Post # 1
So I have to give you a little background on my stepmom. She really can be a nice woman and I don’t mind her, when it comes to her personality. However, the way she dresses is horrible/embarassing and she is ok with flaunting her body. The problem is, is that my stepmom is 51 years old and she thinks she is still 21. She has no common sense when it comes to the way she dresses. Now I don’t have a problem with what she does on her own time but she doesn’t understand when it’s not appropriate to wear scandolous clothing. For my brother’s wedding she wore a skin-tight, sparkly, purple dress that had a low back and showed way to much cleavage (she has had a breast augmentation so she isn’t lacking in this department) and it also had a slit up the side, all the way to the top of her thigh. After a few drinks, she was dancing, forgetting about the slit in her dress, and multiple people got the privilage of seeing her underwear, a thong that she was more than proud of. For my nephew’s baptism (which, mind you, was in a church) she wore a bright orange and yellow miniskirt and a bright yellow v neck halter top that was belly and cleavage baring. And the list goes on…
The point of me writing this is because I am nervous as to what she will wear to my wedding. I know she doesn’t reflect me and my fiance but it will still be embarassing. I do love her as a person and I want to be able to say "this is my stepmom" and no cringe at people’s reactions. And my dad totally supports the way she dresses so I can’t talk to him about it. The other day she showed me a dress she was thinking of getting (it was in a catalogue) and it was horrible. I just don’t know what to do. How do I address this situation without hurting any feelings? I just want her to know that it’s not appropriate to wear stuff like that to my wedding. What do I do?
Post # 3
Maybe we could ask her to coordinate with the wedding party and show her a few dresses that you like that would go? Tell her you’re really looking forward to the pictures looking all matchy matchy. LOL It’s a complete lie, but might work. You could also just go the honest route and ask her to tone it down for your day. Blame it on your FI’s family?
Post # 4
Oh…this is interesting. I can feel your pain. I remember 2 summers ago at my son’s Vacation Bible School graduation ceremony when my x’s wife showed up wearing shorty shorts and sky high heels and a tank top. She too has had "work" so she loves to do that too.
The ladies and moms in the church (and some of the men and the minister) looked at her like she was a space alien walking into church like that. I know a minister’s not supposed to do that, but it is a house of worship and it’s to be resspected imho.
What I would do is sit down with your father, maybe come armed with a few family photos of her in action in all her minimalist glory from past events, and maybe bring a few pics of the other moms in the family and how they dressed.
Sounds as if stepmom is going thru some kind of midlife crisis. I have a few very close friends who’ve had "work" done and they don’t show it off because we think it becomes severely OBVIOUS you’ve had the work done! Somebody didn’t give stepmom the memo apparently.
Just say it kindly and gently to dad and ask him to discuss this with her. Granted, she might not welcome the questioning of her questionable attire, but I’m glad you’re not going to let this slide. If it were my mom we’d be having a serious sit down talk. But this woman isn’t your mom, thus I’d have your father deal with her on this issue.
Post # 5
Youch, that’s a toughie…
If it were me, I would likely show her what your mil or mom will be wearing, and tell her you would like her to coordinate with their outfits (assuming your mil or mom aren’t wearing sketchy ensembles?). That way you can subtly make suggestions on the basis of them looking cohesive, rather than potentially hurting her feelings by telling her what you think.
If she happens to say something about how she doesn’t want to look just like the mil or mom, maybe ask she still coordinate in a knee length dress, in whatever colour you feel is appropriate?
Post # 6
I have an aunt like this and we just decided not to invite her, but an aunt is different than a step mom so I can understand why thats not an option. Can you talk to your dad about it?- I know you said he supports the way she dresses but maybe he will talk to her just to make you happy.
You can also suggest something else for her to wear, like would you rather see her thong or clevage. I vote clevage. Tell her that you love the way she looks in pencil pants because of her figure or something like that and that you would love it if she wore that to the wedding. At least that way your guests wont get thongs in the face. I’m suprised though that she doesn’t see how inappropriate she is being. Can you mention a dress code or theme- like preppy casual?
I like to threaten people with not putting them in pictures also, but thats just me.
Post # 7
Well, has anyone ever tried to talk to her about how she dresses, and if so, how did it end? What sort of relationship do you have with her? Is it close enough that you can make some slightly less risque selections for her?
I would try to find some dresses that are still splashy and loud but not as raunchy and send them to her as suggestions. There’s no way you’re going to get her to do a 180 and show up in something demure, but it sounds like even a little toning down in the wardrobe department would be welcome. So if it’s got a low back and shows a lot of cleavage, then no slit up to the thigh. Ask for too much and you will probably get shut down, but ask for a little and you might get something.
Post # 8
Actually- it’s pretty amusing since you know this is how she is. I might be alone on this- let her wear what she wants to wear. Obviously she is 51… she is set in her ways. She has a way she feels most ‘herself’ and is comfortable with herself.
I live in the heart of typical Southern Orange County, Ca where this is not unusual- albeit to me not my favorite thing to see on most people- but it is what it is.
If you say anything to her, it might add to what she might already be hearing from your dad right? What does your dad say about her wardrobe?
Post # 9
Trust me..she knows how she is dressing. it’s a new thing for her apparently. She’s just showing off her new stuff. I see it all the time here. It could also be something of an esteem enhancer for her if she before felt she wasn’t as attractive..but there’s some fashion books out there for women that age.
I found a book and flipped thru it at barnes n nobel yesterday..how to look thinner and 10 years younger..and one of the tips is to NOT dress and flaunt everything at once..
There’s really no completely sweet way to let her know she is dressing inappropriately. Somehow she just has to be told. But say it to her (whoever does it, preferably your dad) gently and with kindness. And tell her "you have such pretty calves, maybe a pencil skirt and a top like this (show top from a magazine that’s appropriate) would be perfect on you for the wedding?"
One other thought is take her shopping with you and help her pick out her dress. Make it a special day. And bring along ONE OTHER FEMALE friend/relative to be a sounding board to cement your comments..You could encourage her to pick an attractive and non frumpy dress that accentuates her figure, and both of you discourage her to pick out the cleavage baring, thong revealing one foot of material outfits she might be leaning towards.
Post # 10
I think the key, as so many other people have said, is to help her pick out her dress. Going with her–like physically–is important…you can both monitor what she chooses and tell her "how amazing" she looks when you bring her things. But, you need to make sure that you bring her to a store that isn’t TOO conservative, or she’ll know what’s up.
I don’t know how formal your wedding is, or what time of year. However, you might try a store like Cache (but keep an eye out for cleavage!), or even JCrew, where she could get something "young" but still classy.
Another alternative is to get her to coordinate completely with your bridesmaids–like from the same line and the same fabric. But, that would mean you would need to do the same with your mom and FI’s mom, which could get really complicated.
Post # 11
I would buy her a dress and then GUSH to her how excited you are for her to wear it and how it coordinates, BLAH BLAH BLAH. Really play it up, it was SO PERFECT and you just CAN’T WAIT, and it was EXPENSIVE, and you already took the tags off, so it can’t be returned. I’d say ANY price of a dress is worth it!
Post # 12
Thank you for all the advice! I think I will try and show her what my mom and fmil are wearing. We’ll see how it goes 🙂
Post # 13
Oh geez, I’m sorry but your post cracked me up…I know it would so not be funny if I was experiencing it but the mental image of a crop top at a baptism…what the heck woman!!
Honestly, maybe this is just me, but I might not stress about it too much. The way she dresses is entirely a reflection on HER, not you. No one is going to look at her outfit and wonder why you didn’t dress her up better for the wedding, obviously she’s a grown woman and whatever she wears is her choice alone. And in a weird way, strange stuff like that can be a great conversation starter if nothing else!
If she is going to be decked out in Britney Spear wear, I might have a word with your photographer about it though. That way he or she can get plenty of family shots without the scandalous outfits, since I doubt you are going to want to have those framed on the mantel. If the photographer is doing it, it shouldn’t seem odd, they can just say "Ok, need a few of just the brides’ family now…" or "Just the bride and her aunts…" etc. Or heck, even position her at the edge for easy cropping if need be.
Post # 14
Another thought…you could always play the "It’s just my dream…" wide-eyed bride card. That way you are not putting down her choice. As in "I just dreamed at my wedding that you would wear this gorgeous X brand dress that I’ve always loved…I can just see you in it and how beautiful you would look." Cheesy, yes, but perhaps a kill ’em with kindness approach is best?