Mother’s Day is a celebration of all the cherished forms of motherhood. This one is for the strong mothers, the nurturing ones, for the mothers who have lost children, for the children who have lost mothers, for those who are aching to be mothers, for those who choose not to be mothers. Read more here.

Looking back at my early childhood photos, my sister said, “one thing about our mother is that she made sure her daughter looked good!” I couldn’t help but agree when I saw how she dressed me in stylish color-coordinated outfits with matching hair ribbons. It made me realize how integral our mothers were in informing our earliest identity and style. As the first people who dressed us, it’s fascinating to see how they have had a subtle or overt influence on our personal style.

As a child, I was an easy dresser. I usually just wore whatever my mother put me in and thankfully it was cute. My sister on the other hand was far more rebellious. From a young age, she was determined to dress herself. Although our styles have changed over the years, mine incorporating more black and hers becoming more casual and conservative, we can appreciate the style tips our mother taught us. She taught us that you don’t need to spend lots of money to look good and a good fitting is everything!

In celebration of Mother’s Day, I was curious to find out from The Tempest team and some friends about what they learned about fashion from their mother and how and if it influenced their current style.

Honestly, my mother shaped my entire identity and style choices from clothes down to accessories. It’s kind of weird actually because she doesn’t like fashion that much, but she has opinions about everything. When I was younger, I felt like I would live or die based on her opinions of my style choices. That isn’t to say that she was picky, it’s just that my entire existence felt like it was oriented around her and she was the only person whose opinions mattered to me. As I grew up, I found I was more comfortable making some of my own style choices without obsessively running it by her, but I had also emulated her style anyways. Makeup is one area where I truly feel my opinions are totally independent of hers, mostly because she loves neutral makeup and I want everything bold.

Neha Merchant, Editorial Fellow 

My entire thrifting culture was inspired by my mom. I wore my cousin’s clothes and some of my neighbor’s kids’ old clothes at some point! Tailoring was also a big part of that, which inspires repurposing and longevity for your clothes. However, the greatest treasure from my mother is color coordination. She truly believes in brown and beige and boy, do I believe in that combo!

Tsholofelo Masela

My mom and grandmother both have exquisite taste. Even though their fashion leaned towards the practical, they somehow still look effortlessly stylish. Their hijab always matches their outfit. I guess that’s where I picked up my approach to fashion: practical, yet still maintaining an overall chic look.

Thira Mohamad, Editorial Fellow

My mom has inspired me to be bold and challenge the norms by mixing different fashion trends and trends that are “out of fashion”.

Neo Masole

My mom still buys clothes for me. She knows my taste so well and she always does a great job! I know that she sometimes disapproves of the clothes but she buys them anyway.

Tanatswa Chivhere, Editorial Fellow

My mom has always told me that shoes and bags should be of the best quality and should last for decades. Everything else can follow.

Zama Luthuli

I didn’t particularly learn any styling tips from my mom but she taught me how to sew. In our family, it’s kind of like passing on things to the next generation. Just the basic things like how to thread a needle, simple stitches, how to sew a button, alter any price of clothing if it’s too big.

– Sameen Fatima, Community Fellow

My mom has such good taste it’s crazy! I literally base all my style on her opinion; she definitely taught me how to dress! She introduced me to the kind of style/fashion that I like and I wouldn’t know about all the fashion things that I love today if it wasn’t for her influence. I still take her shopping with me because she really knows the deal.

Laurie Melchionne, Editorial Fellow

So whether your mother is your shopping buddy and style twin or you are way more daring in your fashion choices. I think it’s safe to say that our personal style wouldn’t be what it is today without its first moldings from our mothers. Happy Mother’s Day!

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