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Makes (Fashion) Sense: Mothers Mimic Daughters

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You see it all the time. Little girls dressed like their mommies, acting as their shadow. Mimicking, following, looking alike, doing everything their mothers do. Dressed alike and packaged as a mini me.

It’s precious, really. Mothers could only be so lucky to have their daughters admire, love and adore them so much that they want to be just like them; especially because teenage years can be straining on the mother-daughter dynamic. I can certainly recall following my mother around, copying her outfits and wanting to be just like her . . . and I’m assuming most of you can too.

While this daughters-mimicking-mothers trend is present early in girls’ lives, once daughters reach adolescence and start establishing their independence, researchers from the Temple University School of Business say a flip occurs.

Teenage girls enter high school and begin grooming their individual tastes in clothing, music, hobbies, friends, food, literature and beyond, and it is seen that the daughters start having a strong influence on their mother’s shopping behaviors.

A study conducted by Temple University researchers slated to appear in an upcoming issue of Journal of Consumer Behavior, “included 343 mother-daughter pairs who completed questionnaires about their purchases of personal items such as clothing and makeup. The average age was 44 for mothers and 16 for daughters.”

The Researchers’ findings indicate that teens may have more impact on their parents than was previously believed.

According to a release on the study, “Mothers who were young at heart, had high levels of fashion awareness and view their daughters as style experts tended to imitate their daughters' shopping choices. However, mothers didn't have the same effect on their daughters.”

"This finding provides initial support for the notion of reverse socialization and suggests that the impact adolescents have on their parents is much more profound than has been credited to them," lead author Ayalla A. Ruvio, an assistant professor of marketing at Temple University's Fox School of Business, said in a university news release.

Some media have even coined the term ‘consumer doppleganger effect’ to describe this imitation.

Much in the same way little girls want to be like their mommies, this could be viewed as the ultimate compliment. As mothers age and fashion trends change, they look to their daughters to help guide them and prevent any major fashion faux pas. Hopefully, the daughters have a handle on tasteful, flattering fashion and not the other end of the spectrum.

These findings resonate with me, specifically.. Now, at age 25, every time I visit my mother and I'm wearing some new purchase, she asks where I got it and how much it was. I’ve nearly resorted to purchasing two of everything I buy, because I know she’ll want whatever it is I have.

I take it as a compliment and I do know that providing my mother a little fashion direction here and there can only help enhance her natural beauty.

Moms tend to imitate their daughters

Daughters seem to influence their mother’s fashion sense

Reviewed August 1, 2011
by Michele Blackberg R.N.
Edited by Shannon Koehle

Bailey Mosier is a freelance journalist living in Orlando, Florida. She received a Masters of Journalism from Arizona State University, played D-I golf, has been editor of a Scottsdale-based golf magazine and currently contributes to GolfChannel.com. She aims to live an active, healthy lifestyle full of sunshine and smiles.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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