I love my mum. She is caring, smart and amazingly practical. She raised her four daughters in a loving way, and miraculously turned us into pretty sensible adults. She would remind us that you are who you are and that clothes should be comfortable and flattering. Also, she taught us that style is a matter of good taste, not a matter of money.
My sisters and I loved clothes with a visible brand like Nike and Levi’s. We would think (or hope) that possessing them might get us a popularity boost at school.
But our clothes had a different brand that one only goes to appreciate when you become a mum yourself.
My mum made most of our clothes herself until we were about 16 years old. She is creative, but I also know that a very strict budget drove her to spend endless hours behind the sewing machine, stitching on-trend clothes together for a fraction of the price they would be in the fashion stores. I remember she would go to stores and flip garments inside out, learn how they were made, and replicate them. I can still recall my purple pair of trousers made of velvet fabric with a thin white stripe at each side. My mum made one pair of these for each daughter, and the result was the same as when we would have bought it in a store. Only it lacked the brand, which deeply disappointed the four of us, and poor mum knew about this.
Looking back we must have won the ‘most horrible daughters award’ with our lack of appreciation for all of my mum’s hard work.
But my mum was wise enough to keep silent and wait for us to grow up.
Fast forward 30-something years after puberty and being blessed with three teenagers myself, I know that my mum is truly an amazing woman. Now I know that her homemade clothes were worth so much more than the ones you can buy in any store. Unique as they were, surely they would fit the ‘Haute Couture’ tag. And I came to realise that they were not ‘brand-less’ at all; every stitch carried her personal signature of affection for us.
This Sunday, we celebrate Mother’s Day and if I could still fit those purple velvet pants, I would wear them with pride!