Plenty of moms are a wealth of life wisdom, but they’re not all a wellspring of great fashion advice. Jane Asher, STYLECASTER’s social media manager, won the parenting lottery with a mom who’s brimming with both. Here’s how we know: The 26-year-old New Yorker says her all-time fashion low occurred when she briefly stopped taking advice from her impeccably dressed mom, Laurie. (It didn’t take long for Jane to fix that—she’s a fast learner.)
Once you learn about Laurie’s own spotless sartorial track record, it’s easy to see how Laurie won Jane’s trust as her personal fashion oracle. A Maryland-based math teacher and mom of four, Laurie has a history of discovering designers, spotting trends, and nailing the self-assured vibe that lets you pull off almost anything.
A Style Icon for the Ages
“In pictures from her 20s, my mom’s outfits were so on-point,” says Jane. “She went to a Mexico City tailor who made swimwear for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Looking back at her style—and knowing she continues to dress beautifully to this day—has inspired me in my own outfit choices.”
Jane describes her sensibility as preppy at the core, with trendy touches and edgy accents that put a modern spin on classics: Think earth tones and clean silhouettes paired with an of-the-moment white boot or statement headband. In short, it’s the 2019 version of what Laurie used to wear at that age.
“She was very 80s, 90s, Rachel Green-level prep,” says Jane. “She’d wear a cute dress and white sneakers with ankle socks or high-waisted jean shorts and an oversized white tee with a belt. Her hair was always teased—she looked amazing.”
Fashion lovers know it can be tricky to walk the line between looking up-to-date and living for trends. Luckily for Jane, Laurie mastered the art of sniffing out which looks will stand the test of time—and helped Jane develop that instinct for herself by stepping just enough outside of her comfort zone.
Mother Knows Best
“I have this vivid memory of back-to-school shopping in the early 00s, and my mom wanted me to get this high-waisted skirt,” says Jane. “I didn’t really like it, in part because low-rise was in at the time. She said, ‘Trust me, everyone’s going to be wearing this soon,’ so I begrudgingly agreed to try it. The more I wore it, the more I loved it, and then of course everyone started catching on. But my mom knew about it first.”
Of course, Jane and Laurie haven’t always agreed. It’s every daughter’s job to rebel a little growing up—even if it backfires, style-wise. Jane’s defiant phase came in seventh grade, when she was focused on fitting in at a new school. “I was the new girl and didn’t really know my way, so I looked to other girls to help me navigate that new culture,” she recalls. “I wanted what everyone was wearing—eyeliner and stick-straight hair, leggings under jean skirts with double-layered popped collars. My mom and I would fight, and ultimately she’d let me wear what I was happy with, but I probably should have let her steer me a little more.” Even if she cringes at photos from this era, Jane is grateful that Laurie let her make her own mistakes—and glad it didn’t take her long to realize that listening to her mom was in her best interest.
During high school, that time of universal insecurity, Jane recounts how Laurie helped her pick out clothes that helped her feel good in her skin, particularly for special occasions: a sparkly black bubble dress for a 2008 homecoming dance that Vanessa Hudgens wore on the red carpet weeks later; a printed minidress for Jane’s twin siblings’ B’nai mitzvah that Blair Waldorf then wore on Gossip Girl; a white, Grecian one-shoulder gown for senior homecoming. “I can look back at those high school pictures and not be embarrassed, which is rare for people my age,” she says. “My mom styled me so well and knew how to help me feel confident.”
Finding Her Style Voice
Confidence is at the root of most style lessons Jane inherited from Laurie. Brands and trends aside, she absorbed her mom’s ability to own your look in the moment, regardless of whether you’ll later see it as a misfire. “Before I went to Paris with my grandparents, she bought me a couple of tunic-and-legging outfits, which was the thing at the time,” says Jane, laughing. “I remember walking around, thinking, ‘I’m so cool, I fit right in,’ which I did not, but she helped me pick out what I felt comfortable in.” To this day, she texts her mom dressing room pictures to get her seal of approval before pulling the trigger on a new pair of jeans.
Jane considers the style skills she got from Laurie invaluable, but an even more crucial lesson was learning to translate that fearlessness in fashion to real life. “My mom [believes you should] dress for what makes you happy. That idea also resonates in your career and relationships—not getting caught up in what everyone else is doing; knowing who you are and your worth,” she says. “Working in the fashion and beauty industry can be really competitive, but the lessons I learned from her have helped me say, ‘I’ve got this; I totally deserve this job.’ She taught me to show the world who you are and they’ll see what you project.”
Style guru though she clearly is, Laurie doesn’t take all the credit, and is quick to remind Jane that the wisdom has been passed down through generations of Asher women. “If you think, ‘I am the prettiest, smartest person here,’ people will think that of you,” says Laurie. “I told Jane that, which my mom told me, which her mom told her.”
This post was created by STYLECASTER for Pandora Jewelry.