By Valerie Sekera
My sense of style was definitely influenced by my mother. Although she passed away seven years ago when I was only 18, our fashion sense was very similar. I looked up to her and would try to imitate the way she dressed. She was the first person I learned any type of “fashion rule” from, such as match your bag to your shoes. She also went for a classic look with a few trendy items thrown in. However, she never threw out her trendy pieces that quickly went out of style when she was younger because she was a firm believer that fashion always repeats itself. She was right, and this works in my benefit, because a lot of those things are or have been back in style and I was able to raid her closet.
My mother is the one who gave me the pair of jeans I turned into a hairband for our fashion practice Lab. They were my favorite jeans from the moment she gave them to me because I loved the color and they fit me fantastically. I wore them so often that they began to stretch and fade. They also ripped a little. Even though they had reached a point where I could no longer wear them, I could not bring myself to part with them because it was a gift from her I had loved so much. As soon as I found out about the fashion Lab assignment, I knew right away that I would use those jeans. It is satisfying to know that I was able to turn those jeans into something that I can wear again. I think the headband will be a cute summer accessory, especially at the beach or the pool. I will think of my mother every time I wear it.
However, since my mother did not always follow newer trends and a classic style is often meaningless to children, I can remember a time her fashion advice led me to an embarrassing moment. I went to Catholic high school so most days everyone had to wear a uniform. However,, there were several “dress down” days throughout the year when the students could wear their own clothes. It was the beginning of my freshman year and I had picked out jeans and a white sweater to wear. I asked my mom how I looked and she told me that I should tuck my shirt in and add a belt. I did so without any hesitation. Although that look has come back into style now, at the time it was not. When I got to school and took off my jacket, my new friends laughed at me and told me I needed immediately un-tuck my shirt. Although that memory may sound insignificant, it was embarrassing for me in the moment since I was younger and trying to impress a new group of peers. I remember feeling shocked and almost betrayed that my mother could lead me wrong. It was the moment that I realized while it was ok for my mother to be a fashion influence, I still needed to develop my own sense of style and not blindly follow someone’s recommendations.