When asking our mothers for fashion advice, we run the risk of making them think we want all of their old clothes–they dressed us for so long that it’s probably only natural for them to want to continue to do so.

But some of us are lucky to inherit items from moms who have great style. Thoughtfully combined with my own pieces, I feel like walking fashion history–stylish and sentimental–when I wear hand-me-downs (e.g. the birdprint wrap-around skirt, gold fringe scarf, home-sewn bandana halter top, terrycloth dresses or fingerless black lace gloves).

As you think of your mother on the 14th, ask yourself (or her) what her trademark style is (or was).

Don’t mock her if it’s sweatpants, either. One day you may be kickin’ it her style, smiling (or frowning) and asking yourself how you’ve turned into your mom.

In honor of Mother’s Day, some local families told us how their mothers have influenced their style.

“I never really thought of my stuff as ‘style.’ All my vintage clothes they think of as stylish now were things I bought in the ’70s because they were cheap! My husband and I wore ’40s outfits in our band, with hats, old dresses and things I inherited from my mom’s collection of kimonos and happis and silk jackets.

“We really let our children wear whatever they wanted in respect to the weather. Nora wore her tutu to daycare, and Amy was attached to a tattered cowboy hat like a security blanket. I remember outfits like elaborate, frothy communion dresses with striped athletic socks, roller skates, sunglasses and grandma’s costume jewelry. Amy’s dressing Coralee the same way now. You just have to let children wear fun things, like the Wonder Woman outfit Nora wore year-round.” —Gail Gillespie

“We liked to borrow from my mom’s closet, like her amazing collection of threadbare ’80s T-shirts and my grandmother’s Japanese clothing. Really though, nothing was ever trendy. Her things were just classically good, so they would always be in fashion. She always wore comfortable, foot-shaped shoes, so even now I don’t really wear heels. Mom made us all clothes and taught us to sew—when I was little I went to the fabric store with her for a pattern that became a favorite peach jumper.” —Nora Rogers

“Our mom encouraged us from an early age not to be afraid of used or vintage clothing. I remember one of her Victorian lace blouses she got in the ’60s that I wore to death. She taught us the ’60s insight that all clothing is costume, and not to take styles too seriously. My parents revered the ’20s and ’30s practical style of dress, when women started dressing more freely in soft, figure-skimming dresses. We, in turn, adopted a fetish of sun-washed cotton.” —Amy Rogers

“My mom bought pink pants once and I told her she looked like an old Lil’ Kim, so she returned them for khakis. I tend to put her together more than she dresses me, even though she irons and starches everything, including T-shirts. I tend to shake things or put them in the dryer. I also don’t wear anything with prints to this day because of the matching blue and black Jellybean sweatshirts my mom made my cousin and me wear.” —Stephanie Cameron

“Both our daughters help us with our style! I like to be a little sexy, a little conservative. Stephanie dressed me one night for a function, and I looked exactly like her. I don’t want to look 20 or 30, I want to look my age! Stephanie shops all the time, so when I need anything at all I can find it in her closet.” —Beautina Cameron

“I remember that I always had to wear tights. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to buy my own outfits. Of course, my mom always wants me to dress conservatively so I am respected. She loves to match and doesn’t go out of the house unless she’s perfect.” —Alicia Bell

“I did teach her how to match! Now I show her shoes or anything I want before I buy them to make sure she likes them, too.

“My own mother loves to be in photos, but not unless she’s had her hair done. She does have good style—Alicia’s borrowed her J-Lo velour sweatsuit before! —Janet Bell