I fell in love with fashion while getting lost in both my grandmothers closet. I am happy to say that women in my life inspired my sense of style. My mother, Roxanne, has always been a woman of minimal makeup, classic tailored clothing, and fierce hair style changes. While both my maternal and paternal grandmothers pushed the boundaries of color, texture and trends. The namesake of Lizzmore Womenswear, Willie J. Lizzmore, my great-grandmother, gave the blueprint on what it means to define your own style and dress in Sunday’s best. She made all of her own clothes and even covered her cane in the same material as her dresses so it matched perfectly. She was truly a trendsetter and more than anything, she owned her style. These four women helped me value dressing for quality, and fit.
Although my grandmothers have transitioned, I vividly remember rummaging through their closets, wishing I could fit something, oftentimes settling for makeup, purses or jewelry. Since I'm pursuing a minimalist lifestyle, I typically get rid of “things” and keep loved-ones memories in my heart and mind, but these three items, I’ve decided to hold on to and wear occasionally.
The Silk Skirt
The sequins detail is truly breathtaking in person. The picture doesn’t do it much justice, but the colors really are vibrant. My paternal grandmother, Mattie Demps, passed in 2017 and as my family and I cleaned out her closet, I came across this 100% silk skirt (still with the tags on it from Stein Mart). Does that store still even exist?!
It’s originally a size 18 so I had it tailored to fit me perfectly. Although not quite professional, I could wear this on a relaxed Friday for work. (sans crop top)
I wore it while traveling in Paris and I received several compliments! The joy of having my grandmother in my life will always be with me, but to wear a piece she picked out but never got around to wearing surely brings me joy.
Beautiful Blue Knit Sweter
My favorite piece in my closet is this cable knit sweater. It was my maternal grandmothers', Corrine Spatcher. She passed it down to my mom in the 80’s and my mom gifted it to me a number of years ago. This beautiful knit is so heavy and soft that I am almost afraid to wear it! I spot clean it and wear it maybe 3 times a year. What I love most is the quality and vibrant turquoise color. My grandma Corrine was always bold with her fashion, jewelry, and makeup. I feel beautiful in this piece, and I've never seen anything similar. She picked great timeless pieces and I love wearing her clothes. She was a true fashionista.
Real Fur, PETA Better Not Try It!
I wouldn't buy a fur at this time in my life, but the ones I do have, I will keep and wear forever! My grandmother, Mattie, owned several fox capes, mink coats, and mink hats. Her collection consisted of pieces from her closet, as well her mother and my great-aunt, Lillian. To say that these are beautiful pieces would be an understatement. What I love about them most is that people don’t even know that the coats and capes are older than me! When I got the coat appraised, the attendant was so perplexed as to how they were kept in such great condition for over 50 years! He noticed that these particular furs were from a popular vendor in Rochester, NY. The warmth and beauty in these pieces remind me of old black and white films or Harlem Nights. Surely, a 1950’s starlet’s dream coat.
All three pieces remind me of the women in my life who were loving, ambitious and fashion forward. More than anything, it reminds me that material things don’t truly bring us joy but the people in our lives to share our days with do. I miss my grandmother’s and although they aren’t here, these are tangible reminders that I have a piece of them with and in me, simply by the things I love to wear. Lizzmore Womenswear is dedicated to dressing the next wave of ambitious, beautiful, fashion forward women. It’s in the names of each piece designed. What have the women in your life left you with? Was it fashion? Advice? Wealth? Share in the comments and keep the names of our ancestors alive.