Remember the magic of playing dress up? Mom’s closet was a wonderland of endless (and fearless) style combinations. Today, we toast the spirited, selfless and highly-selective women for whom the word ‘chic’ was invented. Five Banana Republic style-setters pay homage to the head-turning supermoms who balanced glam and fam, and made them who they are today.


JEN MATIC

Fondest memory of your mom’s style: Beautifully done hair. She perfected it with bright pink snap-on curlers, always hidden under a large silk scarf until ready. Think Jennifer Hart of television’s Hart To Hart.

Inherited style: Big sunglasses, nude lips, seasonal handbag.

What amazes you most about mom: Her grace under pressure and ability to surpass all odds with a smile on her face.

Best advice: “Be picky!”

Signature fragrance: Very 1978—floral with green notes and a touch of wood and spice. A classic trio of rose, carnation and violet.

Best beauty advice: “Don’t wash your face at night.” It’s the strangest secret to flawless.

Her secret to success: “Do what you love and the rest will follow.”

 


STEPHANIE SIMONS

Fondest memory of your mom’s style: Windblown Charlie’s Angels hair. Tawny, golden skin. Wide-leg trousers. She was more Farrah than Farrah (pictured above in the 1970s).

Inherited style: We both live in denim—we’ve been the same size at Banana Republic for as long as I can remember. And we love an elegant clutch and wrist stacked with bracelets.

What amazes you most about her: Beyond-unconditional love (believe me, I’ve tested it). Looking back, she always let me dress myself in my fave pieces, no matter how ridiculous. It helped me learn to ‘dress for joy.’

Her best advice: “Let go and let life unfold.” I’m an incurable planner.

Signature fragrance: The smell of her bare skin is grounded in time. If I could capture and bottle it, it would be 1983 forever.

One thing she was right about: “Wear flats, save your feet.”


AMANDA TOLEDO

Fondest memory of your mom’s style: How she could wear anything and always look great. She has a way of putting a classic spin on everything from head-to-toe.

Inherited style: Being carefree and fearless when it comes to trying something new.

What amazes you most about her: Her strength and confidence. She turns heads when she enters a room.

Best advice: “If you see something you think you really want to buy, sleep on it and if you still want it the next day, buy it.”

Signature fragrance: A hint of soap, lotion and hairspray.

One thing she was right about: “Always wear sunscreen!”


MARIE ELLIOTT

Fondest memory of your mom’s style: Her love of timeless, elevated pieces and her willingness to try a trend if it feels right.

Inherited style: I have a major thing for sundresses, just like my Mom did.

What amazes you most about her: She did everything, including teaching music full-time, performing, balancing the checkbooks, cooking the dinners, driving us to extra curriculars and being the glue of our family.

Best advice: “Dessert first!”

Signature fragrance: She always smelled like the garden.

Best style advice: “Power lipstick. And accessories. Always.”


LILLIE ASHENFELTER

Fondest memory of your mom’s style: Nothing but dresses in summer.

Inherited style: We have the exact same taste in restaurants (that’s a style element!).

What amazes you most about her: Looking back at my childhood and realizing she raised 3 daughters as a working single mom.

Best advice:“Recipes are meant as a guideline.”

Signature fragrance: Light and floral, no matter the time of year. Now I always wear floral perfumes.

One thing she was right about: “Everything will work out.” It’s usually the most difficult thing to hear, but inevitably everything does seem to work out.