My story is simple. I was tan, with perfect hair and dope sunglasses. A jet-setter, you only saw fantasy, never fear. Hands down, my mom always has been and always will be my style hero.
If you know me, you know that just about everything I own is a hand me down from my mom, my Parisian boy bff, acquired from my endless world travels, a gift from my amazing fiance, or recently something that I obsessed over on TheRealReal. I don’t walk into stores and pay retail, I collect pieces that have sentimental value and style them in ways that make me look and feel laid-back, comfy, cozy and carefree; often in hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of retail value to the average eye. But I was never average, I worked in fashion for over 15 years, the majority of my friends have brands or are designers and gifted me with items from their collections because they knew I would forever worship them for it and continue to tell the story of their brands with the same passion that they do.
The reason I dress in such an easy, effortless way is because I am busy, I am lazy and because my mom was never one to take more than a few minutes to get ready and I always admired that. Still, to this day I am out the door in less time than most men I’ve met. I don’t know about you, but I believe my mom wanted me to be this cool when I grew up, with an international squad, more passport stamps than most American households combined and well style far beyond the window displays at the mall. Shoutout to my high school guidance counselor who was the town football coach and confidently told me I would never amount to anything. Whatever man, my dreams weren’t half as big as the reality I ran into. I am glad my mom believed in me, because sometimes I felt so misunderstood.
My mom let me be me and this is a blessing that overwrites any mistakes my mom might have made, including that marine green velour dress with the lace collar I was once forced to wear for a photo in my toddler days.
So what did my mom do exactly to make me believe that she was this amazing? Well, she taught me confidence, she encouraged creativity. Early on I learned a life lesson that could have made me everything or made me nothing and my mom pointed me in the right direction. It is an example worth sharing, a real kindergarten throwback, possibly my favorite tale of all.
Once upon a time, there was a coloring contest. While I knew better than to shade outside of the lines, I was a child born to think outside of the box. The scene was a simple outdoor landscape, one in which I chose to color so unconventionally that my classmates could simply not grasp the concept of my creativity. They laughed, they pointed, they poked fun, they called me names and they brought me to tears. The universe taught those little twats a lesson. I was New Jersey’s Statewide Champ in 1989 for Friendly’s coloring contest and I won a big teddy bear and a real honor. The teachers asked the children to learn from this example, that it is ok to be different. My mom told me that as long as I am true to who I am and that as long as I show my true colors, I will always be a winner and that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks or says about me.
Let me know how many other 33 year old women you have ever met that love their haters and face their fears the way I do -while having everyone else so caught up in some superficial reality, carefully curated to fuel fantasy for curious cruisers the way my social does. It’s rare. And I credit my mother.
My mom too though, lives vicariously through me. You must be wondering, why? My mom wishes she had a shot to be me, because I couldn’t wait to be independent, I couldn’t wait to start working. And I am still not ready to be a mom. But what do I know, I am just her kid anyway. Ironically enough, my mom swears I hate her and insists my stories and boring.