Birdie is an accomplished actress, playwright, comedian and a Maine native. She’s also Maine’s most recognized television commercial personality, known best as being the former Mardens lady. Here’s what she thinks about fashion in Maine.
Define Maine style in a few sentences.
Maine style is shopping at discount stores, malls, consignment stores, Goodwill, small town Main Street stores, work clothes, church rummage sales, L.L and hand me downs from your neighbor or your niece or sisters closet or somebody (hopefully who had good taste and you like their style.) Maine Style is whatever you can afford – putting it together in the most creative fashion of your choice. And coming out looking like a million!
How does the way people dress here differ than elsewhere in the country?
We’re fearless. Taking who we are to the edge, we don’t care, we’ll get into our crop tops, Carhartts, winter boots, tight jeans, flannel shirts, splash on the bling, favorite torn up sweatshirt, tottering in high heels or lobstermen cowboys in rain slickers – wearing whatever we’re wearing with a sense a pride. Who we are – bring it on – expressing ourselves!
Do you think fashion in New England is underrated? Or perhaps overrated?
There’s absolutely nothing – nothing in Maine or New England should ever be underrated – we’re wild up here. We’re entrepreneurs, creative, innovative and inventive and doing our own thing. Long as we got lipstick and snow cleats we’re good to go. Reality is there’s a of lot baby boomers now a days and we’re not our mothers. We want to look kicky and sexy, practical and smart. And that goes for guys too. Nothing like a Maine version of a cowboy. Also I think there’s a slow but growing awareness of the expansive Arts community in Maine, which is affecting fashion.
We’ve been on a few “worst dressed” lists. Why do you think that is? And did they get it wrong?
I think we’ve been on the worst dressed lists because fashion fanatics actually think we have icebergs up here and no one ever wanted to button up and bother to come really see what we looked like. Did they get it wrong? Yes, look around. I don’t know where you go but seems’ to me we’re all looking quite beautiful no matter what our style. And Mainers – generally speaking – have a really good sense of humor. If you’re wearing a smile, you’re good to go.
How has your personal style been influenced by living in Maine?
For a time there was less opportunity for fashion, less awareness. My mother wore heavy wool plaid skirts over her girdles, lumpy sweaters and ugly shoes – I just knew what not to do. I’m going for cotton and silk and fleece, great tights, sweet scarves, long sweaters and short skirts. I like going from cold to hot – makes me get to play with the seasons.
Be honest: do you think Mainers are fashionable?
Yes. We’re a new age, social media and retail has now brought the fashion to us. It’s just all about who you are, how you express yourself and the fun you have playing with your own ‘Brand’ of putting it all together and calling it – fashion.
Thanks to Birdie for being such a treat! And to view past Maine Style series, click right here.