Save. Spend. Splurge.

Did your parents teach you things about clothing, dressing or style?

Yes and no.

My mother took such good care of her clothes. She wore one pair of jeans from when she was in her twenties for 20 years before passing it on to me because she literally had nothing when she was a child except for 1 pair of shoes, 2 pairs of socks, a uniform and a home dress with 2 pairs of underwear. I mean NOTHING.

She gave them to me and I ruined those jeans in a matter of weeks, they were so soft and worn, that they grew holes in the knees and they had to be scrapped (although that worn-in, distressed look is now IN and something I like!)

Ironically, she has a ton of clothes that she has in her closet that she wistfully cannot fit back into or wear (very outdated, handmade for her, 70s stuff). She can’t let it go, but she also can’t wear them.

It’s a strange place to be in.

She taught me a lot about tailoring with her handmade items, and she always enjoyed it when I dressed up and looked more feminine because it made her very happy to see me in such clothes with fuller skirts, bright happy colours, and so on. It’s the way she loved to dress when she was slimmer and now thinks she can’t again or is too old to do it (hogwash I tell her).

My father on the other hand, took zero care with clothes but always valued comfort over everything else. COMFORT WAS #1.

I sort of follow after him naturally and go for more comforting things but I try very very hard to be more like my mother. I try to recondition my leather items every year, I pay for dry cleaning, I tailor things in, and I try to buy high quality.

I don’t remember any specific lessons being passed on, just observations and marvelling at how long my mother kept items.


The entire series can be found here: Women in Clothes Style & Fashion Survey


  • Amanda @ My Life, I Guess

    Fashion was never really talked about or thought about much in my house, growing up. We lived in a small town where there were only 3 clothing stores – one was like a small, budget department store, another was all expensive jeans and brand names, and the other was “the old lady store”. So, fashion and shopping were never really available to us.
    I’d like to upgrade my wardrobe, now that I’m back to working in an office again. But it’s very casual, and most people where uniforms, so I’m nervous that dressing better would make me stand out.

  • Jamie

    Both my parents have/had horrible “fashion” sense. Both were so into what is comfortable that I don’t think fashion ever even was/is a consideration (my father passed away in 2009 but my Mom is still alive). My Mom will wear sweat shirts with cats on them OUTSIDE of the HOUSE!!! I used to be embarrassed but now I just shrug. She thinks I have too much clothes because my wardrobe is about 2x hers but if she wears the same clothes from 20-30 years ago and never buys anything new that’s not really my fault. I work in an office where she worked in a factory. I think one thing I did get from her is trying to buy as cheap as possible so I do have some items in my wardrobe from Walmart (I can hear the gasps from here) and places like Joe Fresh, Old Navy, etc but for basics like t-shirts I find I’d rather buy one that cost $10 that lasts 2 years than one that’s $50 for 5 or more (although, I do have some Old Navy shirts and cardigans that are more than 5 years old). Its all in how you take care of things, too.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I would agree that some items from the past even in fast fashion stores are still in my wardrobe and are still in very good condition but as of late, I am seeing it change completely. After a few washes, my tops are pilling 🙁

      Thank you for sharing!

  • SarahN

    My mother is about matching – and so am I and my brother. My brother probably is more like my mother – they are both hugely into quantity whereas I have limits, at least in my head and rationalisation.

  • Anne

    Neither of my parents had a lot of clothes, but they were always of good quality and looked nice, although not very fashionable. When the clothes were too worn for social occasions, they were used at home and finally as work clothes on the farm or torn in pieces for cleaning purposes. The children were always required to change the school outfits when we came home so that the better clothes stayed clean and would last longer. We got a new outfit every year before school started and also got used clothes from our older cousins and later, as teenager, from our aunt, who was very interested in fashion and had lot of clothes.
    Although I too became interested in fashion and pretty clothes, I still have quite a small wardrobe of good quality retail items mixed with second hand clothes. I take good care of them, change clothes when at home, wear clothes to rags and donate items that I no longer wear.

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