Being a Fashionable Mom

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What I Wore: Yellow v. Gray

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. 🙂


Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
Wendy McCance

14 thoughts on “Being a Fashionable Mom

  1. I am not a fashionable mom. Maybe the years of big hair (perms) and wild makeup that I experienced in the 80s just has be burnt out. 😀

    I clean up OK, but I don’t do it as often as I should.

    Oh, and I never would have worn my moms clothes growing up - I would take it as a compliment that your daughter wants to wear them.

    • That’s so funny. I have talked to my kids about the difference in the way moms dressed back when I was a kid. Back then moms also looked sooo much older by the time they hit their 40’s.

  2. Hi Wendy,
    Great post. When I was a teen, I wasn’t into makeup and fashion. I liked a bit of makeup - gloss and powder, did my hair reasonably and moved on. My mother and sister were the fashionable ones and I usually followed their lead. Today, even though my daughter is 3, she knows what she likes and doesn’t. She doesn’t like pants. She follows in her mom’s footsteps. My makeup and hair are presentable and classic. I did learn from the ladies in my family to always look presentable. You don’t have to be the belle of the ball, but no one likes looking at the mop that cleans the ballroom floor either.

    As for your clothes, it’s a compliment that a teenage girl wants to be seen in public wearing her mother’s clothes. I wouldn’t think too much of it. My sister and her oldest daughter share clothes and jewelry, even shoes.


    • Hi Karina, thanks so much for your comment. Your mention of your 3 year old took me back. When my youngest daughter was very small, she hated pants. All she wanted to wear was skirts and dresses with patterned tights. She used to say when she grew up she would be a princess. Sweet memories. 🙂

  3. I’m laughing because I have just gone through the same thing with my daughter… LOL. Now, she occasionally “borrows” jewelry or clothes and it made me wonder the same thing. But on the upside, she now gives ME the make up tips… LOL She is my best friend & I adore her! (I only had one girl, one boy)

  4. As I was reading your post I was reflecting on my own mom. She was a career woman at a time it was frowned on. We were latch key kids before it became a term. My mom was very aware of her appearance as a result. Me? Not so much… LOL. Even thou I was a career woman in my own right, I still didn’t/don’t wear make-up to this day. 🙂

  5. I had three boys and was delighted to finally have a girl! My fantasies of ruffle butt tights and girly dresses would finally come true. WRONG! The biggest fight my daughter and I ever had was over a my insistence she wear a dress to her Uncle’s wedding. She insisted on the Bob the Builder tee shirt. (She was 3) I was heartbroken. At that point I saw all my hopes and dreams dashed for my baby becoming a beautiful girly girl.
    Today she is a pre-teen who is now interested in make up and clothes that move away from her earlier tomboy image.
    She agreed to wear a very girly dress to my wedding and looked fantastic. The great part is she wants to wear the dress again. I love watching my daughter come into her own style. I know I am not the most fashionable, but I definitely encourage her to try on different things. I think this is another joy to being a parent of teenagers.

  6. I wouldn’t worry about it, I have several friends who have shared clothes with their teen daughters and continue to do so now that the daughters are adults. I guess while I longed to have one daughter, I had what I was supposed to have by having two boys. I raided their closets for the flannel shirts and still wear a man’s barn coat as my favorite winter coat. Guess the tomboy still lives.

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