THE DAY THAT… My daughter locked me out of her closet!
AKA How I discovered my personal STYLE and said farewell to FASHION fails forever
19 June, 2020 by

It started like any other day: I shook myself awake, gulped back the now cold cup of tea Husband put on the nightstand before he went off to earn enough money to keep me in the style I would like to become accustomed to, staggered into the bathroom, did what needed to be done, then strolled down the passage to 19-year-old Daughter’s room to pick out a top that would knock years off me and restore my youthful joie de vivre  –  then felt my whole day fall apart before it even started:  she (first fruit of my loins and pretty pilferer of my perter parts) had locked her closet door and taken away the key!

Once I recovered from the hot flash caused by the shock of such daughterly betrayal, I gave thanks to the goddess of the weak bladder for not making my life even worse, sat down at my dressing table, took stock of the situation… and felt horribly, deeply embarrassed!

You see, I KNOW her clothes are much too young for me – at least the ones I really, really covet are: the floaty, flyaway, vaguely diaphanous floral blouses and the belly button skimming crop-tops (if I wear it over a longer vest, surely I can carry it off?), the neon brights, the lycra tights and her latest treasure, the ripped, color-stripped, torn and extremely distressed Khaite Danielle High Rise Stovepipes that cost her 3 months’ allowance and way too many nights waitressing – which I just know I’ll look as good as Katie Holmes in, if I can only get back into that closet… Oh goddess of the age-appropriate wardrobe, stop me now,  before I shoot myself in my (her) candy-pink feather-festooned, chunky-heeled peep-toe-clad foot!

Slowly, nervously, I approached my own closet, swung open the doors… and was actually quite pleasantly surprised by the contents! Whilst being a lot calmer than the riotous assembly of youthful exuberance from which I have summarily been banned, the assortment of garments I saw before me have their own charm: the cut is good, the quality is excellent, colors make a statement without hurting the eyes, and fashion items (both trending and evergreen) sit comfortably alongside cherished favorites that have escaped the thrift shop donation bag season after season, simply because I love them. And because when I wear them, I feel like me – only a much more stylish version of me!

Hot on the heels of this revelation came another, one which would restore the loving, open and honest relationship I have with my daughter (seriously, she tells me everything, I’m sure of it) to its pre-closet lockdown glory: I like my own wardrobe, and I can do things with it to make it work even better for me!

This all happened a couple of weeks ago, while the quarantine restrictions were at their most stringent. My daughter and I have been using this time to explore the deepest recesses of my closet; she has been brutally honest about what looks fabulous on me, and what looks like landfill may be too good a fate for the offending item. I have been brave, accepted her criticism as constructive, and agreed to part ways with the offending items. (I have also been quite sneaky, and one or two goodies destined for the dump have been secreted in dark places, for the just-in-cases of the future.)

And it wasn’t just clothes: scarves, jewellery, hats, bags, belts, shoes, underwear and makeup have all been subjected to the Style Scrutiny. Now, while I definitely have a bit less to choose from, everything I have is a good choice! Age-friendly fashion works flawlessly with ageless style; I’m making fabulous happen with my classic Chanel jacket and a slick of Daughter’s Dragon Girl red lipstick (she’s channelling Taylor Swift at the moment), granny’s pearls are enjoying a come-back with my go-to denim jacket, and I am (as ever) praising  the goddess of all things animal print as she returns in triumph to the 2020 catwalks and reiterates her relevance to everyone who wears clothes – from teens to millennials, baby boomers and the world’s most glamorous grannies: I am woman, hear me ROARRRRRR!

Here is my interpretation of the difference between fashion and style:               
Fashion is new. Until it isn’t. Fashion tends to look best on the young in years, who can wear it without looking too ridiculous. Fashion is not always for the young at heart, who should be old enough to know when they look ridiculous!                                                                            Style never gets old. It just gets better. Style is something lasting that you create for yourself, often with fashion that you collect over the years. Style is about learning what you love, and loving what you look good in. Style is playing. And winning.


Now, with the world opening up for us again, my daughter and I are excited to go out together. She’s my fashion bunny:  I love how she looks, but it is no longer the look I want for me.  I have my own style now!   Yes, it is a work in progress, and there will be times when I get it horribly wrong; lucky I have Daughter to get me back on track. And maybe when she looks at me, she sees the stylish woman that she might one day want to be.  Could there be a better compliment than that?