Wedding Photographer

Shop your family’s closet

Olivia Joan in an outfit that belonged to her grandmother.
Photo: Lucka Ngo

In sixth grade, when Converse was popular, my mom showed me her basketball pictures in which she too had a pair. In high school, when I wanted Birkenstocks, she mentioned she had a pair she wore in college. And more recently, when I sent her a picture of the GH Bass Weejun loafers that I had bought at Depop, my mother replied that she had had the same ones when she was my age.

I know what bike trend forecasters say every 20 years, but I never imagined as a kid that some of my favorite pieces in my closet would come from my parents or grandparents. These examples made me feel close to them, knowing that in some way we share a common sense of style. And I’m not alone.

Laura Kolber in a jacket that belonged to her mother.
Photo: Lucka Ngo

“It’s so much more fun when I can come home and be like, Oh my god this skirt is fabulous. And my mother is like, Take it,says operations analyst Laura Kolber, 30, who regularly wears her mother’s clothes. When she moved from Chicago to New York nearly four years ago, she had a bit of a fashion identity crisis and turned to the pieces she inherited for comfort when she didn’t know. not what to wear.

Photo: Lucka Ngo

As someone who is still looking for my own style, I know that feeling all too well. I wore my dad’s t-shirts for years, often pulling on oversized long sleeves to wear when the weather got a little chilly or searching through his collection of sweatshirts to find one with his alma mater. I used to compliment my grandfather’s sweater and he let me wear it. My sister and I were going through all of my grandmother’s old rings and earrings.

Jeavonna Coble in a hat that belonged to her father, and a cardigan and T-shirt that belonged to her grandfather.Photos: Lucka Ngo.

Jeavonna Coble in a hat that belonged to her father, and a cardigan and T-shirt that belonged to her grandfather.Photos: Lucka Ngo.

Jeavonna Coble, a 26-year-old project manager, wears her father’s hat almost every day. It includes his initials and his old high school basketball number: “It’s a true representation of me,” Coble says. “It’s combining ancestry with what I love now, blending the future and the past.”

In the aftermath of a loss, wearing pieces that belonged to family members serves as an intimate reminder of who they were and can bring you closer, even if these items weren’t necessarily collected to be passed on. Carolina Perez Aleman, 29, has worn her mother’s jewelry every day since her death about five years ago. “Wearing her jewelry with me is part of her being with me in a physical, tangible form,” Aleman says.

Carolina Perez Aleman in a jacket, shirt and necklace that belonged to her mother.Photos: Lucka Ngo.

Carolina Perez Aleman in a jacket, shirt and necklace that belonged to her mother.Photos: Lucka Ngo.

When her mother was alive, she encouraged her to wear her clothes, so it’s refreshing for Aleman to know that her mother would be happy to see her wearing her clothes now. More recently, she found her mother’s initials engraved inside her ring, proving that even in the midst of loss, there is still so much to learn by taking this part of her family with her.

Jazmine Rogers wears pearl earrings from her grandmother.Photos: Lucka Ngo.

Jazmine Rogers wears pearl earrings from her grandmother.Photos: Lucka Ngo.

Jazmine Rogers, 25, remembers when her grandmother gave her a pearl set on her wedding day. “She apologized for not having more, but she didn’t realize what she was giving me was so much,” Rogers says. Since her great-grandparents emigrated from Mexico, her family hasn’t kept much. But the set of pearls was turned into earrings and sewn into her wedding dress – and she even saved a few to pass down.

Claire LaMantia in a leather trench coat, skirt, watch and boots that belonged to her mother.
Photo: Lucka Ngo

Photo: Lucka Ngo

My younger sister, Claire, has always had an eye for design. When my maternal grandmother passed away, we traveled to Minnesota to sort through her belongings, including her jewelry collection. “I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved watches, so the heart pendant stuck with me, even when I was 12,” Claire explains. She didn’t wear it in high school, but after my mom gave her a chain, she’s worn my grandmother’s pendant almost every day since. “It makes me feel close to her,” she adds.

Vivian Chuang, The Cut’s fashion assistant, also shared some of the pieces passed down from her closet. Among them is her mother’s Fendi watch which she bought while working as a flight attendant overseas. “When I graduated from college, that was all I asked for,” Chuang says.

For others, like photographer Olivia Joan, 24, the fascination with their family’s belongings came earlier: “My grandmother had so many closets. There was a closet on the second floor that was a walk-in closet and it was like a J shape. And when I was little, we always played hide and seek and I was hiding in there. So I’ve always been fascinated by his clothes.

Vivian Chuang in her mother’s gold watch, her grandfather’s top and her boyfriend’s grandmother’s fur coat.Photos: Lucka Ngo.

Vivian Chuang in her mother’s gold watch, her grandfather’s top and her boyfriend’s grandmother’s fur coat.Photos: Lucka Ngo.

Joan has gone viral on TikTok for sharing clothes she found in her grandmother’s closet. The pieces are colorful and luxurious, featuring vintage Prada and Chanel. But most impressive was the number of items she incorporated into her everyday clothes, piecing together entire outfits made up of her grandmother’s clothes, jewelry and shoes. “My grandma had these cool pieces that she didn’t wear. We just started to get comfortable and then she couldn’t wear any clothes because she was in a wheelchair. And so she would live vicariously through me. That’s how we connected,” says Joan.

Olivia Joan in an entire outfit that belonged to her grandmother, except for her left ring.Photos: Lucka Ngo.

Olivia Joan in an entire outfit that belonged to her grandmother, except for her left ring.Photos: Lucka Ngo.