Diana Vreeland once described style by saying “It helps you get down the stairs.” What if you have to get down the stairs with a limp? The brilliant Jane Bowles (1917–1973) walked with a limp–the result of a teenage illness. To call attention to it–and remind herself of her difference–she wore a band aid on her permanently locked leg–an accessory like no other. As in her utterly original work, Bowles looked like no one else. There was her leg, of course; added to that was her close cropped hair, and spectacles, and indecision–thinking as another accessory. To really understand Bowles, Alice Toklas once observed, you had to watch her try and cross the street. But no one followed her. A much respected writer friend who has taught Bowles’ work told me there was “no way into,” her writing, meaning it defied critical analysis. Which is another definition of style, that which trumps fashion: it is yours, no one else can own it, let alone chart it’s process. The stylish are generous in this respect: their originality allows us to dream about our own, if we can achieve it.