Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: JeseC on January 12, 2013, 07:24:46 PM

Title: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: JeseC on January 12, 2013, 07:24:46 PM
Is this special to our family, or is there just something about mothers wanting to interfere in how their children dress?

I have always had a predilection for a somewhat gothic style, ever since I was young (and picked up the predilection for the music as soon as I had access to it, which was significantly later).  This was largely suppressed at my mother's insistence for a long time, in her ever-present hope that I'd grow out of "that all-black phase."  Seeing as that didn't work, I have of course updated my wardrobe to the dark tones and styles that I prefer, and donated much of what I used to wear.

This, for some reason, drives my mother absolutely nuts.  She seems to have taken it upon herself to teach me how to "dress properly," and is somehow entirely convinced that I'll never get anywhere because of the massive bad effects of my clothing.  It gets quite silly at times.  For one, she seems to be convinced that my tastes in clothing mean I have no idea how to dress in different situations.  One time, she saw an outfit I had on to visit a friend from college while I was in the area - striped tights, a flared purple skirt, black top, and black cloak.  This immediately launched into a lecture about how I couldn't wear clothes like that to work and expect to keep a job.  She also seems to be terribly afraid that any clothing that "stands out" at all will lead to employment problems, despite my being in a field where the dress code lecture we got was "please refrain from wearing anything with stains or noticeable holes in it."

I could go on with the stories.  What amuses and slightly irritates me is the constant advice on my clothing.  As though in my mid-20's I still had no idea how to put together an appropriate outfit.  Or alternately, as though this is some remnant of childish rebellion, that really should have been outgrown a while ago.  We've pretty much gotten to the point where I ignore her whenever she starts up on it - engaging and trying to explain just provokes more outlandish responses, along with the firm certainty that I cannot possibly know the actual responses my clothing will get.  It's probably handled as well as it could be, but...aaaaargh mothers!
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 12, 2013, 07:40:15 PM
Not quite to the same degree, but my mother and I are of different style sorts.  My mom tends to go with trends because, well she likes them and can afford to, and her tastes run towards the preppy. 

I remember in college trying out different styles since when my mother was buying my clothes I didn't get a lot of say in my style.  She did buy me my first two broomstick skirts and well that was about it.  Though when I discovered Hot Topic there was a time I wondered if that would be a good look for me.  I was at the mall closer to home with my mother when I was home from school and asked her what she thought of a certain item of clothing from HT.   She said "Are you trying to shock me?" 

I told her no, I genuinely wanted to know if it looked good on me but said sort of jokingly "I'll take that for a no?"

Well while I like getting tshirts and accesories there, I really am not the goth sort, I tend to be more of a hippie in style.  Which she never really said too much about but it was like she was practicing some "Teen 101: Do not respond to their efforts to shock you and they will eventually come back to normal." Which meant thin smiles and forced compliments on my boho style.  Once at my son's old school, I wore a long broomstick skirt, a boho lacy like top (it had a lining) under a light jacket since the top had spaghetti straps.  I got a lot of compliments from the kids and some of the teachers.  On the way out, my mom, who had done a plant related presentation, said "Well, it does look nice" like someone was force feeding her worms. 

Mind you at the time I was 30.  WAY too late for a rebellion. 

I got the same "pretend you're not shocked or disapproving" look when I got my first tattoo a few months later.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: afbluebelle on January 12, 2013, 08:01:22 PM
Its a mom thing... I get grief for my tatoos, my t-shirts, and the fact that I wear jeans and front fly/zip pants (not side zip like a proper woman).


The work wardrobe is the elephant in the room, as is my penchant for my old, ugly wallet.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: SPuck on January 12, 2013, 08:42:02 PM
(not side zip like a proper woman)

Proper modern woman wear side zip up pants? /:?
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Yvaine on January 12, 2013, 09:01:51 PM
(not side zip like a proper woman)

Proper modern woman wear side zip up pants? /:?

It was A Thing for a while, like in the fifties, when pants had first started being acceptable for women. Front zips were considered to be for men because of...the functional aspect. But I have no idea how one would even stick to this rule anymore and have a wardrobe of any size, because almost everything is front zip now.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: PastryGoddess on January 12, 2013, 09:08:27 PM
Its a mom thing... I get grief for my tatoos, my t-shirts, and the fact that I wear jeans and front fly/zip pants (not side zip like a proper woman).


The work wardrobe is the elephant in the room, as is my penchant for my old, ugly wallet.

Isn't your work wardrobe...ummm mandatory ???
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 12, 2013, 10:20:49 PM
It's a mom thing and the best thing to do about it is to have a sense of humor.  I have two mid-50 yr old, very elegant, ex-model cousins who definetly know how to dress. Before a recent wedding, my cousins, my sis, and I were waiting for their mom in a hotel lobby. We had a bet going on whether aunt would tell cousin 1 her dress was too short for age or cousin 2 was in too high of heels for a woman her height.  Aunt was a little miffed when we all burst out laughing when she asked elegant cousin if she really meant for her dress to be that short?
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: CakeBeret on January 12, 2013, 10:55:05 PM
It's a mom thing. My mother is continually despairing over my tattoos, my hairstyle, and my vast collection of black clothing. And I don't ever wear floral prints. :P
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: JeseC on January 12, 2013, 11:21:36 PM
Its a mom thing... I get grief for my tatoos, my t-shirts, and the fact that I wear jeans and front fly/zip pants (not side zip like a proper woman).


The work wardrobe is the elephant in the room, as is my penchant for my old, ugly wallet.

Isn't your work wardrobe...ummm mandatory ???

Of course, if she's anything like my mother, she might be miffed that her daughter doesn't "dress appropriately for work" even if the clothes are perfectly in line with the actual workplace.  My mother still has not gotten it through her head that the sort of business attire she considers appropriate would be far and away too much in a workplace where the boss typically shows up in a t-shirt and cargo shorts.

I've at this point settled on a little sigh that's become the family code for "I heard you, I just don't want to discuss it."  (Not a PA gesture; this is employed after indicating verbally that I don't want to discuss a topic, and not wanting to be drawn into another "but why not?" conversation.)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Iris on January 13, 2013, 12:19:08 AM
Definitely a mum thing. My mum STILL does it and I've got a daughter as old as I was when she started doing it, plus I dress WAY more conservatively than I used to due to a career change plus weight gain.

Interestingly, I remember sitting with another friend with somewhat way out style and discussing what our kids would be like when they got to the 'rebellious years'. I laughed and said that since I didn't really care about how they dressed as long as they're reasonably neat my kids would have to rebel by wearing mismatched and unironed clothes.

Yeah. Before I went out to lunch today I had to tick off my teen daughter because she hadn't ironed her clothes  ::) She's probably on another forum saying "My mum is SO mean! She wouldn't let me express myself through a wrinkly t-shirt!"
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: afbluebelle on January 13, 2013, 12:49:14 AM
Its a mom thing... I get grief for my tatoos, my t-shirts, and the fact that I wear jeans and front fly/zip pants (not side zip like a proper woman).


The work wardrobe is the elephant in the room, as is my penchant for my old, ugly wallet.

Isn't your work wardrobe...ummm mandatory ???

Yes. Yes it is. That's why it doesn't get mentioned much anymore. If I cross trained into an office job, I would wear the blues with the skirt... at least in DM's head  :P

I do need a new wallet though. Mine is 9 years old, velcro, and a bit torn/ripped. I really like it though =)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: camlan on January 13, 2013, 05:57:51 AM
My mom grew up in the 1940s, when "sweater girls" wearing tight, form-fitting sweaters were in the movies and fashion magazines. This look, however, was not appropriate for nice, high-school aged girls. I suspect my mom and her mom may have had some discussion about this particular style.

I was a teenager in the 1970s--billowy boho style clothing, low-slung bell-bottom jeans, skin-tight body suits. I wasn't allowed to wear pants to school. I was not allowed to own a single pair of jeans. I was the freak in school who was wearing cute little jumpers and skirts while everyone else was in hip-hugger jeans.

In college, I started buying my own clothes and favored baggy, comfortable things like denim overalls and flannel shirts and oversized sweaters and the like.

One weekend when I was home, my mom sat me down at the kitchen table and said, "I never thought I'd have to say this to a daughter of mine." I tell you, I froze. I was terrified--I had no idea what was coming next.

"You wear all your clothes too loose." Yep, in an era where most moms were trying to peel the skin-tight, too short clothing off their daughters, my mother was concerned that my clothing was too baggy.  Poor thing, apparently she'd been bracing herself for the "your sweater is too tight!" conversations, but got a daughter who was the exact opposite.

You just can't win, no matter what you wear.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Yvaine on January 13, 2013, 07:27:55 AM
My mom--and I have an amazing mom and love her to bits--took a few years to just adjust to the colors I like. She's big into wearing white, red, and black almost exclusively. My wardrobe looks like I dunked the whole thing in grape juice. She thought it was weird to wear as much purple as I do. I mean, purple? Is it that weird?  ;D She did get used to it and has given me some amazing purple clothing in recent years.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Just Lori on January 13, 2013, 08:15:26 AM
Moms, like most people, tend to see things through the lens of their own experience and time.   For instance, when I was younger colorful tattoos were associated with military men and bikers. If a woman had a tattoo, she never had it anywhere it would be visible in work clothing.  At least this was the case in my social circle and region.

Nowadays, tattoos are what pierced ears were when I was younger.  Yet if my daughter came home with a tattoo on her neck, I might still have an "oh!" moment where I'd fret that she was sabatoging any effort to land a job in her chosen field of teaching. I know logically that tattoos are mainstream now, but there's still this portion of my brain that thinks "bikers and military men."

What I'm trying to say is that it takes some of us a few years to catch up with trends and let go of our preconceived notions.  The older we get, the harder can be to shake those notions.  Keep wearing what you want to wear.  With time Mom will realize that you're perfectly capable of working and supporting yourself in outfits that are appropriate to the occasion.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Thipu1 on January 13, 2013, 09:40:17 AM
It wasn't my own mother.  It was MIL but she was gentle about it.

When I was first married, I favored bright colors.  MIL had been to some kind of seminar about dressing according to your 'season'.  She informed me that I was a 'Winter Person'.  Therefore, I should limit my strong colors to navy blue and hunter green.  I could add a bit of baby blue or mint but I should never wear any warm colors and I should wear lots and lots of white. 

BOOOORING!

On a visit to Vermont, she and FIL wanted to buy me a new ski jacket.  She really pushed for a navy model.  That is when I became a purple parka person. 
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: LadyL on January 13, 2013, 10:00:02 AM
In college, I started buying my own clothes and favored baggy, comfortable things like denim overalls and flannel shirts and oversized sweaters and the like.

One weekend when I was home, my mom sat me down at the kitchen table and said, "I never thought I'd have to say this to a daughter of mine." I tell you, I froze. I was terrified--I had no idea what was coming next.

"You wear all your clothes too loose." Yep, in an era where most moms were trying to peel the skin-tight, too short clothing off their daughters, my mother was concerned that my clothing was too baggy.  Poor thing, apparently she'd been bracing herself for the "your sweater is too tight!" conversations, but got a daughter who was the exact opposite.

You just can't win, no matter what you wear.

Ha! My mother didn't want to accept it when I started wearing form fitting clothing (fitted flared jeans came in when I was first starting to have a more adult body). She tried to make me buy my jeans a size up. I demonstrated why this was a bad idea by hopping up and down in the store until the too-big jeans started sliding down my butt exposing my underwear. That successfully disproved her argument that they were more "modest"  >:D.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: rigs32 on January 13, 2013, 11:58:56 AM
My mom and I have the same body type - very high waisted.  A few years ago she finally took my advice to not tuck T-shirts into her pants as it pretty much looked like shoulders, chest, waistband.  She asked what to do with long shirts.  I said don't buy them or buy petite tops that are shorter even though you're 5'8".  If only I could get her to wear suit jackets that fit properly rather than big enough to wear over a bulky sweater.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Cami on January 13, 2013, 01:42:58 PM
My parents were control freaks about the way I dressed. In addition, they were quite puritanical and old-fashioned. It was, well, stupid, since any kid of even average intelligence can figure out that all they have to do is get around the corner and make some small adjustments and break every rule in the book. And enjoy putting one over on their parents.  I can also assure you that their insistence that all button-up shirts had to be buttoned up to my neck ensured that once I got around the corner, I unbuttoned it as far as it could go, to depths I would have NEVER chosen had I been left to my own devices.  Ironically, she also was in total denial about the fact that I was much taller and curvier than she was, so she was forever buying me clothes that were too tight and too short (because I wasn't allowed to buy my own clothes, basically, until I left home), which showed a lot more of my figure than if she'd bought clothes that fit, thereby negating the whole "modesty" goal she was supposedly fixated on.

My mother, therefore, naturally had her own opinions on my wedding gown. Sadly for her, given her past history, I refused to allow her to go gown shopping with me. I know she was upset and hurt, but I also know that had she come along, WW3 would have happened.

So... based upon my experiences, I vowed not to be heavy handed with my children on their clothing. I did take my dd clothes shopping and I did give her my opinions, but I always encouraged her to find her own way. She is now nearly 20 and trusts me implicitly to buy her clothes for gifts because she knows I know her taste and respect it. She also takes me with her whenever she wants to get an outfit for an important occasion because she knows I get her taste and I will tell her the truth about the fit.  I will note that my dd has an actual style in her clothing, unlike most girls in her age group who seem to live in sweats, tee-shirts and flip flops for every occasion.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: JoW on January 13, 2013, 01:49:52 PM
......Of course, if she's anything like my mother, she might be miffed that her daughter doesn't "dress appropriately for work" even if the clothes are perfectly in line with the actual workplace.  My mother still has not gotten it through her head that the sort of business attire she considers appropriate would be far and away too much in a workplace where the boss typically shows up in a t-shirt and cargo shorts....

My mother is the same way.  My mother still tries to control what I wear and I haven’t lived with her in more than 30 years.  I live about 1000 miles from her and find distance helps a lot.  That and shipping her mistakes back to her so she can spend her time returning them. 

For work I wear mostly business casual – dress slacks and a dressy T or polo shirt.  I rarely carry a purse.  Everyone who comes to my office – even visitors – is required to wear a lab coat, hair net, safety glasses, and either shoe covers or shoes that are never worn outside the building.  Mom is convinced that I should wear a skirt and heels.  She has even complained to my boss about the way I dress for work.  I think her dress code for work is based on what she was taught in secretarial school in 1950.  The rules have changed but mom hasn’t. 

She’s another one who is offended by front-zip pants for women.  She does find elastic waist pants to be acceptable.  But in her world women’s pants must never have pockets.   After all, we get to carry a purse. 

She also cleans my closet whenever she gets a chance, throwing out anything she doesn’t think I should be wearing.  It’s one of the reasons she’s no longer allowed in my house. 
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Jones on January 13, 2013, 02:12:37 PM
I was the oldest of many children. When I was 14-15, I babysat for money. 16 I got a real, after-school job, and picked up extra hours whenever I could. Why? Well, it was so I could buy new clothes (instead of my aunt's hand me downs), as my parents never could have afforded even Wal-mart clothing for all their kids at once.

I will say that, as soon as I showed I could manage my own money, my mother might criticize but she never threw away my belongings. Thongs were big, and she chided me about them (I never wore them in such a way to show them off), but didn't throw them out. Sleeveless clothing was against our religion, and she'd remind me to put something on over/under it, but didn't make me return it. I have to admire her take on the whole thing; my rebellious stage could have been so much worse had I been antagonized.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: mbbored on January 13, 2013, 02:35:54 PM
My mother seems to view anything I do differently than her as me saying "You're completely wrong." However, she and I have different body types, different skin tones, and quite frankly, different tastes.

Mom is a human stick with medium toned skin and a former kindergarten teacher. She tends towards turtle necks and crew neck tees in pastels under thematic jumpers or with high waisted jeans. I'm curvy with ivory skin. A turtleneck or crew neck top makes me look like a blob, as do dresses without tailoring, and high waisted anything makes me look like I'm all chest. As for pastels, they wash me out, so I steer more towards bright colors.

Fortunately when I was in middle and high school we didn't fight too much about it since I wore uniforms to school and spent most of the rest of my time in running clothes. The epic battle was over my underwear: she preferred full coverage and plain white and refused to believe that I was larger in the bust area than she was. Anything else I tried to sneak through got thrown out. This resulted in me wearing a lot of oversized tops and undershirts to help hide the lack of an appropriate support.

As an adult, Mom finally stopped calling me slutty for wearing fitted jeans and v neck tees when my sister-in-law pointed that SIL herself was wearing basically the same outfit.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Sophia on January 13, 2013, 02:40:23 PM
My mother doesn't comment on my clothes.  It is my hair.  I have long, red curly/wavy hair that I wear tussled.  My mother believes that hair should not move. 
She is starting in on my daughter.  I'll have it nipped before she DD knows what is happening. 
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Elisabunny on January 13, 2013, 04:15:27 PM
It wasn't my own mother.  It was MIL but she was gentle about it.

When I was first married, I favored bright colors.  MIL had been to some kind of seminar about dressing according to your 'season'.  She informed me that I was a 'Winter Person'.  Therefore, I should limit my strong colors to navy blue and hunter green.  I could add a bit of baby blue or mint but I should never wear any warm colors and I should wear lots and lots of white. 

BOOOORING!

On a visit to Vermont, she and FIL wanted to buy me a new ski jacket.  She really pushed for a navy model.  That is when I became a purple parka person.

Umm, did she sleep through half the seminar?  Or did the presenter not know what they were talking about?  Because Winters get a LOT of bright colors (and hunter green isn't one of them).
Oh, and I'm considered a Winter, and I cannot wear mint green.  At all.  Although that may just be me.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Yvaine on January 13, 2013, 04:19:34 PM
It wasn't my own mother.  It was MIL but she was gentle about it.

When I was first married, I favored bright colors.  MIL had been to some kind of seminar about dressing according to your 'season'.  She informed me that I was a 'Winter Person'.  Therefore, I should limit my strong colors to navy blue and hunter green.  I could add a bit of baby blue or mint but I should never wear any warm colors and I should wear lots and lots of white. 

BOOOORING!

On a visit to Vermont, she and FIL wanted to buy me a new ski jacket.  She really pushed for a navy model.  That is when I became a purple parka person.

Umm, did she sleep through half the seminar?  Or did the presenter not know what they were talking about?  Because Winters get a LOT of bright colors (and hunter green isn't one of them).
Oh, and I'm considered a Winter, and I cannot wear mint green.  At all.  Although that may just be me.

I'm a Spring and mint green is my holy grail--but fie on those season people for trying to convince me not to wear dark purple and other jewel tones. The phrase "pry it out of my cold dead hands" comes to mind.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 13, 2013, 04:23:01 PM
I remember my mother used to snark about my MIL's gifts of clothes to my older two.   When they were little, as in toddlers and kindergarten, MIL liked to get them sweatsuits in the winter, nothing dressy, but just cute stuff that was fitting for play, much like what I bought them.  Stuff that was also easy to wash and I wouldn't cry if it was torn/ripped/stained beyond saving.   

I think it was that MIL did a lot of thrifty shopping for DH when he was younger.  I had no problem at all with MIL's choices.  That and MIL is very much a t-shirt and jeans woman. She's only worn a dress once in the time I've known her and that was when DH and I got married.   One of the reasons she and I get along so well.   In fact I remember one year when DH and I were going to do Tgiving dinner with his parents, my mom was scandalized that we were going over there in jeans and t-shirts, as when I was a kid we were expected to dress up a bit for tgiving dinner. Jeans were allowed, but you had to be wearing a dressy top and slacks were preferred.

Now the snark went both ways.  When we went over after being at my parent's house and DH was dressed in a dressy sweater and khakis with dressy shoes after just being at my parents for a few hours, she teased him and called him a "yuppie puppy".   (she is fine with dressing in collared shirts for a round of golf or church, but she finds it rather silly to dress up for just socializing with family)

I'm an autumn, I think.  I like greens, especially dark ones, dark blues, deep reds, and browns.  I once tried green and blue nail polishes but they're just not right.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: LadyL on January 13, 2013, 04:49:45 PM
Fortunately when I was in middle and high school we didn't fight too much about it since I wore uniforms to school and spent most of the rest of my time in running clothes. The epic battle was over my underwear: she preferred full coverage and plain white and refused to believe that I was larger in the bust area than she was. Anything else I tried to sneak through got thrown out. This resulted in me wearing a lot of oversized tops and undershirts to help hide the lack of an appropriate support.

As an adult, Mom finally stopped calling me slutty for wearing fitted jeans and v neck tees when my sister-in-law pointed that SIL herself was wearing basically the same outfit.

I am really amazed at how mean mothers can be to their own children! And also at how despite goals of "modesty" there are so many stories here about mothers buying their daughters too small clothing or refusing to buy properly fitted bras. I mean, it makes me feel a little more normal about the nutty rules my mom had, but it makes me sad that so many people's already awkward teen years were made so much more so by mothers with such misguided ideas about how their daughters should dress.

Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: JeseC on January 13, 2013, 05:40:01 PM
I'm halfway tempted with my mother to show up in some of the "normal" outfits I see around campus, particularly in the summer.  One look at me in hot pants and a ripped tank and she'd stop complaining about my maxi skirts!

In all seriousness...what really bugs me with my mother is her assumption that all strange outfits are being worn to work or other places that might not be appropriate to them.  Because of course if I'm going out with heavy black-and-white makeup and a cape I'm wearing the exact same outfit to work the next day.  It's not like I have anything permanent done...
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Kendo_Bunny on January 13, 2013, 07:33:24 PM
With my stepmother, it's the weird assumption that because I prefer to wear a T-shirt and jeans when I visit and save my work clothes for work means that I don't have any work clothes. I haven't worked any place where jeans were acceptable (except for a 3 month seasonal job) in 6 years. I just don't feel that going to visit the house with the Siamese cats constantly shedding white hairs and the big goofy dog who sometimes eats my underwear is the appropriate place to wear black pants and dress blouses. I've tried explaining that every time she offers to go buy me work clothes - I've got plenty of nice clothes. I just don't wear them on weekends, because I feel like they should be nice for work.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: CakeEater on January 13, 2013, 08:56:37 PM
I've solved all these problems by having the exact same taste as my mother. Sometimes when I'm visiting, I get dressed, and my Mum and I are are both wearing a black shirt and cream 3/4 pants, or black shorts and the same shade of green t-shirt. It's actually kind-of uncanny.

That doesn't help you, OP, sorry!
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: JeseC on January 13, 2013, 10:01:39 PM
I've solved all these problems by having the exact same taste as my mother. Sometimes when I'm visiting, I get dressed, and my Mum and I are are both wearing a black shirt and cream 3/4 pants, or black shorts and the same shade of green t-shirt. It's actually kind-of uncanny.

That doesn't help you, OP, sorry!

I tried dressing to her tastes once, for like 3 days - and got a stream of comments on how wonderful it was that I'd grown out of "that all-black phase."  Thankfully I'm at least old enough to go to the bathroom before rolling my eyes!
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: SPuck on January 13, 2013, 10:34:43 PM
refused to believe that I was larger in the bust area than she was.

I had that same problem with my mom to. Whenever I have to get bras she can't believe that I need to get them because she has used the same one for 10 years. :P
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: mbbored on January 13, 2013, 10:56:46 PM
refused to believe that I was larger in the bust area than she was.

I had that same problem with my mom to. Whenever I have to get bras she can't believe that I need to get them because she has used the same one for 10 years. :P

Exactly. 32 nearly A is a far far cry from 32DD. She let me buy a 34A since I was "fatter" than her, which covered more surface area but whoa nelly, did nothing for the girls, so to speak. However, the first time I came home from college in a properly fit bra she proclaimed "You lost weight!" Nope, it's just cause my chest was finally up where it was supposed to be.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Chivewarrior on January 13, 2013, 10:58:14 PM
For me, it's a grandmother problem rather than a mother one. It's been an accepted fact in my family since my childhood that I have "nice legs". I'm not sure what their criteria for it is. So naturally, having nice legs, I ought to show them off... and thus get a lot of lectures about how I should be showing them off and wearing good pants instead of long skirts. Then again, when I do wear pants I get lectures about how I should be wearing dresses, or how they're not the right kind of pants, so I suspect some of it is that she just likes to complain.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: scotcat60 on January 14, 2013, 05:37:35 AM
Now me, it was my Dad who criiticised my dress. Mum never did, probably because she (born 1915) had a Mum who would look at her and her older sisters and sniff "I suppose you think you look nice like that" to which Aunt P. would reply "Yes, I do". But then Grandma was born into a world where women did not show their legs, and necklines were high.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 14, 2013, 06:01:13 AM
My mother seemed to forget I'm slightly taller than she is.  She'd go on these binges where she'd unload a lot of her clothes onto me, including pants.  She's 5', I'm 5'2" and she'd hem her pants so they'd fit her perfectly.  So on me they'd be 2" too short in the leg.   I'd point this out and she'd say "Well you don't have to keep it, it won't hurt my feelings." so thankfully there was that.

But then the next time she'd clean out her closet, I'd get a bag of pants again.   Mind you she always had Purple Heart come to pick up bags of clothes from our front step so it's not like it would have been a hassle to just toss these pants into a bag and call them for a pickup.  But no she'd give them to me to get rid of, basically. 

DH tries to get me to wear shorter skirts to show off my legs and I do have a few that are cut just below the knee but I really don't like to wear skirts that are much shorter than knee length.   Mainly because I absolutely loathe wearing pantyhose and at least with floor length broomstick skirts, I can get away without wearing them cause no one can see my legs!
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: siamesecat2965 on January 14, 2013, 07:55:48 AM
I have some of the same issues with my mom. I am a bit fluffy, so I prefer to wear black, brown, navy, etc. on my bottom half. I also like black, but certainly don't wear it every day. I like bright colors as well!  Yet it seems like she's always looking at what I have one, and either commenting "black again?" or "so nice to see you in colors!"

She also doesn't get that things have changed since I started working 25 years ago. Back then, I dressed up more for work, nice skirts and pants, jackets, and sweaters. and an occasional suit. Now, its all business casual, but that doesn't stop her, when we're shopping, on looking at suits for me. Even though I've told her over and over no one where I work wears them, so I don't NEEEED one.

She is also funny about jeans, and also about "looking nice" for holidays. I got her one year though. We used to go to friends every thanksgiving, and they have two daughters about my age. She was insistent that I "look nice" so I wore nice wool pants, with a top and jacket. The other two? Khakis and a nice tee, and the other had jeans on!  So after that I finally put my foot down and said you know waht, as long as its not ripped, stained, showing too much, if  Iwant to dress more casually, I'm going to so I don't look like an idiot.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: SeptGurl on January 14, 2013, 08:01:38 AM
I went through several different styles in my teens, 20s and 30s: a hippie/boho phase, the thrift store phase, the goth phase, the retro phase, etc. My mother didn't like any of them. Typical phrases from my mother when I was in these phases:

"Are you going out dressed like that?"

"I will not be seen with you dressed like that."

"You look better in tailored clothes."

My favorite: "I bought you these earrings. I thought they looked weird, so I figured you would like them."

My mother was a school teacher in the '80s and '90s. At her school, teachers were expected to wear dresses, skirts, or dress pants. Regardless of the job I had, for my birthday or Christmas I would receive a work outfit that would be appropriate for a teacher at my mother's school. Think matching floral-patterned tops and skirts complete with dainty lace collars. So not me.

I'm in my mid-40s now, and my mother hates that I wear a lot of black. I love wearing black. I'm very pale-skinned and have blonde hair. Black is quite a contrast. I get compliments when I wear black, which motivates me to continue wearing it despite my mother. My mother says I get compliments about wearing black because people are just trying to be nice. Hmm ...  ;) My mother's response: She buys me pink clothes.

She also is convinced that I am much shorter than I am. I am 5'4"; she is 5'5". Because I am "so short," she buys me petite-length pants. For my birthday, she bought me "capri pants." They're not capri pants; they're petite-length pants, which I am slightly too tall to wear. My legs are too long for petite clothing. She said she noticed when she held the pants up to herself that they were too short for her, so that means they are capri pants. They are too long to be capris. The cut does not suggest "ankle pants." I can't wear them. One year, my mother bought me a wool jacket and coordinating plaid skirt (so preppy) for Christmas. She decided the skirt would be too long for me, so she had a seamstress lop off two inches before she wrapped it. Given the cut, the skirt was too short after it was altered, and I never wore it. The length and drape weren't right.

And bras: I wonder if some mothers (like mine) view larger cup sizes as being "slutty." My mother bought me 34A and 34B bras randomly for many years. I have no idea how she decided on my bra size. I think she wears a 34A, but I have no idea whether she's wearing the right size. A few years ago, I had myself professionally measured. I'm a 34DD. The salesclerk referred to me as being "busty." Coming from the land of the 34B, I certainly had never considered myself to be busty. It was the first time anyone ever called me that!
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: anniehawks on January 14, 2013, 08:05:30 AM
Its definitely a mother thing.  My late mother criticized my clothes all my life, and I'm in my 40's.  The most memorable time was several years ago.  I was invited to give the keynote address at a national conference for my profession.  I was so excited, but when I called my mother, the first thing she said was, "what are you going to wear?"  LOL
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Octavia on January 14, 2013, 08:09:47 AM
So what is the best way to deal with these comments? And should the response depend on the degree of financial independence from one's mother?
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: MissRose on January 14, 2013, 08:18:16 AM
I am grown up, and my mother is still trying to tell me what to wear in terms of styles and colors etc.  I know what colors and styles work best for my plus size body.  I know what clothing is appropriate for the occasion or place, example: a nice dressy yet modest shirt and dressy slacks (or knee length skirt) for church. 

But my mother isn't one for wearing up to date styles and prefers simple clothing yet conservative.  I don't necessarily like everything she owns and wears but I do not tell her what to wear.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: audrey1962 on January 14, 2013, 08:24:38 AM
Some mothers do think they should advise their children, regardless of age, on any number of issues.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Oh Joy on January 14, 2013, 08:30:13 AM
So what is the best way to deal with these comments? And should the response depend on the degree of financial independence from one's mother?

Here's my advice:
1) Ignore what she's actually saying about the clothes/hair/ink/etc.
2) Interpret what she means in the most positive possible way (she wants me to succeed at work, she thinks my figure is worth flattering, she believes I deserve to look fantastic, ... )
3) Respond not to the suggestion but your loving interpretation of her intent.

Sometimes a more direct approach is more appropriate, but sometimes this is the perfect tool for the job.

Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Thipu1 on January 14, 2013, 10:07:20 AM
Mothers often know us but don't think they do. 

I know that sounds crazy but it's true. 

My mother knew my tastes because they were quite conservative and very close to hers.  When I told her that my Wedding dress was 'layers of cotton lace', she had a fit.  In her mind, I was going to look like a toilet roll cover when she knew that I would never buy anything like that, especially since I don't fuss over clothes. 

The actual dress was a knee-length sheath with a boat neckline and long, lace sleeves. It was conservative and appropriate for a bride in her 30s. 

We once went shopping together and I tried on a very nice red suit.  I decided not to buy it and my mother was relieved.  'I can't see you wearing red'.  On the shopping trip I was wearing a red dress. 

Parents, you love them but they can drive you crazy.  You can also say that insanity is inherited.  You get it from your children. 
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: mbbored on January 14, 2013, 10:31:07 AM
So what is the best way to deal with these comments? And should the response depend on the degree of financial independence from one's mother?

As to your first question, it depends on your relationship with your mother. Some parents can successfully be bean dipped. Some people can turn it into a joke with their mother "Oh mom, aren't you funny bringing up the color orange again!" With my mother, I reached a point where I told here I would end any conversation in which she brought up my wardrobe. She continued to bring it up for a few years, so I would stand up and walk out of the room, end the phone call, put on headphones, etc. For her it took until somebody else pointed out that my mother was insulting her daughter-in-law as well.

I'm fairly sure the second question will get a wide range of responses. In my opinion, it does depend on the degree of independence to an extent. As a high school student, my mother did not want me wearing spaghetti strap shirts that showed my bra or short shorts, and as her child I had to follow those rules to live in her house. However, once I was making my own money, through baby sitting and part time jobs, the style of the clothes I purchased were none of her business as long as they met her modesty standards and were appropriate for certain occasions (church, weddings, funerals, etc). And as a financially independent adult, her opinion about my clothing will not change what I wear at all.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: magicdomino on January 14, 2013, 10:37:40 AM
It wasn't my own mother.  It was MIL but she was gentle about it.

When I was first married, I favored bright colors.  MIL had been to some kind of seminar about dressing according to your 'season'.  She informed me that I was a 'Winter Person'.  Therefore, I should limit my strong colors to navy blue and hunter green.  I could add a bit of baby blue or mint but I should never wear any warm colors and I should wear lots and lots of white. 

BOOOORING!

On a visit to Vermont, she and FIL wanted to buy me a new ski jacket.  She really pushed for a navy model.  That is when I became a purple parka person.

Umm, did she sleep through half the seminar?  Or did the presenter not know what they were talking about?  Because Winters get a LOT of bright colors (and hunter green isn't one of them).
Oh, and I'm considered a Winter, and I cannot wear mint green.  At all.  Although that may just be me.

Fellow Winter, and my closet is full of purple.  Now, it is supposed to be a bright royal purple, especially if it is next to your face, but I have a pair of dark plum trousers, and several lavender tops.  So, yes, bright cool colors are in the Winter palette.  Green and red can be tricky because they have a warm component.  Doesn't stop me from having emerald green and crimson red.

My mother wasn't into clothing at all, so she never said anything about what I wore, even a couple of dresses that were literally too short to comfortably sit down.  However, she was a classic Autumn:  browns, dark green, bright orange, yellow.  Colors that looked great on her but make me look jaundiced.  Now throw in her love for double-knit polyester.  I had to request that she stop buying me clothing for birthday and Christmas presents.   :P
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: TurtleDove on January 14, 2013, 10:38:01 AM
I feel bad for all of the posters who have had to deal with criticism/comments from parents! Growing up, I would occasionally ask my dad what he thought of a particular outfit.  A typical response would be, "Well, I wouldn't wear it, but I'm not a 16 year old girl."  WIN!!!!
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: TootsNYC on January 14, 2013, 10:40:13 AM
It's not all moms. My mom didn't do it; I don't do it.

But moms *do* feel that we are judged by how our children dress. And we are.

(I always wanted to give my little kids a button to wear that said, 'I dressed myself'--first to motivate them to do it, and then to point out that THEY get the blame for wearing stripes with plaids, etc.)

As for how to respond, I like Oh Joy's suggestion.

I also suggest you be affectionately amused. She loves you; she feels tightly linked to you--those are good things. She's mentally stuck in her image of you--that's sort of funny. (Or, it can be if you LET it be, if you let go of it.)

As for degree of financial independence--once modesty and basic respect are met, it's not your mom's business. I feel that until my kids are about 20 (one is 18 right now), I have a right to say, "that's not appropriate attire for dinner at someone's house//church/a funeral--go put on a shirt with a collar/suit/something fancier."

And the only time I think money enters into it is this one: "Don't you dare wear your good shirt to go work on the car!"
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: RebeccainGA on January 14, 2013, 11:38:36 AM
Oh, we had epic fights when I was younger - I wore (very conservative) clothes, but mostly in black, and dressed like I was in my 30s at 16 - having a body that looked that 21+ didn't help their alarm.

Now it's not such an issue - I am probably better dressed than mom or my sister. They acknowledge it. But there were times back when I was younger that I didn't think I'd make it to 17 in one piece...
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: suzieQ on January 14, 2013, 12:20:30 PM
It's not all moms. My mom didn't do it; I don't do it.

But moms *do* feel that we are judged by how our children dress. And we are.

Bwahahaha! Good thing I don't feel that way, since I once took DS to school in nothing but his underwear! He refused to get dressed, so I put him (and clothes for him to wear) into the car and headed to school When we were pulling into the parking lot, he did decide he would get dressed after all.  ;D
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: TurtleDove on January 14, 2013, 12:29:15 PM
Bwahahaha! Good thing I don't feel that way, since I once took DS to school in nothing but his underwear! He refused to get dressed, so I put him (and clothes for him to wear) into the car and headed to school When we were pulling into the parking lot, he did decide he would get dressed after all.  ;D

Love this!
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 14, 2013, 12:37:55 PM
I will be 44 this week, and my mom still says things like this to me.

"Women who get cleaned up, fix their hair and makeup, and dress nice make their husbands happy."   ::)
"I hate seeing women dressed slouchy."

Slouchy was how I was referred to by my mom for at least five years. She wonders why I moved away.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 14, 2013, 12:59:52 PM
I have some of the same issues with my mom. I am a bit fluffy, so I prefer to wear black, brown, navy, etc. on my bottom half. I also like black, but certainly don't wear it every day. I like bright colors as well!  Yet it seems like she's always looking at what I have one, and either commenting "black again?" or "so nice to see you in colors!"

She also doesn't get that things have changed since I started working 25 years ago. Back then, I dressed up more for work, nice skirts and pants, jackets, and sweaters. and an occasional suit. Now, its all business casual, but that doesn't stop her, when we're shopping, on looking at suits for me. Even though I've told her over and over no one where I work wears them, so I don't NEEEED one.

She is also funny about jeans, and also about "looking nice" for holidays. I got her one year though. We used to go to friends every thanksgiving, and they have two daughters about my age. She was insistent that I "look nice" so I wore nice wool pants, with a top and jacket. The other two? Khakis and a nice tee, and the other had jeans on!  So after that I finally put my foot down and said you know waht, as long as its not ripped, stained, showing too much, if  Iwant to dress more casually, I'm going to so I don't look like an idiot.

I sympathize as I am fluffy as well. I bought suits about 15 years ago, and if I wore one to work, I would stick out like a sore thumb. Separates are your friend if you work in the modern business world outside of very formal offices. I have a black jacket that stays at work and I can throw that on over my  usual pants or skirt and simple top. i wear bright bold colors, as pastels wash me out.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 14, 2013, 01:12:07 PM
I'll admit to getting after my own kids for their choices of clothing, but in my defense it's only when they want to wear shorts and/or short sleeves and no coat outside when it's 40 or below.  Or if they try to wear the same shirt two days in a row, or holey jeans to church. 

And yes, they have tried the "But mom they're church pants, cause they're holely!" joke.  I laughed as I was handing them pants without holes.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Eeep! on January 14, 2013, 01:22:13 PM
This thread has made me realize that my mom was actually pretty awesome when it came to me and my sister.  She's a bit of an individualist herself, so that probably helped. :)

But my FIL is like this.  Not with me but with my SIL and my DH.  He always wants my SIL to dress more feminine.  Not that she dresses masculine, but she is more a khakis/polos for work, jeans and cute v-necks for home, type girl.  He also really wants my DH to dress up more for work.  He subscribes to the whole "dress how you want to be perceived/job you want to have" way of thinking.  Which has merit.  But when you work in the tech field, as my DH does, shorts and tees are pretty much the norm.  Even his bosses wear them.  DH wears a lot of short sleeved plaid shirts, so that right there makes him more dressed up than a lot of his colleagues.  >:D But his dad keeps buying him dressier shirts. (At least he doesn't by him actual dress shirts and ties.)  He doesn't quite get that if Jon dressed the way he would like him to he would be fielding "so where are you interviewing" questions all day long. heh. ;)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: nuit93 on January 14, 2013, 02:43:35 PM
Oh, did this ever bring back memories!

I was a curvy teenager (36-26-40 when I graduated), and mom always seemed ashamed of that (her husband was worse).  I wasn't slender or athletic and I didn't obsess about diets or being thin.  To compensate, she always tried to dress me in more 'matronly' (or as she put it, 'flattering') clothing rather than the trendy stuff my peers were wearing. 

Spaghetti strap tank tops were RIGHT out, as were jeans with any kind of low rise (ugh...mom jeans at 16).  And of course, control top pantyhose for anything formal.

Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 14, 2013, 03:00:49 PM
Not so much a clothes thing but I always got pressure to tan or at least use self tanner from my mom's sisters because apparently seeing me in anything showing off my belly and thighs gave them snow blindness.  ::)  My mother and sisters are 1/2 Italian and got the olive skin tone and ability to tan to a nut brown.  I, being 1/2 Irish, take after my dad's side of the family, which means I turn into a lobster if I don't wear sunscreen, and I don't really tan, I freckle. 

Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 14, 2013, 03:21:45 PM
I was considered low class as a teenager, because I didn't patronize the tanning salon or "lay out". Instead, I moisturized and lived my life the way I wanted. When my twentieth high school reunion came around, all of the girls and guys who were always tanned had leathery, wrinkled skin (at age 38!). I don't mind that I was never popular in high school, it wasn't the best time of my life.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 14, 2013, 03:29:57 PM
I look at my mother's sisters now and they do look older than they are.   One of them is the same age as my best friend and looks at least 5 years older just for the fact that she's been slathering on the tanning oil for most of her life, whereas best friend, like me, turns into a lobster and just can't tan at all.

And I did try self tanner once and didn't like how it looked.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Yvaine on January 14, 2013, 04:19:02 PM
I got some of the tan pressure too--all from my mom's side of the family, where people have a medium skin tone and turn a nice golden brown. But I inherited the skin from my dad's side of the family. I do not tan; I turn into a boiled lobster.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: JeseC on January 14, 2013, 04:53:24 PM
It's not all moms. My mom didn't do it; I don't do it.

But moms *do* feel that we are judged by how our children dress. And we are.

(I always wanted to give my little kids a button to wear that said, 'I dressed myself'--first to motivate them to do it, and then to point out that THEY get the blame for wearing stripes with plaids, etc.)

As for how to respond, I like Oh Joy's suggestion.

I also suggest you be affectionately amused. She loves you; she feels tightly linked to you--those are good things. She's mentally stuck in her image of you--that's sort of funny. (Or, it can be if you LET it be, if you let go of it.)

I would say the "letting go of it" also depends on just how, well, pushy or intense your mother can be about it.  Once it gets to remarks like "how could you do this to me?" or "aren't you too old to be indulging in this childish rebellion?" it stops being amusing.  (My mother and I eventually had a good long talk about minding her own business.)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Shea on January 14, 2013, 07:26:22 PM
My mom and I have pretty similar taste now, as well as similar body types (short, small chest, thin), so she doesn't criticize my clothes. She does think I should wear more makeup sometimes, but she doesn't get into it very much. However, when I was a teenager, I had a penchant for a rather hippie-ish style, lots of long skirts and tunics. Mom thought I should wear shorter skirts, but I refused to wear anything above the knee. We had a pretty good relationship, even when I was a teenager (the long skirts were the extent of my teenage rebellion, I was sickeningly well-behaved ;)) and we used to joke that she was the only mother in America who tried to get her teenage daughter to wear shorter skirts.

For the OP, if you have a generally good relationship with your mom, maybe you could try having a heart-to-heart about how it hurts your feelings when she criticizes your style of dress. If you don't have that kind of relationship, and she's not extremely pushy about it, brushing the comments off and bean-dipping may be the way to go.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: JeseC on January 14, 2013, 07:51:32 PM
My mom and I have pretty similar taste now, as well as similar body types (short, small chest, thin), so she doesn't criticize my clothes. She does think I should wear more makeup sometimes, but she doesn't get into it very much. However, when I was a teenager, I had a penchant for a rather hippie-ish style, lots of long skirts and tunics. Mom thought I should wear shorter skirts, but I refused to wear anything above the knee. We had a pretty good relationship, even when I was a teenager (the long skirts were the extent of my teenage rebellion, I was sickeningly well-behaved ;)) and we used to joke that she was the only mother in America who tried to get her teenage daughter to wear shorter skirts.

For the OP, if you have a generally good relationship with your mom, maybe you could try having a heart-to-heart about how it hurts your feelings when she criticizes your style of dress. If you don't have that kind of relationship, and she's not extremely pushy about it, brushing the comments off and bean-dipping may be the way to go.

It's gotten a lot better than it used to be.  It was somewhat of a rough transition to adulthood in general.  My mother tended to run a "children do not question their parents" type of household.  She was quite shocked the first time I stood up to her - she had absolutely no idea that I even minded what she was doing and couldn't figure out why I was being so difficult all of a sudden.  It took a couple of pretty good battles and making it very clear that, since I was an adult now, she could not simply override decisions she didn't like or pressure me into changing them.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Minmom3 on January 14, 2013, 09:24:21 PM
Early on in my marriage, I told my mother no, without JADing.  It was a first, and she was flabbergasted.  Absolutely floored.  The time before that, DH told her we couldn't give her a ride home from a wedding because we had plans.  He failed to TELL me that, however, and she came to me and I said yes, although she originally had not planned on riding home with us.  DH and I talked about it that night, after our failed night out, and made sure we never promised her anything again without mutual discussion between US.  So, the next time, when she tried the 'toddler run around' again, and it failed, she was highly offended, angry, vituperative, and shocked.  I'm not sure she ever really understood how her behavior was at fault, though.  I think she truly believed that we were being disobliging to her, willfully.  Why she expected me to be her 'servant', when she refused to help her own mother, is a mystery.  But then, my mother is pretty much a narcissist; I have always said that she views the world through "ME colored lenses". 

We had the clothing battle years earlier, which I shut down by pointing out that fashion be damned, my 135 lb body, 34D, hourglass body could not wear the same things her 120 lb. body, 32A and tiny behind could wear.  That even if I could get her clothing ON me, I had a tiny waist, and she did not.  I had a chest, and she did not.  I had a behind, and she did not.  Why on God's Green Earth would she expect me to be able to wear the same clothing she did and look anything but sack like?  Did she think this was the 1920's and I should strap down the girls?  Was she blind?  I had to list every difference in extremely blunt detail to really get it through to her that we had *very different* bodies, and could not wear the same clothing, and that I didn't really care how fashionable my clothing was...  She was in the fashion industry for most of her life, and cared about clothes and details and all that jazz.  I could give a rat's patoot.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Sophia on January 14, 2013, 11:00:16 PM
...For the OP, if you have a generally good relationship with your mom, maybe you could try having a heart-to-heart about how it hurts your feelings when she criticizes your style of dress. If you don't have that kind of relationship, and she's not extremely pushy about it, brushing the comments off and bean-dipping may be the way to go.

That was what worked for me.  During wedding planning for some reason I watched lots of wedding shows.  One, a Bridezilla one I think, had a mother criticizing her daughter's nicely professionally done hair.  Wasn't even criticizing the style, but just how limp and awful her hair looked. 

Next time I saw mom, I told her that I was scared she would do the same thing, and that I would be totally crushed.  She has pretty much laid off asking me to "do something" with my hair. 

I will probably wait another 6 months, and when she starts in on my the hair of my then 3-years old, I will tell her that I never thought I was pretty, and that I never once heard a complement on my appearance, only criticisms of my hair.  (true.  I just realized it recently)  I figure that will save my daughter from their comments. 
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 15, 2013, 08:16:38 AM
I never remember battling with my mom, I think I always dressed pretty mainstream.  With my own DD, our battles started when she was around 3.  I think I was pushing more of the sporty look and she wanted to look like she just stepped out of a Laura Ashley catalog.  By age 7 we had come to a detente and now we both now appreciate each others fashion advice.

I was thinking of this thread last night when she was doing some online shopping for a dress for a school dance.  I noticed a big change in her normal style to more sexy than her dresses of the past.  I chose to not comment on that and just give my input on which colors and cuts I thought would flatter her best and quality of the fabrics.  Hopefully, I'll again remember this thread when the dress arrives and she is trying on the one with the uber short skirt and plunging neckline.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Twirly on January 15, 2013, 12:15:44 PM
When I was a teenager it became clear to me Mom saw me as an extension of herself and took any deviation of style as a personal insult. As a result most of my High School pictures show a teenager dressed like a middle aged woman.

We finally hit upon a good code word though that helped many a difficult shopping trip. Whenever she held up something she just loooved but wasn't quite for me I would say "that would look great on you!" with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. The first time she looked at me askance for a second before bursting into laughter and said "but not so much for you then?" From then on everything was much smoother and we still use it often. It's actually really helped us learn how to pick out stuff we personally hate but know the other one will love.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Thipu1 on January 16, 2013, 09:16:09 AM
The worst run-in about clothes came from my father.  When I was 12 the cool kids at school wore mis-matched socks.  These were of a very particular kind. 

The socks were 'poodle socks'.  They were inexpensive,  sold in bags of three or four pairs and came in a great variety of colors.  The idea was to wear one sock that matched your blouse and the other sock would match your skirt.  You might wear one pink sock and one brown sock.  It was fun and didn't look sloppy at all. 

My mother had no problem with it, the school had no problem with it but my father thought it was absolutely disgraceful.  In his eyes, mis-matched socks were a sign that the family was too poor to afford a 'decent' pair.

   
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 16, 2013, 10:15:33 AM
He'd hate my style sense.  If I can't find a matching pair I'll wear one of one design and one of another.   Ie Green with blue heel and toe on one foot, blue with green heel and toe on the other.  Mismatched socks are better than none at all. :)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: TurtleDove on January 16, 2013, 10:23:20 AM
Mismatched socks are better than none at all. :)

It is currently in the single digits where we live and my daughter really hates to wear socks.  I send her to school wearing socks, and then when I pick her up she is wearing, for example, buckles with bare feet and her socks are in her pockets.  I told her I expected her socks to be in her shoes from now on when I pick her up.  Last week I picked her up and noticed she was wearing buckles with no socks. 

Me:  "DD, where are your socks???"
DD:  "In my shoes like you said, Mama."
Me:  "What?" 
(DD takes off buckles and sure enough, she has folded her socks into the bottom of the buckles so she has bare feet but her socks are still in her shoes like I asked of her.  According to my mom, she is just like me.) :)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Iris on January 16, 2013, 01:59:23 PM
He'd hate my style sense.  If I can't find a matching pair I'll wear one of one design and one of another.   Ie Green with blue heel and toe on one foot, blue with green heel and toe on the other.  Mismatched socks are better than none at all. :)

He'd have a pink fit if he met DD1. She wears mismatched socks on purpose, and they're knee high.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 16, 2013, 02:30:59 PM
I was fortunate that neither of my parents gave me too much grief about what I wore.  As long as what should be covered was covered it was fine.  I was allowed to be my crazy, nonconformist self.  The person who used to criticize clothing was my FIL.  He hated that DH didn't wear a suit to work.  DH, at the time, worked in a field where he was required to blend in with his surroundings.  Had he been walking around the Adams Morgan section of Washington, DC wearing a suit and tie they would have thought he was a police detective!

I still remember FIL pitching a hissy fit because the actor in the car commercial was wearing a sweater and it was "unprofessional".  FIL was at the height of his career in the 1950s-1970s and was an executive.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Venus193 on January 16, 2013, 02:46:59 PM
My mother never liked my style, either as a teen or an adult.  She also could not understand that a 34B woman could have a 34- or 36D daughter.  I guess I was lucky I could move out during college.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Shea on January 16, 2013, 04:51:39 PM
Mismatched socks are better than none at all. :)

It is currently in the single digits where we live and my daughter really hates to wear socks.  I send her to school wearing socks, and then when I pick her up she is wearing, for example, buckles with bare feet and her socks are in her pockets.  I told her I expected her socks to be in her shoes from now on when I pick her up.  Last week I picked her up and noticed she was wearing buckles with no socks. 

Me:  "DD, where are your socks???"
DD:  "In my shoes like you said, Mama."
Me:  "What?" 
(DD takes off buckles and sure enough, she has folded her socks into the bottom of the buckles so she has bare feet but her socks are still in her shoes like I asked of her.  According to my mom, she is just like me.) :)

Ha! Clever girl. I like the way she thinks.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Coralreef on January 16, 2013, 04:59:38 PM
Bit of background : my mother was a professional seamstress, mostly for men's clothing.  She would make all our clothes, up to and including wool winter coats.  The only things she did not do were furs, wedding gowns and curtains.  I sometimes ended up with questionable colour combinations, her favorite being red.  The women in mother's family were all on the petite, delicate side.  At 164 cm (about 5 ft 5 in.) I'm the really tall one.  At 12 YO, I would tower over my 18 YO cousins. 

Mother never understood that I had to wear clothing a different size from her.  She wore 32B bras, she would only buy me 32B bras.  When I left for university, I went to a specialty shop.  I got out with a 34D bra.  I was almost in tears because I was so comfortable.  She wore size 6 shoes, she was up in arms and insulting the saleswoman who fitted me with 7 sneakers.  When I was finally free to buy my own clothing without her input (yeah for moving 1000 km away), she would comment that anything that looked that nice must have been expensive.  It was not expensive, it looked nice because it was the right size and fit.

I was always careful to choose clothing that was nice and comfortable for my own children.  As they grew and were more into style, I showed them how to evaluate fabric, cut, style, workmanship.  There is a difference between fitted and too tight clothing.  Some things can be easily nipped and tucked, others not.  DD's style is different from mine but she looks good in what she chooses. 
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: mmswm on January 16, 2013, 06:04:10 PM
Oh, the epic battles with my mother.  My mother believes that girls should be "modest".  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but her version of modesty would make the Duggar family look like immodest heathens.  I'm sorry, but turtlenecks in the South Florida summers Do. Not. Work.  Also, I have a really long torso and very short legs. I'm 5foot8 but have to buy petite pants, to give you an idea.  And gargantuan boobs. One piece swim suits simply do not work.  Worse than that, they hurt.  Do you have any idea how horrible it is for a girl to get a front wedgie?  Now that I'm an adult, she does make a few pa comments, but generally leaves me alone.  My current battle with her, however, is with my sister.  She's 11.  I'd like to be able to help spare her some of the pain and teasing I had to go through.  I respect my mother's wish for modesty, but we've had some very long conversations about how to be both stylish and modest, and how some things, like one piece swim suits, really don't work.  Thank deity that the fashion people thought up "tankinis".  At least the little one doesn't have to suffer that bit of humiliation (she has a similar body type, even though we're not biologically related.)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Nikko-chan on January 16, 2013, 06:28:01 PM
Reading through all of your stories... I am so glad I never had to go through that growing up! My outfits going to school consisted of a pair of jeans, a tshirt, and a sweatshirt, worn with tennis shoes. All of it-- even the sweatshirt-- year round (it tended to be cold in the schools). Even now my wardrobe is the same. Mom had no problems with it :)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 16, 2013, 06:46:59 PM
Not so much a wardrobe issue but the August right before I started the 7th grade, my mother and an aunt talked me into getting the very short pixie like haircut that was very popular in the early 90's...amongst middle aged women. I cannot remember a single girl in my school who had that hairstyle.

They convinced me by saying "Oh it'll be so nice and cool and easy to take care of!" Well that was a colossal LIE because the way my hair was cut, the hairdo looked awful if all I did was wash it and let it airdry.  No, I had to use a round brush and hair dryer every morning to get it to look even half decent.  And I hated high maintenance haircuts then and do now.  Not that I don't care how my hair looks, cause I do but really, most often my daily style is a ponytail.  A bun if I feel like getting fancy.

The extra fun bonus was that it gave the other kids more reason to bully me.  "Hey pirate, are you gay?" No you morons, I changed my hair length, not my sexual preference. "Hey pirate, who's your girlfriend?"  I came home after a week and announced I wanted to grow it out. Nope, give it a month I was told. 

Well a month later one of my aunts calls to announce she's getting married and would I be a bridesmaid?" Excited I said yes and was told my my mother I had to keep my hair as it was because she didn't want it in the awkward growing out stage when the date of the wedding came around, which was in April and this was in October.   I still am convinced she knew that her baby sister was going to do that and that's why she put me off in letting me grow it out.

I have heard so many people tell me "Oh but you looked so cute with that hairstyle!" GAH!!  My bff, bless her said "It is a cute hairstyle but it's not really you so I can see why you didn't like it."
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Venus193 on January 16, 2013, 07:36:03 PM
My mother had a "friend" who was a hairdresser and I had to suffer a similar haircut when I was 11.  I cried all weekend and wouldn't take off my scarf in class on Monday.  I was made to remove it.

I burned all photos taken of me that year.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Nikko-chan on January 16, 2013, 09:01:26 PM
Now that we are all adding horrible haircut stories... I have two...

Number one: I was two years old and mom decided that her darling daughters bangs had grown too long, and surely I would run into something if it were not taken care of. Mistake number one? Not waiting until a very good friend of the family (who was a professional hairdresser and cut all of us kids' hair) could trim my bangs. Mistake number two? Thinking she could set a squirmy toddler on the edge of the sink and take the scissors to her bangs without consequences... my bangs were not even remotely straight. Uncle (the hairdresser friend I mentioned previously) had to fix them sometime later... my bangs were only about half an inch long or so for awhile there...

Number two: When I was young mom usually controlled my hair, how it was styled, etc. When I was a tiny little thing I had the loveliest long hair. I am guessing it was unmanageable and she wanted something more manageable... guess what style the hairdresser gave me? A bowl cut. Yes... yours truly looked like a boy for the entirety of first grade... or at least, I would have if it weren't for some of the girly clothes I wore.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 16, 2013, 09:10:23 PM
I used to get my hair permed on a usual basis by my mom. She used to be a hairdresser before I was born and took care of our hair. I haven't had a perm since I convinced her that wasn't my style, about age 12.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 16, 2013, 09:19:59 PM
I had the opposite problem. I wanted curly hair in the worst kind of way and finally when I was in 5th grade my mother relented and let a friend's daughter who was going to beauty school come over to our house and perm my hair.  Oh it smelled so bad but I kept telling myself that having curly hair and being so cute would be so worth the smell!!

Well it was done, I loved it and the girl told me I was NOT to wash my hair for 3 days so I didn't.   Washed it on the fourth day and all the curl came out.  My hair went back to being stick straight.  I don't know what went wrong but I was so upset and my mom wasn't going to let me get another perm.  Even when I was old enough to have it done on my own I just didn't feel like going through the trouble, especially when I learned it was one of those things I'd have to get done every so often.

Again, NOT into high maintenance styles.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: mmswm on January 16, 2013, 09:21:10 PM
Now that we are all adding horrible haircut stories... I have two...

Number one: I was two years old and mom decided that her darling daughters bangs had grown too long, and surely I would run into something if it were not taken care of. Mistake number one? Not waiting until a very good friend of the family (who was a professional hairdresser and cut all of us kids' hair) could trim my bangs. Mistake number two? Thinking she could set a squirmy toddler on the edge of the sink and take the scissors to her bangs without consequences... my bangs were not even remotely straight. Uncle (the hairdresser friend I mentioned previously) had to fix them sometime later... my bangs were only about half an inch long or so for awhile there...

Number two: When I was young mom usually controlled my hair, how it was styled, etc. When I was a tiny little thing I had the loveliest long hair. I am guessing it was unmanageable and she wanted something more manageable... guess what style the hairdresser gave me? A bowl cut. Yes... yours truly looked like a boy for the entirety of first grade... or at least, I would have if it weren't for some of the girly clothes I wore.

My father was the source of the fights over the hair.  He insisted it stay long.  I hated it long.  I accidentally-on-purpose set it on fire (mom had gotten good at getting gum out...tried that a few times), figuring they *had* to let me cut it after that.  Ironically, as an adult, I now keep it waist/hip length.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: TurtleDove on January 16, 2013, 09:44:30 PM
My hair went back to being stick straight. 
Ditto. To this day I rock the long straight hair thing. Can't do anything else!
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Yvaine on January 16, 2013, 10:00:28 PM
Now that we are all adding horrible haircut stories... I have two...

Number one: I was two years old and mom decided that her darling daughters bangs had grown too long, and surely I would run into something if it were not taken care of. Mistake number one? Not waiting until a very good friend of the family (who was a professional hairdresser and cut all of us kids' hair) could trim my bangs. Mistake number two? Thinking she could set a squirmy toddler on the edge of the sink and take the scissors to her bangs without consequences... my bangs were not even remotely straight. Uncle (the hairdresser friend I mentioned previously) had to fix them sometime later... my bangs were only about half an inch long or so for awhile there...

Number two: When I was young mom usually controlled my hair, how it was styled, etc. When I was a tiny little thing I had the loveliest long hair. I am guessing it was unmanageable and she wanted something more manageable... guess what style the hairdresser gave me? A bowl cut. Yes... yours truly looked like a boy for the entirety of first grade... or at least, I would have if it weren't for some of the girly clothes I wore.

My father was the source of the fights over the hair.  He insisted it stay long.  I hated it long.  I accidentally-on-purpose set it on fire (mom had gotten good at getting gum out...tried that a few times), figuring they *had* to let me cut it after that.  Ironically, as an adult, I now keep it waist/hip length.

My dad was also obsessed with girls having long hair, but he was one of those men who didn't understand that women put maintenance into keeping long hair looking good. He thought it just grew that way and voila! Trims were verboten because that's "cutting your hair." Ditto if I wanted bangs. The few times I did get trims and/or bangs, there was sneakiness involved. And no, there was no religious reason we were supposed to keep our hair long, just aesthetics. Adding to this, my dad obviously had no idea how to maintain hair and all my mom's tips leaned toward how to treat fine, straight, oily hair like she has. But I inherited thick, coarse, dry hair instead. I looked like Cousin Itt all through high school. I have long hair as an adult, though, and I finally figured out how to make it semi-behave.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: mmswm on January 16, 2013, 10:19:36 PM
I have thick, course, and curly hair, but it's oily.  It used to get the most horrible rats' nests right at the nape of my neck.  It's thinned out by more than half as I've gotten older (and it's still at least twice as thick as most people I know).  Like you, Yvaine, I finally figured out how to take care of it, and realized it's actually a lot easier to care for long.  Also like you, my mother had thin, straight, dry hair, so she was no help when I was younger.  This is part of the reason that with my kids, the only rule is "as long as it's not against the school dress code, you can do anything you want with it."
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Yvaine on January 16, 2013, 10:28:03 PM
I have thick, course, and curly hair, but it's oily.  It used to get the most horrible rats' nests right at the nape of my neck.  It's thinned out by more than half as I've gotten older (and it's still at least twice as thick as most people I know).  Like you, Yvaine, I finally figured out how to take care of it, and realized it's actually a lot easier to care for long.

Ha, me too, because then gravity gets involved and keeps it at a manageable level of waviness. When it's short, it tries to go every direction at once and needs a lot more styling and product.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: violinp on January 16, 2013, 10:33:23 PM
I have thick, course, and curly hair, but it's oily.  It used to get the most horrible rats' nests right at the nape of my neck.  It's thinned out by more than half as I've gotten older (and it's still at least twice as thick as most people I know).  Like you, Yvaine, I finally figured out how to take care of it, and realized it's actually a lot easier to care for long.  Also like you, my mother had thin, straight, dry hair, so she was no help when I was younger.  This is part of the reason that with my kids, the only rule is "as long as it's not against the school dress code, you can do anything you want with it."

My hair's like that too, except I was also cursed with a sensitive scalp. My parents never understood why I wanted to bob my hair, because "it looks so pretty long!" Yeah, and you have to spend twice as much on shampoo and conditioner for me, because I have to clean it in stages. Every time I go to the stylist, I have to get it cut and twice thin it. By the end, what's come off could keep a small animal warm in winter.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: JeseC on January 17, 2013, 02:06:41 AM
It doesn't help that mothers (at least mine!) have a spine-sucking effect going.  I can be perfectly great at standing up to people in all sorts of situations, but the minute it comes to my mother I go right into trying to keep her happy. 
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Gyburc on January 17, 2013, 05:49:29 AM
I had the hairstyle battle with my Mum too... When she was a girl, her mother insisted that she wear her hair long, and she hated it, so when I was about 13, she got me to get my hair cut short, really short. Looking at pictures of me now I can see (like Piratelvr) that it was quite a stylish cut, but way too old for me.

In addition, I was massively self-conscious at the time about the size of my head - at the time I was quite thin with narrow sloping shoulders, so my head did look large in comparison, and the hairstyle made it look even bigger. (Kids at school used to call me E.T.  ::))

I managed to grow it out eventually when I went away to University, thank heavens.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: SeptGurl on January 17, 2013, 07:18:44 AM
I'm another with long, straight hair. My mother is unable to accept that long, straight hair can be a chosen hairstyle. To her, a hairstyle is something that requires curling, teasing, and spraying. For more than 30 years she asked me, "What are you going to do with your hair?" 

When I was 12, she decided that my long, straight hair was unattractive and she wanted to perm some curl into it. She went to the drugstore and bought a home perm kit and a set of rods. Her goal: Put curl in the ends of my hair. Just the ends, she said, so they'd be permanently curled. She rolled about three inches of the length of my hair onto the rods and soaked it with perm solution.

When it was finished, I had about 18 inches of long straight hair and three inches of frizz at the ends. "Oh!" my mother said. "That didn't turn out the way I wanted." No kidding. But I was the one who had wear it. Yes, my hair was "done." Fried is more like it!
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Venus193 on January 17, 2013, 07:48:06 AM
Mine hated my long hair and was forever trying to get me to cut it shorter.   I don't know whether this was about her memories of having braids when she was a child or about the idea that long hair was for young women, but she never could stand it when I had waist-length hair, which I kept well past graduation.

I wear it just below shoulder length now, which would still bother her.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: SeptGurl on January 17, 2013, 08:16:02 AM
Mine hated my long hair and was forever trying to get me to cut it shorter.   I don't know whether this was about her memories of having braids when she was a child or about the idea that long hair was for young women, but she never could stand it when I had waist-length hair, which I kept well past graduation.

I wear it just below shoulder length now, which would still bother her.

The weird thing with my long hair was that it didn't just grow that long by my decision. I mean, when I was a younger kid, she could have taken me to get a haircut, and I couldn't argue about it. She never did. If I ever had a haircut, it was because she cut a bit off the ends or trimmed my bangs. I had long hair because she didn't do anything with it. Then there came a point in my teenage years when my hair was a problem for her. Suddenly, I wasn't doing anything with my hair. And then came the PA comments about it.

I do wonder now if she thinks my hair is too long for my age. I will never ask her opinion about it ;), but I do wonder. She asked my younger brother (age 42) recently when he plans to get a haircut. It just doesn't stop.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Venus193 on January 17, 2013, 08:42:35 AM
After that disastrous haircut when I was 11 I fought harder.  The only thing I can recall her really going bats over was a pair of sandals I had when I was in high school.  They had long thong laces that went up the leg.  She hated those so much she forcibly cut the laces one day when I was putting them on.  I never found out what that was about because in later years she denied remembering this.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: LadyClaire on January 17, 2013, 08:52:01 AM
My mother had a "friend" who was a hairdresser and I had to suffer a similar haircut when I was 11.  I cried all weekend and wouldn't take off my scarf in class on Monday.  I was made to remove it.

I burned all photos taken of me that year.

My Mom made me get that same super-short pixie cut when I was about 12 or 13. It turned out very badly in that it looked like a man's haircut. I was already very boyish in figure, and got mistaken for a boy several times while the haircut was growing out. It looked so, so bad on me. I cried for days and my Mom kept insisting the haircut looked pretty. It wasn't until years later that she admitted the haircut was awful. She never made me cut my hair again after that, though, which is how I ended up with waist length hair in my late teens.

The pixie cut eventually grew into the oh-so-popular "Rachel" hairstyle all by itself, which was funny, since it grew out like that right when Friends came out and before the cut became popular.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: gingerzing on January 17, 2013, 09:02:13 AM
I am so grateful that my mom was cool with most of my clothes when growning up.  Then again, I tended toward preppy or jeans and fun shirt.  My grandmother tried to take me clothes shopping a few times.  Sometimes it worked well, but when I was about 13 we had a trial.  Fortunately, my grandmother's sister was with us and for every item that I deemed "No way", Great Aunt would find something that was cool.  Funny that this particular great-aunt was not known for her fashion sense or being modern.
The worse was actually my junior year.  I had a date for the Sr/Jr prom (Didn't end up going, but that is another story).  My folks had already planned to go to VeryBigCity over a weekend, so Mom said I could look for a dress down there.  Great!  Especially since all the dress shops in our little town and the nearby BigTown were all fluffy and pastels.  I look like death in pastels.   
While shopping, Dad - who had been very patient - found a dress he wanted me to try on.  Fluffy white sweetheart with an overlay of white with little red hearts.  (Think Scarlett O'Hara)   :o  Um, no.  Mom talked me into trying it on.  Dad realized that while lovely, the fluffy dress was not a good idea on his already slightly fluffy daughter. 
I got a beautiful red satin dress. Fire engine red.   ;D   

By the time I hit kindergarten, my mom and grandmothers decided that I would have short hair. I was taken to my grandmother's hairdresser.  You know the ones who "set" hair.  Evelyn was her name and she decided that not only did I need my hair cut short, but every time she cut it, she would also shave the "duck tail" along the nape of my neck.  My mom said that she is pretty sure that Evelyn rarely had sharp blades in the razor.  I still hate when hairdressers use razors on me.
At one point (1-3 grades) I had Dorothy Hamill cut.  (I swear that cut ONLY looks cute on Dorothy) 
I do remember the last time my mom tried to cut my hair.  I asked for layered hair.  She tried, but instead of layers, she had blocks of hair.  Like stairsteps.  It was the one time that I threatened never to go to school over my hair.

In college I grew my hair out and mostly have had long hair as an adult.  Granted it is usually in a braid, ponytail or in a mock bun.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: SeptGurl on January 17, 2013, 09:11:01 AM
After that disastrous haircut when I was 11 I fought harder.  The only thing I can recall her really going bats over was a pair of sandals I had when I was in high school.  They had long thong laces that went up the leg.  She hated those so much she forcibly cut the laces one day when I was putting them on.  I never found out what that was about because in later years she denied remembering this.

You just reminded me ... When my brother and I were in high school, he had one of those "tails" at the nape of his neck. It was the '80s, and lots of boys at our school had them. My mother hated my brother's tail. It had grown to be about six inches long. One day, she just sneaked up behind him and cut it off. I was right there, and I couldn't believe she did it. When he got upset about it, she said, "Oh well, it's gone now." Ugh.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Yvaine on January 17, 2013, 09:21:26 AM
At one point (1-3 grades) I had Dorothy Hamill cut.  (I swear that cut ONLY looks cute on Dorothy) 

I had this for a while too. Oddly, it was at the behest of my father--the one who ordinarily hated short hair--but it had gotten to be a tangled mess and it was decided to just cut it short instead of deal with it. I was about 10. It looked awful with my facial shape, and it was also way out of fashion by then--he could wax on about Dorothy Hamill all he wanted, but this was about 1988 or 1989.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Kariachi on January 17, 2013, 09:34:19 AM
My hair's like that too, except I was also cursed with a sensitive scalp. My parents never understood why I wanted to bob my hair, because "it looks so pretty long!" Yeah, and you have to spend twice as much on shampoo and conditioner for me, because I have to clean it in stages. Every time I go to the stylist, I have to get it cut and twice thin it. By the end, what's come off could keep a small animal warm in winter.

Scary thick waves over here. Thankfully I live in a cold area, so I just have my sister do an overhaul in early summer so I don't overheat and by winter I pretty much have a insulating coat. Kinda like a sheep.

Actually, my hair is the closest thing I've had to family giving me trouble about my appearance. For some reason my grandmother (who has slightly thin hair like my sister) feels that I should be overjoyed at having extremely thick hair because so many women want it. No. They don't. They want 'thick waves', not 'hydra hair'. When you spend hour in the bathroom washing, drying, and brushing your hair, no styling involved, your hair is too cotton-picking thick!  >:(

 
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: gwennan on January 17, 2013, 09:41:36 AM
Kariachi, would I be revealing myself as too much of a geek to say that I 1: love your sig line and, 2: know it's source? (and did you know that "Digger" won a Hugo?? squee! ;D )

Looking back, I can feel a certain sympathy for my Mother - she wanted a girly, frilly daughter to dress in pinks and lavendars. She instead got a tomboy wanna-be who wanted to dress in oranges, golds and browns.  It wasn't until I went to college that I realized that she was a "Spring" and I'm an "Autumn" - I look AWFUL in pastels!   
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Thipu1 on January 17, 2013, 09:42:37 AM
He'd hate my style sense.  If I can't find a matching pair I'll wear one of one design and one of another.   Ie Green with blue heel and toe on one foot, blue with green heel and toe on the other.  Mismatched socks are better than none at all. :)

He'd have a pink fit if he met DD1. She wears mismatched socks on purpose, and they're knee high.

It's nice to know we have so many people here who choose to honor Dobbie. 
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 17, 2013, 09:46:52 AM
Heehee...good ol' Dobby. :) My mother, when she saw my mismatched socks once wrinkled her nose and asked if I didn't have a matching pair. I joked that the dryer steals one of each pair, leaving me with no other choice.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 17, 2013, 09:52:46 AM
I usually wear two different holiday socks for Halloween and Christmas.

My aunt made my cousins get buzz cuts in 1973 - 1980. They were the only boys without long hair in their school.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Yvaine on January 17, 2013, 09:53:10 AM
Kariachi, would I be revealing myself as too much of a geek to say that I 1: love your sig line and, 2: know it's source? (and did you know that "Digger" won a Hugo?? squee! ;D )

Looking back, I can feel a certain sympathy for my Mother - she wanted a girly, frilly daughter to dress in pinks and lavendars. She instead got a tomboy wanna-be who wanted to dress in oranges, golds and browns.  It wasn't until I went to college that I realized that she was a "Spring" and I'm an "Autumn" - I look AWFUL in pastels!

I loved pink but looked bad in it. But my dad was obsessed with red, white, and blue clothes, which I also don't look great in and don't like. We had some epic rows when I didn't want to wear that stuff. Later I discovered purple, which weirded out my mom for some reason, and green, which thankfully no one ever gave me trouble about (probably because it's my best color according to every fashion expert in existence; I'm a strawberry blonde with green eyes).
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: shadowfox79 on January 17, 2013, 09:54:56 AM
My dad had a violent aversion to fringes and any form of ponytail on girls.

The ponytails/plaits/bunches etc he had to get over, as my hair was so long and thick that I had no other choice but to tie it up (though I loathe my hair up and never do it now). But I still wonder what I would look like in a fringe and have never tried it, even though he's been dead for ten years.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Venus193 on January 17, 2013, 10:12:53 AM
I don't get the whole "season" thing.  Does it depend on your color preference, your skin, hair, and eye color, or something else?  I don't like pastels and prefer jewel tones.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Yvaine on January 17, 2013, 10:14:04 AM
I don't get the whole "season" thing.  Does it depend on your color preference, your skin, hair, and eye color, or something else?  I don't like pastels and prefer jewel tones.

It's based on hair color, eye color, undertones of skin, etc. But I refuse to treat it as gospel because I love jewel tones too. And black. I don't care if they wash me out. Wash me out all you like, clothes, I'm too flushed most of the time anyway!  ;D
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Venus193 on January 17, 2013, 10:27:32 AM
Actually, pastels make me look like I've faded into them.  I refuse to wear any pale colors short of white blouses for work and I own only one beige garment.  My evening wear is mostly black with some items in purple, red, and deep blue.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: magicdomino on January 17, 2013, 10:48:40 AM
I don't get the whole "season" thing.  Does it depend on your color preference, your skin, hair, and eye color, or something else?  I don't like pastels and prefer jewel tones.

It's based on hair color, eye color, undertones of skin, etc. But I refuse to treat it as gospel because I love jewel tones too. And black. I don't care if they wash me out. Wash me out all you like, clothes, I'm too flushed most of the time anyway!  ;D

The main point is skin undertone and overall coloring.  Yellowish undertones get warm colors; blueish undertones get cool colors.  Light hair colors get pastels; dark hair colors gets dark colors.  So, a fair person with yellow undertones is a Spring, dark hair and eyes with the same undertone is an Autumn. 

Most of the time, the majority of the colors are ones that you already like to some extent.  Chances are, you just happened to be wearing those colors when someone complemented your outfit.  If a color isn't in your spectrum, you may still be able to wear it as trousers or skirt.  For instance, tan does absolutely nothing for me as a top.  However, tan pants go very well with royal blue or purple tops, which are my colors.  Sometimes, you like a color enough that you don't care.  More often it is like the skirt and vest made of a beautiful chocolate brown fabric that somehow never looked quite right on me.   Now, I know to pass the brown by, no matter how silky and molten chocolatey it looks.

Venus, I strongly suspect you are a Winter.   :)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Just Lori on January 17, 2013, 11:29:58 AM
I confess, there are definitely aspects of kids' wardrobes today that bug me:

1. Leggings as pants.  We've discussed this, but there is a definite trend among the under-18 crowd around here to wear leggings with a sweater that does not cover the bum.
2.  Visible bra straps - they're not even unintentionally visible.  They're meant to show. They're part of the outfit.
3.  Teeny tiny shorts.  We weren't even allowed to wear knee-length shorts in high school, so I'm amazed when my high-school coworkers come into work in teeny little shorts.

Fashion is often something that defines each generation, and it also allows young people to differentiate themselves from their parents.  As a rule, I try not to wear the same types of clothes as my teen-aged daughters, because they have their look and I have mine.  Plus, I can't wear anything that allows the general public to see my bra strap.  I simply can't. ;)

Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 17, 2013, 11:35:00 AM
I remember once being told by my mother that orange-y reds do nothing for me, but bluish reds and reddish browns do.  I think this was after I naively picked up a lipstick that was an orangey red.  It was true, I tried it on and looked ridiculous. 

So these days I wear this instead. http://www.lucyrose.biz/user/products/large/burt-s-bees-peony-lip-shimmer-2.6g-7572-p.jpg
Or this: www.lucyrose.biz/user/products/large/burt-s-bees-peony-lip-shimmer-2.6g-7572-p.jpg

Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Emmy on January 17, 2013, 11:47:17 AM
Pastels really don't seem to do most people any favors.  I'm another person who looks like death in them.

My mom was mostly on me about my hair.  I've had a variety of styles and for a while in my teen years, I wore it long and straight and down most of the time.  Ugh, how I hated hearing "why don't you do something with your hair?  It's just hanging." 

I also had some bad haircuts.  I had a pixie because I was going for a bob and the hairdresser cut the sides really short when my mom specifically told her not to do so.  On top of that, she cut them uneven so by the time it was done it was really short.  I was in 3rd grade and got comments about looking like a boy from other kids.  In 7th grade I had permed hair and needed my bangs trimmed.  I specifically told my dad I want them to fall at my eyebrows and emphasized that I didn't want them too short.  Well, he cuts them really short and they curl up because of the perm so I look ridiculous.  From that point on, I went to professionals for cuts or trimmed my own bangs.

My mom complained I did not dress nice enough for certain activities.  Granted, I wasn't dressed nice, but these activities included a job that often resulted in ruined clothes and outside sweaty activities.  My mom and I have different tastes in clothing now, she is drawn towards neutrals and fairly conservative while I like jewel tones, bright colors, and fun and girly prints.  I have an older cousin who dressed youthful, but not too young in her 40's and my dad would remark and how she should dress closer to her age.  The clothes were nice and suited her in my opinion, but I think my dad might feel that women over 40 have to adopt a matronly style.  I am 36, so I'll be expecting the same remarks in a few years.  I don't try to dress or pass myself off as 20, but I like to dress in fitted fun clothes.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: mmswm on January 17, 2013, 12:16:52 PM
I have an older cousin who dressed youthful, but not too young in her 40's and my dad would remark and how she should dress closer to her age.  The clothes were nice and suited her in my opinion, but I think my dad might feel that women over 40 have to adopt a matronly style.  I am 36, so I'll be expecting the same remarks in a few years.  I don't try to dress or pass myself off as 20, but I like to dress in fitted fun clothes.

I have a friend who's an absolute genius with taking current fashion and tweaking it "just so", so that it's suitable for women in their 40's and 50's.  You have no idea how jealous I am of that ability.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 17, 2013, 12:26:02 PM
I don't get the whole "season" thing.  Does it depend on your color preference, your skin, hair, and eye color, or something else?  I don't like pastels and prefer jewel tones.

It's based on hair color, eye color, undertones of skin, etc. But I refuse to treat it as gospel because I love jewel tones too. And black. I don't care if they wash me out. Wash me out all you like, clothes, I'm too flushed most of the time anyway!  ;D

I think it is a misconception that "Summers" are recommended to wear only pastels.  I'm a light summer and this is a sample pallet that I found on the web.
(http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.thechicfashionista.com/images/summercoloranalysis.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.thechicfashionista.com/summer-color-analysis.html&h=258&w=381&sz=38&tbnid=5YzlL2uvRvIs_M:&tbnh=90&tbnw=133&zoom=1&usg=__IxVq_ZjsQG2O9IBUFJzq3Lv65SI=&docid=FVXf1jISRaC8MM&sa=X&ei=0EH4UO3CCqKi2wX6tYH4CQ&ved=0CEEQ9QEwBA&dur=609)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: TootsNYC on January 17, 2013, 02:06:16 PM
Heehee...good ol' Dobby. :) My mother, when she saw my mismatched socks once wrinkled her nose and asked if I didn't have a matching pair.

"Yes, I do have a pair that exactly matches this!"
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Venus193 on January 17, 2013, 04:47:13 PM
I have an older cousin who dressed youthful, but not too young in her 40's and my dad would remark and how she should dress closer to her age.  The clothes were nice and suited her in my opinion, but I think my dad might feel that women over 40 have to adopt a matronly style.  I am 36, so I'll be expecting the same remarks in a few years.  I don't try to dress or pass myself off as 20, but I like to dress in fitted fun clothes.

I have a friend who's an absolute genius with taking current fashion and tweaking it "just so", so that it's suitable for women in their 40's and 50's.  You have no idea how jealous I am of that ability.

Considering how much money 50+ women are capable of spending she should make a fortune at this.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: JeseC on January 17, 2013, 05:11:45 PM
Oh yeah, here's my other one - my mother's thing with "good quality" clothing.  Now there's nothing wrong with buying a few good, long-lasting pieces.  The trouble is that nothing nice or trendy ever meets her standards, unless it's ridiculously expensive.  Plus she doesn't like second-hand.  Unfortunately this means that, if she had her way, I'd be stuck with a wardrobe full of plain "sturdy" jeans and basic tops.  None of those lovely lace tops I so adore - they're going to rip!  And no that new corset top is right out of the question, did you see how bad the elastic is on it?  Never mind on the last one that I'm perfectly capable of adding straps or replacing elastic.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Elisabunny on January 19, 2013, 11:45:04 AM
My mother's thing was that I always had to have short hair.  She thought I looked better, plus it was less work in the morning, etc.  By the time I was in high school, I wanted to grow it out.  But when I'd try, she'd start in with the comments, "Oh, wouldn't you like to get your hair cut?  Wouldn't it be easier to have it short?  Don't you think you'd look better if you got you hair cut?" ::)  So I'd give in, just so she'd stop bugging me.  Once I was married, and especially when I started having kids, I let my hair grow long. :)

On the opposite side, there's a family in our congregation in which the dad really likes long hair on girls and women.  His wife finally convinced him that her hair was too thin and fine for that look, but their two girls had waist-long hair.  Actually, the younger one still does, but the older girl had an unfortunate incident with a round brush, which required her hair to be cut.  Since she's kept it only shoulder-length since then, I've had some suspicions on how much of an accident it truly was. ;D
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Tea Drinker on January 19, 2013, 05:02:56 PM
The other thing is that you need to pick clothes that you like the look of. I love jewel tones: bright purple, royal blue, emerald, now and then a bright red. My girlfriend says I look good in pastels, and I believe her, but I mostly just don't like them, so I'm going to stick the colors I've been wearing for a couple of decades. Yes, there are things that wouldn't look good on me, but I don't have to wear all of the ones that would.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: booklover03 on January 20, 2013, 08:12:02 AM
On the opposite side, there's a family in our congregation in which the dad really likes long hair on girls and women.  His wife finally convinced him that her hair was too thin and fine for that look, but their two girls had waist-long hair.  Actually, the younger one still does, but the older girl had an unfortunate incident with a round brush, which required her hair to be cut.  Since she's kept it only shoulder-length since then, I've had some suspicions on how much of an accident it truly was. ;D


Dh is the same way. He loves long hair on women. His mom and sister had long hair while he was growing up, so I think that's where that comes from. I, on the other hand, have fine, curly hair. The longer it gets, the worse it looks. It gets heavy and pulls the curl out of my hair. I finally had to realize that I don't have naturally straight hair, I just don't, and spending money on products wasn't going to change that. I had my sylist cut it to just above the shoulders and it made a world of difference. Dh wasn't too happy at first, but once I explained that my hair type was different that his mom and sister's I think he understood. He loves my curls now and more importantly, so do I.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Minmom3 on January 20, 2013, 12:07:13 PM
I always dressed a bit preppy. Then I had DD#1 and couldn't wear any of those clothes again.  That hurt.  But still, I progressed, and wore clothing that looked nice.  Not terribly fashionable (not my taste, and frequently not my body, either) but fine.  Verging on frumpy these days because I'm fat and I prefer coverage to cover, and I don't want anybody to count the stitches on my bra, or any freckles seen through a shirt.  The kids would tell me that I needed to dress a little more currently and blah, blah, blah.  I would reply that I dressed to suit myself and the office and my clothes fit and they should be grateful I DO know how to dress.   And DD#3 came home one day and started telling me all about somebody else's mother who was wearing the same stuff her daughter was, and it 'DIDN'T LOOK RIGHT, MOM'.  The Mom wasn't overweight like I am, but she liked and wore the same stuff the teens were wearing, and you know what?  The teens thought it was awful!  DD was extremely grateful I wasn't trying to dress her age...  It was a pretty funny bonding moment for us.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 20, 2013, 12:19:18 PM
My DH likes long hair too but he'd complain about how I wanted nicer shampoos and they weren't cheap.  Well we changed stores so now my favorite product (Organix coconut milk) is only $5 a bottle compared to almost $8 like it used to be.  I had to try and get it through to him that in order for long hair to look good, it needs products that will be nice to it and sometimes that means spending more than $2 per bottle.

I actually like having long hair too but it tangles so easily when it's long so I've decided to keep it a bit longer than shoulder length, long enough to pull into a ponytail but not as far as my waist.   Plus I've found the Organix shampoo is gentle on colored hair and makes it last longer than Suave did.  Which has the added bonus of keeping my hair its pretty shade of red longer and I don't have to buy color until the grays start to pop up. 

My MIL doesn't believe in coloring her mostly black hair that has a few patches of gray in it that she's apparently rather proud of cause she sees them as "badges of honor for dealing with stressful things!"  I love her but that's one of those things I don't agree on as I'd just as soon hide the evidences of stress. :)
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: mmswm on January 20, 2013, 02:57:30 PM
Pirate, I'm with you.  I'm 37 and am NOT ready to show my "battle scars of age" quite yet.  Thankfully, I can pull off bottled reds fairly well, though it's not the fireball orange it used to be.
Title: Re: Oh mothers, or "I think I can dress myself, Mom"
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 20, 2013, 04:12:37 PM
Heehee...I'm 34 and I'm going to color until I can't anymore and even then I may ask someone to do it for me. :) I like being a redhead and auburn suits me. :) Actually I'll even argue that since I had auburn hair as a toddler and preschooler, I'm simply going back to my original color before it darkened to a chestnut with auburn highlights.