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A Week of Outfits: Cheryl Sparks | A Cup of Jo

Living in Rhode Island, Cheryl Sparks describes herself as a “true New Englander,” as well as “a widow, mom, and grandma to the most amazing little boy.” When the pandemic hit and Cheryl found herself at home alone, she started an Instagram account to share her outfits “with the goal of looking ‘pulled together’ at least one day a week.” Here are five outfits she loves…

Above: Dress: Target. Glasses: Anne & Valentin. Necklace: Kenneth Lane, similar. Shoes: Zara, similar.

“At first I was just taking pictures of my outfits and sending them to my daughter, Alexandra, saying, ‘What do you think? How about this?’ Someone suggested I start an Instagram account, and Alexandra said, ‘Why not? We could do it together.’ It has brought us really close. I write the captions — she nixes half of them, haha. I’ll put on the outfit and show her. She’s very pregnant right now, and sometimes she’ll say, ‘Oh, wow, that whole outfit — as soon as I’m done being pregnant, I want it.’ Other times, she’ll go, ‘No way, not those shoes. Where did you even get them?!’

A Week of Outfits: Cheryl Sparks

Shirt: KMJ (pattern chosen by Cheryl and customized by KMJ into their Quarantina style!). Jeans: River Island.

“I have a hard time describing my style. Part of me wants to say ‘classic’ — but somehow, when I think classic, I think stuffy. The first person I idolized as a kid was Ali MacGraw. She’s one of the hashtags I follow on Instagram. She’s just stunning — now, I mean. I love that she has white hair like mine. It’s lovely to watch her evolve.”

A Week of Outfits: Cheryl Sparks

Blouse: Dôen. Pants: Dôen. Sneakers: Cariuma.

“During my career as a dental hygienist, I wore a uniform and didn’t having to worry about work clothes. So, I was able to buy some non-work clothes that I loved, like this top. (It looks like something you would find in an attic, and it feels so light, like a handkerchief.) I now work with Star Kids Scholarship Program, an educational non-profit supporting at-risk children, and I help care for my almost-two-year-old grandson. My next grandchild is due this fall!”

A Week of Outfits: Cheryl Sparks

Dress: Madewell. Sandals: Target.

“You know that nap dress that’s all over Instagram? It feels like the dress of the minute, the hour, the year. But… I mean, I’m 65. And it felt too precious. Then I saw this dress from Madewell, and I thought, you know, it’s similar in style, but it doesn’t look precious. It has pockets, it’s gauzy, it’s so, so comfortable — I cannot recommend it enough.”

A Week of Outfits: Cheryl Sparks

Shirt: J.Crew, similar. Belt: J. Crew. Pants: Zara, similar.

“Stripes are my weakness. My whole house is covered in them. I grew up wearing rugby shirts like this, borrowed from friends and boyfriends. Putting on clothes I love is fun for me. Taking care of myself — waking up in the morning, getting dressed — it brings joy to my day.”

Thank you so much, Cheryl!

P.S. More women share their weeks of outfits, including a Toronto professor, an antiques seller in Maine, and me!

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