A Vintage Ode to My Mom for Mother’s Day

by Sammy in 18 Comments — Updated December 5, 2023

my mom wearing 1970s outfit in 1974

My mother at age 19, wearing a classic ‘70s style outfit in 1974. 

“When I was your age, my mom said to me a few years ago, when I was about 23, “I used to go to Salvation Army and find dresses from the 1930s.”

“Ugh, I hate you!!!” I replied, vehemently jealous that in the ’70s, access to ’30s fashion was the same as finding yet another ’80s frock or ’90s pair of jeans thrift store shopping today.

But I didn’t really hate her for saying that then. In fact, I loved her more for it – because it showed that the vintage gene descended from her side of the family!

As I type these words, I’m sitting at the dining room table of my childhood home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, my mother asleep upstairs and reflecting on a few of our conversations these past few days. A trip home to see a doctor always results in these mini “life reflective pow wows” that initially upset me because like most moms do, she is brutally honest about “what she thinks.”

But in due time I let go of the need to feel right and I remember why my mom’s wisdom, experience and love are my greatest source of inspiration for the best way to live my life. Thank you for your honesty, advice and unconditional love, mom.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching on Sunday, May 12th, I teamed up with Coupons.com to offer you a chance to win a $50 gift card to Target to grab your own mamas a special treat for this ode-to-mom day.

Scroll to the bottom of the post to learn how to enter to win and to see some more inspiring fashion photos of my own mother from the 1960s and 1970s.

I hope this post inspires you to tell your mom you love her today. We spread #vintagelove by buying, selling and connecting over the great vintage fashion we wear, but the greatest #vintagelove of all is the love of our family heritage and the past which has helped to shape our perfect presents and promising futures!

Please say hello on TwitterFacebookInstagram or subscribing to my newsletter. Check out my book, the 100 Best Vintage Shops Online, now for sale on Etsy! 


A Vintage Ode to My Mom for Mother's Day 3

My mom posing with a portrait of Jackie O in the early 1960s.

My grandmother, who passed away when I was 14, had this painting in her apartment for years. I can still remember looking at and wondering, “Who is this woman?” before learning about the Kennedy family as a teenager.

A Vintage Ode to My Mom for Mother's Day 4

Wearing a mini dress with a Peter Pan collar in the mid ’60s. My mom amusingly told me that her mother used to force her to the hair salon for perms, because she had stick straight hair. Not surprising, she hated it as a child.

This is why my mom let my blonde locks run free (scroll to the bottom of the post to see for yourself) and had no qualms when I went cutting my bangs myself!

my mom the vintage fashion icon

In her parents’ home in the late ’60s – early ’70s, looking very hippie-trippy with this barefoot look.

my mom the vintage fashion icon

Wearing a floral mini dress with a twist a la the keyhole neckline, next to a very ’60s Christmas tree!

my mom the vintage fashion icon

On her way to prom wearing a peasant style dress with a scoop neckline, ruffled tiers and a choker necklace. I need to ask if this is a classic Gunne Sax!

my mom the vintage fashion icon

Outside her home with her father in the loveliest shearling-lined wrap coat and red knit hat.

And my grandfather doesn’t look half bad, either!

my mom the vintage fashion icon

Wearing all-white in the spring time. Note the longer cut of the shirt and looser-fitting style pants. These matching top-pant sets were popular in the 1970s, often called “leisure suits” and made from polyester blends, although my mother’s appears to be a more high-class cotton version of the trend!

As a strawberry blonde, I must say that the all-white resort look is very fitting. I might have to duplicate this outfit in the future.

my mom the vintage fashion icon

 Mommy & me!

This was taken in a hotel room on my first family vacation (and before my younger brother, George, was born) to the Bahamas.


So what’s the best advice your mom, grandmother, aunt or motherly figure in your life ever gave you?


For a chance to win a $50 gift card to Target, visit Coupons.com to check out their amazing deals! Review the coupons to Target on the page, and then return here to share the following in the blog post comments to win:

1.) Your best mama advice!
2.) Your favorite Target coupon code from Coupons.com!  (I’m always a fan of free shipping!)
3.) Like Coupons.com on Facebook to spread the vintage Mother’s Day love

The giveaway is open until Midnight on Monday, April 29th. I’ll announce the giveaway winner, using Random.org, on Tuesday AM and contact via email.


**Entrants/Winners must be legal U.S. residents of the lower 48 states (not including Alaska and Hawaii) and at least 18 years old as of April 26th, 2013.

**For full contest rules and regulations can be found here

**All information submitted by contestants is subject to Sammy Davis Vintage’s privacy policy found here

18 thoughts on “A Vintage Ode to My Mom for Mother’s Day”

  1. You and your mom are both gorgeous! My little girl already has a penchant for vintage maxi skirts so we’ll she if she develops the same #vintagelove I have…
    Becky :)

    • thanks Becky! You need to get her in some vintage children’s wear! That is a future post for sure. Definitely take a chance to enter … #vintagewin

  2. Pasted from my facebook comments…didn’t realize this box was down here:

    Love the pix of your mother and you! You are both gorgeous! I think my favorite coupon is the Xhileration Panties 6 for $20 and that is because my mother’s best advice, every time we left without her was this: “Always wear clean panties, because you never know when you will be in a wreck and taken to the hospital!” I guess she didn’t want us to go to the ER with dirty or our Sunday panties on! LOL (“holy” panties) LOL. Love your blog. My highschool graduation photo was taken in a white double knit leisure suit with a floral single knit print shirt!

    • Here or in the Facebook comments is fine ;-) yes, I am 27, my mother is 58!

  3. Sammy,

    What a sweet post! When I saw the first picture, I thought it was an earlier picture of you. Your mom and I must be about the same age. The picture of a tall teenage girl in a mini dress with long curls brought back some good memories.

    Your mom’s right! We could find (and wear) amazing vintage from the Salvation Army back in the 70s. I found many pieces from the 30s through the 50s and even a few from the 20s. You could also find Victorian pieces frequently at estate sales.

    About 1980, I also started picking up vintage rhinestone jewelry about for $1 or less apiece and wearing it. People would ask me why I wanted to wear “that old grandma jewelry” that no one else wanted. Those were the days!

    For me, I got advise from my mom was handed down from her mom. They’d both say, “Remember, dear, people are just people.” Sounds simplistic, but it does prompt you put things into perspective sometimes.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your lovely mother. :)

    • Isn’t it funny how people call it “old grandmother jewelry?” I should write a post using that title – just for the irony of it! Thank you for sharing your love of vintage here, Linda!

  4. Love your vintage ode to your mom Sammy! My mom’s best piece of advice is do what makes you happy.

    My favorite coupon code from Coupons.com is the free shipping too (also like getting 5% off when I use my Target card)!!

    • Here here! #dowhatyoulove

  5. My mom always told me that I should always be moving forward in my life through self improvement, climbing the corporate ladder, etc. I agree, I like the free shipping coupon too.

  6. Two important pieces of advice my mom always tells me 1) when shopping and you see something you like but are not sure if you really want/need it. set it down (if there’s more than one) and come back by the end of your shopping trip, if you still like you need to buy it- buy it, if not save your money for when you do want to really buy something. 2) Look at the people you hang out with/ associate yourself with, they are a reflection of yourself and what you present to the world. And free shipping from coupons.com for target are the best hands downs, and the 75% off last chance finds!

    • Angelic, I concur with the “surrounding yourself with people who are positive!” A great reminder for us all. Thank you!

  7. I don’t know if this the best advice I ever got from my mother, but the first thing I thought of was her saying, “Slow down and take smaller steps. Walk like a lady, don’t lope like a horse.”

    As for Target, the 75% clearance items is right up my alley, but the BeautyBox code for a makeup discount is good, too.

  8. Hi my sweetness Sammy D – just bought your vintage reference e-book on etsy, liked your sponsor coupons dot com Facebook page and I am diiging their Target coupon for 15% off my frangrances for Mothers Day! The best advice from my Mother that I live by is “Its Not The Events In Our Lives that disturb us, it is our reaction to the events” – Will share your link and ebook and giveaway on the MOD Squad Picking Facebook page. oxoxoxo

  9. The best advice my momma gave me was to love myself and trust my instincts…oh, and never leave the house without mascara and lipstick!

    My favorite target.com coupon code is my red card–5% off and free shipping all the time on any order!

  10. my mom always put the most importance on being smart, then let me figure out fashion for myself. I am eternally grateful.

    however, old photos of her prove that she has been serving it up since the 60’s!

    also! she told me to wash/moisturize my face before bed, which i have yet to master. Someday…


  11. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on
    the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a
    comment is added I receive 4 emails with the same comment.
    There has to be a way you can remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

  12. Leisure suits were worn by men. Pantsuits were worn by women.


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