My mom is many things, not the least of which
is hip. It’s rare to be able to go home and actually borrow stuff from your mother’s closet, but I do. She has a keen sense of personal style and has tried over the decades to cultivate mine. I think I can trace that back to 7th grade, when she not only bought me Hammer Pants to wear to school (with matching red suede high tops), but she encouraged me to wear them.
“Oh those are adorable!” she said. “And with those bells on the cuffs, I can hear you coming a mile away!”
So I was the one rocking Hammer Pants during the peak of adolescent angst, and I was doing it with pride. And it turns out, these pants were just a gateway drug. There would be brief foray into tie-die, a very deep love affair with velor (particularly in the purple pants variety) and eventually, a longstanding commitment to silver jewelery that would culminate, much later, in a nose ring.
It was my mom who encouraged what is still one of my all-time best flair purchases, an item unearthed on a sales rack in Filene’s Basement in Boston. It was long, hand-embroidered red silk jacket. Originally priced at $800, mine for a mere fraction. It was this jacket that I used as revenge against HR at a terrible job in Boston where they had hunted me down daily to look for dress code violations (they even called the VP of my department one day because the HR coordinator felt my leather Italian slip-ons were bordering on “sneakers”). Turns out that while they had a strict dress code even for casual Fridays, nowhere in their handbook did they say a word about the use of silk kimono jackets, a loophole I managed to exploit to the fullest. (I later heard it was amended to include not only kimonos, but also the “visually assaulting use of lime green and other neon colors,” which was my second-favorite move.) My mom taught me not to give a flying fishnet, and it was the best gift a girl could ask for.
But I can’t help but to compare us and realize that at my age, my mom was already an “adult.” Like, the non-disaster kind. The kind that wears matching socks, no matter how lazy she’s feeling, and who owns things called “slacks.” As I get older, I’m trying to reduce my flair-ups, in an effort to balance my closet with more work-appropriate attire. Not because I feel I have to, but because I want to dabble in this language my mother speaks so fluently. This thing called “classy.”
This was on my mind today when I went shopping. I sat there in front of the mirror I did what I always do: I wondered what my mom would say. Versatile? Good fit? Well-made? Worth the money? I tried to envision her responses.
So mom, while I didn’t buy you a gift , per say, you should know that I was totally thinking of you while I was shopping for myself this Mother’s Day. Especially when I purchased this:
Happy Mother’s Day to a fashionista, a practicalista, and the perfect life accessory.
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