03 Feb Impacting Your Daughter’s Fashion
A small disclaimer before I get started: I am not a mother, I have no daughters. I am a single professional in my late 20s, successful at my job and having a great time exploring cultures and countries. Now you might be wondering: why on earth is this woman going to talk about daughters and fashion?? Shouldn’t a mother know what’s best for her daughter? You have a point. So let me tell you about my mother.
My mother is not a business woman. Granted, she’s always busy! She’s a woman of God, a stay-at-home mom, a soon-to be grandma. She has dedicated over 25 years to her husband and raising a large family. She has cheered me on, been there for me, always ready to talk over the phone or a cup of tea. There are times, that I think we both drive each other crazy. Looking back, I can see how greatly my Mom influenced my sense of dress and fashion. And that is what I wish to share with you today.
My mom always took care to dress well. And by that I don’t mean expensively. I don’t remember buying much outside a thrift store until I hit high school. Yet despite the family budget, she made the effort to dress in her colours, wear clothes that fit, have her hair done and touch up her lip stick… And no, she doesn’t have super powers! She often said, that she did it for my Dad, that she was proud to be his wife and wanted to show him how much she loved him and us kids by how she dressed. My first thought in hearing that as a kid was “Wow, I want to be just like her!” And her doing that taught me three lessons: Your clothes send a message to others about how you view them, how you view your work and how you view yourself.
Think back to a special date night. On that day, we ladies take particular care to look our best. Why? One reason is that we want to tell our man that we are interested and that we care about him. Considering marriage is meant to be a loving life-long commitment, shouldn’t women continue to make that effort for their husband? My mother would take care to look her best at every occasion, including going to the grocery store. She knew how she dressed reflects back on her husband and family.
As a teenager, it is hard sometimes to spend time with your parents and to be seen in public with your parents. I know I felt that growing up! Yet I never felt embarrassed around my Mom because of her clothes. I never had to worry about Mom answering the door in her pajamas or showing up to Parent/Teacher interviews or my band concerts in sweatpants. Unconsciously, I knew she cared for me by doing that. And how she was proud of her role as wife and mother.
Granted, there were days I knew she wanted to send me and my siblings to the dog-house; days she didn’t feel well; days where household worries were getting to her. Yet my mother still made the effort to hold both her temper and her outfits together. I remember her saying you fake it until you make it. Dressing up can definitely help you overcome stressful situations and see the day in a brighter light. The first time I made the effort to dress up under stress was during university. On the days I had stressful exams, presentations, labs, and interviews, I took special care of my clothing. It helped me to feel confident, in control and like I knew what I was doing. It helped me to excel. How grateful am I to my mother for that lesson! I use it to this day.
My mother was also the first to teach me about how the way I dressed reflected my sense of self-worth. Did I see myself as a treasure, a daughter of God? Or did I see my body as a tool to attract the opposite sex? All the most valuable diamonds are guarded from the general public. Aren’t we as women more valuable than any chunk of compressed carbon? Then how we dress should show this. We want people to be drawn to us as an entire person. I know that when I am talking with my male co-workers, I want them to appreciate me for my ideas, not the cut of my blouse or the length of my skirt. Yes, there were times I did wish to rebel from this particular advice my Mom gave me. But in reflection, I see how much following her advice helped me, both as a woman and for my career.
All in all, the way we dress affects those around us. How you dress reflects how you value others, your job and yourself. I know that there are so many other factors that need to be considered when raising a daughter. Yet can you remember the first time your young daughter dressed up in your jewelry and tried on your high heels? She sought to imitate you. As a mother, you are the first fashion model your daughter looks up to. Know that you make such a difference in your daughter’s life! My mother did for me. Thank you Mom!
by Marie Therese Freundorfer