When you're young, you spend a lot of time looking at your mom — so obviously you're going to notice what she's wearing. And like it or not, it's going to influence your own style — what you love, hate, or fiercely avoid because it reminds you of being hauled in the back of the car to the dump or sent to your room for setting a "small fire." Whether your mom was chicer than chic or forcing your family into matching Easter overalls, chances are her style had a lasting impact on you. Here's how our moms' styles impacted us.
Lena Dunham One of my earliest memories is hanging out alone on the floor of my mother's walk-in closet. This wasn't a fancy situation — it was homemade, the shelves weren't painted, and it smelled like the hardware store. But I loved it. She had a lot of suits — Romeo Gigli, Kenzo, Isaac Mizrahi — things she had either bought at Century 21, New York's best discount superstore, or gotten through trading her art with a designer. She's very industrious about fashion and has somehow always been clad in fascinating things, even when she was a struggling artist who couldn't pay for a piece of pizza in 1972.
This was the late '80s/early '90s, and her look was boxy and deconstructed, but with beautiful feminine accents like a vintage deco ring or bright-red lips. I loved when she wore a dress because it was rare and indicated the most special possible occasion. She's never been one to follow a dress code, though — she will wear pants to a black-tie event or a dress to lunch. It's one of my favorite qualities in a dresser, and I still use her informal rules to guide my journey through my own closet.
Back then her shoes were on the bottommost shelf and therefore most accessible to me. I would take them out, pair and un-pair them, and then restock the shelves for hours. We lived above a Hasidic-owned shoe store and I liked to pretend this was my very own extension of their business. As I said, Mom has always been a master of the discount, the queen of finding the perfect item at a sample sale and seeming more current than someone who could afford to go all-in at Barneys. Early on I understood that the shoes with Manolo Blahnik labels were fancy items and not to be fucked with. I liked to pet a pair of cheetah-print horsehair Chelsea boots — just pet them — but I often couldn't resist wearing the spectator pumps to the bathroom and back, mashing my toes against the nude leather lining. One of the first luxury items I allowed myself to purchase was a pair of my own Manolos, custom ordered. I don't wear them very often — I'm scared to scuff or hurt them — but they make me feel like a woman. Of course they do.
Jenni Konner I've always thought 32 was the most attractive age. It's the age that my mother and her friends were when I started to understand that they were powerful, rigorous women. I was in awe of all of them. They were artists and writers and mothers who smoked cigarettes and sometimes pot and looked so comfortable in their bodies. I couldn't wait to be 32, when my whole life was going to begin.
When I was 31, though, I was pregnant. I didn't feel especially powerful or fierce or great in my body. I was four months pregnant and I had been flown to New York to meet advertisers because a network had ordered my first television show. I didn't feel sexy–Chrissy Teigen–pregnant. Four months in is when you have to tell everyone you are pregnant so they don't think you are just fat. You have to rest your hands on your belly so people don't think you are just fat. You mainly feel fat.