mama’s skirt

My mama had style, heaps and heaps of style.

The days, weeks and months after her death are all a blur and I’m not sure what became of her fancy-fresh wardrobe: her (and my) favorite wide-legged high-waisted khakis, her printed “ethnic-inspired” winter jacket, her heeled hiking boots, her three pair of 574 gray New Balances. The skirt pictured above and a flowy flower-printed black sundress are the only clothing items of hers that I own.

I’ve carted the two from city to city and apartment to apartment over the last dozen years. The dress got lots of wear until I snagged it on something a few years ago and created a hole big enough to need some professional help in repairing. The skirt, however, hasn’t seen the light of day since my mom wore it last, probably sometime in 1997. I pulled it out this weekend to see if my weight loss meant it was wearable: and it was!

The skirt came with a matching blouse and she wore it with a white camisole underneath. I had to pull the skirt up higher for it to fit properly but I’m pretty sure she wore it lower, with a brown belt cinching her small waist. I think I’ll pair it with tees and tanks once the weather decides to cooperate.

Do you wear your parent’s old clothes? How do they fit? Do you find that they’re coming back into style? Are there some items you wouldn’t be caught dead in but can’t bear to toss?

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18 responses to “mama’s skirt

  1. You look great in that skirt! When I was in middle school and high school I wore my dad’s old pullover sweaters and cardigans. I still have one of his old sweaters with a reindeer print on it. I’ll never get rid of it willingly, but I’ll never wear it again either.

    • I can totally relate. My dad’s sweaters were always warmer than my own. I think I’ll have to slyly steal one on my next visit!

  2. I asked my mother for one of her silk blouses. It is beautiful!

  3. I’m sure your mom would be delighted that you are wearing & enjoying her clothes, the skirt looks great on you. Unfortunately my mom is PETITE and I’m 4 inches taller than her not to mention several dress sizes larger. I also have huge feet so I can only wear her accessories. My grandma left me all her jewelry which I cherish but wish she had held on to her hats/gloves/dresses/shoes from the 30s-60s as she had the same shoe size as me!

    • Don’t you wonder where all those items went? Whenever I see 30s-40s stuff at the thrift store I wonder what member of the family is missing out on their gram’s clothing!

  4. I think the skirt looks gorgeous on you, especially paired with a simple white tee or tank. Lovely! Moms had the fiercest styles didn’t they? I wish I could wear some of hers but no. I do have some of my dad’s old tees that I love. I’m not so sure about rocking bell bottoms on me but I’m sure you could with ease!

    • Old tees are so comfortable. My mom was a designer for Harley Davidson so I do have some of the tees she designed. Not exactly my style but good for sleeping!

  5. I sneak cast-offs from my mom’s closet whenever she’s willing to let them go . Why go clothes shopping when I can shop mom’s closet?

    Your skirt is perfect!

  6. Pingback: thrifted: the spring & summer dresses edition |

  7. when my grandmother passed
    i rescinded the right to write a poem
    i didn’t clamor for my portion of the house of which i technically was a quarter right to fight for
    i just found her clothes.
    i’d always go shoppin in her closets.
    “granny, is it okay if i go upstairs and…”
    “go ahead, kiera.”
    the ‘don’t forget to bring my stuff back’ oft fell upon a deaf nape of neck. one beneath an asymetrical, an afro, a press-n-curl, because honestly? i’d been doin this my life entire. & more honesty? i wasn’t bringin back anythin unless & until she asked for it -specifically. my grandmother had clothin w/the tags still on them. some frum stores no longer in operation. some still in business but lord if the logos hadn’t changed & changed again. price tags TYPED out.

    this is all to say, i have a few exceptionally precious, precious items frum my grandmother’s closet:
    the taupe clutch
    the mauve crochet’d sweater
    the fur coat that was her wedding present frum my grandfather in need of repair {forgive me father for i have consider’d my hot glue gun}
    the blk dress w/metallic threading i wore last year on her birthday

    my most favourite thing tho: the compliment
    frum whenever i happen to wear sumthin, anything that once belong’d to her
    to which i reply grandly,
    “it was my grandmother’s.”

  8. My mother is an amazing knitter.
    I have one sweater of hers that she made a few years before I was born.
    Recently I found a photo of her in the sweater holding little toddler me.
    The sweater has such amazing retro appeal and I love, love, love wearing it.
    I get so many comments on it and I just love sharing the history of the piece with others.

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