UNDONE Mothers and Daughters

For many of us, our earliest fashion memory can be linked to our mothers. Watching them get dressed up for a night out, or sneaking into their wardrobes and looking through their jewellery, shoes and accessories when we thought they weren’t looking.

We love that our Undone woman transcends any particular age, as wardrobe essentials are crucial no matter what letter of the alphabet your gen is associated with. Sharing a wardrobe with family, your mother, daughter, sister or handing your pre-loved wardrobe down to your younger cousins is how fashion brings us all together, and is the crux of this pre Mothers Days interview with some special Undone women.

We talk to four Undone Mums and six Undone daughters on their style, how they have been influenced by their mothers and what items they share, steal and borrow from each others wardrobes. 

 

Filomena is a Sydney based makeup artist represented by Vivien's Creative. 

- Filomena -

How would you describe your personal style?

Laid back luxe

Was this influenced by your own mother?

Not really, my mum is pretty fuss free, however she always encouraged my personal style - even when I may have made some questionable outfit choices as a teen. That encouragement is what has made me brave in a fashion sense I guess. 

What do you hope to teach your own children about style, fashion and self-expression?

I want my daughters to wear what they feel best in and not overthink their style or follow the crowd. I want them to pay attention to fit and wear what works for their shape and just have fun - you’re only young once!

Do you have a wardrobe item that has been passed down from generation to generation?

I have some gold jewellery from Italy that was given to me by my grandparents. My daughter Paris now wears one of the pendants all the time - I guess it's hers now haha. I wear a gold bracelet given to me by my parents as an anklet now.

Do you constantly find a certain item missing from your wardrobe? What item does your daughter/s steal on repeat?

My Vetements and Balenciaga sweats, various t-shirts as well as my slides - and a particular pair of Chanel sneakers are generally missing from my closet.

 

- Paige, 16 -

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style tends to have a mix – usually based off where I am or what I am doing. I think my style is a mix of tomboy, as I love to wear a suit on special occasions, and feminine, as I love to wear mini dresses with sneakers. 

Was this influenced by your mum?

Yes definitely, my mum’s style has a masculine tone with a feminine touch and is effortlessly chic. Her style has influenced my taste in wearing more mature items including blazers, trousers and she’s taught me the importance of collecting good pairs of vintage jeans (in particular Levi 501 jeans) and sticking to a colour palette that goes with everything. One thing I have learnt from her style it is to never overdo it. 

Is there a wardrobe item you steal on repeat from your mother? 

Yes! I always steal her Prada bucket hat, Saint Laurent slides, Saint Laurent sneakers and black Chanel sneakers - which I would have to say now sit in my shoe cupboard. I kind of just help myself to all of it, really.

 

What wardrobe pieces do you share and swap with your mother?

Most of the time we share jumpers and sweatpants – mainly her Vetements tracksuit pants or oversized jumpers including her vintage pistachio green Champion jumper.

 

- Paris, 14 -

How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe my style to be nineties inspired, for example, my ideal look for a party would be Doc Martins with a mini dress and a throw over denim jacket. For day to day I would wear my vintage Levi shorts with a basic black or white tee with vans. I also draw inspiration from the places we’ve travelled to as a family and the way other girls dress in different countries.

Was this influenced by your mum?

Some aspects of my style is inspired by my mum for example my love for vintage 501’s. I have learnt from my mum to buy things that not only look good but fit well, she has also taught me to express my self freely. 

 What is your favourite item in your mum’s wardrobe?

I love searching around my mum’s wardrobe and I always try on her furry slides from The Row. Other clothing items I love would be her Balenciaga sweatpants and her collection of t-shirts. I always love a good basic jean and white shirt look with stand out accessories, and my mum’s shoes and bag collection is my go to. Mum’s red Chloe fanny pack is my favourite. 

 Is there a wardrobe item you steal on repeat from your mother? 

Some of her swimwear in summer & her Gucci T shirt, it’s so soft.

 

Lydia is one of The UNDONE's VIP customers based in New Zealand. 

- Rebecca - 

How would you describe your personal style?

Elegant, simple and stylish.

Was this influenced by your own mother?

Yes in her earlier years and the best thing she taught me is ‘not to let it go!’ 

What do you hope to teach your own children about style, fashion and self-expression?

Be free and be yourself, do not be a slave to ‘fashion’! Always present yourself so you’d be proud of how you are.

What’s one thing in your own wardrobe that you’d like to pass down to your daughters?

One of my Adrienne Winkelmann treasures and my great aunt’s ball gown.

Do you have a wardrobe item that has been passed down from generation to generation?

Yes my great aunt’s ball gown. It doesn’t need any styling, it’s beautiful - you just need your hair and makeup to be done and that’s it. I last wore it to a formal celebration 10 years ago. I had a very special relationship with my great aunt and she gave it to me before she passed away 32 years ago!

What item does your daughter steal on repeat?

My cashmere jumpers!

 

- Lydia - 

How would you describe your personal style?

Very classic, minimal and always comfortable. Although recently with summer, I have been introducing more prints and pops of colour into my wardrobe and I have enjoyed it!

Was your style influenced by your mum?

Yes! Mum has most definitely taught me elegance and to always be proud of how I choose to present myself. True style comes from within!

What is your favourite item in your mum’s wardrobe?

I don’t think I would ever wear it myself, but I always remember growing up seeing Mum in it and thinking she just looked so fabulous!! It was a Jean Paul Gaultier brown silk top with green bull heads on it and brown fluff around the sleeves! Very glam!!

Is there a wardrobe item you steal on repeat from your mother?

Yes, always her cashmere jumpers. Whenever I put one on I immediately feel comfortable. They’re just so soft and always have her scent on them!

What wardrobe pieces do you share and swap with your mother?

I bought some black Isabel Marant slides with gold hardware that she fell in love with and now we both have them. Otherwise, she’s always sharing her cashmere collection with me. It’s dreamy!

 

Peta is the Co-founder and Director of Australian label Matteau.

- Peta -

How would you describe your personal style?

I’m very much a uniform dresser, I guess. I like to keep it very easy and relaxed. I don’t enjoy shopping, so I really don’t buy a lot. For me, it’s just about having the right, quality pieces that last. It means I’m able to put an easy outfit together for the office, for meetings, running around doing errands or with the kids, or a dinner out. Some great vintage Levis, t-shirts and shirts, a great pant - and I live in our Matteau wardrobe. I really just like to keep things easy and to feel like me.

Was this influenced by your own mother? What have you learnt from her about style?

Absolutely, my mum has been a huge influence on my style. I look back at photos of her from when she was younger or even when she was a young mum and she just exudes style – that kind of effortless style and an inherent ability to put clothes together. I hope that my kids look back and think of me the same way some day.

In anything she wears Mum has always looked amazing. She has a natural style and beauty. She has also always kept her wardrobe pretty simple, with just the right pieces to finish an outfit off – great jackets, shoes, belts and bags. Aside from obviously having a stylist in the family, I think what I have learned from my Mum has been through osmosis and a transfer of knowledge of a certain way of doing things. I so clearly remember as a little girl the nights my parents would go out for an occasion with friends, and I’d sit and watch my Mum get ready, help her pick her outfit, watch her put on the little makeup she wears – and when I got older, she’d get me to help her with her makeup and braid her hair. My girls do the same with me now. 

What do you hope to teach your own children about style, fashion and self-expression?

My girls are getting into the thick of the age of learning about their own style and self-expression through what they wear. I know from experience that a lot of your style is inherently passed down to you, so I hope they learn a lot from me in that regard. I help them put an outfit together when they ask for it, but at the same time I want them to be able to learn to do that themselves and feel good in what they have chosen to wear, not what I’ve dictated they wear. I might offer suggestions if something comes out not looking quite right, and there are trends now that the younger girls are wearing that took some getting used to for me. I do understand that it’s about having those trend pieces to feel comfortable and a part of the crowd, but I also encourage them to think outside of these trends and to make sure they are representing themselves and not conforming to the point that they lose themselves. The main thing is that they feel comfortable and happy in what they wear.

I think the one that I’m trying to teach them - that drives them crazy when they want something - is about not having too much that you don’t need. I want them to consider their purchases, in how much they buy and also how they buy. We don’t buy them a lot. We have a rule in our house that we only buy them what they “need” – their basic wardrobe of the right pieces. They love vintage shopping for jeans and tees, some basic tees and tanks, some vintage cotton blouses (some passed from my Mum to me, to them), some little floral summer dresses, sandals and slides and trainers. It is their responsibility to do their chores to earn money to buy what they “want” – it obviously instills the value of working for what you want, but also slows down their want to buy more and more. I absolutely do my best to steer them away from fast fashion and am teaching them to appreciate where their clothes come from. 

What’s one thing in your own wardrobe that you’d like to pass down to your daughters?

It would have to be my jewellery. The pieces I wear everyday (as in, I never take it off, I even sleep in) all have sentimental meaning to me – I would be devastated to lose a single piece and can’t wait to pass it onto my children one day. My engagement ring, my wedding band and keeper, my pavé ring that I got for my first Mother’s Day, my pendant (which was melted down from a Tiffany gold bangle that broke after 15 years of daily wear) given to me by my husband and kids for my 40th birthday along with a handmade replica of my original bangle…every piece has a memory connected to it, and I carry them with me every day. When my kids inherit these pieces one day, it will be because I’m no longer here – but they will know that those pieces of jewellery were on me for almost every memory made with them.

Do you have a wardrobe item that has been passed down from generation to generation? How do you style this piece now? 

There are a few pieces of clothing that Ella has already started wearing that I inherited from my Mum as a teen (and very soon Ava will also start wearing them, I’m sure) – gorgeous little cotton handmade, embroidered blouses she bought in Spain in the 1970s from little villages. I’ve taught them about taking good care of them, because these ones stay in the family. When they no longer feel these have a place in their wardrobe, I will take these ones back to keep for them so they can pass them down someday.

 

- Ava, 11 - 

How would you describe your personal style?

When I was little I always liked to wear dresses. I used to change my clothes about four times a day and drive my mum and dad crazy because I left them all over floor. Now I wear denim shorts and tops more often. I have tops like t-shirts that are for playing and doing stuff with my friends and also nicer tops for when we go out. 

Was this influenced by your mum?

My mum helps me when I can’t work out what to wear. And my sister helps me with what looks good -she shares some of her clothes with me when I want to wear them. Mum tells me not to make it tricky and to feel comfortable and feel like myself or I won’t enjoy myself.

What is your favourite item in your mum’s wardrobe?

I love when mum wears her denim shorts and I wear mine and Ella wears hers, then we are all dressed the same. 

Is there a wardrobe item you steal on repeat from your mother?

I always take her white t-shirts and tie them in a knot because they are a bit too big. I have my own white t-shirts but I like hers more. I also put on her perfume everyday.

 

- Ella, 14 -

How would you describe your personal style?

I love fashion and I’m always looking at it on Instagram. I don’t like a lot of mainstream fashion and I don’t want to dress like everyone else my age. I go vintage shopping and look at markets with my friends and I like to look for old t-shirts and interesting things that no one else has. I have a lot of plain tank tops that I put with my Levi cut offs and skirts and I also have some mini floral dresses that I wear out with my friends. We live in Noosa so I wear summer clothes for most of the year and I like how style here is more creative and individual than what I see in Sydney (where we used to live).

Was this influenced by your mum?

Mum taught me how clothes go together and that I don’t need to have heaps of clothes. I still haven’t really learnt that because I always want to buy new things, but I have to save up for any wants that I don’t really need. Mum tells me that I should feel comfortable and happy in what I wear. She encourages me to be creative and not ever feel like I have to dress like everyone else, but me and my friends all have the same taste. I don’t really like to wear make up and especially not foundation. I just curl my eyelashes (sometimes with a bit of mascara), tidy my brows and wear lip gloss. Mum always talks to me about using good skincare and being as natural as possible. 

What is your favourite item in your mum’s wardrobe?

I love the Matteau sundresses she wears but I’m still a bit small to fit into them. I also love her black blazer. 

Is there a wardrobe item you steal on repeat from your mother?

We have the same size feet so I take her sandals and trainers all the time when I want something different to wear. I also wear her crew neck woollen jumpers in winter.

 

Danielle is our very own E-commerce Manager.

- Paulette - 

How would you describe your personal style?

Classic, easy and tailored. I keep a rotation of white shirts and t-shirts, jeans and pants. I invest more into my outerwear and accessories to dress up my outfits.  

Was this influenced by your own mother?

Not necessarily, I would say my style is more influenced by motherhood and my own lifestyle. I’ve learnt over the years to keep my outfits practical, comfortable but never sacrifice on style. I like to put effort into myself everyday so I’m always feeling confident when I leave the house. It’s important for me to never lose that regardless of age.

What do you hope to teach your own children about style, fashion and self-expression?

To my daughters,

Always wear what makes you feel comfortable and never dress for other people. Never lose the importance of doing things for yourself whether that’s updating a few items in your wardrobe that will ultimately make you feel good or confident. Most importantly, make time for self-care, especially when you’re a mother. When you become a mother your life naturally revolves around your children but that doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself in the process or stop doing things that make you feel good.

Do you constantly find a certain item missing from your wardrobe? What item does your daughter steal on repeat?  I constantly call my daughters to see if they’ve seen where all my handbags have gone… but we like to swap clothes which I find very sweet. My daughters love the clothes and jewellery I still have from the 80’s and 90’s so I find them missing regularly.

 

- Danielle -

How would you describe your personal style?

In one word, simple. I stick to a handful of items in my wardrobe that I can mix-and-match. I really try to focus on only buying quality essentials and narrow the colours down to black, white, and beige paired with denim.

Was this influenced by your mum?

Definitely. Growing up my mum worked for Chanel so she was always leaving the house beautifully dressed in simple but well-tailored clothing. It was always really inspiring to see my mum put her family first in every way, succeed in her career and always leave the house so polished and poised. I appreciate that now more than ever.

My mother’s style has taught me to keep things simple and polished. My grandfather is a tailor so it’s always been in the family that tailored, well-made clothes come before the quantity of items you have in your wardrobe.

 What is your favourite item in your mum’s wardrobe?

My favorite item would definitely be her vintage engagement ring my grandmother gave her, it’s so beautiful and special. After that would be a beautiful hand beaded dress she still has from her early 20s.  

Is there a wardrobe item you steal on repeat from your mother?

I would be lying if I didn’t say she finds her handbags missing every so often (sorry mum!). She has an impressive collection of black trousers and skirts so I always snatch them up too.

What wardrobe pieces do you share and swap with your mother?

We often share clothes; almost anytime we’re with each other we’re swapping clothes. I mostly borrow things I can wear to work and my mum loves to take a black pant or midi dress from my wardrobe.

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