My Mom, the Style Icon: Robin Morris

This '80s soap opera star passed up the decade's sequins and shoulder pads for the more classic glamour of menswear-inspired basics.

My dad took this picture in 1977, before my mom, Robin Morris, became something of a soap opera star (she had a big role on Loving in the '80s). Onscreen, she wore the decade's glitzy trends, but offscreen, she stuck to the borrowed-from-the-boys aesthetic she'd honed in college: clean-lined top and trouser-style jeans. Smart and polished, this was the perfect simple backdrop for the occasional statement accessory, like her favorite Panama hat or a huge turquoise necklace. Even today, when I visit, she opens the door in a solid top and trouser jeans (these days she favors J Brand or Seven) and the same necklaces she's wearing in this picture. The amazing part is it still works: Her look is as fresh and relevant today as it was 30-plus years ago. I always thought she looked cooler than other moms, and as I get older, I know she did. —Sabrina Morris, 25, public relations coordinator, New York

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Little red tassels give a simple brown bag so much more personality.

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Show off the pants' dramatic proportions with a tucked-in top.

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A smart investment: Brown leather belts look better with age.

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Essential for pulling off floor-skimming trousers.

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Small gold charms look feminine (but not too girly).

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Turquoise silk is understatedly elegant.

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