From a young age, my mom has passed on to me a penchant for bows, polka dots, skirts, navy-inspired blouses, and classic, ladylike styles. When she and her sisters were in high school and college, they used to have all of their clothes custom designed and custom made. She and my aunts would flip through magazines together to look for style inspiration, then make trips to the fabric store together to pick out fabrics. They would then take their designs to their tailor, who would sew together whatever they wanted in their sizes.
Photo of Mom and Dad from 1977 in Tokyo - The jacket Mom is wearing was designed by her and custom made for her. I love the adorable stripes and collar. Dad is looking stylish himself in a pinstriped suit.
My aunt (Dad's side - left) and Mom (right) at Yale in 1979 - Mom is stylish in a long, red wool coat, boots, and thick, straight-cut bangs
[Left:] Mom and Dad at Yale in 1977- Plaid and a chic tote never go out of style. [Right:] Grandma and Mom in New York in 1981 - I love the white babydoll shirt Mom is wearing here.
Luckily for me, I get to borrow from her extensive closet and wear her hand-me-downs. Mom generously donated an armful of her fine quality, wool pencil skirts to me recently, which I then tailored to my size. There's a gray, wool Ralph Lauren skirt that I especially love for work. I'll do an outfit post featuring the skirt soon. Surprisingly, this was the first time I've ever had to alter something to make it looser... some of the waists on some of her older skirts (from when she was in her 40s) measured less than 22 inches (despite being a size 2 or 4)! This goes to show the extent of vanity sizing in the present (a 00 in J Crew usually accommodates a 24 inch + waist)...not to mention that my (also petite) mom was incredibly slender.
The pair of gold necklaces I wear in many of my photos are also from my mom. She bought them a long time ago during a trip to Japan. If there's one place where my mom and her sisters love to shop, it's Japan.
One great thing about my mom is that she doesn't get all hung up about labels and isn't a fashion snob. If there's a design she likes, she'll buy it. Not only that, she's also become more and more of a practical shopper... she always looks for great deals and bargains.
I've already thought of a perfect future birthday gift for her... an entire bedroom in her house remodeled and converted into a large, walk-in closet. Happy Birthday to my fashionable, inspiring mom!
Do you borrow clothes from anyone? Who are your style inspirations?