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We Dressed Like Our Moms Did When They Were Our Age And Realized We Have Become Them


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It's weird to think about your mom being the age you are now — was she a Together Lady, or was she just as confused as you are now? So the women of Ladylike decided to put ourselves in our moms' shoes — literally — and tried dressing like our moms did...when they were our ages.

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First, we all had our moms send us photos of themselves when they were our ages, and then we went thrift shopping:

There was also a lot of our mothers texting us about which items they NEVER would have worn, lol.

Safiya's mom, Mumtaz, was about Saf's age in the early 1980s:

Jen Ruggirello / BuzzFeed
Safiya Nygaard

Saf's personal style: Simple, minimalistic, dark, and somewhat dramatic: I strive for somewhere between Audrina Patridge circa 2008 and Morticia Addams.

Saf's mom's style: My mom is very colorful, wore her hair naturally. She wore the traditional South Asian shalwar kameez (shirt and pants) plus running shoes, or a really cute wrap dress.

Here are the five colorful outfits Saf put together for the week — most of which were actually clothing items her mom still owned (click each photo to see the full outfit!):

Jen Ruggirello / BuzzFeed

Outfit Safiya liked best: The blue floral-print suit, because it was actually my mom's and it made me feel close to her at a time in her life when I never knew her — her young businesswoman phase. It’s not something I’d usually wear, but I could feel that it made her feel elegant and powerful.

Outfit Safiya liked least: The pink shalwar looked like I had just come from prayers and forgot a change of clothes for the office. Most people thought I was wearing baby pink pajamas. I like being comfortable, but not THAT comfortable.

Saf was most surprised that she liked the blue dress with the shoulder pads.


"I thought it might be frumpy, but it was pretty normal and not unflattering, and the midi length was very chic. So, props to Mumtaz!"

Kristin's mom, Debbie, was about Kristin's age in the mid-1980s:

Jen Ruggirello / BuzzFeed
Kristin Chirico

Kristin's personal style: I love vintage prints and styles, but only from the ’40s and ’50s. Vintage stuff from the ’80s feels too loud and boxy, and I'm a little worried about looking like a sentient firework.

Debbie's personal style: My mom lived in the South, and so she wore a lot of big hair, bright colors, and shoulder pads, but also beachy prints and shirt dresses. It's Weekend at Bernie's chic.

And here are the outfits Kristin put together in order to channel her mom's bold ’80s Designing Women vibe (click each photo to see the full outfit!):

Jen Ruggirello / BuzzFeed

Kristin's favorite outfit: The pastel striped dress — I found this in a section of ’80s dresses at a thrift store for $25, and a lot of people assumed I'd bought it from ModCloth. So even in ’80s clothes, there's a lot of vintage inspiration, go figure.

Kristin's least favorite outfit: The pink dress. It was too big, so I had to belt it, but then it just made me look like the wife of an animated booger in a cold medicine commercial.

But Kristin was not very shocked to find that Rampant Shirt Gapping has plagued women for decades now:


Jen's mom, Elizabeth, was about her age in the early 1980s (Jen's mom is very private, but she was OK with showing off her ’80s outfits with Jen's face photoshopped on!):

Jen Ruggirello / BuzzFeed
Jen Ruggirello

Jen's personal style: All about comfort. I like button-downs, T-shirts, and hoodies, and I won't wear anything if it’s scratchy, too tight, or needlessly flappy or fluffy.

Jen's mom's style: She's very stylish and sleek. Nothing flashy, but classy and cool — a lot of neutral colors, grays, blacks, and whites, as well as solid-color button-downs with big bulky belts.

Here are the five outfits Jen put together to try to emulate her mom's more polished, classic taste (click each photo to see the full outfit!):

Jen Ruggirello / BuzzFeed

Jen's favorite outfit: The purple shirt and the herringbone jacket. Despite the shoulder pads, the purple shirt was the most modern piece I had all week! Not to mention the herringbone jacket reminded me of old noir detective styles, and didn't make me look like a penguin.

Jen's least favorite outfit: Definitely the one with the ruffles AND shoulder pads. I felt like I was Mother Goose after she got hired as a secretary.

Jen felt very no-bullshit in all the clothes she wore this week.


"I feel like I'm dressed like a schoolteacher...a schoolteacher who's going to get fired."

Freddie's mom, Terri, was about Fred's age in the late 1970s:

Jen Ruggirello / BuzzFeed
Freddie Ransome

Freddie's personal style: Eclectic...sporty/chic, if you will. I’d consider myself a lover of sneakers, neutrals, and the color gray.

Freddie's mom's style: She was like hippie status to the 100th degree, very boho. But she threw some color in there, she had some billowy sleeves with, like, embroidered flowers.

Here are the five boho/’70s-style outfits Freddie put together for the week (click each photo to see the full outfit!):

Jen Ruggirello / BuzzFeed

Freddie's favorite outfit: The zebra-print pants and white baby tee. I liked that one the most because it fit me the best and matched the corresponding photo of my mom the closest. I felt the most “va va voom” in that outfit. It made me want to break it down and do the Hustle.

Freddie's least favorite outfit: The lime-green shirt and bell-bottoms. The color was a bit bright for my taste. Someone said I looked like a placemat, which I completely agree with.

Fred was worried about her boobs not filling out the floral dress, but it ended up being super fine:


"My mom was very very free-spirited, and I tried to channel that, but I am slightly neurotic... I did try to keep in mind to just chill out."

In the end, we learned our styles are not that different from our moms, because they have molded us in their lovely images.


Or fashion sense is genetic, one of the two.