Does Your Mother Still Influence Your Fashion Choices?

Beauty & Style 13

FlickrA big part of the reason that I'm writing this blog today is because of my mother.

That's because my mother was born to shop.

My earliest memories are of playing in department stores. As I grew older, Mom and I bonded over frequent trips to the mall and lunches at The Zodiac in Neiman Marcus (still one of my favorite restaurants based solely on the nostalgia factor). Mom happily spent hours watching me trying on various outfits and critiquing how they looked. At the end of the day, we'd come home with arms full of shopping bags and a profound sense of well-being. Screw my C in Chemistry or my backstabbing best friend. I was going to look good, and that was all that mattered.

To this day, I feel lost when I'm shopping without her, and often find myself turning in front of a dressing room mirror, imagining what she would say if she could see me.

And to this day, I hear one of her favorite shopping phrases more often than I'd like ...

"What do you think of this dress?" I'd ask her as a teen after spending four minutes trying to zip it up. Sure, it was tight, but I liked to think of myself as a risk taker.

"Well," my mother would say in a tone tinged with vague melancholy. "If that's how you want to present yourself ..."

Those eight words were the kiss of death. Before my eyes, I transformed in the mirror from high-fashion to hooker. My face turned red and I quickly yanked down the zipper. "Well, I like it," I would mutter, but we both knew it was going in the discard pile.

"If that's how you want to present yourself" was my mom's way of saying she hated it, of course, and it always infuriated me to hear her say it, mostly because even if she was wrong, it didn't matter -- whatever I had on was forever after unwearable, tainted with my mom's doubt. Hideous.

To this day, I still hear her words in my head any time I try on something that's a little too tight. A little too low-cut. A little too daring.

"If that's how you want to present yourself ..."

And to this day, I rip the offending piece off in frustration, feeling once again like a 15-year-old.

I'm wondering now if I'm alone, or if your mother's opinions still influence your clothing choices -- whether you want them to or not.

What did your mom say when she didn't like your outfit? And do you still hear that voice in your head from time to time today?


Image via Amy Guth/Flickr


clothes, confessional


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Pbutt... Pbuttercup0625

For me, it is the other way around, she would pick out something I didn't like, and she would just look for "the lip".  I would involuntarily lift the top left corner of my lip in a curl and shrug, and she would put it back and say "never mind, I saw the lip". lol so no, my mom is not much of a shopper, and its usually me giving her advise :)

Ladyw... Ladywithtwo

What I want to know is where did you get the dress in the picture?  I LOVE IT!  My mom would too :)  She and I do give and take each others advice.


this made me think of my mom's catchpharase...." make good choices and wise decisions"..... Which always ended with me calling to my roomates, "hey let's not do that"......she's always been my favorite shopping buddy and always gives good advice!

Anne Sambora Ginsberg

I love that dress!  It is perfect for you.  Please share where you got it.

Jaymi Taylor

you are not alone, my mom was big, chunky while i was growing up and soon enough i was big too (still am, she got gastric bypass and weighs like 120) but she always chose my clothes for me until i was 14 or 15 once she started juat going with me and i got to choose she would tell me that the top was too low cut or something like that... now as a mom i still make sure im covered the right wayy (no one likes to see fat people dress as though they were half their size) and i make sure my daughter (3) is dressed properly.. she can't wear a shirt that goes past her belly button when she puts her arms up.. we check how long her shorts are to... no bikinis....i hope i can teach her the same clothing thankful my mom did

Heart... HeartCharmMama

My mom was a little mean when she didn't like my clothes.  And, YES, I still hear that nagging voice. ;) Glad I have my sisters.

I absolutely love and want that dress!!

Linds... LindsayFerrier

Sadly, that's not me in the photo, but I could SWEAR I've seen that dress before. Trying to remember where....

Marsh... MarshaCWP

I still hear my mother in my head despite the fact she's been dead for 17 years.  I'm nagging my children enough that they will hear me long after I'm gone, too.

My mom had many talents, but fashion wasn't one of them.  My sisters and I picked out her clothing for her, because otherwise, we wouldn't want to be seen with her in public.

nonmember avatar Sandy

My mom would just bring home clothes for me. Hideous, hideous clothes...which is strange because she has great fashion sense. I think she tries to sabotage me since she still buys me the ugliest sweaters for Christmas. I always just ignore it and continue on my fashion path.

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