(Closed) Scandalous stepmom, what to do?

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

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
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

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.

Good luck.

Post # 5
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

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
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

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
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

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
513 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

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
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

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
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

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. 

Good luck! 

Post # 11
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

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 # 13
157 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

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
157 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

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?

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