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How to dress for a special occasion according to my mom

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Gone are the days when my mother took me and my sister buy clothes for the start of the school year. We would each take one of those mesh bags to drop our clothes in for easy shopping and she would let us browse the store to find our next favorite outfit. My sister came back with her bag full to the brim (no surprise there), while my bag only had three or four pieces. Growing up, I hated shopping. I never really knew what to choose other than the same style of clothing. “But try something different!or, ‘Try something different,’ my mom would suggest.

It turns out that at the time I was not in fashion. This is from the person in college who wore black Nike Air Force 1s with elephant leg jeans, and yes my ankles and socks were still visible when I sat down because I was so tall. Cringe-y, I know. It’s safe to say my style needed some work – stat. Fortunately, I can always count on my mom to be my voice of reason when it comes to my fashion choices. As I got older and stepped out of my shell, I turned to her for advice on building my wardrobe.

Take, for example, special occasions like my birthday, New Years Eve, or a weekend concert. My mother always asks: “What are you going to wear“(What are you going to wear?) Although I usually go the route of skinny jeans and cute tops, my mom inspires me to always take it up a notch. She always says:”you have beautiful legs, “or you have pretty legs, encouraging me to show them off. Now I always keep skirts, dresses and shorts as options because she taught me the importance of showcasing your best features, so I quickly gave up on my tomboy style.

Today everyone knows the term salon dress or lounge dress. In the Latinx community, this is one way of describing the dress you will wear on a special occasion that you will be with family and friends, such as Thanksgiving. Even for a dinner at home with my immediate family during a pandemic, my mom recommended me and my sister to put on a dress – you know, Feel good, or to feel good. I heave a big sigh. Honestly, getting dressed was the last thing I thought about. Lounging in my cozy pajamas seemed a lot more comfortable. But that’s the problem with my mom: she says sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone – literally. So I decided to put on my favorite floral mini-dress and a new pair of knee-length leather boots. I think my mom was onto something because let me tell you: I immediately felt like a million bucks! Getting dressed completely boosted my mood and actually made me horny for Thanksgiving dinner. My mom knows that putting on your favorite outfit can always make you happy.

When in doubt, stick to an LBD. That’s what my mom tells me. Once, for a destination wedding I was invited, I didn’t know what to wear. I had spent far too many hours browsing online trying to find the perfect outfit. The cocktail party was the dress code and, thinking of my mom’s advice, I ended up sticking with a little black lace dress. It ended up being a home run, and I felt silly afterward thinking about the time I spent trying to figure out what to wear. If you are ever in a similar situation, follow my mother’s motto and you will be the best dressed.

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Another great tip I got from my mom is to wear heels often. Spoiler alert: I’m 5’9 “. Wearing heels always made me feel awkward. Not only did I dread walking in them, but they also made me the center of attention as I towered over everyone around me. (I don’t pretend to be the center of attention.) My mom is on a mission to try to change my mind. She believes heels can elevate any outfit, making it look great. “Feels like you’re straining even when you don’t even try. And she’s right. You’re wearing jeans? Put on colorful pumps. Wear a dress? Try a strappy heel. Wear shorts? Put on a blocked heel.” Heels go with everything! Now I love wearing them and I feel so confident when I do.

Finally, the best style advice my mom gave me isn’t so much about what you wear, but how you wear it. Yes, accentuating your best features, sticking to a classic style or trying out a new trend, dressing even when you don’t feel like it, or going for heels are all good pieces of fashion wisdom – but if you don’t own your style then it will be yours. My mom says the key is to practice good posture and to behave with grace and kindness – all of which speak louder than the clothes you wear. And I think that’s the right attitude to have, special occasion or not.

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