Fashion Forward: Mother knows best
Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 01:05
This Sunday, women across the country will celebrate their first style icon—their mothers. I swear moms have superpowers—they work, advise, run households, put up with angsty teens and read minds, too. But who knew moms could be fashion muses?
I’ve been blessed with wonderful women in my life that have greatly influenced my style. My grandmother instilled in me a love for ladylike fashions, classic silhouettes and elegant designs, while my aunt inspired chic, high fashion taste—stylish dresses, vintage Miu Miu blazers and fun sparkly pieces from the ’80s and ’90s. But if there’s anyone who has truly understood my personal aesthetic, it’s my mother. Her eclectic taste involves vintage shopping, lots of layering and a nod of approval for tomboy-chic. She applauds creativity and thinks outside of the box, and if it weren’t for her, I never would’ve ventured outside of my comfort zone, experimented with colors and textures or developed a strong sense of confidence in dressing. There’s nothing like looking through your mother’s old-school photographs: that Farrah Fawcett hair, ’80s working girl shoulder pads and ’90s “mom jeans”—literally. Sorry People magazine, but whip out an old-school picture of mom and suddenly Beyoncé doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to the “Most Beautiful Woman In The World.” They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but it can also be the most valuable style inspiration better than anything Vogue has to offer.
A few years ago I stumbled upon a vintage photo of a gorgeous woman strutting down a runway. She had an uncanny familiarity, though I couldn’t pinpoint who she was. I asked my mom to identify the mystery woman, to which she casually replied, “Oh, that’s me in a fashion show in the early ’70s.” It’s hard to believe moms had lives before they had us, let alone such unbelievably stylish ones. She was sporting a mustard-colored halter dress with orange chevron detailing and the cutest white platform sandals—I doubt stores today carry anything so stunning. It became my favorite picture for style inspiration, and the ’70s became a serious fashion phase for me. To channel that era, combine the color scheme of a ’70s couch—mustard yellow, burnt orange, olive green and hues of gold and brown. Sport a “Charlie’s Angels” look with a floppy hat, secretary blouse and oversized sunglasses, or go boho with flowy maxi dresses and fun hair accessories like headbands, feathers and braids. Some of my earliest memories with my mother involve shopping with her. Weekly outings involved thrift shops and flea markets. Even if it was just a trip to window shop, she believed sifting through hidden treasures was never a waste of time. Selecting antique jewelry is my mother’s forte, and she has an eye for quality and a love for craftsmanship.
If it wasn’t a vintage shop, my mom would head to another favorite destination for shopping, Eddie Bauer. As a little girl, petticoats and tiaras were more my taste, so when my mom shopped for flannel shirts in the men’s section, I wasn’t impressed. But eventually her tomboy-utility chic rubbed off on me, and she taught me to mix menswear in a way that was both flattering and chic.
What’s the first thing I do when I stare at my self-proclaimed “empty” closet full of clothes but leaves me with nothing to wear? I raid my mom’s closet. From floral prints to leather skirts, going back in time is the best ingredient for adding some spice to your style. My mom’s Bass Loafers and her boots from the ’90s are daily staples of mine today. Ask your mom for any pieces she’s saved up so you can mix the past and the present to create an interesting and stylish outfit. Mothers always know best—even when it comes to fashion.