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My Mother's Clothes

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Prima Tesh & Connie Sellecca

She’s only 4, but Prima Tesh is planning her fashion future. “When ever she sees me in something she likes, she says, ‘Oh, Mommy, I love that dress! Will you save it for me?’ ” reports actress Connie Sellecca, 43. In fact, trying on Mom’s clothes and shoes is a treat Prima isn’t willing to put off until tomorrow. “My nighties,” says Sellecca, “are her evening gowns.” Prima’s fashion passion, though, involves walking down the aisle. “For her fourth birthday, we had a bridal tea. All her friends were bridesmaids, and Prima was the bride,” says Sellecca, as she adjusts the veil (above) that she wore when she married Prima’s dad, musician John Tesh, in 1992. Prima, who is also wearing her grandmother’s wedding dress, says she loves dress-up because “it looks like I’m big already.”

Kate Hudson & Goldie Hawn

When the American Museum of the Moving Image honored Goldie Hawn, now 52, in February 1997, the actress brought along significant other Kurt Russell and her three children. Daughter Kate Hudson, 19, added a personal touch to the career retrospective and tribute at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel: She wore the black gown trimmed with pink flowers that Goldie, then famous for her giggly gig on TV’s Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and her Oscar-winning turn in 1969’s Cactus Flower, wore to the 1971 Academy Awards (below). The dress required no alterations to fit Hudson, who will appear with Ben Affleck in next year’s 200 Cigarettes.

Peggy & Loretta Lynn

Peggy Lynn, 34, has always loved wearing mom Loretta’s clothes. “In the ’70s, when my twin sister Patsy and me had friends over, we’d put on my mama’s long, black hairpieces, some dresses she didn’t wear anymore and go out on the balcony and wave to the fans, pretending we were Loretta,” she recalls. “We thought we had everyone fooled.” So when it came time for Peggy and Patsy, as the Lynns, to debut at the Grand Ole Opry last December, Peggy says, “there was no question” but that she would appear in her mom’s turquoise-spangled “Opry dress.” The dress, which Loretta, now 63, wore to her Opry induction in 1962, was the first costume she didn’t sew herself. “This dress,” says Peggy, “made my mother feel like a star.”

Clementine Ford & Cybill Shepherd

When Cybill Shepherd flashed her pearly whites in a short, scoop-necked dress with matching jacket at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Los Angeles in 1995, the outfit looked freshly minted. But two years earlier, daughter Clementine Ford, then only 14, had borrowed it to wear to a party. Ford says she doesn’t wear a lot of her mother’s clothes—”except for T-shirts, and those don’t count.” But even though the 5’10” Shepherd, 48, is 5 inches taller, “most of her things fit me,” says Ford, Shepherd’s daughter with her first husband, auto-parts dealer David Ford. And “sometimes she’ll have a dress that I’ll love, so I’ll borrow it.”

Lucinda & Lynda Robb

“I’m such a cheapskate—I love the idea of going into my mom’s wardrobe and recycling her beautiful outfits,” says Lucinda Robb, 29, daughter of Lynda and Sen. Charles Robb (D-Va.), of her frequent forays into Mom’s closet. To celebrate grandmother Lady Bird Johnson’s 80th birthday at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, Texas, in December 1992, Lucinda borrowed a rhinestone-trimmed, black velvet dress that Lynda (at 23, with Lady Bird, LBJ and then-fiancé Charles Robb, near left) wore to a 1967 White House party celebrating her engagement. At least it was a dress this time around. “Mom is about 5 inches taller than I am, and she wore it as a top with a pantsuit bottom,” says Lucinda, a recruiting director in Washington, D.C. “I just wear the top, and it’s sort of a micromini on me.”

Helena & Elena Bonham Carter

Best Actress nominee Helena Bonham Carter, 32, wanted to wear her mother’s ’50s-era Dior to the Oscars last March, but the dress fell apart when she tried it on. So Helena asked British designer Deborah Milner to re-create it. “I liked that it was a huge design statement, yet also simple, which made it more about Helena than the dress,” says Milner, who updated the tulip skirt and substituted pale lilac—more suited to Helena’s coloring—for pale gray. On the big night, mom Elena, a psychotherapist, felt “immensely proud and totally delighted,” she says, noting that there could be no greater compliment than Helena’s “wearing something I loved.”

Alicia & Didi Silverstone

In Clueless, she won acclaim portraying a materialistic teen who makes a dozen wardrobe changes a day. But in real life, Alicia Silverstone is known for her indifference to the ins and outs of fashion. So it’s not surprising that at April’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in L.A., where she was named Favorite Movie Actress for Batman & Robin, Silverstone was sporting an unknown (though unique) label. The 21-year-old actress doesn’t make a habit of borrowing her mother’s clothes, but on that day she settled on a boldly patterned shift that mom Didi, 56, a former Pan Am flight attendant (with Alicia, below, at the ’96 Golden Globes, also in L.A.), had sewn for herself.

Monica & Marilyn Best

Marilyn Best, 47, had never even worn her long black Guy Laroche dress when her daughter, teen diva Monica, decided it was just the thing for February’s Soul Train awards in Los Angeles. For Monica, that is. “I loved the entire idea of the dress,” says the 17-year-old, who teams with Brandy on “The Boy Is Mine.” “It was elegant and simple.” Monica, who lives in Georgia with Best, a Delta Air Lines customer-service rep, and stepdad Rev. Dr. E.J. Best Jr., often raids her mom’s closet. “We like the same things—especially dress clothes,” Monica says. But when they wind up with outfits that are similar in pattern and design, “she’ll wear the version that’s totally covered,” says Monica. “And I’ll wear the version that shows more skin.”

Ivanka & Ivana Trump

Commuting between her mother’s and father’s homes when she’s not in residence at her European boarding school, Ivanka Trump most often gets dressed out of a suitcase. And the 16-year-old model favors simple styles, while her mom’s taste is more ornate. Nonetheless, preparing for a Red & Romantic theme party at Manhattan’s Chaos in honor of Ivana’s 49th birthday last February, Ivanka found what she needed in her mother’s closet—and the scarlet dress had the requisite sleek lines. Seeing Ivanka turned out in her dress “felt fabulous,” says Ivana. “I loved seeing my daughter growing into a beautiful young woman, and she looked totally stunning that evening. Now she is into my shoe closet—and I wonder what will be next.”