Style Times Two
Cutting edge or practical, this couple makes fashion look good.
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Though their surname suggests otherwise, there’s nothing ambiguous about Linda and Harold Gray—each has a style role as defined as black and white.
As they weave their way toward a table at Ameritage Bistro in Wilmington, one can’t help but notice.
Linda, the stylista, strides through in equal parts conservative and cutting edge, gorgeous, self-made bijoux dangling from her neck and ears.
And Harold, the self-described pragmatist, applies measured logic and reasoning to his look based on his agenda: a bike ride to work, an afternoon of sailing, or an interview with a fashion editor (for which he is properly attired, of course).
But logical isn’t lackluster if one’s wife moonlights as a personal shopper.
“I inject quirkiness and glamour into his clothes,” Linda says.
“She is the style part of this relationship,” Harold agrees. “She adds to my functionality.”
A permanent fixture on Delaware’s social circuit due to Harold’s role as veep of United Way of Delaware, the Grays know dress up.
“Linda is a very, very nice woman to escort,” Harold says. “She really pulls it together.”
She does so with help from Morgan’s of Delaware Avenue and Blue Streak Gallery in Wilmington and seasonal trips to New York and Washington, D.C.
“You’d be amazed at how many shoes she’s transferred over state lines,” Harold says dryly.
“I like to keep up on what’s hot,” Linda says, elbowing her husband’s ribs. “Then I keep basic pieces stocked for when that trend dies.”
Though Harold shakes his head in bemusement as Linda chronicles her great loves—shoes, jewelry, belts, etc.—it’s really his fault.
“My former job required extensive travel around the world,” he says. “Linda would join me, and she really took an interest in the style and cultures, which has developed into her worldly, sophisticated look.”
Linda cocks her head and, with analytical skills honed as a magistrate judge, considers “sophisticated.”
“More like eclectic,” she says. “For example, when we were overseas, I was amazed at the many styles of walking shoes. So I came back looking for funky, fashionable walking shoes, but couldn’t find any.”
That’s because, as a true fashionista, she was years ahead of the trend. Nowadays there’s nary a woman’s foot that hasn’t sighed in contentment after snuggling into an adorable, bejeweled flat in lieu of demanding high heels.
Nicknamed “Judge Jewelry” by Harold, Linda has her own line, Bootsie Baubles & Beads, showcased at Morgan’s.
But the Grays’ personal style transcends mere accoutrements.
“We have a broad palette,” Harold says, acknowledging food’s role in style.
Their favorite places include Hong Kong Takeout, Mikimotos and Corner Bistro.
Judging from the toned shoulders that peek out from Linda’s chic blouse, they count physical fitness as a style essential.
“The root of style starts with fitness,” Harold says. “And a lot has to do with how one carries himself.”
Linda agrees. “Harold could show up in ratty jeans and be stylish.” —Amy Kates
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