expensive. What is most interesting is I may have some carry over from the early years of the uniform. Today, I have work clothes — uniforms; non-work clothes; and casual.

Do you feel your personality come through stylistically at work today?


Yes, my wear often reflects my outgoing personality, especially color.

How exactly has your outlook on style changed with your stages in life?

Over the years, I have become more comfortable with brighter colors. Fashion trends do not play a role in my professional wardrobe; however, fashion trends can be fun with casual attire.

What are your favorite colors to wear? And ones that you do not prefer?

Light shades of blue and lavender. Cannot wear many shades of orange and darker greens.

Would you give us a picture of your professional style today?

Absolutely. When attending meetings or events, I want to look and feel professional, confident and relaxed. Black, navy or gray pinstriped pantsuit, colored scarf and appropriate silver or gold jewelry (watch, bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings). Jewelry selection should be unique, but not flashy. Shoe color is black or gray.

How does this differ from your casual attire or look?


My casual wardrobe includes sweatshirts, sweaters, jeans, crop pants, maxi dresses, leggings and bright colored tennis shoes, boots and ballet flats. I just purchased jeans with the distressed look — cute, fun and a little edgy.

Speaking of more casual, what do you typically wear for yoga?

My favorite is Athletica wear. They offer many styles and bright colors.

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

Basic jacket, pants and dress, scarfs, plain and lacy white blouse or tops.

What are your favorite accessories?

Scarfs, jewelry.

What do scarves do for an outfit?


Scarves can change the look of an outfit, bring color into black and gray. With my coloring of light skin and blonde hair, I like to have color next to my face. Also, love to play with the scarves and make unique knots, loops and ties. My favorite scarf is a watercolor print of pinks, blue and light yellow. Looks great with professional wear to blue jeans.

Do you have a priceless sentimental piece of clothing or jewelry?

My grandmother's gold wedding ring, a gold cameo ring my parents gave me as a graduation gift, and necklaces with the names of my grandchildren my sons have given to me.

Do you have a preferred season in terms of clothing?

Winter — love layers!

Just have to ask if any part of your style was inspired by any family members?

Not likely. My mother had a passion for high heel shoes – two to three inches. I never had the true sense of stability to walk in these shoes.

What do you hope to teach your grandchildren about style?


First of all be confident and love who you are. Discover your own style of hair and clothing and wear it proudly. You can stand out within the crowd, just not out of the crowd.

Advice for readers?

Style is more than a wardrobe. Select what you look good and feel good in. And smile!

Do you know somebody who's got special style? Send nominations to or call Life section editor Jeff Pieters at 507-285-7748.

Anne Murphy is a Rochester freelance writer who has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years.

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