Mixing and matching is an art learned round the world—then displayed at the hockey rink (among other fab places).
(page 1 of 10)
You shouldn’t confuse Merella Merulla with your typical soccer mom for two reasons.
One, it would be wrong: She is a hockey mom to sons Michael, 12 and Charles, 15.
Second, she certainly doesn’t navigate the rink in traditional sports-mom threads.
Instead, catch her in high stilettos, skinny jeans with a cuffed hem, a fabulous shirt with the requisite Merulla splash of bold, all topped with her signature Hermes scarf, which does nothing to thwart the hockey rink chill but does everything to stake her claim as a fashionista.
“I’m usually not dressed like the other moms, but this is how I feel comfortable,” the 48-year-old says. “I’m usually carrying heavy bags to hockey practice, but I don’t lose my high heels unless I’m exercising.”
Merulla makes her mark by putting an unusual spin on the usual suspects.
That may mean an unexpected cut on a classic suit, a jolt of color to wake up a sleepy top, or pairing an indie label with high-fashion fame.
She credits her mix-and-match method to her experiences growing up.
The daughter of a father in the oil biz, Merulla hopped from Canada to Venezuela to Washington to Spain to California before settling in Kennett.
“I spent my impressionable years in all sorts of places, observing different cultures, which I think influences me to pull from different things,” she says. “Fashion is all about being comfortable in your own skin, and I am.”
Case in point: fresh from the West Coast where mini-skirts were all the rage, Merulla had no problem showcasing her gams when she arrived in Kennett. “I guess [mini-skirts] didn’t get here yet because no one was wearing them,” she recalls.
Now that the world of fashion is favoring the maxi skirt, Merulla has come full circle.
A card-carrying member of Corporate America, Merulla has to balance her look between work and play.
As the director of sales and marketing at the Hotel du Pont, Merulla’s 9-to-5 is draped in elegance.
She says the hotel’s style influences her, so she adores wearing classy suits to work. Of course, she brings her own touch, be it her fiery red lipstick, brightly colored heels or her über-short, spiky hair.
“I like it because it’s different,” she says of her hair.
The hotel industry allows her a lot of travel time, so Merulla stocks up on pieces from around the globe.
When grounded, she enjoys boutiques that carry unique pieces, like Apricot Lane in Glen Mills.
Merulla takes her style home with her in the form of fabulous decor and design.
Her heels go clickety-clack on her stylish granite floors, and in typical Merulla fashion, she pairs highbrow elegance like a gorgeous chandelier with leopard-print dining room chairs.
“I don’t know how I’d define my look,” Merulla says. “But I think my best advice is to be fearless and to ignore age. You can absolutely look fabulous over 40. And mix the bold with the simple. Fashion changes constantly, but it’s a statement of you, so don’t be afraid to express.”
Page 2: The New Dry Cleaning