We all know mother knows best and because we’re way too full from brunch to disagree — or come up with anything better — we’ll accept it. Of course, back in middle school you could have killed her when she showed up at your soccer game in a pair of cuffed, high-rise jeans and Topsiders (sooo not cool) but the more time goes by, the more we’ve come to realize there was something completely enviable about her sense of style.
You know, the almost magical way she’d put on her make up, her penchant for chunky knits and L.L. Bean boots in the winter. And the little dance she’d do in front of the mirror before asking, “So, what do ya think?” As kids, it was our job to tell her she looked pretty. And as a mom it was hers to dispense those “Pull your skirt down!” morsels of wisdom from the front seat of the minivan. Back then we’d roll our eyes. But today we find them almost nearly as delicious as the chocolate chips in her pancakes. So in the name of all things syrupy, here are a few of the too numerous too count lessons we learned from our moms. Our sartorial inheritances, if you will. See, mom, we were listening.
My mother wore Annick Goutal Eau De Toilette throughout my childhood. When she’d go away on business, I’d make her spray her perfume on something for me: a pillow, my teddy bear, a tee shirt, so that I could hold it when I missed her. Even after washing clothes or picking them up from the dry cleaner, my mother’s scent lingered on everything, most notably her collection of silk scarves which I adopted early on in my sartorial repetoire. Big necklaces, oversized sweaters, silk scarves, and attention to fragrance are the fashion tidbits I picked up from observing my mother get ready in her closet. — Ruthie Friedlander
If my mom taught me one thing I think it was to look for style in unexpected places. Much of my childhood was spent going on adventures in rustic Connecticut backyards on a quest for the perfect coffee table–often ending up with a random nicknack or twenty. Today my wardrobe has her unmistakable fingerprints all over it–in the quilted bag I found at a thrift store, the pair of broken in Fryes I got for $20 bucks from a guy who sold boots out of his garage and a closet full of randomness my friends often mine when they are completely bored with their stuff. Course she’d never admit it (really, Megan, a sequined jumpsuit?) but I know she loves when I call her in a fit of euphoria over my latest find.” — Megan Baldwin
My mom taught me that the value of a belt extends beyond keeping your pants up. That socks with even a small hole are probably just worth throwing away. And mainly that my ability to match clothes is severely lacking – so much so she still receives the occasional phone call in the morning. — Steve Krakauer
The most essential thing my mother taught me about fashion is the importance of good tailoring and good posture. When the two come together ‘style’ is almost always the result. — Glynnis MacNicol
Don’t let your tie peek out from the back of your collar! – Andrew Cedotal
I learned a few things from my mother: Being bold doesn’t necessarily mean being tacky, not to be afraid of shorter hair, and to not take your outfits (or yourself!!) too seriously. — Lindsay Van Kirk
To avoid neon like plague and that side ponytails always were and forever will be tacky. — Verena von Pfetten