A fabulous muse is the best accessory
When it comes to fashion, we are surrounded by all types of influences. Models in the glossies, stars in moving pictures, our closest friends and ever-present social media to cite a few.
When I was younger, I lived for the day Teen Vogue magazine arrived. I wanted to be a carbon copy of the Olsen twins (and… still do, what’s up Olsen’s?) If my bestie bought a “Saved by the Bell” tee-shirt, you know who had the same one the very next day. But the role model in my life for what it means to be a woman was my mama.
Growing up, people would look at my sisters and I, and debate if we looked more like our mom or dad. Let me just say, dad rocked a thick black mustache for most of my childhood... I can remember swelling with pride when anyone compared me to mom. To me, she was (and still is) all things beautiful, selfless, and strong.
There are many ways mum’s influence who we are and one of them is the way we dress. From sewing and making clothes, to dressing us when we are too little to chose for ourselves. A mother shapes her children’s lives, and is a girl’s first example of how to dress and act.
I can remember sitting on her bed, watching her put on make-up, getting ready every morning, looking on in awe. She was beautiful. She smelled like a garden. I was enchanted. She possessed something I wanted to have someday. Poised and graceful. It was like watching her transform into a masterpiece. A walking work of art. Daddy always showered her in compliments. Her eyes sparkled. Her skirt twirled. I wanted to be just like her. I had an endless amount of adoration for my mom, and took to imitating her every move.
Mom was always fashionable, but what made her different was how she wore an air of elegance. I recall every family outing, us kids sitting in the car in the driveway waiting for mom. A combination of our impatient dad, honking the horn, (such a guy) and my mom, who would emerged in a poof of perfume, rolling her eyes. Lipstick on point. Hair perfectly coiffed. Looking breezy and effortless. She always stunned, even in blue jeans and a tee-shirt. Pictures from her growing up reveal a long brown haired freckled beauty. A total 70s hippie knockout. She was tall, lean and always wore a sun-kissed glow. Then she pulled off looks from those crazy 80s like it was nothing. Big hair. Neon. No problem. Photographs from our childhood show her looking picture perfect. There’s a home video from when I was born of her, absolutely glowing and powdering her nose. She was so ladylike! Even after just giving birth! Even on early holiday mornings, there she was, bright faced, striking green eyes, looking demure and like us girls, all in matching pajamas (sometime dad too.) And then all of us coordinating for the day, mom taking the time to do each of our hair in braids or curls, with stick-on earrings, so we could be like her.
I would describe my mom’s overall look a mix of bohemian, feminine, with a western edge. Turquoise jewelry, is what comes to mind. Pretty printed scarves and cool belts with funky buckles. Lots of ankles boots. (My vintage bandana collection was passed down from her.) On a night out mom would turn into a Hollywood starlet. I can remember parading around and trying on her things from the jewelry box and her on her way to a party, coming into my bedroom to kiss me goodnight, a waft of her scent and a swish of the perfect matching dress.
My mom and grandmothers taught me fashion is 50/50. Part what you wear, part how you wear it. Mom always looked and acted comfortable in her own skin. More than any style or look, my take-away from studying the matriarchs of my family from a young age, was wear what makes you feel good. You can make a brown sack look good if you combine it with confidence, a smile, and a great pair of shoes.
My mom never said you have to wear this or act this way. She let my sisters and I chose for ourselves. I think that’s a big reason I enjoy fashion so much, and experimenting with style. Fashion isn’t about one identity. I believe personal style is an evolution, but it’s the primary women in my life who helped shape my perception as being worthwhile and beautiful. Confidence takes time to build. Grace is not a given.
Beauty, selflessness, and strength are characteristics you can read about in a magazine or watch in a movie, but to truly emulate grace and style it helps to be brought up among it. These are the kind of women I want to be. Hats off to you mama! Here’s to big sunhats, pretty white dresses and to our moms.