A few weeks ago when the parents were in San Francisco to meet each other, I took my mother to try on Mother of the Bride dresses. My mom is not the prom dress wearing type. She is slender and rocks a pair of sevens (size 28) and a t-shirt most days. She’s a Jcrew slacks and a bottom up shirt type of gal. I think the last time my mother wore a dress it had honest-to-god-not-ironic-but-because-they-thought-it-looked-good-shoulderpads. I think it had flowers on it.
Anyways, my point. We were not about to go to a bridal shop for my mom’s dress. That’s not how she rolls. This was just not going to happen:
So, we tromped off to Nordstrom, a trusted establishment, and set to trying on dresses. Of course, we asked for help, and this is what we found:
Most of the dresses were one color, mild jewel tones, wide collars, and modest cuts. They all had a bit of an iridescent sheen and they were all BORING. What is up with the wedding industry having two massive extremes for the MOB? Either prom fiasco or a dull dress that screams, well, mother of the bride just like mom jeans. I was beyond frustrated by the choices, I started to get the WIC rage. I feel like the dresses specifically for mothers are either so matronly they are easily ignored, because Mom, this isn’t your day. (What? It’s my mom! She deserves to feel special and beautiful just like everybody else… more than everybody else because SHE’S MY MOM) Or they are so out there they run the risk of upstaging the bride, making the mother look like THAT mother, even if that’s not the intention.
I hate this pigeonholing, I hate trying to find a dress for my mom and running up against the same 5 styles, none of which match who she is or what she wants to wear. And I couldn’t help but think about the other moms out there trying to find their own dresses, and walking into the same 5 styles, and feeling let down – because that’s exactly how I felt. How are there no fabulous, yet appropriate, dresses for women in their 50s and 60s? Why is it so difficult to find something that is formal enough, yet not a ball gown?
Do any of you have suggestions? Where did your moms go when they needed an outfit for your wedding? What if she hasn’t worn a dress in 15 years and doesn’t have anything appropriate in the back of her closet? We went to bloomingdales but by the time we had circled around 1/2 a floor we had already spent 3-4 hours taking clothes off, putting clothes on, zipping up the back, stepping in, over the head, scrutinizing, re-fixing the hair and mussing it up again. We were done. Help.