Happy Mother's Day

There was a great piece on Man Repeller this week where everyone on staff selected photos of their mothers and re-created their outfits using items in their own closets.  I loved reading it and decided to spin off a version of my own. Here we go!

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That's my mom and me in the first photo, and based on how small I am, it's probably 1980 and she's probably 30 or so.  My mom reigns queen of sensible layering, and the plaid-shirt-over-turtleneck was one of her staple looks that decade.  Considering it was also the decade when all three of her kids were infants, I can certainly appreciate why she was aiming for wardrobe pragmatism.  Beyond her sensibly layered outfit, her long, dark, straight hair, parted down the middle, is very much how I think of her from this point in time.

To re-create this outfit, I had to imagine the bottom half, which was both fun and easy.  I thought a corduroy skirt at a modest length would definitely be one of the items she'd have on.  Could have been the same in denim, too.  And I am sure she had a similar pair of Frye boots, though hers were with slightly higher heels, if I recall.  I remember often wanting to be big enough to wear them when I saw them in her closet as a kid.

Here are a couple more photos of my mom with me from about the same time. Sensible layers, layers, layers.  That's mom!

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This next photo is baby me with my aunt Beth, who was a little older than my mom, I think.  She was probably also in her 30s here.

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That photo of both of us was taken at my grandparents' house (on my dad's side) and so I automatically have memories that are both dim and fond.  It was a total "grandparent" house -- it had that smell of lots of years in it, and more nooks and crannies to explore than I ever possibly could have finished exploring.

My aunt was super stylish.  She always reminded me of Princess Diana, actually, because she looked so fresh and effortlessly chic all of the time, even when she was in something as casual as a cable knit pullover.

Fortunately, I had more or less the exact sweater she's wearing here in my own closet.  True story: it was a hand-me-down for one of my kids from our neighbor, but I snagged it for myself because it fit and I really wanted a cable knit pullover.  Thanks, neighbors!

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My grandma is forever my favorite person in the universe and I could fill an enormous book recounting every reason I adore her.  Even though her feet aren’t showing in the photo, there’s a 90% chance she was wearing Birkenstocks (or alternatively, white tennis shoes). This outfit is one I can actually see myself wearing, which isn't really a surprise because we never ceased to find more ways that we were similar.  I wore her prom dress to my own prom, and wore it again not too long ago to a garden party, which I blogged about here

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I tasked my two oldest kids with selecting this final outfit, and I am beyond delighted with what they chose.  I asked them to pick an outfit that really expresses how they see me.  What I ended up wearing is a skirt I frequently wear to work, a top I often use when I practice yoga, an old pair of tennis shoes I wear most weekends, and to top it off, a Banana Republic cardigan I use as my bathrobe.  Haha, I do wear it every morning! Mother's Day certainly takes on a new dimension when you have kids of your own.  When I reflect on the women who raised me and the children I am raising now, I realize how very good life is.

Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading!

Vintage Vibes

This outfit is exactly something I would have worn in high school, which made it a massively comforting thing to wear. Except it wouldn’t have been vintage Miu Miu and Moschino because those aren’t things you can easily find in rural Connecticut at age 15. 

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I had this really great boyfriend from when I was 14 until 17. His name was Michael Thompson and I just adored him. I think I was lucky to have a really awesome first boyfriend. Honestly, he’s probably the reason I divorced my first husband and found the best possible life partner in my current husband. The Michael metric has served me well.  

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Michael was very sporty and I was not. I really appreciate that he wasn’t phased by my interest in daily fashion experiments. A lot of adults told me I looked cool, and a lot of my peers did not. A lot of adults also told me that Michael and I had a mature relationship and I don’t think my peers really even knew how to assess relationship maturity. It’s pretty awkward in high school to be cooler with adults than your teenage counterparts, but luckily I was like whatever. Being myself just made the most sense. 

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I got these boots when I was 14, which makes this post ultra therapeutic. By the way, how am I doing?

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Thank for reading!

No Bra Island

Are we tired of my Simpsons references? Sure hope not. And the oblique ones are even more inaccessible, since it was originally about pants, not bras. Entire tomes could be written. Not sure if I spelled that correctly because I think I did but I got an autocorrect. Tomes. Yeah, I’m usually a pretty good speller.  

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All the 20 somethings are having this no-bra moment. I love it! It’s sexy and harkens back to an important cultural pivot point. But frankly, I’m not up for it. I drive a car with pretty stiff suspension and I’ve breastfed children for two full years. Hand me a bra, please. I’ll nonchalantly rage against the machine some other way.  

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I remember when I first started college. I was the only girl in my major (environmental studies) who did not have dreadlocks and hemp shoes and smell like patchouli. I remember having this moment where I realized that superficial shit is just that. I’ve decicated my entire professional career to sustainability and I do wear a bra. Let’s complicate the narrative, shall we?

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Relatedly, (or not?) anyone with kids knows how hard leisure reading is. I’m finally more than ten pages into the NOFX biography and it is worth every moment it takes to read through it. Pour yourself a stiff drink first, though. This one might hurt going down.  

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Gracias por leer, amigos.