FROM cross-body bumbags and cycling shorts to Kim-K-style bodycon, most parents are completely lost when it comes to their children’s fashion sense. On the flip side, more than four in 10 teens admit to being embarrassed by the clothes their parents wear.*
But could we learn any fashion wisdom from each other? To find out, we challenged Fabulous’ resident fashionista Tracey Lea Sayer, 48, and her daughter, Frankie, 15 , to style each other for the day…
Frankie says: “I just don’t understand some of the outfits my mum throws together. It looks like she’s dressed in the dark! At my parents’ evening this year she turned up in leather salopettes, a teddy bear coat, bright red socks and hiking boots. I was mortified! All of the other mums were wearing nice dresses or jeans with a shirt.
"And then there was the time she spoke about her ‘big furry fanny pack’ on Instagram… Cringe! I don’t mind her standing out from the crowd, but only if she looks cool. Most of the time Mum just looks odd, and now my friends can find her on social media, it’s even worse. I have to block her because she is so embarrassing.
"Occasionally we go shopping in Topshop together, but we end up at different ends of the store because our style is so different. The only clothes we share are socks. Mum wears a lot of androgynous clothes, such as jumpsuits and trousers with suit jackets in boring colours.
"I’d really love to see her in something more colourful or glamorous. She has great legs, so she should show them off! I’d love her to experiment and push the boundaries with her fashion, plus I want to get my own back for all the times she’s told me off for wearing something too short.”
Tracey says: “Sometimes I’ll be on my way out and Frankie will take one look at me and say: ‘Seriously, Mum, what are you wearing?’ I’ve never been super-girlie and I feel comfortable in jumpsuits or oversized blazers in neutral colours with chunky bovver boots and a bandana neckerchief. I’ve never liked garish colours and hate fussy prints.
"I like what Frankie wears, but I wish she’d try out a few different styles instead of simply opting for bodycon dresses or tight skinny jeans all the time. She mainly shops online at Boohoo or Pretty Little Thing, and when the packages arrive in the post they’re so tiny they fit through the letterbox – there’s more fabric in some of my knickers!
"Sometimes I have to put my foot down and say no if an item looks more like lingerie. She’s young and gorgeous, so she can pull off any style really, but that does scare me.
"When we go shopping together she never takes my advice, even though I style people for a living. Saying that, I’m slightly nervous about what she’s going to pick for me as I know she wants to get me out of my comfort zone. I worry that she’ll dress me head-to-toe in bright colours and give me an Insta face with loads of contouring and big lashes, which is so not me!”
Tracey’s new look
Frankie says: “This outfit has given Mum all the colour and glamour that she never usually has. When I saw the dress, I knew it would show off her legs and match the fake lashes and nails I’ve given her, while the bright pink is the perfect shade for her skin. I have to admit, I also chose this dress because I knew Mum would never wear it and would probably hate it!”
Tracey says: “I feel like I’ve stepped out of a Duran Duran video – I’d never wear this in a million years! It’s far too bright, the puffy sleeves are crazy and it’s too short. And all this make-up! I can’t wait to take these nails off – they’d be more at home on RuPaul’s Drag Race than on Bromley high street and I can’t even text with them on.
"Maybe if I was 25 years younger I might have gone for it, but now I feel more fancy dress than fancy mum. However, I have enjoyed wearing heels.
"I left my white stilettos in the ’80s, but I’m pleasantly surprised that my legs still look OK in a killer pair. Conclusion? Never, ever let your 15 year old dress you, because she will take her sweet revenge.”
- Dress, Rotate Birger Christensen – buy now
- Shoes, Schuh – buy now
- Jumper, New Look – buy now
- Shirt, Primark – buy now
- Shorts, Primark – buy now
- Boots, Office – buy now
Frankie’s new look
Tracey says: “I love grungy ’90s fashion and I think Frankie looks really cool and edgy here. The muted tones compliment her skin and hair, while the checked shirt popping out of the jumper gives some colour and the fake leather shorts are really cute.
"I’m a huge fan of a chunky white boot, but I know she would never pick these up – if she did, I would borrow them! I’d love to see her experimenting with her style a bit more, adding layers and texture to her looks.”
Frankie says: “I’m not a huge fan of this outfit, but I don’t hate it. I might wear it for dinner with Mum, but never to see friends. The shorts are nice and I’d maybe style them with a crop top.
"I’d like to try on the boots in a different colour, but I do feel very washed-out, especially without my usual full make-up on. It’s been fun trying something different from my normal style, so maybe I’ll listen to Mum’s fashion advice a bit more from now on.”
- Hair: Dino Pereira using Origin
- Make-up: Aimee Adams using Too Faced
- Make-up assistant: Elizabeth Marley
- Stockists: New Look (Newlook.com), Office (Office.co.uk), Primark (Primark.com), Rotate Birger Christensen (Net-a-porter.com), Schuh (Schuh.co.uk)
- Source: *Oxfam
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