Moms and Maids

What to do? (FMIL clothing issues)

I want to preface this by saying that even though my future mother-in-law and I aren't very close, we still get along mostly. But she never dresses up. For anything. The most I've ever seen her dressed up, was a shirt, capris, and house slippers. It was quite frumpy, and bordered on embarrassing. But I tried my best to ignore it, and focus on having fun. That was what she wore on a VERY expensive Mother's Day dinner cruise that my fiance took us on this year. He invited my mother too, but she couldn't go because of illness.

Our wedding is pretty formal, and we know that she will not follow the dress code. So instead of putting pressure on her to go shopping, which she hates, and will complain about, we figured that we could pick some outfits for her, and let her choose what she wants to wear from them. My fiance's stepfather is of the same opinion. He doesn't know how to tell her that the way she dresses, bothers him too. We've all tried talking to her about it, but she goes off on us, and says things like, well fine, don't invite me to your damn [insert event/occasion here], or things of that sort. It's just a very delicate situation all around, and I want to keep the peace.
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Answers

  • There actually are requirements because of the church that we are getting married in, and it is a black tie kind of affair. It's not like we're making her wear a dress or anything. She's welcome to wear pants and a blouse if that's what she wants. We just want her to wear something that suits the occasion. That's all. Buying her clothes was the worst case scenario.
  • She actually responds to her husband that way as well, so it's not just me that she gets defensive with.
  • I know what 'black tie' means. I neglected to include it in my original post, because it was lengthy enough as it was.
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
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    There actually are requirements because of the church that we are getting married in, and it is a black tie kind of affair. It's not like we're making her wear a dress or anything. She's welcome to wear pants and a blouse if that's what she wants. We just want her to wear something that suits the occasion. That's all. Buying her clothes was the worst case scenario.
    I understand what you want, and a little bit why you want it, but she doesn't care, and you can't make her.

    You are allowed to tell her that her shoulders need to be covered or whatever is actually required by your Tridentine parish, but I can't imagine they have an actual requirement for formality or people won't be allowed into Mass.

    Anniversary

    charlotte989875SP29OliveOilsMom
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
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    She actually responds to her husband that way as well, so it's not just me that she gets defensive with.
    I did get that impression from the OP. She's not willing to change for anyone, so there's no person who can get her to do this, and no way to do it peacefully. You (all of you - FIL, FI) will only give her the impression that you are embarrassed by her and don't love her as she is. And she still probably won't wear what you buy. So don't get into it. It won't work, and may damage everyone's relationship with her.

    Anniversary

  • What no don't do this. If there's a dress code some churchbouncer is enforcing tell her what it is. That's is. 
    charlotte989875southernbelle0915
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
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    Stop trying to police people. Don't tell your FMIL what to wear, don't ask for apologies, just stop. The wedding won't be ruined if FMIL wears capris and a t-shirt. But things can be ruined relationship-wise if you harp on something so inconsequential. 


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    CMGragainSTARMOON44MairePoppy
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    She won't react positively to your request so I would just forget it. It will reflect poorly on her not you. I attended a wedding where the MOB wore jeans, t-shirt and sandals to a reception held at an historical country club. Did I side eye the bride- no (at least not for that). I did however, side eye the hell out of the MOB.
    InLoveInQueensOliveOilsMom
  • Yeah, FMIL isn't going to change, and trying to man-handle her into an outfit she doesn't want to wear isn't going to work either.  If she shows up to the church and is asked to leave because her outfit is inappropriate, that's on her.  Likewise, if she shows up to a black tie reception in flip-flops and a t-shirt and the host/security/etc turns her away, that's on her.  She might be embarrassed, but there's no need for you to be, because she's an adult capable of dressing herself and there's no reason people  would think you dressed her.  
    short+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    If your FMIL is informed of the dress code and chooses not to abide by it, it's on her if the venue turns her away for not dressing appropriately. She's an adult and it's up to her to behave like one, or suffer the consequences if she doesn't.

    Yeah, that sucks when the parent of one of the principals at a wedding chooses to make that a hill to die on, but there's not really anything you can do about it.
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited September 27
    I strongly suspect that you are more worried about your wedding pictures than your FMIL's feelings.  Not very attractive.
    I was raised by a woman who only cared about appearances.  I didn't get to choose my own clothes until I was an adult.  The resentment still burns.  You remind me of her. :/
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    edited September 27
    CMGragain said:
    I strongly suspect that you are more worried about your wedding pictures than your FMIL's feelings.  Not very attractive.
    I was raised by a woman who only cared about appearances.  I didn't get to choose my own clothes until I was an adult.  The resentment still burns.  You remind me of her. :/
    I think this is unnecessarily harsh. The OP said nothing about photos.

    And your "You remind me of a woman who only cared about appearances" was mean. Photos are not the only reasons why people might want their FMIL to dress appropriately for occasions.
    STARMOON44InLoveInQueensJediElizabeth
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited September 27
    Yes, I was feeling cranky when I wrote that.  Reading her post about what other people are wearing brought up some really BAD memories.  I still feel sorry for a FMIL who has to change her appearance before her FDIL will be happy with her, though.  I was happy that my FMIL even came to the wedding, and she threatened to wear her pajamas!  Yes, really!  (Man, would I have loved a photo of THAT!!!!)  She wore an old dress instead, and didn't speak to me.  I had no problem with that.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    CMGragain said:
    Yes, I was feeling cranky when I wrote that.  Reading her post about what other people are wearing brought up some really BAD memories.  I still feel sorry for a FMIL who has to change her appearance before her FDIL will be happy with her, though.  I was happy that my FMIL even came to the wedding, and she threatened to wear her pajamas!  Yes, really!  (Man, would I have loved a photo of THAT!!!!)  She wore an old dress instead, and didn't speak to me.  I had no problem with that.
    Like I said, I think you overreacted in a mean way.

    Sometimes people just showing up wearing anything really isn't a good thing, especially if they refuse to honor a genre's dress code or otherwise make assets of themselves with bad attitudes. That's what seems to be going on with this FMIL. It has nothing to do with your mother and her problems.
  • banana468 said:
    If you're only doing this because the church "has rules", then get a copy of the church rules and give them to her and her husband. 

    I'm calling BS on that though. I find it very hard to believe that church rules would be so strict that they would bar the Mother of the Groom from attending her son's wedding because her blouse isn't "nice enough". 
    According to the @nmvaladanzouj the church is so conservative that women are required to wear some kind of veil/head covering. 

    That said OP, you can tell your FMIL what the church requirements are and she can dress to those requirements.

    I have to say though, in so much of your posts they seem.....drama-ridden.  Why are you having a formal wedding if the MOG is going to be uncomfortable?  
    But covering your head is different than literally giving FMIL outfit choices "because pretty formal dress code".

    In any weddings I've been to at a church or temple so conservative that head covering is required, the venue always has extra in the lobby for non-member guests. They know every guest won't be familiar with their requirements or they'll forget. 
    Exactly. That's going to be an issue for more guests than the mom. And definitely something to put on the website so guests can decide if they are willing to attend. 
    charlotte989875MairePoppyahoyweddingMyNameIsNot
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    banana468 said:
    If you're only doing this because the church "has rules", then get a copy of the church rules and give them to her and her husband. 

    I'm calling BS on that though. I find it very hard to believe that church rules would be so strict that they would bar the Mother of the Groom from attending her son's wedding because her blouse isn't "nice enough". 
    According to the @nmvaladanzouj the church is so conservative that women are required to wear some kind of veil/head covering. 

    That said OP, you can tell your FMIL what the church requirements are and she can dress to those requirements.

    I have to say though, in so much of your posts they seem.....drama-ridden.  Why are you having a formal wedding if the MOG is going to be uncomfortable?  
    Was the whole wedding supposed to based solely on making the MOG comfortable?

    The bride and groom have the right to plan whatever kind of wedding they want if they're the ones paying.
  • banana468 said:
    If you're only doing this because the church "has rules", then get a copy of the church rules and give them to her and her husband. 

    I'm calling BS on that though. I find it very hard to believe that church rules would be so strict that they would bar the Mother of the Groom from attending her son's wedding because her blouse isn't "nice enough". 
    According to the @nmvaladanzouj the church is so conservative that women are required to wear some kind of veil/head covering. 

    That said OP, you can tell your FMIL what the church requirements are and she can dress to those requirements.

    I have to say though, in so much of your posts they seem.....drama-ridden.  Why are you having a formal wedding if the MOG is going to be uncomfortable?  
    But covering your head is different than literally giving FMIL outfit choices "because pretty formal dress code".

    In any weddings I've been to at a church or temple so conservative that head covering is required, the venue always has extra in the lobby for non-member guests. They know every guest won't be familiar with their requirements or they'll forget. 
    Totally agree.    My only comment was that according to the OP her church is so conservative that it does have that head covering requirement (and yet they don't provide them for guests which is REALLY odd IMO).  You're absolutely correct that you can meet the requirements of the church and not be dressed appropriately for a black tie wedding.
    STARMOON44charlotte989875
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    edited September 27
    banana468 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    banana468 said:
    If you're only doing this because the church "has rules", then get a copy of the church rules and give them to her and her husband. 

    I'm calling BS on that though. I find it very hard to believe that church rules would be so strict that they would bar the Mother of the Groom from attending her son's wedding because her blouse isn't "nice enough". 
    According to the @nmvaladanzouj the church is so conservative that women are required to wear some kind of veil/head covering. 

    That said OP, you can tell your FMIL what the church requirements are and she can dress to those requirements.

    I have to say though, in so much of your posts they seem.....drama-ridden.  Why are you having a formal wedding if the MOG is going to be uncomfortable?  
    Was the whole wedding supposed to based solely on making the MOG comfortable?

    The bride and groom have the right to plan whatever kind of wedding they want if they're the ones paying.


    It's not just about the MOG being uncomfortable.  I do think that if you are planning a formal event and the mother of your husband isn't a formal person you're doing something that is either going to make her uncomfortable or have her stick out like a sore thumb.   You don't plan everything around just one person but it makes me tilt my head and say, "huh?"  If she's planning a black tie wedding that comes with an expectation on the part of guests.   If the guests are not black tie people, the mere attendance to such an event can be an unforeseen expense.  The OP is absolutely free to host the type of event that she and her FI see fit as long as they meet all the requirements.   But I can tell you that if I thought the type of event I was hosting was going to put my guests out of their comfort zone, cause them to have to buy or rent clothing that they would never normally own, and put them in a zone that they would never normally seek, then I wouldn't host that kind of event.   After all, the reception is FOR the guests.   I wouldn't create an event that would possibly make them uncomfortable.   If my FI was close to his mother, she would be a main factor in this.   That's not etiquette and it's just my opinion and well...we know what opinions are like. 

    But in other posts the OP has talked about how she's seeking a Tridentine Mass, thinks Novus Ordo Mass is "too blasphemous" for her, wants to omit the GF of an invited guest and wants to pull a friend into her father role even though he actually isn't.  Every time I read something new I just feel like drama has been created for the sake of wanting to make it. 
    Other drama by the OP aside, if the MOG is the only person attending the wedding who would be "uncomfortable" with dressing appropriately for this event, then sorry, but I'm still not going to be of the opinion that the entire event had to planned around what she was "comfortable" with. 

    Everyone's needs, not just hers, have to be taken into account. And if she's not paying, she doesn't get a say in the level of formality. If she wants to pout and stay home because she isn't capable of acting sufficiently mature to accept that the wedding is at a venue and in a style that is not compatible with her preferred style of "comfort," then ultimately that's on her.

    The couple are not at fault for not planning a wedding she doesn't have to dress up for.
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