Article by Wendy McCance
When I was a kid, times were different. Many moms stayed home. They also dressed the part of a woman who had put her own life aside for the benefit of the children. My mom was one of those women. She was not into fashion by any means. She never did anything fancy to her hair, wore makeup or had on nail polish. The only time she had jewelry on was for special occasions.
My mom was by no means a girlie girl. Her clothing was no-nonsense and her shoes sensible and orthopedic looking. When I was in my teens, I really got into experimenting with makeup. I wouldn’t go out until my hair was curled and hairsprayed to hold it in place. This was the era of big hair and lots of makeup and I was definitely a fan.
My mom used to get upset about the amount of time I spent each day getting ready. I would wake up an hour and a half before school just so I could look my best. My mom used to say that if I put as much effort into studying as I did getting ready each day, I would be an A student.
My mom didn’t understand my need to look nice. I didn’t understand her lack of interest in celebrating the fact that she was a woman by following the rituals of putting on makeup, having a nice hairstyle and wearing a fashionable outfit.
All these years later, I have daughters of my own. I still enjoy wearing makeup, styling my hair, wearing nail polish and dressing fashionably. It makes me feel confident and good about myself.
My daughters have definitely followed in my footsteps. My middle schooler is constantly begging to wear makeup. I have told her that for her 13th birthday, we will go to Sephora where she can have a makeup lesson and get some age appropriate makeup. This is the same thing I did for my oldest daughter’s 13th birthday. It was a special rite of passage for her and for me.
This morning my younger daughter (the one in middle school) was in my room raiding my closet. She is old enough now and big enough that she can fit into some of my clothing. She is also fond of wearing my jewelry. Today she found a shirt that looked great on her. This is when I took pause and questioned my own sense of style.
How is it that a girl who is on the edge of becoming a teenager and a mom in her 40’s are able to wear a few of the same items? What does it say about me that I have clothing that a kid in middle school thinks is cool to wear?
I have to admit, it was a bit uncomfortable. I know styles have changed dramatically since I was a kid. In general woman age much differently these days. They also tend to dress a bit younger than their moms did. Even so, I began evaluating my own clothing choices. Was I wearing age appropriate clothing or did I look desperate to be young again?
I have come to the conclusion that I am over analyzing this whole sharing clothes thing. My oldest daughter never raided my closet. Until recently our styles and choices of clothes were nothing alike. So when my younger daughter began to obsess over the items I wore, it really threw me through a loop.
So after some honest soul-searching I decided that my clothes were just fine. My daughter has worn some of my sweatshirts, a button down shirt and today a sweater. For her the oversized look is in so she is able to wear the clothes that on me are rather form-fitting.
It’s fun to see the girls growing up and their style begin to evolve. I love that they like what I have in my closet enough to want to wear the clothes themselves. I wish I had been able to have the same experience with my own mom. That or if I just had an older sister to learn from. I sometimes wonder if the girls will be as generous with their things when and if they have girls of their own. I just hope by then that I don’t have grandchildren who want to raid my closet as well unless it’s to walk around in oversized fancy shoes and drape jewelry on themselves for dress-up. 🙂
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