There have been a few news reports recently about a study about to be published in the Journal of Consumer Behaviour. This project interview more than 300 mother-daughter pairs to discover who was more influenced by the other when it came to fashion choices. Not surprisingly, at least not to me, the mothers were more likely to be influenced by their daughter’s clothing choices than a teenager influenced by her mom.
A woman who considered herself youthful, had a 25% chance of copying her daughters outfits of sense of style – this includes clothing, accessories and makeup choices. On the reverse, girls who felt they were older than their actual age were only 9% likely to copy their mother’s fashion tastes.
Why would this be? I, of course, have a couple theories. First: high school-aged girls are much more likely to give into peer pressure and dress the way the others in their class are dressing. So even if they did think their mother had a great sense of style they wouldn’t be likely to admit that. Second: The previous stereo-typical expectations of the way a 40-year-old woman should look, are being erased. Not, with the help of surgery, fitness regimes, and a variety of wrinkle creams, middle-aged women are feeling younger. They don’t feel the need to dress like their mother did while they were growing up. Third: I think in the last 10 years, the woman’s sense of personal style has become move in vogue. Previously there was one go-to look and if you weren’t dressing that way you were considered out of date and gauche. Now, with so many stores and clothing types, a woman at any age can dress according to what she likes and what works with her lifestyle.
I bet if the study, looked at girls in grade school, the results would be different. All I ever wanted to do was wear my mother’s dresses when I was little. In high school I wouldn’t have considered it. Now, well, I take my mom shopping when I’m home to visit. She dresses in her own style, but I help her pick out the items and push her to try on pieces she quickly over looked.
Would you dress like your mom? Does she dress like you?