QU’s Fashion Corner: Mother knows best

Sarah Rosenberg

In elementary school, personal style just didn’t exist. When it came to dressing for the school day, my mother already had denim overalls and jelly sandals picked out. To match, colorful scrunchies for pigtails were always on hand. I recall having to fight my mother to let me wear my favorite sunflower-printed dress at least once a week in kindergarten, but I almost always lost that fight. But, looking back at old pictures of myself, waiting at the bus stop with a golden retriever printed onto my shirt, I looked adorable! She must have known what she was doing, as now, instead of my mother organizing my wardrobe, I’m simply wearing hers. Shocking, right?

I don’t know many women who can say they share clothes with their mother, but I am one of the lucky few who have been granted the secrets of some everlasting trends, including her knowledge of early ’70s bohemian glam. Like a fine wine, my mother’s fashion has only gotten better with age. I wonder how she knows what cardigans still look good with jeans or how she knows that fringed moccasin boots are completely in style right now (a smoky gray pair currently resides on her birthday list as we speak).

It’s no surprise then, that I may find some hidden gems she keeps stowed away in her closet. She hardly throws anything out, but she rarely wears them either. So I, being the loyal daughter that I am, have chosen to take some items off of her hands and wear what she deems out of style. On the contrary, she has unknowingly provided some pieces I’ve already worn on campus. Would you even believe that I’ve received compliments on them? My new favorite find of hers is a long, black wool cardigan with gold buttons. I’ve already worn it with brown leggings and jeans with cognac suede boots. Sure, the sweater has some holes and it is pulling a bit, but I think it has character. It has the wear and tear of a fashionably seasoned woman. When people ask me where I got it from (and believe me, they have), they’re surprised when I tell them it used to belong to my mother.

Along with the wool sweater, I dug up a sleeveless, cream-colored silk blouse that fits my body perfectly. It’s to be expected, as I was given my mother’s shape at birth and am basically destined to dress like her. Maybe it’s genetics that brought our fashion sense together, but either way, I’m convinced we are on the same level when it comes to style. Expect this top to be worn a few nights in the upcoming weeks-I already picked out wedges and ripped skinny jeans to be worn with it.

What most people probably forget about their parents is that they lived through the decades we are now bringing back to the runway, calling the looks of those past years “retro” and “vintage.” The oversized sunglasses, tall leather boots, vests, leather jackets, color block tights, and even printed scarves are trends they helped to make famous. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home from a shopping trip to show my mother a new purchase only to hear her go on about she had a top that looked just like it when she was my age. Upon my purchase of a flowered, puff-sleeved blouse with an elastic bottom, my mother told me I wasted money on a top she probably could have found in our basement.

Even in those olden days when I would throw a tantrum about her choice of an outfit for me to wear that day, I completely rocked whatever obnoxiously flowery, over-the-top, cartoon-inspired attire she laid out. The woman knew what she was doing. A decade later, I can finally appreciate the workings of her mind when it comes to clothes. It shows when I stock up on a handful of her old vests and blouses.

I feel confident in whatever I wear of hers. Call it strange, but maybe mother does know best, even when it comes to fashion.