3 Moms & Daughters Play Dress-Up In L.A.'s Loveliest Closets

For us, some of the most memorable moments of childhood took place just outside our mommas' closets. Remember gaining entrée to that wonderland of womanhood for the first time? How about when she gifted you your first set of pearls, or zipped you into your prom dress? It's funny that this storage space can hold so much of life's weight.
So many moms have been collecting a lifetime of finery — and memories — all marking the evolutions of their own styles. Whether they were Mossimo or Chanel, her prized possessions were the epitome of chic in our eyes, and we had to get our hands on them — even if we had to do it clandestine-style! Well, now that we're all grown up, we've snapped two lovely mom-daughter duos (and one trio!) inside closets we're clamoring for (they're bigger than our apartments), and they all have plenty of tales to tell. And, these lovely ladies are here to prove that this room is not just a useful place to hang clothes — but rather, a sanctuary filled with timeless mementos. Click through, and we promise you won't experience anything resembling buyer's remorse.
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The Mom: Michele Dahan, Designer Gold Hawk
The Daughters: Jacqui Dahan, Med student (left); Jessica Marx, Owner, J. Marx Atelier

What pieces do you imagine handing down someday?
"Great handbags. The girls have already received a few. We have a family wedding Kaftan that was bought by my husband's family. It's not in my possession, but it's accessible to all family members. It's fully embroidered with gold thread and real pearls and jewels — we all cherish it. My daughter Jessica even wore it when she was married. There is something magical and special about a dress that is only worn in meaningful moments of pure joy."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What ground rules have you set about letting your daughters borrow clothes?
Michele: "I have a only one rule: PUT IT BACK IN THE SAME PLACE IT WAS FOUND (and in the same condition)! Beautiful things are great, but they must receive proper care in order to last."

What do you want to borrow, that she won't let you?
Jessica: "I’m pretty lucky; there is nothing within reason that is completely off limits…as long as I follow her rule. I’ve even had a few things generously gifted from her vintage designer collection, which I am ever so grateful for. But if there is one piece that I just can’t get my hands on, it would have to be her classic Chanel tweed blazer."

Jacqui: "It's more like what I wish I could borrow! Luckily for Jess, she shares the same teeny tiny size foot as my mom, and therefore my sister has been able to snag amazing shoes over the years. I was granted a size nine foot, and am therefore limited to my closet alone in that regard."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What do you love most about your mom's style?
Jacqui: "She's effortless. In the simplest of ways, she exudes confidence, class, and individuality in all that she wears and does."

Jessica: "I love everything about my mom’s style. She’s always elegant and put together…slightly feminine, a little edgy, and always fabulous! I think her style has been described as Parisian chic meets California cool, which I love. I often try to emulate her sense of fashion. I love how she mixes masculine architectural pieces with pretty laces and sequins. There's something so effortless, yet well-tailored about it. "

Photographed by Maia Harms
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If you could permanently snag one piece from her closet, what would it be?
Jessica: "I mean, clearly that vintage Chanel Tutu…need I say more? There are very few fashion pieces that still remain desirable after three decades — that tutu is definitely one of them. I still remember being a little girl skipping around the store the day she purchased it thinking to myself, 'one day, she’ll be mine!' I wear it every opportunity I get."

Jacqui: "Any one of her purses! I could literally go in there with a blindfold on and pick at random, and be more than completely satisfied with my choice!"

Photographed by Maia Harms
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Give us some insight into your closet organization process.
Michele: "I like to organize by color and category, keeping the most current pieces I like to wear close by and accessible."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What are the top three things your mom has taught you about style and fashion?
Jessica:
"1. Spend money on good, quality, classic, investment pieces that you will use forever. I actually apply the same philosophy to my interior design business as well.
2. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. I always tend to be the girl who is slightly on the fancier side. Sequin dress at a casual Sunday brunch? Yes, please!
3. It’s always all about proportion and fit. You need to dress for your shape and body type. After all these years of having this engraved in my mind, I can pretty much look at a piece on the hanger and know if it will look good on me or not. It’s a pretty priceless skill to have."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What are the top three things your mom has taught you about style?
Jacqui:
"1. Beauty comes from within.
2. I can pull anything off, as long as I wear it with confidence.
3. Camis and tunics are addictive, and are must-have wardrobe essentials for every day!"

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What's the most memorable piece in your closet?
Michele: "Every good shopper will tell you that any great buy is an adventure. The pieces I hold close to my heart are those my husband has gifted to me throughout the years. Like the Chloé Paddington that he surprised me with when he went to Paris alone. I can only imagine the lengths he went to, trying to locate that bag!"

Photographed by Maia Harms
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The Mom: Barbara Scapa
The Daughter: Jo Scapa, Owner, AlleyCat Trade

What pieces do you imagine handing down someday?
Barbara: "I will definitely hand down my wedding dress and veil (although she will not be wearing them at her wedding) and her grandmother's slip and girdle."

What's the most memorable piece in your closet?
Barbara: "My first Chanel purse. I was with my best friend at a store in Newport Beach, Amen Wardy, which was a mecca of all things beautiful, and certainly a place we could only fantasize about. I was 26 years-old, pregnant, and couldn't afford to be walking through their doors — but we did anyway. There was a 50% off sale and a red Chanel purse was calling my name. I bought it and was so excited that I went into false labor! I still have it."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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If you could permanently snag one piece from your mom's closet, what would it be?
Jo: "This is a tough one...I can pretty much snag whatever I want. I love her bags, shoes, and jewelry, and...well pretty much everything! But, I covet her Alaia dresses, her Golden Goose sneakers and her vintage Chanel jewelry."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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Give us some insight into your closet organization process.
Barbara: "My strategy is to keep the things I wear the most visible and accessible, and everything else accessible and visible too. In other words, always have a big closet, ha! I can only purge by having my daughter go through my things with me every once in a while and force me to 'get rid' of things."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What ground rules have you set about letting your daughters borrow clothes?
Barbara: "If Jo wants to borrow anything from me, it's usually shoes or purses. The rule is that I at least wear it first, unless she really really needs it —which basically translates to 'no rules.'"

What do you want to borrow, that she won't let you?
Jo: "Nothing is really off limits. Usually, if she buys something new, she has to wear it first, but that doesn't happen all the time. If she sees something missing...she usually knows who has it, ha!"

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What are the top three things your mom has taught you about style?
Jo:
"1. Good posture makes everything look better.
2. You don't need a lot of money to have great style.
3. A little blush and a little gloss go a long way!"

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What do you love most about your mom's style?
Jo: "My mom's style is effortless. She always looks put together even when she's in gym clothes. She doesn't need to try extra hard to look good —she just does."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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The Mom: Brit Leight, of the Oliver Peoples empire
The Daughter: Devon, student

What pieces do you imagine handing down someday?
Brit: "I plan to hand down all of my jewelry, clothes, bags and shoes to my daughters. I hope that I have inspired them to appreciate and collect fashion for fun as I have."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What do you love most about your mom's style?
"I love it when she's casual and laid back! I like when she wears bohemian skirts and bracelets."

Do you ever borrow anything from your daughter's closet?
Brit: "Sometimes my husband will bring home new Oliver Peoples glasses that he's designed. I've been known to borrow some pairs from her closet since they fit me, too!" Photographed by Maia Harms
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What are your rules for letting your daughter borrow clothes?
Brit: "I am very open to Devon borrowing my clothes and accessories, if they are appropriate for a girl her age. I love that she can fit into so many of my things now!

When I'm shopping, I often imagine how my girls will look in the various pieces, and I wonder how each piece will stand the test of time. The only things I would hold back from them are my very fine jewelry or certain bags that I just don't feel a young girl should be carrying yet, but they really don't ask to borrow those things anyway."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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If you could permanently snag one piece from your mom's closet, what would it be?
Devon: "Her brown and turquoise cowboy boots from Santa Fe."

What do you want to borrow, that she won't let you?
Devon: "My great grandmother's concho belt."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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Give us some insight into your closet organization process.
Brit: "My closet is an eclectic mix of old and new pieces that inspire me and make me happy. I am definitely a collector, and I love my vintage cowboy boots, bags and jewelry. My closet is organized loosely by color and aesthetic, but also by accessibility and usefulness. I hardly purge or edit because I have two gorgeous daughters who will one day inherit all of my treasures!"

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What are the top three things your mom has taught you about style?
Devon:
"1. To make up your own style. Don't try to impersonate others; just try to be yourself.
2. Mix and match different pieces of clothing that are unexpected. It looks cute when you have different colors and patterns.
3. Sunglasses always make a statement!"

Photographed by Maia Harms
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Is there anything special in your closet that your mom handed down to you?
Brit: "Over the years my sweet mother has given me so many things that I love and cherish. My most treasured items are jewelry trinkets that were passed down from my grandmother, and hold sentimental value."

Photographed by Maia Harms
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What's the most memorable piece in your closet?
Brit: "There's one pair of boots that I really covet. I remember my mother used to wear them with hotpants in the '70s!"

Photographed by Maia Harms
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