Motto: My mother told me that tall women wear their clothes very well — when they can find clothes to wear! It made me feel better about my height.
At 65, though Cindy Peterson plans to retire this year from her job as administrative assistant at Grand Meadow Elementary School, she plans to continue the active lifestyle she has always known in her hometown.
"I was born and raised in Grand Meadow and have lived there all of my life," she said. "My husband and I raised four children, and I have 11 grandchildren. My husband of 41 years passed away five years ago, and I remarried two-and-a-half years ago to a wonderful man and longtime friend.
"I love to spend time with family and friends, cook, work out, garden, read, attend concerts and travel," Peterson said. "I am very excited about retirement and having the time to finish projects that I have started and can't seem to finish."
Please tell us a little about your style.
I don't know that I have a particular style but would say that I am mostly conservative with a little bit of fun thrown in. Being tall - 5-foot-10 - it's always been difficult to find clothes.
And a bit of background?
When I was in high school, I learned to sew and made all my clothes as there were no ready-to-wear tall clothes in department stores back then. We had a dress code, meaning all girls wore dresses or skirts. I learned to like long lines with fitted waists as those looked the best on me.
Did family figure in?
Once I started growing taller than my peers, around the eighth grade, my mother told me that tall women wear their clothes very well - when they can find clothes to wear. I learned to always look for items that no one but a tall woman could wear. It made me feel better about my height and helped ease the discomfort of being taller than all of my friends, or even any other girl in my class.
Has your style changed with your stages in life?
I have always been somewhat conservative, but I think I went through a very conservative time when my kids were growing up - probably because I was so busy raising a family that I didn't have time or money to think about how I dressed.
Is it easier being your height today than earlier?
I love the fact that today's pant lengths are all over the place, so at 5-foot-10 I can wear a pair of pants that are meant to be full length and sport them as ankle pants or even capris! I also love the fact that boots are in, and any style boot is in. You can still wear the boots that you had five years ago, and you can extend the wearing period of your summer capris by wearing boots over them.
What do you hope your style communicates?
That how you dress is a reflection of not only who you are, but where you are. My late husband and I worked hard to communicate that to our four children. It's so important to dress for the occasion.
Do you have a priceless sentimental piece?
I have a string of pearls that belonged to my grandmother. They were probably purchased in the early 1900s. I have never worn them, but I certainly cherish them.
Advice for readers?
I read once that whenever you are thinking of purchasing an item, try to come up with at least three or four things you have at home that you can wear with it. I have always tried to remember that.
Anne Murphy is a Rochester freelance writer who has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years.