I spent my younger days shopping with my mom. In fact, I spent the sweetest part of my life with her next to me in the dressing room. As soon as I hit my teens she would take me to shop for myself; I remember visiting jeans stores where I would try on colorful bell-bottoms and Huckapoo shirts (it was the 70’s!). My mom would also take me to her favorite shopping spots; stores like the then-small boutique, Ann Taylor, where I learned more about young designers and style and dressing from the most stylish woman I have ever known. These moments were just the beginning of what was to become a lifetime of shopping adventures with my mom, that expanded into my 20s and 30s and 40s. In those earlier years, when I had started my career, we would meet at our all-time favorite spot – Loehmann’s – and begin our ritual: shop the store separately and eventually meet up in the famous all-for-one dressing room where we would place ourselves side by side and try on our clothes for each other. I trusted my mom implicitly to give me her honest opinion, even when I didn’t want to hear the truth. Because I knew in my heart that she was always right – about size and fit and style. As my life changed and I had my children in my 40s my lifestyle also changed but my mother was still there to shop with me (of course by then it was catch as catch can, in between the needs of my young family). As I got older, I still had my mother’s eye with my clothing purchases.
But sadly, my shopping days with my mom have almost gone away. Now, I help her to shop as much as I can, but it just isn’t possible anymore for her to meet me and shop with me. So you can imagine my delight when I found myself trying on clothes for her the other day in the comfort of my bedroom! I have started a new job and there were a few new things about which I just wasn’t sure. I needed my mom. She sat in my bedroom as I tried on several outfits, one after the other, and gave me her honest opinion. Not surprisingly, the things I thought were spot-on were the keepers, and the ones about which I was unsure went into the give-away pile. My mom has taught me well; my instincts about what works and what doesn’t were there. But there is nothing like having my mom’s opinion, to know for sure.
It sounds so simple: a fashion show for my mom. But it represents much more – a lifetime of bonding and friendship and giggles and love all rolled into one, recaptured in my own makeshift dressing room.
Photo by Kim Naci