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3 Ways Our Moms Have Influenced Our Style for the Better

Our moms have taught us endless life lessons, and they've certainly offered up a few style tips along the way. With Mother's Day right around the corner (and the inevitable "What awesome thing will we buy Mom this year?" question looming), the Who What Wear team has been feeling particularly nostalgic about the women who raised us. In fact, we've spent hours filling Slack chats with our mothers' best pieces of fashion wisdom (and sharing epic baby/toddler/teenager pics as proof).

The advice from three of our moms in particular is just so good we had to share. Oh, and as for that perfect Mother's Day gift? In an effort to select something more thoughtful than a flower arrangement (but not so specific as to require a probing question on pant size), the team agreed on a unique fragrance. Carolina Herrera Good Girl Dot Drama Collector Edition checks all the boxes and comes from an especially chic mother-and-daughters team (see above). Any stylish mom will appreciate the soft notes of jasmine and sultry notes of tonka, and we're also pretty sure she'll love the unique stiletto-shaped bottle.

Sharon Yi, our senior executive director of branded content, describes her mom's style in one simple word: loud. Just in case that gold puffy-sleeve dress wasn't a dead giveaway, she confirms that her mom did in fact style her up in bold clothing her entire childhood. "She treated me like a real-life doll," Sharon explains, which isn't surprising, given that her mother went to FIDM and started her own clothing manufacturing company. It also isn't surprising to hear that her mom is never short on style advice… The latest: "Wear something boxy and loose on top if you're going tight on the bottom—balance is key. Always make sure your look is interesting. And layer."

 

Sharon says she's not gifting her mom with clothing for Mother's Day this year, as her mom shops for a living. So what's Sharon buying instead? "It's much safer to opt for a fragrance she'd use and need. The Carolina Herrera Good Girl Dot Drama Collector Edition is spot-on thanks to its stiletto-shaped bottle. It won't look out of place next to my mom's giant jewelry stand."

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Natalie Cantell, our fashion director, says her mom (or rather, mum, as she's from New Zealand) would tell us to keep things simple. "'Simplicity is elegance.' I can't count the number of times she's said that to me over the years, usually to deter me from some of my less-commendable fashion choices (like when I was set on wearing mismatched shoes to fashion week circa 2007)," Natalie shares. "Now that I'm older and have discovered all her old photos starring classic decade-driven style, I know I should have listened—it's pretty apparent that the way she dressed in her 20s is a hundred times cooler than the way I was dressing in mine."

Stephanie Staerker, Who What Wear's producer, describes her mom's style as very Zsa Zsa Gabor: "She loves furry jackets, big gold accessories (see above), and fun patterns. It's her take on Old Hollywood glam, although I grew up in the South." However, Stephanie says that her mom would likely describe her own style as "bohemian, free-spirited, and comfortable." ("There's clearly a disconnect," Stephanie adds.) Stephanie's mom also served up multiple pieces of amazing style advice for us. You know, things like "Don't be afraid to stand out, wear whatever you feel comfortable in, accessories complete any look, and no white after Labor Day." The woman has a point.

Speaking of Carolina Herrera, Shop More Gifts Mom Will Love:

This chic dress perfectly embodies Natalie's mom's "simplicity is elegance motto," thanks to the mini polka dots in black and white.

This larger polka-dot print makes this dress exactly the kind of standout piece we think Stephanie's mom would approve of (as long as it's worn before September 2, of course).

Feeling fancy? This gorgeous silk dress perfectly embodies timeless elegance and modern sophistication all wrapped into one polka dot–printed wonder.