Thursday, May 10, 2012

Get the Look: My Mother

Every now and then I highlight favorite vintage style icons, such as in my blog posts

Finding Marilyn Monroe
Billie Holiday, style icon
Get the Look: The Thin Man, 1934
Get the Look: Audrey Hepburn
Get the Look: Emma Peel
Dream Girls: Girl Groups of the Sixties

Today, in honor of Mother’s Day, I'm celebrating my very first favorite style icon. I've talked of my mother before (Flowers for my motherStyle ideas from my parents) but I'm devoting this post to her style alone.

Mama would laugh and blush at the thought of this. My mother did not consider herself stylish; she wasn’t particularly interested in clothing, but she most definitely had a discernable style, and it’s a style that influences me.

Born in 1920, she was in her twenties in the 1940s, and 40s style suited her and remained a lifelong influence on her. She was big on navy blue, plaid, good basics, scarves, gloves and generally what I'd call handsome clothing. She wasn't the frilly type. On the other hand she rarely wore trousers but preferred dresses. She emphasized her waist. She knitted, sewed and tatted, and I don’t remember her ever wearing a commercially-made sweater. I'm choosing to highlight my mother’s style in the 1940s and 50s, my two favorite decades for clothing and coincidentally when my mother was a young woman.

Have you ever noticed that people tend to like clothing from the era when their parents were young?

{The items with me in the pictures are for sale...just click on their captions to take you to the listings}

My mother in the 40s
There’s that waist emphasis and another simple and flattering dress
40s fern print rayon dress
Mama knitting
50s hand-knit cream wool sweater
Her ubiquitous white blouse, plaid skirt, and great shoes that (it must be noted) caused some havoc for her feet later
50s white cotton blouse
My parents, with my mother in the midst of creating something
40s navy gabardine suit
Mama in a plaid skirt, sporty jacket and gloves
50s rayon dress with plaid scarf and trim
I’ve always been convinced that every woman needs a classic coat
40s burgundy gabardine coat
...and a classic scarf
My mother in plaid again, leaning on my father’s MG. The jacket was most likely his. 
50s plaid summer dress
My parents on a ferry in 1956. I love the flowered circle skirt!
50s fish print circle skirt
My mother, very soon to give birth to me, with my aunt Marie and brother John
Happy Mother’s Day to all the First Favorite Style Icons out there!


Unknown said...

I love posts where you get to see a little inside someone family history! Your mum looks super stylish to say the least! Unfortunately my Mum was born in the mid sixties and therefore reached her fashion peak in the 80s. here wardrobe taste as a young adult was absolutely horrendous. I recently tried on one of my mums suits (which she bought at the same age as I am now, 21) the shoulder pads in in where insane. I honestly felt like someone had stuffed tennis balls up there they were so large!

Val said...

She is lovely, and you two look so much alike. :)

Laurence said...

You are lucky to have such amazing pictures of your mother! Mine was young in the late 70's so her pictures are not so glamourous, I'm really don't like 70's fashion!!!
My grand-mother was about 20 in the 50's but she was a farmer, really not girly, I have just seen a few pictures of her from this era.
Mother day will be in a few weeks in France!

osovictoria said...

Wonderful post and a great tribute to all moms.

denisebrain said...

I guess I was wrong in believing that we all love the era when our parents were young! :) I have met women who loved the 60s, 70s and 80s, when their mothers were I made an assumption!

I do have an amazing trove of family photographs, going back to the 19th century. I hope to scan these all eventually and preserve and share them with others.

Thank you Val, I love to see a resemblance to my mother in myself.

Louise said...

Fantastic post! I particularly like the picture of your mother wearing the maternity suit- she looks so stylish.
I also agree with a previous poster- you look so much like your mother.

Lizzie said...

Lovely photos! She was so stylish, in a sporty fashion, which to me is the best look there is.

Astrid said...

Your mother was beautiful and classy!
But I wonder, how is it possible that you were born in 1960? You look like you're 25! :)

Love your blog!


denisebrain said...

I have lucky genes I guess...Thanks Astrid!