Welcome to the fourth monthly edition of Match made in Seven! We are an international group of fashion bloggers who meet once a month. One of us chooses a theme in turn, and that can be anything. A book, music, a color, a movie. Then we each style an outfit based on that theme. The theme for this month is Best of British. Our lovely friend from the UK, Anna of MuttonStyle, picked this theme to bring attention to the fact that there is much to be thankful for despite the politics happening not only in the UK but here in the US and around the world.
My pick for the theme Best of British was easy to determine: my wonderful Mother-in-Law, Kathleen. The daughter of a British war bride, she epitomizes all good things that came of her British heritage.
Kathy’s Amazing Best of British Story
Daughters of the British Empire Or DBE
Kathy served in a philanthropic organization called DBE, or Daughters of the British Empire, for most of her life. Just last year, at age 88, she was honored for 60 years of service! Imagine that! She served in a number of roles at the state level as well as National First Vice President.
The members participate in a number of events, such as English Teas, various Bazaars, Dinner Dances, Garage Sales and the like. The Oregon Chapter even has a booth at the Highland Games!
DBE formed in 1921 after WWI in New York City for the war brides who emigrated to America. An even larger influx of war brides followed WWII. The purpose of the group was to support these women and to help them feel a part of their new country. A larger purpose was to create good relations between the two countries: the UK and the US.
Membership was then extended to women residing in the U.S. who are of British or British Commonwealth birth or ancestry, which includes women from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Jamaica, Scotland, Wales, Pakistan, India, and anywhere else the British Empire left its mark around the world.
DBE’s ultimate goal was to raise funds to support women’s retirement homes located in New York, South Carolina, Texas, the Midwest, and Southern California.
The membership of this national organization is slowly dwindling, for obvious reasons, as there are no longer (or few) war brides from Britain or elsewhere.
British and German Ancestry
Kathy was born and raised in Oregon. Her mother was the war bride and she settled in Oregon with her veteran husband of WWI. Her mother, Kathleen Baston, was from Leicestershire, England and met her future father at a USO dance while her father was stationed in Stanford, England. This was a common story at the time, as Kathy points out that so many men were lost during WWI and married American soldiers.
Her father, Adolf Julius Sommer, served in WWI. His family had settled in Wisconsin around 1859 and were loyal Americans. He went by the name “Jack” to escape the stigma associated with his German surname, and while he was fluent in German, he did not teach it to his kids. A sign of the times.
Forever Fierce and Stylish
At 89 years old, my mother-in-law is the same intelligent woman I’ve known for the past 42 years. She continues to stay active by participating in book clubs, walking, going to the gym and reading avidly. Hers is an elegant classic style and she always presents as a stylish and classy lady. She is beloved by all who know her, including me.
Like my mom, Kathy was a professional working mom–not the stereotypical June Cleaver stay-at-home mom of the ’50s. She had and has many friends and admirers from her working life.
And that is why, rather than trying to style an outfit like Kate Middleton (I don’t think I look that great in those little hats that look so cute on her! Lol!), I chose my Mother-in-Law, Kathy, as the subject for Best of British.
If you’re like me, you are VERY curious as to how these wonderful ladies interpreted the Best of British theme! Be sure to check out their posts below:
The ladies of Match Made in Seven:
Debbie of https://www.debbiestyleslife.
Darlene of https://aquamarinastyle.com/
Sonja of https://www.yustsome.nl/
Bettye of https://fashionschlub.com/
Anna of https://www.muttonstyle.com/
Emma of http://www.style-splash.com/
Nancy of https://www.
What do you think of when you consider Best of British?
Until next time…