Jacques Lowe/Vanity Fair" />Those Clothes Are Indelibly Mine [NY Times]
New York Times "Thursday Styles" columnist Michelle Slatalla has a piece up today about her teen daughters surreptitiously stealing her clothes. I sort of disagree about her conclusion — that her daughters steal her clothes because they want to appear older and baby boomers wear youngish clothes because they fear aging (because hello, daughters have been playing dress up in moms' pumps forever!) — but I certainly understand the allure of a mother's closet. My own mom, who is generous in absolutely all other matters, guarded her boudoir with the snarled teeth of a junkyard dog. And for good reason: she had impeccable, expensive tastes in clothes, and did not want me getting my grubby mitts over her well-thought-out wares.My mother's style is incredibly architectural and somewhat cutting edge (there were not, nor will there ever be, mom jeans in her closet). She favors Calvin Klein suits in dark colors, and that was certainly not something I wanted to borrow when I was sixteen. However, she also had a dazzling array of expensive cotton t-shirts from Petite Bateau and Three Dot, and she wouldn't let me get anywhere near them. So occasionally I would resort to subterfuge: sneaking into my parents bedroom while they were eating breakfast and stealing the soft, cottony spoils. Obviously I liked the clothes, but I think there was a little more to it psychologically. I look up to my mother. She's confident and successful in her career and introspective, and her understated yet elegantly structured clothes reflect that quiet confidence. Perhaps deep down I felt that by wearing my mother's clothes, I too could project that same image, that same concrete sense of self. Slatalla's argument that teens wear their mothers' clothing to look more mature wasn't true for me. I didn't want to look like baby boomers in general, I wanted to look like one baby boomer in particular. Or maybe those t-shirts were just really awesome.