Has your mother influenced your style? Does your daughter take your advice on what to wear or does she laugh and roll her eyes? Size issues aside, do you play 'share' with your wardrobe and accessories or are you poles apart on the style front? This series tackles some of these questions and more by talking to some stylish mothers and their daughters.
As the mother of two daughters, 21 and 26 years, who have returned to the nest after university and travels, I am fascinated by our evolving relationships. Naturally, they have both developed their own very different and unique style of dress. I look towards them for updates often. (Three wardrobes instead of one? Thank you very much.) They, however, have moved on from taking my clothes for what they call long loan (and I call lost forever). Handbags, scarves and head wraps are about their limit. I thank the Goddess of all things good and wonderful that we wear a different shoe size.
I have a vague recollection of my own mothers style from when I was very young. I remember a baby pink polyester pants suit that I thought she looked fabulous in and a suedette coat with fur trimming that I used to prance around the house wearing when she wasn't aware. When I reached my teens, my mothers interest in fashion seemed to wane as she was busy trying her best to juggle bringing up four children and navigate the emotional landscape of her divorce. It was she who taught me to sew one long summer, at fifteen. From then fashion and style became all about our arguments on what I could and couldn't wear in public. I had moved on from a phase where I wore the same multi-coloured seersucker jeans (procured on my first trip to New York at 13. Oh the excitement!) every day. My body was changing quickly but the mind inside it was naive and completely oblivious to The World. So the black satin pencil skirt with the zipped thigh split that I designed and made to wear to the school disco at 14 years, was a definite HELL NAW.
For this series I asked a few questions and simply let the women do the rest. The topic becomes less important as they talk. Their memories unravel and the warmth in their relationship soon becomes clear. This particular episode gives us a bonus. Just as we sat down to begin the interview Sashas mum, Fidelis, popped in to their South London home. Such an animated trio together. Three opinionated women I felt privileged to catch in conversation.
Eden, 17, and her mother Sasha who is in her mid-forties, didn't seem to see eye to eye on Style. Why should they? The conversation was lively and good-natured peppered with old school wisdom.
'Sometimes mums style is alright. But sometimes things don't seem to go together! Each piece individually I like but the style isn't right'.
'I don't feel like I'm at an age where I need to wear heels or that I have to experiment with colours. I love trainers. My main colours are black, grey and white. Its hard to change your wardrobe. In my generation its all about looks. If a girl is interested in someone the first thing you look at is their shoes. For me I think it's a lack of confidence. I don't want to step out of my comfort zone as I'm shy. I don't like attention brought to me via my clothes so I wear everyday streetwear. I do ask mum to choose between two outfits because I don't know how to make final decisions on what to wear. But I follow my own instincts in the end'.
On the topic of borrowing clothes Sasha and Eden couldn't agree at all. 'Mum steals my clothes more than I steal hers!', Eden protested.
'Mum has never bought an item of clothing for me that I didn't like. She knows I'm very specific. When I was young one of my favourite outfits was a brown knee-length Zara coat that I'd wear with my Kickers shoes. I just felt so 'cool' in it whenever I went out'.
'Eden's not ready for me yet! Eden is of the 'Kardashian nation' - skinny jeans, tracksuits, trainers and everything black. I love and have lots of different clothes that I keep and go back to. Vintage and new I like to mix and match. I think I have quite a classic style'.
'I don't like my clothes to fall apart so I shop for quality. I'm not a rummager or a high street shopper particularly. I do like Net-a-Porter online but I also love a shopping experience. I like to browse without any pressure. Eden doesn't appreciate the value of clothing yet. Because she buys for fashion and relatively cheap'.
'My mum has a good eye. I get my style from my own mum'.
Fidelis nodded approvingly as she expanded on this.
'I used to shop on the Kings Road, Chelsea, all the time during the 60's. I loved to save up for something I wanted. I know my clothes. Sasha and Eden are very different characters which is why they can't really relate'.
'When I was eight I LOVED a David Charles dark green velvet waistcoat and skirt suit my mum bought for me. I still love it and it hangs in my wardrobe. You can see that it's well made even now. Quality and class. At the time I knew it was special. At school I was known as quite the dresser'.
'I kept all of Eden's clothes. I paid a lot of money for them at the time so I kept them just in case I had another child. I do like to go through them and reminisce. After Eden was born I focused less on my wardrobe and more on her. Even mum said "Make sure you buy something for yourself!".
'I always saw things I wanted to buy for Eden'.
Sashas advice to her only child started to focus on style.
'There's always going to be something fantastic next season. Its okay to let something go. Explore your style. Don't be afraid to be different. Yet I'm sure I did a similar thing'. She added. 'I'd say about Life to keep an open mind about everything'.
I asked Eden what her mother had taught her and she chose to focus on Life lessons. Was that because, style wise, she and her mother are too far apart? Who knows. Either way her mums advice lingered:
'You've taught me to be independent. That any bad situation will pass. So if I feel scared about something or when I feel shy I know that it won't last long. And that everything happens for a reason - even the bad things. Sometimes good things can come from bad'.
This duo may seem very different but they both share a knowledge of what suits them and what they love to wear. As time has passed Sashas focus has swung from herself towards Eden. Then, as her daughter has grown into her own style, Sasha is back to concentrating on her own needs. Well, clothing wise anyway.
What about you? Do you have any style advice to pass on? I'd love to hear your views on Mother vs Daughter style.
Next in this series: A creative duo with a mutual attraction to shine and sparkle.