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Author Topic: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!  (Read 8287 times)

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HannahGrace

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2015, 03:25:59 PM »
Quote
if someone's mother feels that way because her daughter genuinely wanted her to wear whatever she liked to the wedding, well, there are bigger issues than a garment

I guess I wasn't clear.  I didn't say that genuinely wanting Mom to wear whatever she likes is a problem.  What is a problem is expressing that in a way that makes Mom feel diminished.  It's so easy to express it some other way.  And anyway, what this Mom genuinely wants to wear is: something that matters to her daughter.

Yep, it can be tedious to go through links and look at photos; well, okay, but it's not that much and it is kind.  it probably won't add up to a total of more a few minutes.  Probably a lot less time than Mom spent hearing about and shopping for prom dresses, school clothes, Halloween costumes, etc.   :)

Seems to be a bit of projection going on - I don't see anything in the OP that suggested her mom felt diminished.  In any case, the question was, "is it OK to tell people to wear their favorite color?" and to me, the answer is yes, of course it is, you should not have to prescribe another adult's outfit if you don't want to.  Sure, if her mom asked if it was OK to send her links, it would be rude to say "no, that's your problem," but the OP's mom did not seem to request any more guidance.

nuit93

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2015, 03:32:18 PM »
Quote
if someone's mother feels that way because her daughter genuinely wanted her to wear whatever she liked to the wedding, well, there are bigger issues than a garment

I guess I wasn't clear.  I didn't say that genuinely wanting Mom to wear whatever she likes is a problem.  What is a problem is expressing that in a way that makes Mom feel diminished.  It's so easy to express it some other way.  And anyway, what this Mom genuinely wants to wear is: something that matters to her daughter.

Yep, it can be tedious to go through links and look at photos; well, okay, but it's not that much and it is kind.  it probably won't add up to a total of more a few minutes.  Probably a lot less time than Mom spent hearing about and shopping for prom dresses, school clothes, Halloween costumes, etc.   :)

Actually, I was weirdly low-maintenance when it came to clothes growing up, went to exactly one dress-up school dance to which I spent exactly five minutes picking out a dress at the store, bought the first one I tried on because it fit and I just wanted to get out of there.  Only took slightly longer than that to pick out my wedding dress last year :)

I hadn't thought about the "making her feel less valued" part.  I don't have a bridal party either, just one (male) attendant that I'm also giving relatively lax guidelines to (dark button up shirt and slacks, just run it by me beforehand).  Other than the clergy who already have set guidelines for ceremony apparel per church regulation, it just plain didn't occur to me to worry about what other people wear.

I figure guests would use google to get examples of what "dressy casual" meant, it's what I've done in the past as well as most other people I've known.

greencat

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2015, 03:39:20 PM »
I've been known to stress a bit about events that I didn't know the formality level of - I didn't want to show up in a fancy sundress only to find other guests wearing evening wear, or vice versa.  Having some guidance from people as to what to wear in order to not be out of place it helpful.

lellah

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2015, 03:43:31 PM »
Dressing for weddings is kind of high pressure, right? Whether you're the bride or her mother or her first cousin twice removed, you're likely seeing people you haven't seen in years or that you're meeting for the first time.  Helping people manage this pressure is kind. 

In answering your mother, you might say "oh, something similar to that dress you wore to the McClains' anniversary party would be lovely. Or that cocktail suit you saw at Department Store."  You might pick a few things you've seen online and send them via email. Others have given great advice above.

As far as your other attendees are concerned, I definitely think a little specificity is a good thing, especially if there are venue-specific considerations. If you're doing a wedding website, that's a great place to stash the info. For instance, you might say "the ceremony and reception will be out of doors, so you may be most comfortable in sundresses, khakis, short-sleeved shirts, etc."  Or you could say something like "please dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable and attractive. if you'd like more specific guidance, think of what you'd wear to church on Sunday morning/to dinner at a nice restaurant/an evening at the theater/whatever." 

gellchom

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2015, 03:49:54 PM »
Quote
if someone's mother feels that way because her daughter genuinely wanted her to wear whatever she liked to the wedding, well, there are bigger issues than a garment

I guess I wasn't clear.  I didn't say that genuinely wanting Mom to wear whatever she likes is a problem.  What is a problem is expressing that in a way that makes Mom feel diminished.  It's so easy to express it some other way.  And anyway, what this Mom genuinely wants to wear is: something that matters to her daughter.

Yep, it can be tedious to go through links and look at photos; well, okay, but it's not that much and it is kind.  it probably won't add up to a total of more a few minutes.  Probably a lot less time than Mom spent hearing about and shopping for prom dresses, school clothes, Halloween costumes, etc.   :)

Seems to be a bit of projection going on - I don't see anything in the OP that suggested her mom felt diminished.  In any case, the question was, "is it OK to tell people to wear their favorite color?" and to me, the answer is yes, of course it is, you should not have to prescribe another adult's outfit if you don't want to.  Sure, if her mom asked if it was OK to send her links, it would be rude to say "no, that's your problem," but the OP's mom did not seem to request any more guidance.

"My mom keeps bugging me about what our colors are, and what color she should wear, ....

My sister chimed in with 'she WANTS to buy a new dress!  Give her something to work with'."

The question "is it OK to tell people to wear their favorite color?" is what the OP wrote, but that isn't really the situation, is it?  This is the MOB, not an ordinary guest.  Anyway, it's a false choice between that and "to prescribe another adult's outfit" -- no one is asking the OP to do that. 

There is a whole world of space between "Wear anything at all -- you don't need to wear anything new or special" and "Wear exactly what I tell you to wear."  Plenty of people hit that sweet spot without any trouble, and I am sure that the OP can, too.  It's not hard.  If the OP and her mom were both attending someone else's wedding, Mom might ask her what she should wear, too.  So much the more so for her own daughter's wedding.  For example, the OP could just tweak what she said from telling her to wear the same outfit she wore to another event to "That outfit you wore to XYZ event was great; you could even wear that one again, but if you want to get something new, something like that would be perfect.  Any color is fine; we don't have a color scheme anyway."

OP, you didn't spend a lot of your mom's time on your outfits; fine.  But I think that you get the point anyway -- it's not a question of payback.  If instead you had cared and had wanted her to shop with you and discuss your clothes, and she had done so, as opposed to saying "Who cares what you wear?  It isn't important," that would've been loving and caring, right?  So, all I am saying is that evidently that is a bit important to her now.  You don't have to turn your life into a shopping expedition or tell her just what to wear.  But you can, if you choose, hear what she is really asking for and give a little of it to her if you can. 

catwhiskers

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2015, 03:52:36 PM »
Is it okay to just tell people "wear your favorite color!" if they ask?  I honestly don't care if they show up in, say, hunter's safety orange if it's a color that makes them feel happy and it's still in the guidelines of "dressy casual".  I feel like I'm expected to be more demanding when deep down I'm more like "yes, I realize that technically nudity is not illegal but please just wear clothes anyway and that's enough for me".

We are attending a wedding this summer, and I really wish the bride shared your view. I have now been given a small list of colours and even a type of pattern that I am "not allowed" to wear. I am having extreme difficulty in finding an outfit that meets all of these requirements that also looks good enough on me that I will want to wear it again.

What irks me even more is that the dress requirements were not included with the invitation, and I did not find out about them until I had already purchased the dress I intended to wear, plus a shrug, a pair of shoes and a clutch bag specifically to go with that dress. OH was discussing the wedding with the groom and only then found out, with a matter of weeks to go that my dress is in the "forbidden" pattern and the accessories are one of the "forbidden" colours.

I am not amused that I now have to scramble around for another outfit when I thought I had everything covered in good time.

ladyknight1

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2015, 03:56:17 PM »
Is it okay to just tell people "wear your favorite color!" if they ask?  I honestly don't care if they show up in, say, hunter's safety orange if it's a color that makes them feel happy and it's still in the guidelines of "dressy casual".  I feel like I'm expected to be more demanding when deep down I'm more like "yes, I realize that technically nudity is not illegal but please just wear clothes anyway and that's enough for me".

We are attending a wedding this summer, and I really wish the bride shared your view. I have now been given a small list of colours and even a type of pattern that I am "not allowed" to wear. I am having extreme difficulty in finding an outfit that meets all of these requirements that also looks good enough on me that I will want to wear it again.

What irks me even more is that the dress requirements were not included with the invitation, and I did not find out about them until I had already purchased the dress I intended to wear, plus a shrug, a pair of shoes and a clutch bag specifically to go with that dress. OH was discussing the wedding with the groom and only then found out, with a matter of weeks to go that my dress is in the "forbidden" pattern and the accessories are one of the "forbidden" colours.

I am not amused that I now have to scramble around for another outfit when I thought I had everything covered in good time.

That is beyond the pale. As a guest, to have colors and patterns dictated is annoying.
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nuit93

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2015, 04:03:19 PM »
I actually had suggested a dress that she already owned and I knew she looked good in, but she kind of brushed that suggestion aside.  Which after reading this thread kind of makes sense, she wore it to my sister's wedding and was probably concerned people would say "oh, she could get a new dress for one daughter's wedding but not the other?", whereas I was like "but it's a pretty dress and a nice color and why shouldn't she wear it if she likes it...".  I probably wouldn't think twice about wearing the same dress to both of my children's weddings unless they were each looking for me to wear a specific color.

Thank you all for the perspective though--I was honestly baffled at the idea of anyone wanting to buy a new dress specifically for an occasion (for me it's stressful as all heck), from my mindset I figured I was just making things easier for her.  FH's folks will be in town next week to meet my folks and I may also have both of our mothers discuss between them what they'd like to wear.

nuit93

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2015, 04:05:13 PM »
Is it okay to just tell people "wear your favorite color!" if they ask?  I honestly don't care if they show up in, say, hunter's safety orange if it's a color that makes them feel happy and it's still in the guidelines of "dressy casual".  I feel like I'm expected to be more demanding when deep down I'm more like "yes, I realize that technically nudity is not illegal but please just wear clothes anyway and that's enough for me".

We are attending a wedding this summer, and I really wish the bride shared your view. I have now been given a small list of colours and even a type of pattern that I am "not allowed" to wear. I am having extreme difficulty in finding an outfit that meets all of these requirements that also looks good enough on me that I will want to wear it again.

What irks me even more is that the dress requirements were not included with the invitation, and I did not find out about them until I had already purchased the dress I intended to wear, plus a shrug, a pair of shoes and a clutch bag specifically to go with that dress. OH was discussing the wedding with the groom and only then found out, with a matter of weeks to go that my dress is in the "forbidden" pattern and the accessories are one of the "forbidden" colours.

I am not amused that I now have to scramble around for another outfit when I thought I had everything covered in good time.

That is beyond the pale. As a guest, to have colors and patterns dictated is annoying.

Oh that would bother me too.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2015, 04:11:42 PM »
One thing you may want to consider: If you are planning to take family pictures at the wedding, you don't want women who will be in the same picture and possibly next to each other to wear clashing colors. I think that's partially behind why MOB and MOG often get limited to a certain color palette.

I come from a European country where we don't do the whole wedding colors thing, but my mom and my MIL talked to each other about their dresses to make sure they were similar formality level and the colors didn't clash.

gellchom

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2015, 04:19:42 PM »
Is it okay to just tell people "wear your favorite color!" if they ask?  I honestly don't care if they show up in, say, hunter's safety orange if it's a color that makes them feel happy and it's still in the guidelines of "dressy casual".  I feel like I'm expected to be more demanding when deep down I'm more like "yes, I realize that technically nudity is not illegal but please just wear clothes anyway and that's enough for me".

We are attending a wedding this summer, and I really wish the bride shared your view. I have now been given a small list of colours and even a type of pattern that I am "not allowed" to wear. I am having extreme difficulty in finding an outfit that meets all of these requirements that also looks good enough on me that I will want to wear it again.

What irks me even more is that the dress requirements were not included with the invitation, and I did not find out about them until I had already purchased the dress I intended to wear, plus a shrug, a pair of shoes and a clutch bag specifically to go with that dress. OH was discussing the wedding with the groom and only then found out, with a matter of weeks to go that my dress is in the "forbidden" pattern and the accessories are one of the "forbidden" colours.

I am not amused that I now have to scramble around for another outfit when I thought I had everything covered in good time.

That is beyond the pale. As a guest, to have colors and patterns dictated is annoying.

I agree.  And I would add inconsiderate and silly, too.  In your position, I would just wear what I had planned, given that it wasn't on the invitation.  You wouldn't be the only one.  That has been my experience in similar situations (e.g., that wedding I wrote about a few months ago where the website asked guests please not to wear black and silver; there were a few women in exactly that.  My guess is that they never even saw it.)

Although I would find it annoying and ridiculous to be told to dress in "green, or something that would not clash with green, like gold, brown, or navy" if I were an ordinary guest, when my DIL asked her mom and me exactly that for her wedding, it didn't seem odd or pushy at all.

OP, I think you are on the right track now.  As I wrote, from my own experience as a bride, I totally understand it about thinking you are just being considerate and making it easier when in fact it is the opposite.  "Wearing the same dress twice" and "Wearing the same dress to both your children's weddings" are not the same thing.  Not because people might think you care less about the second wedding, but because you want to feel like it's important enough to wear something special and new.  (Not to mention the photos.)  Although, LOL, I just remembered that I loved the dress I wore to my son's wedding so much that I asked DD how she would feel if I wore it to hers, too -- I'm not sure if I would have, though, even if she hadn't said please no.  But that was because it was the most special, fantastic dress I ever had, not because I didn't want to bother or because I thought it didn't matter what I wore.  (I bought one at the same place for the second wedding.  I told DH we are going to accept every black tie invitation we ever get until I wear them both out!  :))

And that is a great idea about suggesting that the two moms talk about it.  That might even be a fun bonding experience for them, depending upon their personalities (and if you are lucky, you'll scrape the whole issue off onto them, if they, unlike you, both like fashion!).  I know DIL's mom and I, who I think had met only once if at all before the engagement, had fun discussing it, asking each other's opinion, and sending each other pictures while we were shopping.  It made us feel connected.  I had a similar experience with DD's MIL and SILs, too.

HannahGrace

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2015, 07:50:34 PM »
Asking what color she should wear does not equal feeling diminished. OP, I hope your mom is more like mine. I told her, when she asked what to wear, "I know you have so many fabulous dresses that you wear on cruises, so you will look great in any of those, or I trust your judgment to find something else that's great."  I'm so lucky my mother did not make my wedding a referendum on our relationship.

MommyPenguin

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2015, 08:18:32 PM »
My brother got married recently, and my mom kept sending me pictures of what she was going to wear, asking my opinion on colors and style, etc.  She then told me about several women from work who are more stylish than she is, and how they took her shopping and helped her pick accessories, etc.  Personally, it seemed like a lot of thought going into it, even for a MOG, but I can see what a PP was saying about making her feel validated and an important part of the process.  She wants to feel like she has a really important place at the wedding, with the parents being just below the bride and groom in importance.  Maybe because as SOG I didn't feel like it was that big a deal made me forget that, to the parents of the bride and groom, it really is.

I really like the idea of suggesting that the two mothers get together and find colors that would coordinate well.  They don't need to be matchy-matchy, but it's nice if their dresses don't look horrible next to each other or next to the bride.  For example, with your teal sash, you might not want one of them to be wearing royal blue.  Etc.
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cicero

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2015, 05:35:38 AM »
I actually had suggested a dress that she already owned and I knew she looked good in, but she kind of brushed that suggestion aside.  Which after reading this thread kind of makes sense, she wore it to my sister's wedding and was probably concerned people would say "oh, she could get a new dress for one daughter's wedding but not the other?", whereas I was like "but it's a pretty dress and a nice color and why shouldn't she wear it if she likes it...".  I probably wouldn't think twice about wearing the same dress to both of my children's weddings unless they were each looking for me to wear a specific color.

Thank you all for the perspective though--I was honestly baffled at the idea of anyone wanting to buy a new dress specifically for an occasion (for me it's stressful as all heck), from my mindset I figured I was just making things easier for her.  FH's folks will be in town next week to meet my folks and I may also have both of our mothers discuss between them what they'd like to wear.
Well, it's sometimes hard for us to wrap our minds about how our parent/siblings/children would do X because for us, the only way to do it is A but for them the only way is B. But it's good to put yourself into her shoes for a bit so you are on the same page.

I agree with what Gellchom wrote. I think that for *your mother*, saying "wear what you wore to sis's wedding" is kind of sad because she *wants* to have a new/different outfit, whereas for you it's like a perfect build-in, ready-to-go solution.

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Margo

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Re: No, seriously, whatever you want to wear is okay!
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2015, 05:53:18 AM »
I actually had suggested a dress that she already owned and I knew she looked good in, but she kind of brushed that suggestion aside.  Which after reading this thread kind of makes sense, she wore it to my sister's wedding and was probably concerned people would say "oh, she could get a new dress for one daughter's wedding but not the other?", whereas I was like "but it's a pretty dress and a nice color and why shouldn't she wear it if she likes it...".  I probably wouldn't think twice about wearing the same dress to both of my children's weddings unless they were each looking for me to wear a specific color.

Thank you all for the perspective though--I was honestly baffled at the idea of anyone wanting to buy a new dress specifically for an occasion (for me it's stressful as all heck), from my mindset I figured I was just making things easier for her.  FH's folks will be in town next week to meet my folks and I may also have both of our mothers discuss between them what they'd like to wear.

I think in that case saying something like "the dress you wore to Sis's wedding looked fantastic on you - maybe if you found something similar? I think you look great in purple, or if you wanted to co-ordinate with me, I'm wearing a teal headband, and my flowers are going to be [colour], so if you found something you liked in those colours that would be lovely"

I remember when my sister got maried my mum was getting really stressed out about whether she should wear a hat, as mother of the bride (which fairly normal here) She is not a hat person at all, and in additional her head is  smaller than most off-the peg hats and getting one made to order is very expensive.

I ended up interpreting to my sister that the answer needed wasn't actually "whatever you want will be fine" but "We'd be more than happy  for you to pick a fascinator not a hat, that one you sent us a picture of looks great, and no, groom's mother and other relations will not judge you if you don't wear a big mother-of-the-bride hat"