After a rather intense bout of Gilmore Girls binge-watching, I wanted more than ever to be able to share wardrobes like Rory and Lorelai. Alas, my mother is more than sixteen years my senior, and our styles reflect that age gap. Not giving up this Netflix-fueled frenzy, I dug into the deepest corners of her closet and finally hit a gold mine-- clothes and accessories from her twenties.
It was hard to see my parents as adventurous and fun when they were nagging at me to go to bed and constantly looking over my shoulder, so it wasn't until high school that I saw how amazing my mom's life was in her twenties. She told me stories about how her occupation as a nurse brought her to Saudi Arabia, and how she saved up to travel to Australia, United States, and all throughout Europe. Even though she had grown up in Taiwan during martial law, her multi-cultural experiences gave her diverse perspectives, which also influenced her to fully embraced the bold style of the 80's.
Sweater + Belt
She was wearing this sweater during a rather cold winter at the Grand Canyon. My dad was driving after a day at the park, but like irresponsible 20-something year-olds, they had forgotten to look up and reserve a place to stay for the night. Soon, night took over, and they had only the car's headlights to guide them. They finally came across a lodge in the middle of nowhere; exhausted and freezing, they took the only 'room' available-- a large closet.
The parents I've known my whole life are extremely responsible, so I always smile when I see this sweater.
Yellow Dress, Sunflower Earrings, Sunglasses & Sandal Heels
She was wearing this outfit when they were vacationing in Hawaii. My dad said that there weren't many cars back then, and one of his favorite memories was cruising down a car-free road in a rented red convertible.
This feels like a scene in a movie. I guess that's why people say 'those were the days'.
Vest with Tassels + Sheer Maxi Dress
This was one of her more experimental outfits. It also happened to be the first time my dad saw my mom with her newly permed '80's' hair, and he was not happy....but then he got his hair permed too.
I might not wear these together, but I still think they're fun pieces to mix and match with other clothing I have.
Red Leather Skirt, Black Shirt & Black Bag
She is so proud of this one. She was strutting down Rodeo Drive with my dad by her side, and she had on a pair of knee-high boots with her big permed hair in a high ponytail secured by a scrunchie. As soon as someone wolf-whistled at her, my dad instantly took her hand and held on possessively.
The first thing I noticed when wearing these clothes was the quality of the fabric as well as the craftsmanship. With today's fast fashion and easily replaceable clothes, only the luxury brands are maintaining the same quality as clothes of the past. These items are also unique and a bit quirky, showing personality against the monotone of what I usually wear.
Beyond the physical qualities, what attracted me to these pieces was the bond that I shared with my mom. I can never forget the way her face lit up when I asked her for her old clothes. She was proud that her clothes are given a second life, and she'll always remember her youth when she sees me wear them.
There are many more pieces that I'm still working up the courage to wear in public-- a loud, green dress made of reflective fabric; a color block oversize sweater with primary colors; and of course a light pink shoulder-padded blazer.
Nevertheless, not only have these accessories and clothes added a breath of fresh air in my wardrobe, it also helped me connect with my parents, learn a little bit about their history, and remind me that they were once my age too.