I Let My Free-Spirited, Hippie Mama Dress Me In Her Clothes For A Week

I wore my mom's clothes for six days. Here's how it went.

i let my mom dress me for a week courtesy of the author

Growing up, I always thought my mom’s style was kind of wacky. From pants with glitter flames up the legs to crop tops made out of bandannas, her style certainly wasn’t very "mom-like" throughout my childhood.

i let my mom dress me for a week


i let my mom dress me for a week

While I sometimes felt a little embarrassed by her massive high-heeled boots and frequent show of midriff, other times, I thought she looked kind of cool.

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To be honest, during my teen years, I would always rummage through her closet when I went out dancing with my friends. Her outfits didn’t always seem to make sense to me when she wore them, but when I needed something flashy for the club, she always had my back.


My personal style today, like my mom's, has always been pretty versatile, and while I appreciate some of the pieces in her closet, most are things I'd never feel comfortable wearing.

I usually stick to anything that's comfy, flowy, conservative, and often oversized. In fact, one year, for Christmas, I asked for a button-down flannel shirt and an oversized sweater. My mom told me I dressed 'like a grandfather' and then instructed me on how to Daisy Duke that flannel shirt by showing some cleavage and tying the bottom of the shirt into a crop top (Don’t worry, I didn’t wear it like that).

You'd think ever after her late fifties, she would have toned down her outfit choices a bit. Not so.

i let my mom dress me for a week


(My mom in her late 50s)

So since she wasn't a fan of how I dressed, I agreed to let her style me from her closet for six days.

She was so excited about the assignment that she actually went through her wardrobe and picked me out full outfits — everything from shoes to jewelry.

Here's how it went when I let my hippie mother dress me:

1. Day 1

woman in black dress, black hat and shoes

This stretchy black dress was actually super-comfy and WAY more conservative than I thought was possible for my mom. The shoes weren’t so bad either. However, the gaudy necklace and the floppy hat were NOT my styles.


It wasn’t horrible, but I definitely felt like I looked a lot older (in a bad way) than I really am. However, the outfit seemed totally appropriate for her. She insisted on taking photos of me on her own phone so that she had her own collection to fondly look over later.

“LOOK how cute you look!” Typical mom speak.

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2. Day 2

woman in black and white summer dress


When I looked at this dress on the hanger, I totally hated it. The little kid-ish design, the cut — everything. But when I put it on, I felt like it was actually pretty flattering.

It was comfortable and had a sort of pin-up girl vibe, but I don’t remember ever seeing my mom wearing this before. The clear wedges she picked out were kind of yellowing (I think I used to wear them back in high school to dances) and the necklace clashed with the dress print.

I initially thought the hoop earrings were totally 90s, but shhh, I actually kind of liked them on me. Maybe I'll bring them back!

“Oh, my little pumpkin seed. Look how cute you look, you little pumpkin seed!”


Thanks, mom.

3. Day 3

woman in cream dress

I’m not sure exactly how to describe this dress other than I did NOT like it. Sure, it was stretchy and comfy, but pink is really not my color, and I didn’t think it was flattering on me at all. I would never wear that heart necklace in a million years and the shoes looked more like something I would wear with a Halloween costume (no offense, Mom!).


Still my mother: “There’s my pretty girl. There she is.”

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4. Day 4

woman in red dress and cardigan

This one was pretty cute, except the dress was so tight that you could see my tubby tummy in the middle. You know the look I’m talking about — when you can see how deep the belly button cavern is and all, right through the shirt.


It was the little red jacket that saved the outfit because I was able to cover up my problem areas with it. However, the dress was a little bit too short for comfort.

“Oh honey, I have red shoes for that outfit. Do you want the red shoes?”

“No, mom, these are fine.”

“But the red shoes are so cute. And what about a necklace? Do you need a necklace?”

“Nooooooo, mom. Please just take the picture.”

5. Day 5

woman in lace


OK, this outfit is totally my style. It’s made out of a crochet material and is really comfy, and form-fitting, but also conservative. Actually, putting this one on made me realize that I should start giving more things I wouldn't immediately gravitate to a chance in the store. If I saw this one on the rack, I'd probably never try it on, but now I think I might make a Target run to see if they have any left — or maybe I will just have to borrow from my mom!

6. Day 6

woman in bohemian black lace

My favorite color to wear is black. It's supposed to be slimming right? This little getup was quite similar to outfit 5, except the shirt was sheer and had a little crop top on under it.


I liked nearly everything about this outfit, except for the sneak peek at my doughy belly. My mom’s stomach is much flatter than mine, so I think I should leave this one in the closet for her instead.

“That’s it? We’re done? Are you sure you don’t want more outfits?”

“I’m good mom unless you still have those flame pants.”

woman and her mom


Overall, I was pretty impressed with her ability to stay true to her crazy style while toning it down a ton on behalf of what was comfortable for me. She managed to find a decent balance between choosing outfits that were cute but also age-appropriate.

Don't be fooled, though: I’m sure she still has a few scandalous pieces dwelling in the back of her closet — she just doesn’t want to let me in on her secret.

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Shannon Ullman is a writer who focuses on travel and adventure, women's health, pop culture, and relationships. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, MSN, and Matador Network.