Moms Mother's Day

Mother’s Day – We trust our mom’s word about many things, but when it comes to style, does mama know best?

A woman and child sitting in the grass.

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I started reflecting on the ways I have become like my mother.  Mom enjoyed getting dressed up, and I always remember feeling proud of how smart she looked. As a kid, I recall how fancy she seemed when she wore her gold jewellery and how pretty she was with her blue eyeshadow. Even when she was undergoing chemotherapy, it never occurred to me to ask why she was wearing that fabulous headscarf. To me, she only looked elegant and fashion-forward. What other reason could there possibly be?

I’ve heard it said that the most influential person in a child’s life is the same-sex parent. With this in mind, I decided it would be fun to ask some very dear women in my life how their mothers either directly or indirectly influenced their personal style. I think you’re going to love their responses as much as I did.

Our Mothers, Ourselves


Deanna and mom, Betty

A woman and her mother posing for the camera.

Betty and Deanna 1992


How has your mom influenced your personal style?

My mom has always instilled the importance of independence in me. Unfortunately for her, it has meant having a very opinionated, strong-willed and sometimes stubborn daughter. It also meant that I liked what I liked (generally everything with a large price tag) and didn’t like what I didn’t like (generally everything that the mainstream kids liked).

What struck me from a young age was my mom’s vast collection of shoes. I would try them on and wear them around the house from a very young age. Once I was a teenager my feet ended up being the same size as hers. Yippee, I could now wear her ‘hooker’ boots (that is what she called them back in the 80’s, no offence intended) to the bar! Fast forward almost 30 years, and my mom still has an extraordinary collection of shoes. She has always strived to look professional during her working years and put together in her social life. She has amassed a wardrobe, shoes, jewellery and scarves for any occasion and she loves putting it all together!

What do you want the world to know about your mom?

I will never know a more generous, giving, selfless individual like my mom. She is endlessly helping others who do not have a voice, need a helping hand or just need a friend to visit. She remembers everyone, everybody and their families, friends, neighbours and on and on. Everywhere she goes she knows someone, and she has been part of their lives in some capacity. She truly cares for everyone.

What do you want to say to your mom on Mother’s Day?

I can never thank you enough for your patience with me, your enduring love for me, Craig, Raylen and Delilah and your insistence that I learn how to be independent. I love who you are and who you have made me become. You are the reason I am the (at least seemingly) strong, independent woman I am today! As Raylen and Delilah would say, “I love you more, more, more!!”

Lea and mom, Sharon

A woman and her mother posing for the camera.

Lea and Sharon 2013


How has your mom influenced your personal style? 

For as far back as I can remember, my mom has always been beautifully put together. With her lipstick and lip liner, curled hair and feminine tops.

As a child, we didn’t have style in common, but now that I’m older, I’ve noticed that we’re drawn to the same colours and patterns. I may even go as far as to say that I’d wear some of her clothes and maybe, just maybe, one day she’ll get her poncho back. (that I borrowed over ten years ago)

What special about my mom’s style is that she’s never wavered, always stays true to what she loves (Rockin’ Palazzo pants from early 80’s to present) knows what looks good on her and what she feels comfortable in. It’s her confidence in how she wears clothes that really resonates with me. It’s not about what you wear, but how you feel about it.

What do you want the world to know about your mom? 

My mom is a teacher at heart. She not only dedicated her life’s work to teaching others but spent all of her time teaching my brother and me our self-worth. I would be nowhere near the women I am today if it wasn’t for her. She is a true role model and my hero!

What do you want to say to your mom on Mother’s Day?

Happy Mother’s Day! I hold our story very near and dear to my heart. I just want to say thank you for all your love and support. I’m so lucky to call you my mom and my friend. Also the best $3000 you’ve spent (if I do say so myself!) but then again, I may be a bit bias.

Jackie and mom, Karin

Two women standing next to each other in front of a wall.

Karin and Jackie 2018


How has your mom influenced your personal style? 

I think that my mom influenced my style growing up largely in what she didn’t do. She never criticized or discouraged as I was experimenting with different looks (and believe me, there were many)! I can still see my 15-year-old self in front of our basement bathroom mirror, trying to “tease†my hair up into a heavy metal frizz – my mom came to the rescue and showed me how. She made it safe for me to find and be comfortable with my own fashion sense. When I am tempted to dictate what my own kids wear, her voice is in the back of my head telling me that it’s not worth the argument (most of the time, anyhow).

My mother has always been a great example of choosing quality over quantity when making key wardrobe choices. Go for the good shoes and designer leather jacket on a trip to Italy, but save on the everyday basics. My love of accessories, especially fun jewellery is also something I trace back to my mom’s eclectic collection of bold pieces that we rummaged through and tried on as kids.

What do you want the world to know about your mom? 

My mom is a truly vibrant and fun loving lady. She’s passionate about ancient Egypt and travels the world experiencing different cultures, and when she’s home she skis and canoes and never seems to slow down. After many years as an arts administrator, advocating for and influencing the Toronto outdoor mural scene, my mom is just months away from her retirement. I can’t wait to see what that looks like!

What do you want to say to your mom on Mother’s Day? 

Mom, you’ve always had my back – during the lowest of the lows and for my greatest achievements. I appreciate the work that goes into being a parent and your example shines the light for me on this journey all the time. You’ve shown me that it’s never too late to reinvent your life and truly be your own person on your own terms. I love you.

Gillian and mom, Pat

A woman and girl smiling for the camera.

Gillian and Pat 1975


How has your mom influenced your personal style? 

Growing up in a small town, my Mum stood out – she was always on trend with the latest looks from the city, paired with an Elizabeth Taylor-like commitment to her hair, makeup and nails. I was not naturally looking to stand out the way she did, so she encouraged me to explore my own style. Throughout my high school years, whatever I came downstairs wearing – from my all black-all-the-time phase to my beach style in the winter looks, she always pointed out something great about it with a compliment that sent me sailing out the door to school with confidence. She is still the one with the best dress at the party… and I have found the confidence to carry my own style.

What do you want the world to know about your mom? 

Through all of her different life chapters, Pat, Patsy, Patz, Mum, Gramma, is like a triple espresso, always full tilt with energy, ready for life to be fun and the dancing to begin.

What do you want to say to your mom on Mother’s Day? 

Mum, thanks for teaching me about style and how to dance. This one is for you:

Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive

Dance on!

To ALL mothers on Mother’s Day, wishing you a day of leisure, celebration, love, and yes…even dancing.





A woman holding a baby in her arms.

My mom and me 1969

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