My Mother's Wardrobe: An Extension of My Style
As a child, did you ever delve into a family members’ wardrobe and have a full-fledged dress-up session? I’ve heard countless, and might I add, humorous stories from friends about invading the wardrobes of their older siblings. Unfortunately, I don’t get the pleasure of reminiscing over ‘that time my older sister nearly self-imploded upon finding me prancing around in her Dior haute couture from the then-latest spring collection’ because I, ladies and gentlemen, was an only child until the age of twelve. So, who’s wardrobe is a young, curious, and artistically-inclined little girl supposed to raid without an older sister to victimize? Well, as you smart snickerdoodle cookies may have guessed (or read from the title), it was none other than my mother dearest (cue the innocent smile and batting of the lashes).
In elementary school, I was bound and determined to make her maxi length wool wrap skirt (with brilliant black and burgundy color blocking) ‘work’ on my tiny frame, while simultaneously in attempt to balance in her three-sizes-too-big black supple leather pumps with gold hardware (which I unfortunately outgrew by the age of fifteen). I also developed a secret love for her blouses and sweaters. I was so enamored by the vast amount of fabrics, colors and cuts- I could never seem to resist grabbing one and slipping it over my head, occasionally being blessed by her signature scent, which I still find blissfully nostalgic. With the sweaters, I learned at a young age that there was a sort of statement to be made by something that was casually oversized. Yet, at other times I felt that they needed to appear more ‘tailored’, and so being the little problem solver that I am (and one who loves a challenge), I learned to strategically tuck, pull and synch in a way that produced a look that I found the most visually appealing. It’s an indubitable habit and technique that I consciously use until this very day.
Now, with regard to my philosophy on how exactly I see my mother’s wardrobe as being an extension of my own sense of style, it’s rather poetic, if I do say so myself. I established in my previous post how style is a form of individual expression, and to further my philosophy- I believe that in similarity to individual beings (in terms of their personalities and mentalities), personal style may mature and evolve over time, but there will always remain innate characteristics that resonate forever. My mother being my prime example- over time her wardrobe has remained consistent and unchanged in the sense that she fills it with an overwhelming amount of neutral staples that have a major versatility factor, jewel toned pieces for an ‘understated and elegant’ vibe and statement pieces that are strategically timeless, as opposed to being merely trendy*. Although, her physical wardrobe was, and is, only a portion of the equation that has contributed to the development of my own sense of style.
As a child, it was as if she had unconsciously used a form of Pavlovian conditioning by her very presence and appearance (the conditioned stimulus, if you will). In my mind, she was the picturesque ideal of the poised, elegant and refined woman that I naturally aspired to be (aspiration being the unconditioned stimulus)- hence, it only seems natural that throughout the years I have subconsciously adopted not only her demeanor and unique mannerisms, but also certain aspects of her style (the conditioned response). She has been my inspiration in every way imaginable since day one, making it seemingly logical that she also play the role of my true style icon. I have not only adopted her stylistic preferences for clothing and the like, but most importantly, I have adopted the philosophy that style is not just about a choice in clothing- it is about expression, confidence, emotions and the story being told. Forever grateful.
A vow to the arts, till death do us part.
xx Dressed to Death xx
* trendy (adj.): marked by ephemeral, superficial, or faddish appeal or taste