10 Times Moms Were More Stylish Than Us

by SheKnows Editors
Apr 24, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. ET

The adage “I get it from my momma” wouldn’t exist if it weren’t the absolute truth. That said, it’s easy to forget our mothers once rocked their independence. Before we came into the picture, our moms were young, vibrant and unique women, each with their own strong point of view and personal style.

In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’re sharing throwback photos of our mommas (and one grandmother!), many of which were taken before we were born. The attitudes, the way they dressed, how they carried themselves in an era when female empowerment was encouraged but rarely acknowledged — our moms have provided us the ultimate inspo. Let’s raise our glasses to the original style makers!

This post is sponsored by zulily.

1 /10

Maura M. Lynch's mom
Image: Maura M. Lynch


“This photo is from my parents' wedding reception in 1981, before I was born. I love my mom's dress, her hot-roller hair and what I know are platform espadrilles on her feet. It's funny. I don't really remember my mom having a distinct style when I was a kid. She was very much a jeans and T-shirt lady. I think her style is more interesting these days than back then; she's let her hair go silver and she's always wearing bright colors and prints. I aspire to her wild later-in-life style.” —Maura M. Lynch

2 /10

Martha Tuber's mom
Image: Martha Tuber


"'Early '80s NYC mom' is my go-to sartorial inspiration: the perfect mix of high and low, tailored and relaxed, Uptown (where she still lives) and Downtown (where she still shops). The closer I get to channeling her, the cooler I feel. I don't know if I've ever captured it perfectly, but I'll always keep trying." —Martha Tuber

3 /10

Ariane Ling's mom
Image: Ariane Ling


"I love the ease of how my mom wore a simple dress with sandals on her honeymoon. My dad gets brownie points for carrying the bag for both of them." —Ariane Ling

4 /10

Cristina Velocci's mom
Image: Cristina Velocci


“Credit her European heritage, but my mom has always been an impeccably dressed, polished-looking lady. Even a basic trip to the grocery store requires a spritz of hairspray and a swipe of lipstick — something that used to frustrate me as an impatient kid, but now leaves me in awe as an adult who struggles to even get out the door in the morning. Here she is in Florence at the age of 21, dripping in pearls with nary a hair out of place. I may not have inherited her elegance and glamour, but her killer collection of designer handbags makes for a pretty decent consolation prize.” —Cristina Velocci

5 /10

Veronica Balta's mom
Image: Veronica Balta


“My mom is 19 years old in this photo and she made this dress. She loved fashion but didn’t have a ton of money, so she made do. She splurged on the bag that was $4.” —Veronica Balta

6 /10

Jinnie Lee's mom
Image: Jinnie Lee


“It’s wild to me how my mom’s style in this photo, taken in 1980 in South Korea, still looks current today: a T-shirt tucked into high-rise jeans, a flannel with rolled-up sleeves, and low peep-toe heels. The only accessory that really dates the look is her Walkman. My mom was, and still is, a cool chick.” —Jinnie Lee

7 /10

Colleen Barrett's mom
Image: Colleen Barrett


“I do not know where my mom is in this photo, but I assure you I’ve never been to a party this cool, nor have I pulled off flares that wide.” —Colleen Barrett

8 /10

Elisa Smilovitz's grandparents
Image: Elisa Smilovitz


“This is a photo of my grandma and grandpa taken on their wedding day in the 1940s in their driveway. I've always loved that my grandma decided against white and went for a blue dress in a simple but elegant cut. I also think her hat and matching gloves really pull it all together.” —Elisa Smilovitz

9 /10

Ellen Hoffman's mom
Image: Ellen Hoffman


"This mom-jeans-and-sleeveless-turtleneck ensemble is the epitome of Steph's style then and now — cute and classic, but comfortable. I'm biased since she's my mom, but what a babe!" —Ellen Hoffman

10 /10

Kristin Koch's mom
Image: Kristin Koch


“This pic is of my mum, Toni (on the right), from her college years at Penn State during the mid- to late '60s. Her parents were visiting for her birthday, and you can see remnants of the cake they brought in my grandpa's hand. I love this pic of my mum. She had me when she was 38 and now that I'm 33, she and I can talk more frankly about her earlier years. This stage of her life, pre-marriage and pre-kids, is one that I'll just never fully know about.” —Kristin Koch