There are a lot of things that connect me to my mother. We take our coffee the same way a touch of cream- we eat the same things, we run together, and the list goes on and on. We are also bonded through our indistinguishable tastes in fashion. Though simple and not particularly daring, our senses of style demonstrates the closeness of our relationship and the similarities in our personalities. However, what best represents our close bond is our shared love—maybe even obsession—with shopping.
My mother and I firmly believe that Net-a-Porter is one of the best inventions on the planet. To have top brands delivered to your front door is a luxury that is as dangerous as it is amazing. Too many morning coffee breaks have been spent online shopping for sweaters. Typically when shopping on Net-a-Porter, we look for piece that would work for both of us and could be shared depending on the time of year and whether or not I was home. We are normally very good at sharing; very rarely do we try to claim one of these pieces as our own. However, ever so often the perfect sweater or jacket arrives, and competition for its ownership ensues.
One day, about a week before I left for my first year at St Andrews, my mother and I were combing through the sale section on the Net-a-Porter website and stumbled upon, what seemed to be, the perfect sweater. Dark blue cashmere with a slim fit, this was the ultimate addition to my new “specially-curated for Scottish weather” wardrobe, so of course I believed I was its rightful owner. My mother, on the other hand, thought it would fit nicely in her already extensive sweater collection. What started out as a playful debate on who the better owner would be quickly turned into full-blown argument on who would wear it better. Though in hindsight this was a petty disagreement that could have been solved by getting an additional sweater or not getting one at all, it represented something much deeper than any materialistic obsession either one of us may have. We were not simply fighting over the sweater itself, but instead communicating our love for both good style and each other. This sweater gave us another point of conversation to cling on to in the final days I had left at home before departing for a school three thousand miles away. It was representative of the close bond my mother and I had and the little rituals and hobbies we shared that would be missed once I left.
Fashion has always been important to me; for as long as I can remember, I would sneak my mother’s Vogue and Elle collection into my room and spend countless hours browsing the various editorials and opinion pieces. However, fashion took on a new meaning once this hobby became an activity I did with my mother. We have always been close but as soon as we began shopping together and swapping closets, our bond as mother and daughter formed a new dimension: friendship. The argument that was borne out of the purchase of the blue sweater exemplified this new mature relationship we had and solidified the importance of these little rituals. Fashion became a new way of communicating how much we would miss both each other and these rituals we had created.
In the end, the perfect compromise was found: I got the sweater in blue and my mother got it in black. She wore it the day I moved into my hall and said my final goodbyes. That sweater became an important symbol of our relationship and the connecting powers fashion has over people. Though we argued over it for days, the sweater brought us closer than ever before and solidified the power fashion can have in instilling bonds between people.