As an ode to all the mamas of the world while Mother's Day is fast approaching, I think it's appropriate to shout-out the many things moms can teach us about fashion and beauty. Through my mom's wisdom and life experiences, she has shared with me crucial lessons that have stuck with me for years — from dressing for the occasion to sticking to classics. What better time to commemorate all the gems our mothers have passed along to their daughters?
Not all moms are as sartorially tenured as Anna Wintour, or MUA pros like Charlotte Tilbury (note that they are both mothers themselves, though), so you shouldn't necessarily expect your mom to go off on a tangent about leg contouring or chokers. Through my mama, however, I've found that a mother's advice is often all about cultivating tried and true lessons to live by, from the "less is more" mantra to always wearing sunscreen.
Collected from my very own mom, my biggest fashion and beauty idol, as well as other mothers in my life, the following fashion and beauty lessons from moms prove that yes, your mama knows what she's talking about. And, well, you probably should have listened to her from the beginning.
If you went your own way, however (guilty as charged — sorry, mom!), let this serve as a reminder of the general pieces of advice so many moms are able to give. I guess what they say is true: Momma knows best.
1. Always Wear Sunscreen
Have you ever been scolded by your mother for not wearing sunscreen? Yeah, I think we have all been there and done that. But mom's right: Sun damage is a real concern, and SPF can really help protect you from damaging rays. So be prepared to hear it from mom for a very long time.
2. Dress For The Occasion
My mom's dress code is quite traditional, so dressing for any given occasion is always something she keeps in mind when planning an outfit. Unless you have a daring or stylish ensemble planned out (in which case, go for it!), the default classics for events — like a flounced midi dress for a wedding or a mini dress for a cocktail party — are always flawless choices and totally mom-approved.
3. Default To Over-Dressing
If the occasion you're attending is vague, then default to over-dressing. At the end of the day, it's usually more comfortable than being vastly under-dressed, as any mom would gladly point out.
4. Comfort & Confidence Are Key
My mom constantly makes fun of me because I own so many pairs of heels, and, well, never wear them. Despite my inability to pass up beautiful shoes, my mother's advice that comfort and confidence are key has been hard to escape.
A lot of moms would never want to see their kids struggling in sky-high stilettos, or even heavy false lashes. Keep your mom in mind in order to better gauge when you're just not happy with a look. Feeling good in your own skin is one of the most important aspects of wearing any style.
5. When In Doubt, Match Your Clothes
While I'm not a huge fan of monochromatic looks, there's no doubt that my mom's go-to style lesson is a lifesaver: When in doubt, match your clothes. Yes, it's a little old school, and sure, that might translate to outdated. But the truth is, a matching outfit always looks good.
6. Don't Pick, Ever
I have a confession: I pick every scab, blister, zit, and blemish on my skin. But every time I do it, I always hear my mother's voice saying, "Don't pick. It will only get worse." She's right.
Dermatologists agree that picking at blemishes only creates more problems for the blemish itself and the area around it. Hopefully you'll actually listen to your mother when she tells you not to pick. This beauty tip is certainly one from the ancient mom files and is undeniably true.
7. Less Is More
Back in style and beauty hell (aka middle school), I used to pile on belts, hair clips, and bangle bracelets. Since then, I've much preferred taking the "less is more" approach like my mother. While my mom's style is feminine and pretty, she keeps things simple and streamlined. A chic yet easy outfit with pretty, soft makeup is her go-to look, and I have to admit it's been one I've been emulating for myself a lot lately.
8. Classics Are Classic For A Reason
Ahh, the classics. I'm pretty sure my mom could talk for hours about the endless benefits of a little black dress or the always-stunning red lip. Mom, you're right: The classics are classics for a reason. And I've found that when I'm struggling to combine trendy prints or failing horribly at a cut-crease eyeshadow look, I just give up and opt for a fashion and beauty look that's undoubtedly beautiful and foolproof.
9. Beauty Comes From Within
As cliche as it sounds, one of the biggest things my mom taught me about beauty is that it comes from within. It's not about looking a certain way, but about feeling your best.
I learned this the hard way at my high school prom, when I had a friend layer tons of makeup on my face and spray way too much goop in my mane. I felt done-up, like a Barbie doll. But I didn't feel like myself. Ultimately, the most important part of beauty is internal.
10. Learn From Your Style Mistakes
"But mom! I love this (insert terribly ugly fashion item) more than anything! I refuse to take it off!"
It's a conversation I'm convinced most of us have had with our mothers before stepping out the door in rebellion and an outfit that we would only later discover was the worst thing known to mankind. I always thought my mom was putting up a fight for no reason, but now I realize she was letting me learn from my style mistakes while simultaneously giving me a warning.
11. Define Your Own Style
Even though I know my mom would absolutely love it if we had the same tastes, she knows that we're different people and she respects my style just as I respect hers. My mom never told me to prefer something over another thing, and she was always open minded to my kooky tastes, like blue eyeshadow or florals in the winter.
Giving me the opportunity to define my own style while I grew up taught me how to use fashion and beauty as major outlets for expression and creativity. And for that, as with all of these lessons, I am eternally grateful.
There you have it: 11 general lessons most moms preach. Let them show how knowledgeable moms can be when it comes to fashion and beauty.
Thanks, mom, and happy Mother's Day!