Fashion… Can We Wear What Our Daughters Wear?

January 28, 2013

I have two daughters. Two gorgeous, beautiful creatures that inspire me with their fashion sense every time I see them. It is not surprising that they love fashion, with a mother like me… who has been dreaming shoes, bags and dresses from a very early age. My daughters are both different… both in physical looks and fashion sense… One likes the classics with a twist… the other, the twists with a dab of the classic… I have my own way of wearing fashion.., yet I can see that I am drawn to their choices and how they put their look together. I admit to coveting their style… and they will happily follow my lead.

I realised that the girls and I have many of the same or similar pieces in our wardrobes and this brought me to that age old conundrum for women… of age v’s fashion… What is appropriate and what’s not. I think about this all the time… and frequently ask them,  ‘Can I get away with this?’ ‘Are you sure I am not too old to be wearing this?’ You know the drill…  and if you don’t have daughters then I am sure that these same questions have been fired at girlfriends and partners in abundance… The answer is, YES… we can wear what our daughters wear… within reason… and with a little change here and there. There is nothing worse than getting it wrong and there is nothing better than being inspired and learning from younger women… It’s all a question of adapting… adapting their choices to suit ourselves… tailoring what’s ‘in’ to our personalities and our bodies… We can stay in the game, enjoy every moment but we must know when to admit defeat and when to embrace a ‘look’.

The photograph above is from Atlantic Pacific. It’s not one of my daughters… I am yet to catch them for a snap… I know my daughters would wear all those pieces in a heartbeat… and so would I… but with a little tweak.

tote… here  coat… here  jeans… here  boots… here  white shirt… here  sunglasses… here

And for more beautiful coats to dress up the jeans … have a browse through… here

And if you want to shake up your totes a little… less ‘Celine’ more boho… I am very tempted by this one… here

This is an easy outfit to put together… one that can be brought up to date with a new shirt, a cute pair of short boots or a stylish pair of glasses. Three-quater coats add a certain chic to a pair of jeans… and also slim the body… Whether you add the hat and belt is up to you…The fedora does make a statement… and the belt… best on a slender pair of hips… The choices I have made are similar to the ones in the photograph but the jeans are plainer, the shirt is more structured… the bag less cumbersome… and the coat, while embellished, is more sophisticated. It’s the same feel… yet the subtleties allow for the differences in age.. Whether you are in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s… there are ways to make this look your own.

Can we wear what our daughters wear?  Yes… I am heading to their closets right now…. xv

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  • Catherine says:

    The biggest problem is the cut of the clothes. The youth-oriented brands cut for women with small hips. I have better luck in France at Jacqueline Riu, and in the U.S. at Loft with their Julie cut. Loft also has the Marissa, which is straighter. I wear size 40 in France, and can wear size 4 Julie jeans, yet with the Marissa cut, a size 12 is terribly tight on the hips but I look like one of those weight-loss ads because the waistband is big enough to get in another person. That is an incredible difference.

  • Like this! Since I don’t have daughters I cannot fairly answer your question. But I have plenty of friends and a sister with daughters who thankfully have a great fashion sense about what is right and whats wrong but do see on occasion a “lapse in judgement” just by casually observing mothers and daughters.
    I think the ripped jeans, midriff tops, anything super trendy geared towards a young girl just looks plain old silly on anyone who lets say is over her 30’s. I realize some women just love and embrace trends no matter what and I do think that the most important thing is how you feel about yourself.
    That said, if ripped jeans help you feel your best..then go for it. Just not my thing. I am a classic dresser who likes to add fun little twists, but all age appropriate. It will be fun to see how other respond to this…..enjoy your day Vicki!

    • Vicki says:

      Agree… whatever makes you feel confident is important… that is where the French women have it all over us..:) I m with you… I love jeans.. wear them nearly every day… but not ripped… My midriff is well and truly covered… I only wish that I had shown it more when I was younger… and liked the look of it;)

  • Anita Rivera says:

    Dearest Vicki! I love this chat. OK, let’s talk.

    I believe WE CAN wear our “daughter’s clothing” and I too make observations about fashion and how older men and women carry themselves. What I notice is POSTURE. If an older woman can walk and carry herself with confidence and a good posture, then the cloths hang beautifully on them. For older men, who I think look super with their white, gray or NO hair, can keep a youthful appearance by staying FIT. Keeping fit and feeling comfortable in one’s body type is a PLUS toward wearing younger clothing. I am all for it. THIS GORGEOUS OUTFIT you share here with the jeans, boots and coat are very much suitable “Pour les dames d’un certain âge!”

    Have fun, enjoy, and I know you will look super in any of your fashion crushes! How I love to chat with you! Anita

  • I would wear everything in this picture in snap….except for the torn up jeans. I prefer the classic dark denim or colored denim, but not ripped. I do not agree with the message it sends for any age…unless you are painting the house!! At 59, I am constantly evaluating my look…is it too old, is it too young, is it just right (a little Goldilocks please). But, I love to try almost anything. I developed a five question plan for me a couple of years ago and it still works…it is in my sidebar if you are intersted…the Foundational Five!!

    • Vicki says:

      Love that idea of a ‘foundational five’.. Pam… and I agree about the rips… They are cool.. but I am best all sewn in!

  • You are perhaps closer in age and morphology to your daughters. Though, on the whole, I like the way my daughter dresses, I am never tempted to copy her and vice versa. We have very different personalities, tastes and morphology. I always made a rule that she couldn’t borrow my clothes and accessories because I thought it was better that she develop her own style. And that is what she has done. For me, it’s better that way.

    • Vicki says:

      I prefer not to lend my clothing and accessories… because I never see them again..:) I suppose my girls have emulated my style and now, I am enjoying theirs… Either way, I do like the sharing… :)

  • Nancie B says:

    Love this look and yes I would wear it but without the rips. And maybe flat boots only because I have a short husband!
    I’m 57 with 15 and 17 year old daughters and I find MY clothes going to high school more than I would think possible. Usually just my sweaters/jackets and frequently my boots and TOMS. Never my pants as they have those lovely little non-existent hips while…well, you know.
    I’m big on confidence helping carry anything off. Also helps if you are fit and a little on the slim side. (Im trying! I’m trying!)
    And yes, it is lovely having daughters saying “No. Don’t think so. Try again.” 95% of the time they are right. 5% of the time I think they just want the clothes for themselves instead.

    • Vicki says:

      I think that is so true Nancie… they are so often spot on … but sometimes I do miss out on something that I would really love because they have wrinkled up their noses in that cute way they do…:)

  • This is a great look, Vicki–both versions–and I have a feeling you could rock whatever look you wanted to! :) xo Gigi

    • Vicki says:

      I wish Gigi! Not after all the Christmas cheer…;)
      I think it’s a look that would suit most women… it’s just a question of which boots, coat, bag etc… to work in with age and personal style…

  • Hello dearest Vicki,
    First of all thank you so much for your comment on my latest blogpost about Rela! Oh yes, blogging is a brilliant way to communicate with people from around the world! I couldn’t miss it anymore!
    Vicki, I wished I had a daughter, I certainly would be inspired by what the young ladies of today are wearing!! And I would love to have my daughter going shopping with me to help me to choose my outfits. But I have a son and I do have to say he really knows what is beautiful and dares to give me remarks if he doesn’t like my outfit!
    Have a wonderful week Vicki!

    • Vicki says:

      Sometimes our sons can be the most discerning of all…
      Recently I went to a party and wore something that my son advised against.. I liked it.. and truthfully it was ok but a little eccentric… I think I wore it because he said I shouldn’t! All night I wished that I hadn’t… but there was no turning back.. I had to hold my head up high and get on with it… When I got home… I said to him.. ‘Ok.. you were right”.. He was wise enough to say nothing… Round one to him… :)

  • Great post and conversation happening in the comments. What I have learned from my daughter is she will take a color and treat it like a neutral. For example, pumpkin colored shorts she wears with everything like I would a black or navy. It is a refreshing look. Long gone are the days where we could only wear skirts a certain length or white only between Memorial Day and Labor Day (May-September). Everything is acceptable one just needs to find what styes work for them and have fun with the trends. Take notice of what you are wearing when someone compliments you on an outfit. It will help you when you are shopping etc.

    • Vicki says:

      That’s a great point… to take notice of how other people see us… It’s so hard to see ourselves neutrally… we are always so self conscious about things that nobody else notices..:)

  • pve says:

    I think “confidence and courage” look good at any age. I think we can wear what our daughters wear, it’s just the one’s that can’t wear it do. You know what I mean….
    I love good quality classics, loved them then and now.

    • Vicki says:

      WHat is it about human nature that makes that happen.. :)
      Confidence, courage… and a good classic are the founding blocks of great style…

  • Ann says:

    Dear Vicki,
    I, too, have a daughter and have the exact same conversations of too old/too young. It’s wonderful to have her input and we have lots of fun. I love the look in the photograph and agree with the others about the jeans minus the rips. There is only one complaint – you termed it “an easy look.” But, oh my, it totaled up to the tune of over $4000! I not certain about your other subscribers but that is way, way out of my ballpark range. It’s a little dismaying that the links are to such expensive items.
    Love, love your blog,

    • Vicki says:

      The links are for inspiration… not necessarily to buy..:) There are so many ways to re-create this without the expense… and there are so many ways to spend even more if so desired… :)

  • Katherine says:

    Even if you are fit and toned there are some ‘daughters fashions’ that we shouldn’t wear. The ripped jeans is my number one fashion don’t {truthfully, even on my daughter I think they are a don’t}.
    Like you I would wear a scaled down version of the look. I wear slim jeans with heel boots and would love to wear the leopard coat. It looks great with the classic white shirt but I’m more likely to match it with something black.
    My rule is if I am standing in the change room and ask myself ‘can I wear this?’ – it generally goes back to the rack.

  • I love the whole look–my daughter (!7) would definitely wear the look and so would I–my tweek would be the jeans–probably dark wash and no holes for me! Great post!

  • Yes, I think we can within reason, of course – nothing worse than seeing a mature woman trying to dress way too young (example 70 year old in a mini dress). I find European sizes aren’t standardized – for example, two pairs of pants in different styles but the same size, fit totally differently.

    • Vicki says:

      I find that it is the same with all clothing these days.. and shoes.. no two sizes are ever the same.. i often ask to try another pair or another ‘one’ in case it makes all the difference… :)

  • hopflower says:

    No ripped jeans, though. Please.

  • Sophia Home says:

    Dear Vicki,

    I loved this post today – thank you! I have a gorgeous 22 year old daughter who adores fashion, and although follows current trends, always seems to add that certain something or wear it in a way that none of her friends do. She is a constant inspiration to me, and is my most useful critic when going clothes shopping – she certainly keeps me on my toes! She keeps me inspired and encouraged with what suits me and also urges me to add a little ‘edge’ to the classic simple style that I love. As she is going in to her 20’s now, I have noticed that her taste is getting more sophisticated. Although she has the confidence, youth and legs to get away with hot pants and pretty short hemlines (a no no for me and pretty much anyone over 25!), it is interesting to observe a new interest in a more grown up, chic style (in contrast to all her friends who still have very long hair, she has just had her hair cut short in to the chicest short bob) and I have found classic items and especially knit wear, disappearing from my wardrobe lately!

    So yes, in answer to your question – we can dress like our daughters, but with compromise. I love the outfit featured, and would definitely wear it. As you suggested though, a different coat and I would perhaps wear ‘distressed’ but not ripped jeans!

    You’ve got me thinking……I am just off to check my wardrobe for any missing items! Daughters….don’t we just love them.


    • Vicki says:

      Yes we do… :) And if I were to tell the truth … I have been known to borrow from my daughters closets…:) Bags, sweaters… jewellery… I think it is because they are braver when it comes to fashion, than me… or maybe I just love what they choose…:)

  • lisa thomson says:

    What a cute outfit. I love the sunglasses! My daughter often wrinkles her nose at my outfits if they appear too old etc. Meanwhile she steals from my closet what she refers to as ‘vintage’ clothing, yikes. My son actually has great taste and he’s only 18. He loves clothes (like his dad does)so he’s helpful in that department. Just my personal tip; a great coat can bring any outfit up a notch so it’s an investment piece. I’ve had one for about 10 years that I can throw on for formal or very casual and it’s super warm. Thanks Vicki for a great post!

    • Vicki says:

      I too love coats… and agree.. they really can make the most simple of outfits look wonderful… like this one here… jeans and a white shirt… there is nothing more simple… but when worn with either of these coats, becomes amazing…

  • Wonderful post and perfect timing for me to read… wishing you a fabulous day.

  • Anita Rivera says:

    Oh you are so kind to make your way over to my blog to see my child-like art!

    As you can see, I have a think for black tights and boots!

  • Leslie says:

    My daughter is 21 and is has her own style as well. She was blessed with longer legs than I .. I a smaller chest, so besides the age difference, we have a different shape. I believe a lot we wear has to do with whether or not we can carry it off. If you enjoy exercise, eat well, and have good genetics.. you will have more options as you mature. The length of a skirt for example.. when I was young I had no problem with a mini:) NOW I don’t feel it’s appropriate., even though I am not embarrassed about the condition of my legs. I also feel mature women look more sophisticated when then switch to a covered, more flowing look. I actually do have a pair of worn jeans BUT no holes!


    • Vicki says:

      I believe that the suggestion of what is underneath is always more attractive than if everything is revealed and more…;) I am not fond of knees on mature women.. nor cleavage… and only arms if they are in good shape… Tough… but I believe it looks better. Remember Julianne Moore at the GG’s .. she looked wonderful and we all loved her sleeves…

  • tracey says:

    I LOVE the leopard print coat!! I have one similar and I look forward to wearing it every winter…never seems to go out of style. Your choices are all beautiful Vicki!!!


    :) T

    • Vicki says:

      Lucky you Tracey… Leopard is a classic and will last you forever… I have a scarf that I have worn forever… and always love it, whenever I put it on..

  • Leslie says:

    oh! I meant I have a larger chest, smaller/shorter shape.

  • Leslie says:

    and shorts skirts .. not a good idea for a mature woman (I need my morning coffee to kick in!!)

  • My daughter and I are so very different in fashion and style. But I do know exactly what you mean. We were trying to cull my wardrobe down, she had all the questionables (including things I loved) on rolling racks. When I said a loud “NO” about deleting an outfit…she said, “Mother, if you wear this people will know how old you are.”
    It was deleted.

  • Leslie in Little Rock says:

    Every time I look at that fun Atlantic-Pacific Blog I ask the same thing!! Thanks for reading my mind and for the great advice!

  • Andie says:

    I seriously think that if you are too concerned about what others think then you are doing it wrong! :)

  • La Contessa says:

    BEAUTIFUL TOPIC!Unfortunately, I have no girls……….just two SONS who are very use to their MAMA”S look!I have a photo on my phone of me in jeans with ADD~ON’S!That was the only time I remember one SON saying,”MOM< WHAT ARE YOU WEARING!"I then questioned myself and thought.OOOOOOOOOOOO darn it I'm getting TOO old for these fabulous fashions!NOT FAIR!I havenot put them on since and there they sit in the closet taking up space!But I just cannot let them go!If I can send the photo to my e-mail I will send to YOU VICKI for CONSULT!

  • Adore this post. Nothing worse than seeing a woman of a “certain age” trying to wear clothing-that fits too tight + too young. Confidence makes a big difference + great fit. Happy Monday

    • Vicki says:

      NO .. we never want to be ‘too’ anything… we must be just ‘right’… and we want the younger girls to think…’now, she looks good’… ;)

  • Vicki I appreciate this great post. I ask myself this all too often and when I’m fortunate enough to be with my daughters, I too pester with that important question.

    I am guilty of owning a similar leopard coat and oddly enough tried on a hat much like Bee’s over the weekend. I am not gutsy enough though to wear them together, but oh I’d love to if I were 25!

    You gave us all wise advice. Nothing says we can’t be ‘right-now’ it’s just knowing when to say, right-now with a healthy respect to the past.

    Thank you! xx

  • Amy Kortuem says:

    I love this look! My mom and I are in a hilarious place where we have similiar clothing – even down to the boots and coats. When we plan to go anywhere together, we always call and negotiate who gets to wear the grey coat and who gets to wear the leggings and black boots!

    • Vicki says:

      That is like us… The other day the girls and I were all wearing the same boots! We thought we should change them… but then decided… why?? We all love our boots.. let’s go…:)

  • Karena says:

    Dear Vicki I think there are many styles of our daughter we can wear! It is more about the combination of separates, length of skirts,etc.

    Plus not trying to look like we are 20!

    2013 Artists Series

  • Ivy Clad says:

    This was a fun read, Vicki. I’m always flattered when my beautiful mother wants to know where I bought something because she wants one too, or when she sometimes wants to grow her hair out to look a little like my shoulder-length style. While I am in my 30s, I have friends of all ages and love a multi-generational approach to fashion. I think it’s great that you and your girls can interchange ideas & clothing!


    • Vicki says:

      Great to have your take Keri… I think we all have so much to learn from each other… and that is one of the wonders of fashion… many of us have that ‘love’ in common.. :)

  • Vicki-

    Great post. I sent it over to share on FACEBOOK.

    The outfit is AGELESS and fun and bright. It’s current and looks with-it–without any age restriction.

    More important is to be comfortable in the outfit, for it to be styled and tailored with everything fitting beautifully. That’s the key to it all.

    Oh, and…maintenance. Looking fresh and charming and happy and energetic and involved with the world and people–as well as neat and together is the essence…not an age.

    I’m sure you look fabulous…DIANE

    • Vicki says:

      “Involved with the world and people’ … Dianne , you have summarised so well one of the keys to ageing well…
      Thank you for passing along the post…:)

  • AnneHH says:

    Thank you for a wonderful post. I am blessed with a beautiful 19 year old daughter and sharing our love of fashion is such a bond for us! I definitely am inspired by the looks of my daughter and her friends which I then make my own–keeping in mind my age and my favorite features.

    • Vicki says:

      The mix of generations makes for a wonderful outlook on fashion… we are so lucky to have these relationships with our children and our younger friends… I do love the way we can exchange our ideas…

  • Elizabeth says:

    What an interesting post and comments. I thought you might enjoy the book, “Steal this style : Moms and Daughters Swap Wardrobe Secrets” by Sherrie Mathieson. I just got it from my library and loved the before and after photos!

  • Rena says:

    Yes, yes, yes but as you say “it’s a quest of adapting” what means to me, just a little bit but not too much and also to pay attention of the hair style and make up. I also listen to my son ‘s
    fashion advise, why not, lastly he is a man but it must be a fun to go shopping with a daughter.

  • Lovely post and pictures Vicki, and yes I know this feeling far too well. Why is it so difficult to take one step back and see ourselves objectively?! Thank goodness there are daughters around to give an honest appraisal!

  • Dianne says:

    A beautiful and elegant post. Would lovet to heck out my daughters wardrobe however size is the denying factor! Although sharing of French perfumes is fun.

  • Dianne says:

    A beautiful and elegant post. Would love to check out my daughter’s wardrobe however size is the denying factor! Although sharing of French perfumes is fun.

  • Yo, if Ines de la Frassange can wear ripped jeans then so can I!! (Don’t ask me where the ‘yo’ came from, I have no idea). :)

    What a great conversation here…Lots to think about.

  • Niki says:

    Could not agree more Vicki. My sister and I often borrow my Mum’s clothes and there are often the same things in all of our wardrobes. I often think my Mum looks nicer in some things than we do even though she is always asking if she is too old.

  • PamMarie says:

    My dd is almost 14, I’m 52. At her age she does get flustered when I suggest buying something for myself that she too would wear. I’m sure that will change when she gets older. After all, she does pay me compliments on how I dress. And I have a leopard printed coat I know she will want to borrow one of these days!

  • Pamela says:

    I love this feature. Please do it every week! Your taste is wonderful as is your blog.

    I notice that my 15 year old daughter takes my clothes often.. When I was her age. my mother’s way of dressing could not be more different than mine. But I find that today the lines are blurring. A 10 year old dresses like a 15 year old. A 15 year old dresses like a 20 year old. But the line does get clearer as we get past, well, a certain age. I am nearing my mid 50’s, and while I love to dress au currant, I still want to look sophisticated and elegant. There are certain things that aren’t right for me now: short skirts, Capri pants (a show of the ankle is so much better), 4″ heels ( 21/2 to 3 just seems good), poker straight hair (I find a little layering is flattering).
    And when I’m in doubt, I know that my daughter will set me straight.

  • Connie says:

    Thank you for posting this article so much! I am 54 and have no daughters but I teach high school and have my “school daughters”! I am fit and trim for my age and love to wear the things they do with a little tweak just like you said. I needed to read this! Thank you!

  • Parisbreakfast says:

    Thanks for the Atlantic pacific mention…what a fab site! So much to keep up with!

  • Donna says:

    Love the chocolate and orange macarons. Am going to try to make them myself-wish me luck.

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