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For many years I've loved watching fashion develop from the teens to their Moms. A friend who dresses so hip told me that one of her secrets for youthfulness was to wear cheap and trendy clothes the emulate what the teenagers and twenty somethings were wearing – her motto – We're not dead yet!

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Carole Middleton, Sarah Ferguson and Demi Moore could often be mistaken for their daughters. From their trendy clothing to their groomed tresses the similarities are uncanny.

Now a study confirms that mothers today look to their daughters for fashion and beauty inspiration.

Researchers from Temple University, Philadelphia also say that children – although they might appear to act older than their years – are far less likely to take style notes from their parents.

Coined as 'reverse socialisation' many middle-aged women are becoming 'consumer dopplegangers' striving to regain their youthful appearance as they buy into the same products as their offspring.

Journalist Amanda Platell commented that it is a pattern that has become more noticable in recent years, with high fashion becoming more accessible on the high street.

'The trend for good-looking mothers to compete with their daughters in the glamour stakes seems to be creeping into all sections of society.

'It's known as the 15/50 phenomenon — because the woman may look like a teenager from behind, but she is decidedly middle-aged from the front.

'I was 26 when I got married and my mother was 55. She wouldn't have dreamed of wearing the kind of clothes I wore at that age.'

Researchers questioned 343 mother and daughter pairings, with an average age of 44 for mums and 16 for the daughter.

It discovered that if a mum is young at heart and fashion conscious she is more likely to view her daughter as a style expert and copy her.

Dr Ayalla Ruvio, of Temple University, Philadelphia, said: 'This finding provides initial support for the notion of reverse socialization and suggests that the impact adolescents have on their parents is much more profound than has been credited to them.

'The findings clearly indicate that the subjects intentionally choose the figure they want to emulate and report their inclination to mimic their consumption behaviour.'

In 2009 it was reported that a  mother had spent £10,000 on cosmetic procedures to look like her daughter, 22 years younger.

Janet Cunliffe, 50, said: 'It might sound barmy that I had cosmetic surgery to look like my daughter, but she's gorgeous. Who wouldn't want to look like her?

'The way I see it is that she got her looks from me in the first place – mine have just faded with age.

'Seeing how attractive Jane is made me want to get my looks back. Now instead of mum and daughter we look more like twins.'

Published n the Journal of Consumer Behaviour, the team from Philadelphia say their study is the first to test 'bidirectional influence', and reveal the impact that children have on their parents consumer patterns.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Jul 27, 2011
    • I will say that my daughter and I switch out each others clothes often. However we both have our own unique sense of style and even if we borrow something it’s worn in our own way.

      No way would I wear my shorts as short as my daughter. Besides with the slight sag going on I’m already challenged to keep the buns tucked in estaticestatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda L wrote Jul 27, 2011
    • My daughter has given me a few of her sweaters that looks fine on me. I’m not a style expert so I tend to seek my daughter’s opinion.

      In the picture - I wouldn’t say the mom and daughter look like twins. The daughter looks like she had plastic surgery and mom looks much younger than her.



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