Although there are several people I would name as fashion inspirations, it is my mother who deserves the highest acknowledgment. While other fashionistas of influence know how to assemble stylish outfits quicker than you can say Yves Saint Laurent, my mother can make outfits.
I remember her at the sewing machine, foot on the pedal, making matching shirts and overalls, the cute-as-can-be sunsuits, Easter outfits, and the flower girl dresses my sister and I wore the first time we were in a wedding.
To this day I joke that it was the best night of my life. For a girl who played with worms, loved to build forts and got muddy in soccer games, I had never felt more beautiful in my life. The dresses were made of taffeta with crinoline under the skirt and a sash at the waist in reverse colors of lilac and white. That very special dress still hangs in my closet and it will always remind me of a very special night.
My mother ingrained in me a classic sense of style. She dressed my sister and I like little girls when we were little, was there for us during the â€œawkward yearsâ€? and let us develop our own style as we came into it. She taught me about Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O and how a lady should always look like a lady. Most importantly, I appreciate that she encouraged my interpretation of classic dressing and understood that I wanted to add my personality to it.
My mother is very modest and would not call herself a fashion maven. But I think she is. When I was little, I remember my parents getting ready for special occasions and as I popped in and out of their bedroom, I would watch my mother apply her makeup, do her hair and get dressed last. Then she would emerge from her bedroom dressed in something perfectly chic with lipstick on and Chanel No 5 lingering behind her. She radiated effortless beauty and still does today. (Why do you think so many of my columns are about easy breezy and effortless chic?)
Now when she gets dressed for a night out, she asks me which shoes she should wear or what necklace to put on. It’s no surprise that by now, we normally agree on the selection.
1. The flowergirl dresses. Being beautiful is tiring.
2. In our Easter Sunday best.
3. Weekend casual.
4. All grown up.