What’s in Your Closet?

What’s in Your Closet?

PHOTOS AND STORY BY MARIA IANNUCCI

Fun hats, favorite colors, pretty party dresses, family heirlooms, something sporty, a tie for every occasion and everything in-between. Our closets are filled with things we wear, and things we don’t. Knowing that it’s time for spring cleaning, Inside Polk asked, “What’s in your closet that you could never part with?” These Polk residents answered and let us take a peek behind the closet doors.

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Kathy Prince: Hats

As the owner of Term-Lok Manufacturing in Haines City, Kathy Prince doesn’t often have the chance to wear one of her gorgeous hats, but that doesn’t stop her from finding a reason.

“Some say it takes attitude to wear a hat, but for me it is simply the desire to,” said Prince. “It feels to me that I have worn hats all of my life. In 1991, I opened The Bonnie Prince restaurant and hats became a signature trademark for me. What most people did not know was that hats were a much prettier alternative to hairnets. Because I wore them every day, I started buying them and people started giving them to me as well. I have some very old ones, some truly crazy ones, and some designer. I probably have around 50. The hat in the photo was handmade in New York, and a gift from a dear friend.”

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Merissa Green: Purple

 

Merissa Green, the Communications and Information Manager for the City of Auburndale, has always been an advocate of the color purple.

“I have been in love with the color purple since I was a little girl; it’s my happy color. My mood changes for the better when I am wearing it. Purple signifies strength and confidence to me. Most of the clothing in my closet is purple; I have purses, accessories, hats, even housewares and stationery in my favorite color. It relaxes me when I am surrounded by it. I even have my grandmother’s vintage purple hat; it’s one of my favorites.”

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Nyrka Riskin: South Beach

 

The program coordinator for the Professional Development Institute at Polk State Corporate College, Nyrka Riskin is a former resident of the Miami area. Naturally, she has a few trendy outfits in her closet that lean toward a South Beach style.

“I’ve lived in Lakeland for 10 years now,” said Nyrka. “I still wear the same clothes that I used to wear in South Florida. I am drawn to trendy outfits and anything that is flattering to your body shape. I’ve worn this outfit to a holiday party. It’s typical of what I would wear for a night on the town, such as for dinner or a night at the theater. It’s my style.”

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Jared Weggeland: Sports Shirts

Jared Weggeland, Director of Sales and Marketing for Southern Homes of Polk County, maintains a collection of sports shirts that remind him of home.

“I spent 12 years of my youth in England and France watching sports like cricket, Premier League football and rugby,” said Weggeland. “I still have a lot of family who remain in England and each time we visit, I collect shirts like this which represent Great Britain or my favorite football team, Arsenal, also known as the Gunners. Filling my closet with sport shirts from England helps me keep connected somewhat to my heritage, my family and my friends who I still love dearly.”

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David Steele: Custom-Made Bow Ties

The Director of Public Relations for the Florida Department of Citrus, David Steele, has had a long love affair with the bow tie.

“It started in high school; I wore one for my high school graduation,” said Steele. “I didn’t start collecting seriously until I moved to Savannah, and I now have somewhere between 100 and 150 in my closet.

“I love bow ties because they are still relatively unusual and ‘fresh’ – but they’re also something that my grandfathers wore back in the day. They’re ‘old’ and ‘new’ at the same time.

“Many of my ties are custom-made for me as conversions from traditional ‘long’ ties, and almost every one holds some sentimental value, either because of where and when I acquired it, what it depicts, or who gave it to me. Among my favorite one-of-a-kind ties are a citrus bow my wife gave me, a bow made from one of the first long ties I ever bought, one made from one of my late father-in-law’s favorite ties, one with the Polk State athletic logo, and several Master’s ties.”

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Stacie Rine: Handmade Beaded Dress and Combat Boots

National Aircraft Finance Company and Pilot Bank Vice President of Aviation Business Development Stacie Rine, who is also a former Navy pilot, is happy to have a couple of special items in her closet.

“The Princess dress is definitely something I don’t wear often,” said Rine. “Aside from the unique design, this dress holds an emotional significance. I bought it as a keepsake and a reminder of my time in the Persian Gulf, Dubai, and the infamous Burj Al Arab. As the world’s most luxurious hotel, it has a staff-to-guest ratio of 7:1, and they give an entirely new meaning to hospitality. It is no surprise that thousands of beads, pearls and sequins were sewn by hand onto this dress that weighs 9 lbs. And after wearing a flight suit and combat boots for months, there was no question this amazing dress was coming home to my closet.

Those boots have logged thousands of flight hours around the world, stood through hours of tactical briefs, walked on a lot of desert sand, across many airfields and slid on slick carrier decks. They’re just cool.”