Ma, You Be Killin’ Em: Ida Schnipper

May 02, 2011

We have so much to thank our mothers for. In addition to birthing us, feeding us, and bathing us, they've also been our most influential style icons. As a small token of our affection, we're counting down to Mother's Day (this Sunday, heads up!) by celebrating our moms' style, swagger and grace.

What did your mom like to wear? My mom will be bummed that this is what I think of her as wearing, but she rocked (and still rocks) some seriously swagged out promo sweatshirts. My sister and my orthodontist had one that was a large crayon drawing of a kid with braces and my mom wore that until the white got grayed and the whole thing fell apart. She had one that was an art deco view of Cape Cod homes, large square of turquoise sky. I think she got so into chill-wear because she worked so hard and had so little control over her professional gear. When I was a little, little kid, she was a nurse and wore the corresponding uniform. Then she became a pretty serious executive and wore pantsuits, skirt suits, general blazered ’90s gear. We didn't consider clothes too much in my home growing up, so the importance of comfort and ease is something ambient passed on and it is the foundation of my current style ethos. This photo, however, which I found in a great gold and silver frame in a box in my parents' basement, shows my mom differently, probably younger than I am now. I assume she and my dad are in Cape Cod, where they've spent much of their summer time for a long time, and she's got the breeziest outfit I've seen her wear. So much white! The giant shell prints are forebear the shells on the silverware we used most of my time growing up. A friend saw this photo recently and told me my mom was a babe. I agree.

What music did she listen to? My mom worked too hard to listen to too much music. She always told me she jammed a lot of Creedence but I never found the evidence of that. I only know she hated everything classical my dad played.

What would she say? Does she have a fave phrase or saying? Something anecdote-ey. I realized a couple years ago that the reason I sometimes speak weirdly is because of my mom. She's kinda crass.

Ma, You Be Killin’ Em: Ida Schnipper