Houston Style Setter: Monique Burks
Monique Burks is basically Wonder Woman. Not only is she a wife, mother and grandmother, but she’s also a real estate mogul, an entrepreneur, and a volunteer at her church. To top it off, she turns it out every time she steps out of her house—a superpower many of us seek.
How would you describe your style?
My style is a combination of things. Some days I’ll wear something chic and sassy and other days I may choose to wear something that’s a bit more modern. Sometimes I’ll mix things up and wear something a bit bolder with bright colors, patterns and jewelry. It’s really all about the moment. My style often just depends on where I’m going and what mood I’m in that day.
What’s the difference between being stylish in your 20s versus being stylish in your 50s?
My mom taught me that it’s important to know what to wear when you reach different phases of your life. I know she’s right because she’s 82 and she still knows how to dress so well at her age!
At my age, you don’t need to show more to be cute, sexy and sassy. You can still be all of that, just in a different way. Now I shop differently than I did when I was in my 20s. I focus on different lengths of clothes, different heights for shoes and I tend to cover my arms more.
I think when you’re a teenager or in your 20s, you can wear pretty much anything and still look cute. However, when you reach your 50s, it’s different. You’ve had children and your body changes and everything else starts changing. I’m 57 and at my age it’s a bit harder to be sexy and sassy but there are ways.
Many women struggle with finding a place of comfort when it comes to their personal style and confidence. How do you do it?
I like to look good and take care of myself for myself and that is especially important now with everything we are exposed to on the internet, in magazines and on television. I just remember that God made each of us beautifully perfect. The key is to enjoy finding yourself because it is a journey to find yourself and when you do it is an incredible thing.
That being said, at every stage of life we embark on a new journey and it’s meant to be fun. I’m sure I’ll be going through it again soon as I am approaching my 60s. I want to get to that place where I know I’ll be a great 60, a great 70, a great 80, and a great whatever until God takes me home.
Who is your biggest style influence?
I would say both of my parents influenced my style. They raised us kids to work hard, to be successful, and to look good when we did it because that first impression was so important. My dad passed away last year and he and my mom were married for almost 64 years. Growing up, I always remembered them matching. They wore the same color every day of their life and as a result of this, my husband and I always match, too.
Where are some of your favorite places to shop?
I love to shop because I have such a great time with clothes. I’m not one to shop at one place though. The beauty of fashion is being able to mix and match different pieces to create a really stylish ensemble.
For fun stuff I’ll shop at Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, mainly because I love to dig—it’s like a treasure hunt! For more professional items I tend to shop at places like Stein Mart, Kohl’s, and Macy’s. And when it comes to going out I mainly shop at boutiques.
What are some products that you always carry on you?
I always have my Burt’s Bees lipstick with me. Regular lipstick tends to dry my lips out but Burt’s Bees is great because it tints and moisturizes my lips. I’m also in love with the IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara!
What's your best advice about style?
I think the best advice I can give is to be yourself. Don’t try to imitate anyone else too much. Just because something looks good on someone else, doesn’t necessarily mean it will look good on you and that’s OK! Don’t get upset over things like that because we’re all individuals and we’re all made differently. Enjoy who you are no matter what age, size or height! And always love yourself.