‘For some young fashion lovers, the hottest place to shop is mother’s closet’
Every young girl has done it- cracked open the door of her mother’s closet and peeked inside, gently touching the silk skirt of a gown here and stroking the furry fringe of a coat there. If she’s brave enough, she’ll even dare to slip on a dress, hike up the trailing hem and strike a pose in front of the mirror. For that dark, cool closet is hallowed ground, and its holy grail are carefully tucked inside garment bags and hung on racks while they wait for their next turn in the spotlight.
But then the girl grows up, the clothes starts to fit and that closet starts to look more like a boutique then a big box of dress-up clothes.
For some, like me, shopping Chez Mom, was an enviably easy task. Since we had same tastes, there was a lot of pieces I liked. It was always sort of last minute- I would need a jean jacket that makes this outfit more casual.
Over the year, I have acquired more unusual pieces. I have assembled a collection of LBD (Little Black Dresses) from all era of and style, from the early 20’s to now, which have caught my own daughter eyes. It has always delighted me to lend them to her as my mom had done for me. For the most part I do share peaceful sartorial relationship with my daughter but I do have boundaries ‘’the very expensive collectable and fragile stuff is off-limits. Especially if she is going to a party and people are going to mess it up with drinks, food and make-up.
I’m sort of nervous with the borrowing of some gowns. Borrowing can be tricky. I have to not be in a fat phase or if it’s a certain time of the month, no one can come near my closet not even my own daughter! I do enjoy sharing my closet with my more conservative daughter. What I like to do with her is accessorize If she says ‘’ I’m just going to wear this minimalist black LBD, then I will say ’’ well, you should stop by the shoes inventory’’. It’s like playing stylist!
In many lucky cases, symbiotic fashion relationships are a family tradition. For example, since I regularly go on shopping sprees for ERA VINTAGE WEAR, returning with Courrèges ,Dior, etc… It is no surprise that my daughter has made a regular habit of popping into my closet for a quick fix.
I will let my daughter take anything. She has pulled out my black Chanel boots for a New Year’s bash and everyone was asking her what those were and what year, and materials. However, I don’t always love our open-door policy. If she does not bring them back it’s bad. I have a fairly organised closet (a bedroom completely transform) I have specific sections for everything: clothes, belts, sunglasses, jewelry, scarves, etc… Its great when I want or she wants to do a walk in- walk out raid, because you can find everything.
A girl takes a mental note of the stock of her mother’s fripperies. There is something from childhood, when your mother is getting ready and you see her as a princess. You become obsess with the transformation.
I would see my mom get dressed and put on her perfume L’Air du Temps, and go out with my dad, and I would think ‘’Someday maybe I can wear a Yves St-Laurent dress that twinkles all over’’ and sky high stylettos.
My childhood dream came true after waiting patiently: one day when I was able to borrow a white strapless silk jersey jumpsuit suit my mom wore to Studio 54 for my Prom night, I felt like the queen of it all in it! I was secretly a little nervous because it is not easy – it’s white , it’s strapless and I am 16!... But she told me never wear anything that has more attitude then you do…. but I had attitude and I went with it and didn’t care.
I also felt like that when I wore my first fur coat at 19. The fantasy materialised after my mom passed away. It was sentimental but I had wait all my life to wear it: white silver fox short coat. I remember thinking it was the most beautiful thing and being from Montreal, I felt no guilt as we must find ways to be stylish in subzero climat.
But there’s more to the appeal of the hand-me-down frock than a famous label and a couple of ostrich feathers. It’s something that somebody you love very much cared about. It meant something to them, and when you wear that, you feel special.