Sunday, May 8, 2011

11 style tips I learned from my mother

With my sister 

In honor of my mother, here are some things I've learned from her over the years:

1. Take care of your legs and feet, because they take you everywhere. Spoil them with lotion, bright nail polish and comfortable pairs of shoes.

2. Black isn't the only flattering color. Stand out. She often encouraged me to try other bright colors, and often associated the somber black with funerals, which might explain my aversion to it now.

3. You never need as much makeup as you think.

4. Don't be afraid to splurge on yourself every once in awhile. A reminder she often tells me when I call her from the dressing room, asking for advice.

Getting practice in her shoes at age 3

5. Sleep and water are often the best remedies to everyday problems.

6. Take good care of, and appreciate your clothes. When she was growing up in the Philippines, she got by with only two dresses for work and church. To take care of her clothes today, she keeps sewing needles, lint removers and moth repellents nearby.

7. It doesn't matter what everyone else thinks, as long you're happy with it. Which is why I walked out of the house in mismatched combinations (floral shorts and lace vests!) and uncombed hair for several years.

8. Don't underestimate the power of good-hair-nice-dress-days. Before I started dressing myself, she used to pick the most confectionery of frocks for me to wear, and often styled my hair with ribbons. I appreciate that now.

9. Be kind to your siblings. They're the closest ties you'll ever have. This is probably evidenced by how open we are with sharing. I've borrowed my brother's Scout belts, and my sister has several of my sweaters.
With me, age 1

10. Always value a bargain. Growing up, I learned the importance of coupons, thrift stores and super-sale days. My mother can also negotiate her way into deals, too, having haggled with the best of store clerks, car dealers, and, during one memorable summer, an upscale jewelry store in Manhattan.

11. Smile, always smile. It helps through good time and bad, and is often the best way to say hello.

Happy mother's day.

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