The only fashion advice your daughter really needs is confidence. Why do I say this? Because growing up with a mum who approached parenting as she approached life (relaxed and confident) was the best thing that could have happened to me and my style.
As far back as I can remember, rather than ever telling me how to dress, my mum always left the decision up to me—saying only, “Wear what makes you feel comfortable.” We would go shopping, whether it was for school clothes or an occasion, and she would find a comfortable chair in the dressing room area, sit back, and let me try on everything I wanted. I was definitely more particular about my clothes than the average elementary school student, and when I would land on something I liked—even if she didn’t—she would grin and say, “Listen, I don’t like it, but if you do and you’ll wear it, get it.” This came much to the astonishment (and envy) of my friends, who constantly engaged in classic mother-daughter arguments over what they could and couldn’t wear. Meanwhile, my mum would simply smile at my proclivity to layer Hard Tail pants under my Abercrombie & Fitch miniskirt—though I sometimes wish she had stopped me on that one.
Even when my two older sisters lovingly mocked some of my more fashion-forward choices growing up, as older sisters will do, my mum was my unexpected hero. She would interject simply with “It’s Nicole’s type”—which sounded much better in her half-Farsi, half-English way of speaking. This small but constantly reassuring act is what has kept me both true to my style and confident about it. A confidence, I think, that has a lot to do with where I am today: working at my dream fashion company despite having gone to business school (rather than nearby FIDM) and initially having only my own intuition as “experience.”
To sum up the above in a single example, I know that confidence is the only fashion advice your daughter (or anyone) really needs, because I’ve been told numerous times that “only I can pull that off.” And as someone who stands less than tall, at 5’2”, and is anything but a model, I’m probably the least likely person to be able to “pull off” anything. I can easily say that I would never be told such a thing if it weren’t for the understated yet unwavering support of my mum, which continues to this day. Now, when my sisters make fun of my (ironically titled) mum jeans and other fashion choices, I flash my own smile and tell them it’s my type.
Isabel Marant Abigail Japanese Silk Top ($315)