Dr. La Verne Ford Wimberly continues to wear her Sunday best.
Ford, an 82-year-old retired principal from Tulsa, Oklahoma, has gone viral for getting dressed up over the last year while attending church services that have been held virtually due to the pandemic.
For months, Wimberly has posted photos on Facebook of herself in colorful dresses and a wide array of fancy hats, documenting each Sunday look.
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In a time when so many people are wearing sweats for video calls, Wimberly has eschewed the idea.
“I didn’t want to become a vagabond and I know that it takes 21 days to change a habit or even break a habit or get a new habit and if I had sat at home in my sweats or something like that, I probably would not have wanted to get dressed back up,” she told Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dreyer Friday on the 3rd hour of TODAY.
“So, it was just a matter of making myself feel good and also others who belong to my church so that’s why I started that post,” she added.
Wimberly, who has worn over 50 outfits for virtual services, has become a bit of a celebrity for refusing to keep it casual.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness, I can’t sit here looking slouchy in my robe,'” she told The Washington Post earlier this week. “I didn’t want to sit around alone and feel sorry for myself, so I decided, ‘You know what? I’m going to dress up anyway.’”
Wimberly also told Sheinelle and Dylan that she is surprised so many people are making a fuss over her.
“I really can’t believe all the attention that I have received the past two weeks,” she said. “I just can’t imagine what the fascination is, or the attraction is, for an 82-year-old woman that they keep calling and writing and texting. And I have just completed deleting about 800 friend requests.”
Wimberly says she never considered not dressing up because it was instilled in her as a child to do so for church.
“So, for 82 years, I’ve been putting on my Sunday best, and so it has become a real habit,” she said.
What’s next for Wimberly, with Easter looming?
“I’ll be wearing pink and black,” she said, modeling the hat she’ll wear.