Where Did You Get Your Style?
When Piper Weiss found some old photos in a family album, she discovered a glamorous woman she had never known before—her mother.
My Mom, Style Icon book cover
The Inspiration
The family photo album—a cardboard binder covered in leather and wrapped in plastic—always filled with old pictures of at least one crying infant and a somber relative who refuses to crack a smile.

What started off as a chance to see what her parents looked like before she was born, turned into a life-altering revelation for writer Piper Weiss. Not only had her mother lived an unimaginably fantastic life before having children, she had done it with style. So much so, Piper started a blog as a tribute her mom's spot-on fashion sensibilities. Before long people from around the world were sharing photos of their mothers too. We talked to her about new book, My Mom, Style Icon.

"Getting to know these mothers through their photos made me fall in love with them all." Piper says. "I'm 32, not married and at the part of my life where a lot has happened but there's still enough to go. Seeing these mothers in that same phase—with so much ahead of them—reminded me that we really don't know what's going to happen, and that no one person has the same story."

See her 7 favorite trend-setting moms
Marilyn Weiss, the Rebounder
The Rebounder
Mom: Marilyn Weiss
Daughter: Piper Weiss
Era: 1969

The reason Piper loves it: I particularly love this picture of my mom in Israel, not only because she's got this great vest on that she bought there and brought home, but because I didn't realize that before she married my dad, after canceling her engagement to another man, she’d gone on the 'honeymoon'—a 20-day trip across Europe—with her parents. It was so striking—seeing her as a young woman who was challenging the conventions of her parents' generation while looking so hip and fabulous.

Why is your mom your biggest style icon? Share your photos!
Maureen Hart, the Bathing Queen
The Bathing Queen
Mom: Maureen Hart
Daughter: Deborah Hart
Era: 1950s Fijian Islands

The reason Piper loves it: Clothes were harder to come by in the '50s, so they were more original. There were fewer mass-marketed clothes and you couldn't order them online. So a lot of moms in the book either had their mothers make their clothing or they made it themselves. They were really proud of what they were wearing and it showed. Like Maureen, the bathing beauty mom living in Fiji, who handmade all of her bathing suits. So much of her identity was put into her work because clothing was a reflection of the place she was from or the place she had just visited. I think how she dressed played a factor in how she expressed herself because what she wore helped her define herself...or who she was going to be next.

Why is your mom your biggest style icon? Share your photos!
Mary Carter, The Baby Accessory
The Baby Accessory
Mom: Mary Carter
Daughter: Lucy Carter
Era: Early 1970s, England

The reason Piper loves it: I've gone through a lot of fashion phases, but I do like the costume-y look of the late '60s and early '70s. This mom wears a brown shawl and I found myself looking for something just like it. She also wears these big bug-eyed glasses that so many moms wore and are back in a big way now.

Why is your mom your biggest style icon? Share your photos!
Susan Wolfinsohn, The New Original
The New Original
Mom: Susan Wolfinsohn
Son: Ben Wolfinsohn
Era: 1970s and 1980s, the Midwest

The reason Piper loved it: Menswear is trending back in fashion right now and this son's mom definitely had her own unique sense of style. Her told me that she let him wear whatever he wanted (for better or worse) growing up and now he's a pretty fashionable guy.

Why is your mom your biggest style icon? Share your photos!
Georgia Bloch the Trilby Hat
The Trilby Hat
Mom: Georgia Bloch
Daughter: Julie Bloch
Era: Late 1940s, Europe

The reason Piper loved it: I love this photo so much, I bought myself a trilby hat just like the one this mother had on, that I found in an old antique store in upstate New York, but whenever I wear it, I end up fielding annoying comments like "Hey, Inspector Gadget!" I have to remember that some things come back and then some things don't.

Why is your mom your biggest style icon? Share your photos!
Suzanne Kovacs, The Party Topper
The Party Topper
Mom: Suzanne Kovacs
Daughter: Anne-Marie Kovacs
Era: 1967, Canada

The reason Piper loved it: I have a couple brooches I've inherited that I'll keep forever. This mom put a pin right in the middle of her dress—rather than off to the side—so it almost looks like it's part of the design. I thought that was cool and modern. It reminded me of first lady Michelle Obama in the Maria Pinto fitted dress with the brooch detail.

Why is your mom your biggest style icon? Share your photos!
Phyllis Cowman, the Bride Again
The Bride Again
Mom: Phyllis Cowman
Son: Patrick Mahoney
Era: 1968

The reason Piper loved it: Another favorite photo was sent to me by a son of his mother's sixth wedding. (You don't see that very often.) He remembers picking out her outfit beforehand. She's since passed away, so sending me this picture was his way of giving her a loving tribute.

Why is your mom your biggest style icon? Share your photos!

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