My Mum used to own these denim and blue leather cowboy boots. In the heady days of very early adolescence, I adored them. They were, to me at least, the pinnacle of sartorial excellence.
They hailed from the eighties, so their toe was pointed, their heel low and blocky and they slouched with the perfect mix of nonchalance and effort. I loved them in a manner that in hindsight they probably did not deserve. I wore them - despite the fact that they did not fit - around the house as I slipped into my imagination and played out the most complicated of scenarios in my head; in which I was older, taller and the shoes fit me perfectly.
Despite my Mum's cowboy boots (and a pair of shocking pink heels that I also still reminisce about) she was never, and still is not, afflicted with a level of infatuation for sartorial wares like mine. Lucky her you might say. You're more likely to find her in the garden than on Net-A-Porter.
Still, she has managed to instil some wise sartorial lessons.
Never look down your nose at a hand-me-down and op-shops are treasure troves
The appreciation for the pre-loved is a lesson that I will forever be grateful for. Secondhand doesn't mean sad, used doesn't mean useless. As a child when those bags full of clothes from aunts and great aunts and second cousins and friends popped up it felt like the greatest treasure hunt ever. What could be found amongst the polyester and the cotton, was wool and silk and orange sweatshirts that I would wear relentlessly for years.
And while the bags no longer appear, more's the pity, op-shops have taken their place. And snagged a part of my heart that will always be theirs. They, and I, have Mum to thank for that.
Being comfortable is not a crime
It's ok to choose comfort over high fashion. It's ok to wear big woolly jumpers when everyone else is...not. It's ok to put warmth first, and street style second.
Denim all the time, sneakers just as often and coral coloured leather jackets, because why not. Perhaps it's because she's always skirted around the edges of sartorial infatuation - where I dived head first in - but Mum has always had an ability to just wear what she wants and to be comfortable with that. It's a level of comfort that transcends the physicality of warmth and revelling in sneakers versus heels; it becomes a comfort with yourself. And more then that, with what you like and don't like. This is, for me, an ongoing lesson - but at least in Mum I always have someone to show me how it's done.
And the best lesson of all....
No expansion on this lesson required. Except to say that my Mum is the boss of double denim, lady has got skills.
So, did your Mum instil lessons of a sartorial nature? Do tell!