12 timeless style tips from our Mums

By Andrea Michelle

Many things influence our personal style, yet some of the strongest lessons come from our mothers.

Here, a bunch of Fox In Flats friends share the biggest style lessons they have learnt from their mothers, and I recount the sunnies, sunglasses and smiles of my mum, Jan.


Build a suite of Sunglasses.

My mum loved her sunnies, and would change them often to suit the latest trend.

I’ve taken this style advice on-board to the extreme, and have drawers full of them. Plus, they hide my tired sleep deprived eyes, and provide an instant style update to the most boring of outfits.


Trawl for Vintage.

Bronwyn, one of my besties from school shared:

My Mum introduced me to the joys of op-shopping. As a teen I wore vintage way before it was cool. Back then it was still easy to find gorgeous 50s and 60s dresses and jackets for a couple of dollars. Now you have to be a little more persistent and a lot luckier to find real vintage gems but that makes a real find even more exciting!”


Coordinate your colours.

Louise-Anne, a Fox In Flats friend, shared:

My mum likes to colour coordinate and detests using colours that do not go together.”


Like Madonna, Be Immaculate.

Mother to one of the main girls in my life – my god-daughter Lucy – my friend Cath shared her mum’s tips:

  • Always wear make-up.
  • Check the mirror before you leave the house.
  • Keep everything – you never know when it might come back into fashion.
  • Never leave the house unless you are comfortable running into people the way you are dressed.


Classic and comfort.

My niece Jacqui said this about her mum:

“Mum always told me:

–          Dress for comfort

–          Always opt for a size too big, rather than too small

–          Wear what works for your figure (whatever that may be)

–          Classic lines, shapes and colours always work best”


Keep it simple.

Fashion designer Sara Phillips who works closely with her mother, shared:

My mum always says simplicity is the strongest style asset you can have. Classic understated pieces are now always my favourite.


Crowns and tiaras are not just for royalty.

When she was 19, my mother was crowned the local beauty queen. You can see from this photo her obvious thrill the moment that crown touched her bouffant hair-do.

My mum being crowned Loxton Mardi Gras Queen, 1968.


And like her, I feel that same frisson of excitement when I’m within spitting distance of a tiara. I’ve heeded her advice and wear a tiara any chance I get.

Did I wear one at my wedding? Of course!

Would I wear one grocery shopping? If I wasn’t afraid of the men in white coats coming to get me, then yes. Hell yes I would!


Layer it.

My buddy Meg confided this about her mother:

My mum always looks great in layers of cotton, for example, long skirts with two t-shirts and a scarf, finished off with a pair of silver earrings. She always looks so graceful when she is dressed up, and it suits the older woman she is now.”


Don’t keep it for a special occasion.

Frannie, whose daughter my 7 year old son is planning to marry, emailed me this:

“My mum, no matter how she is dressing, always wears one thing that is a little colourful, loud, interesting or just plain ‘out there’. It is usually in the form of accessories such as fabulous earrings (even with a track suit) a leopard print scarf or a really beautiful necklace. She buys a lot of quirky things from vintage/op shops so she doesn’t necessarily spend lots of money and has lots of items that you don’t see anywhere else.
She also says there is nowhere that you can’t wear your best clothes depending on your mood……..she says life is too short…..”


Build a wardrobe of fragrance.

Liana, my sister-from-another-mother, summed her mum’s top style lesson succinctly:


And I can attest, the women from that family smell really goooooood.


A smile is always in style.

And regardless of what you are wearing, or how you are feeling, a smile is the best accessory.

My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 26. So young, and with two small children. The emotional devastation, and physical agony over next ten years until she died is something I can only slightly begin to comprehend now.

Yet all I ever saw, and what I always remember, is her sunny, smiling face.

Thanks for the lesson, mum x.

And to all mums today, whether young or old, near or far, have a wonderful, happy, and grin-filled day.


What style lessons did your mum teach you?


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  • Alice Shaw

    Your mum is really gorgeous.. hope you have a wonderful mothers day x

    • Thanks @47185b35b902ce5ecbe683b264875ab5:disqus My son suggested we get some balloons and release then up to heaven to say hi to her. OMG love that little man. Now…where to find helium balloons?

  • Nikki

    How gorgeous is your mum? Happy Mother’s day to you!

    • Thanks @529570150a78c4065683cc04887821cb:disqus she was pretty cool. Hope you have an awesome day with your kids (and are still celebrating, you champion!) Your kids will have a whole book to write about style tips from their mum! x

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  • Your Mum looks so beautiful.  This is a fantastic post.  Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Lovely, lovely post. Lots to learn here. 
    Visiting from the Rewind.

  • Your mum had such a beautiful smile!
    My mum taught me that there is a lot to be said for ageing gracefully.
    And my nan taught me to live like you are young, every.single.day.

    Rewinding with the Multiple Mum

    • Oh that’s gorgeous advice. xx

  • Ah, beautiful post.  I love what each mother has shared with their daughters. It’s amazing how strong our mother’s words are as we grow into adults ourselves

    • Isn’t it! And I love how they all had such different perspectives. 

  • What a fun post! All those women, so much shared wisdom! I am sorry to read about your (gorgeously smiley) Mum. Such a tragedy! Thanks for Rewinding again this weekend x

  • Oh – that was me, MultipleMum. I am babysitting Maxabella’s kids and am on her computer… xx

  • Oh no! I loved this post, but such a sad ending. I’m so sorry to read about your mum. This must have been incredibly difficult. But she’s left you her beautiful, smiling legacy. Thank you for sharing, this must have been hard to write. *hugs* xx

    • Thanks Rhythm Method. It was actually really great to be able to share a bit of her here x

  • A great post! I learned from my Mum to always look your best and dress appropriately. She had the most gorgeous clothes, all colour co-ordinated and the best heels and flats. 
    Sorry to hear about your Mum (she was beautiful!), I lost my Mum to Cancer when I was 15 xx

    • Oh Jodi I am so, so sorry to hear that. It’s great to remember the cool things about our mums. xxxx

  • penny

    No wonder you’re so stunning. Your mum was beautiful! My mum taught me how to do smokey eyes. She also wasn’t scared of a wig!!!

    • Oh Penny that’s lovely – yes, she was beautiful. 
      A wig – that’s awesome – tell me more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  • Pene

    Honey you are just amazing – and I bet your Mum would be beaming her beautiful smile at you right now and thinking how wonderful you are at what you are doing…  She was a stunning woman and you are just as stunning!!  Not only have you given us all some wonderful fashion ideas, you have honoured your Mother in the most delightful way.  Thank you for you and thank you for sharing your Mum with us all.  Lots and lots of love xxx

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  • Fiona @ My Mummy Daze

    You put this together so well. Hugs to you. What a gorgeous, inspirational Mama you had and have become xxx Fi

    • FoxInFlats

      Oh thanks Fiona! x

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  • Missjane

    This one will make you laugh. I am 53 years young and my mum was born in 1936, when my sister and I had a brief fling with ciggies in the late 70s my Mum advised that if we were to light up in public we must sit down as stylish young women
    do not walk around smoking.

    • FoxInFlats

      Missjane – Great advice! Same goes for eating I think… Your mum is a clever one! x

  • Sally

    Beautiful post, and you look just like your beautiful mum.
    Thanks for providing such positive and inspiring reading as always.

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