My parents are not what I would call fashion forward people. They might not know the difference between a modern day brogues or the camp moc shoe. However, my parents did teach me a thing or two about personal style. Lessons, I have taken into my adult years.

Style is partly olfactory: Growing up, my mother was a bit of drill sergeant when it came to smell. She never, wanted us to smell bad. We of course showered or took a bath (depending on our age). However, we always had to wear lotion and of course deodorant. Baby powder was rubbed on my stomach until I was at least ten years old. It was the start of our outfit. My parents did not go overboard with perfumes or cologne. To go overboard, would mean that you were trying to cover something up. When I was younger, I thought it was a bit much, I mean who wants to wear baby powder in the third grade. As the years passed, I realized that the finishing piece to any look is to smell appealing.

Keep it neat: My parents live by the iron, the ironing board, that is. Every night, they iron their clothes for work. Their clothes were always neat and put together. They will never go out with a coffee stain, a hole, or wrinkle jeans. Seriously, my dad made sure our hair was brushed AGAIN, and that we had stain free clothes on (we grew up in the country) before we went to Wal-Mart…Wal-Mart. My child mind thought, who are we are impressing, it’s Wal-Mart. Regardless of where we were going, we were going to look neat and presentable. My mother, has never, I mean never, went out in yoga pants and a sweater to grab milk. No, she will re-brush her hair, put back on her jeans, and wear a simple jacket, to pick up milk.

Own your style: My mother’s style is jeans, sneakers, and a t-shirt. I’ve only seen my mother in a dress twice: my sister’s wedding and my wedding. With that said, she owns her style. She doesn’t try to wear clothes that make her feel uncomfortable. My mom’s body, which should be noted is two jeans smaller than me, is made for jeans, and t-shirts. She treats herself to new sneakers, never heels, and keeps them clean.

These lessons, I have incorporated into my style. Well sort of, I refuse to purchase clothes that need ironing (sorry mom and dad), and I will wear leggings and a big sweater to go pick up groceries.