my mom style icon

In honor of Mother’s Day last year, we shared beauty advice from our inspiring moms. This year, we’re still celebrating those stylish moms with a giveaway from Piper Weiss, the famed blogger and author of My Mom, Style Icon from Chronicle Books.  As she says, “here’s to the stunning, jet-setting divas who raised us: our first-and most important-style icons.”

moms- their style was born before we were

Did you get stylish good looks & luck from your mom?! This week, leave a comment about your favorite memory of your mom. We’ll pick three lucky winners to get two autographed copies of Piper’s book My Mom, Style Icon and the top three products from Benefit’s new b.right skincare line: it’s potent eye cream, triple performing facial emulsion, and refined finish facial polish.

The pretty little print: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Sweeps ends 5/8/11. See official rules here.


Piper sits down with Benefit to answer a few of questions about moms, beauty, and timeless outfits…

What do you think defines a woman’s personal style?

I’m not sure style needs to be defined.  It’s not something you should cling to, otherwise you’ll end up clinging to something that’s past. It’s the kind of thing that changes from year to year and is so much more dependent on external situations-money, kids, love, location- than anything else.  I’ve gotten several photos of moms in mini dresses or showing a little skin in a see-through shirt, and usually it’s around the time they just fell in love. Really clothes are just fabric designed to cover us up, but sometimes their timing is impeccable. People choose certain clothes as a reflection of what they’re going through in that moment, so they tell a story of that moment. But you don’t always have to rely on style for your story-telling.

Do you think how a woman thinks about what to wear has changed over the years?

It does seem like people had more prep time and accessories back in the 50s and early 60s. A high beehive could take up to 45 minutes to create, not to mention constant upkeep throughout the day. People sat down to do their makeup. And an outfit had so many parts: the hat, the brooch, the clutch, the gloves, the nylons, the scarf to protect your hair in the car. That amount of props we just don’t see today. I’m not sure if that’s because more women work around the clock and just don’t have time to primp and peacock the way they used to, or if we’re just spending all our time and accessory money on ipads and PDA.

What style advice would you pass along to your daughter someday?

None! I’d just want to watch her to see what she puts together. I’m sure it would change constantly as she went through phases trying to figure out who she is. (not that I have a kid, but maybe someday).  As a female, we’re hard-pressed to find someone who won’t give us advice on how we should look-from fashion magazines, to friends, to school administrators. I wouldn’t mind taking the pressure off my future daughter (let’s be honest, we’re talking about me here) and just let her pick colors she likes, textures that feel good and costumes that make her laugh. I’d much rather have a socially awkward kid than a popular fashionista type who up-downed me from the sandbox. I don’t think we’d get along.

What’s one fashion trend from the past you definitely don’t want to see again?

I guess I could do without the loose-fitting maxi floral dresses of the 90s which are coming back now; those are just about the most unflattering thing a short person like myself could wear (I learned that the first time around). Oh, blossom hats too. In my ‘opinionation’, a big honking fabric flower front and center on a hat is a bit much.

Why do you think it’s so inspiring for girls to see their mothers as style icons?

It’s like taking all those years of ‘you don’t get me, mom’, turned on it’s head. Put simply,  it’s cool to see our moms out of their element and in our peer group, it opens up a window into their past they may not volunteer on their own. It also makes your think about what it would be like to be their friend, now. I had the distinct notion that my mom and I would probably make each other laugh but there would be no question that she was cooler than me.

What is your must-have accessory?

I inherited a few amazing silk scarves from the 70s from my aunt who was blind. I remember pinned to each was a description in braille of their vibrant colors so she’d always match even if she couldn’t see what colors she was wearing; she was an impeccable dresser.

What’s your favorite look that YOUR mom wore back in the day?

At first my favorite was this mod-ruffled mini dress that looked straight out of rosemary’s baby. But lately, I’ve gotten into her look a year or two later (that’s important, since we’re talking ’67-’69). it’s a little more beatnik. She’s wearing a Moroccan vest with yellow embroidery over a black turtleneck, along with a pair of square-framed glasses (they were fake). It’s very rock-journalist chic.

What’s your favorite beauty look from the past that is still just as gorgeous today?

I love a pixie hair-cut and I’m also partial to fake lashes. Big smokey eyes that pop open and boyish hair-cuts, with rosy cheeks. It sounds like I’m describing a an antique clown doll, but I’m thinking more along the lines of Twiggy,  Mia Farrow and certainly, at least one of the moms in the book.

Thanks, Piper & good luck readers for our fabulous mom giveaway! See pictures of some Benefit moms & style icons…