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!