Outfit Post: Your mother will tell you those shoes look ridiculus

When you're trying to decide if you can really pull off his season's wide-leg jeans trend, or whether or not to invest in a pair of wood platform wedges, your best advocate might be close to home. A new study says women who want an honest opinion when they go shopping should bring their mothers. It seems women (at least, the 2,000 polled) consult their moms for honest shopping opinions.

I haven't lived in the same state as either of my parents in close to eight years. And, even if I did, I doubt I'd drag my mom out shopping with me. See, my mother is what some would call high-maintenance, and others would deem a pain in the ass. Critical and obsessive, a "quick" shopping excursion with my mother takes no less than three hours and requires the kind of fortitude usually reserved for mountaineers embarking on a climb of Everest. She also has the tactical skills of a stealth missile and can sniff out a sale better than anyone. A conservative dresser, my mother lives by traditional fashion rules, such as matching your belt to your shoes to your purse, and not wearing white after Labor Day. As far as she's concerned, wearing thrifted and vintage clothes is akin to rubbing your face in a bacteria-infested petri dish. Her hobbies include make-overs at the Estee Lauder counter, endless searches for the perfect pair of metallic leather sandals, not those platform ones dear, they'll make you look cheap, and sneaking into back rooms for first dibs on new merchandise.

Most importantly, though, one must come prepared to handle her unsolicited advice when shopping with her. Most of my outfits are met with the following response: They're either "inappropriate," "ridiculous," or "are you trying to embarrass me?" However, I'll admit that my mother's brutal honestly has saved me from making some unfortunate fashion choices. Such as those shortalls I desperately wanted back in 1991, which she strongly advised against.

According to the study, posted on Newslite.com, researchers explained that a third of women would rather shop with their mothers due to the belief that female friendships can be a minefield of jealousy, false compliments and complex mind games. It seems these fears of jealousy are true: One in 20 women admitted lying to a friend that they look great in something when they looked awful - because they didn't want them to look better than them.

By contrast, mothers tend to be honest (often brutally so) if they don't like something, and genuinely complimentary if they do. They completely lack a sense of competition regarding who dresses best. Mothers are also great at determining what flatters you - often you share the same body type, and your mother is best equipped to steer you towards clothes that compliment your shape. In addition, according to the study, shopping with mothers was found to be more focused and productive than an outing with friends, who often waste time gossiping and chatting.

Who do you turn to when you want brutally honest advice about a new purchase? Do you shop with your mom, or does it stress you out too much? Do you consult her before you make a big purchase, or do you have another friend who's your go-to for style advice? Do you agree that mom is more likely to provide an honest reaction to potential fashion purchases?

Vintage thrifted dress ($4) ; Old Navy belt; H&M sandals; vintage thrifted python clutch; Forever 21 pyramid bracelet; Forever 21 gold hoops; Betsey Johnson watch


  1. I wore shortalls in 1991. So did my mom, if I remember correctly. *shudders*

    If I want brutal honesty on a shopping trip, I have one friend I can rely on. The trade-off? She's the most indecisive shopper EVER, and a trip to the dressing room takes her 45 minutes to an hour.

  2. This mom loves a great print...a wide legged trouser...a great platform...conservative dress...can sniff out a sale...THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS...Thank God for Mothers who Shop!!

  3. My mum and I share the same body type and it's absolutely true that she has a lifetime experience of what works and what doesn't. However we don't share the same philosophy when it comes to clothing. My mum is more keen on the utilitarian aspect of the whole affair: well made clothing that flatters you, classic style and something that is well constructed it lasts for decades thus eliminating the dreaded shopping for new thing. I on the other hand love clothing, I regard it as a means to express my personality and will sometimes experiment with something that doesn't work for my body type. This is a source of constant conflict between my mum and me.
    When I want brutal honesty, I ask my boyfriend for advice. Shocking, I know! But most of the time I already know even before trying something on if it will work or not.

  4. i dont shop with my mom for numerous reasons.
    first, since im adopted, she doesnt have any of that fab insight that comes from genetic similarities. moreso, though, my mom is 40 years older than me, so we really just dont have anything in common, sartorially. i would LOVE to take her shopping + make her try on clothes i pick out, though. back in her 20s, she was quite the fashionista, but nowadays she aims for comfort only. i think she could find a middle-ground if she tried.
    but i love my mom immensely, and i love that when we DO go shopping together, she doesnt try to impose her style on my selections.

    when i need a truly honest opinion, ive got a friend or two i can count on. we shop together and are always honest, but never brutal. if something doesnt work, it is the fault of the clothes, not the person. yay for girlfriends!

  5. This dress is so lovely on you!! My mom is actually my FAVORITE shopping buddy! She will tell me when something looks bad (though we are usually thinking it at the same time), but she also gets that my style is different from hers and often will find things that I like in the store and comes saying "This looks like you." LOL

  6. you're mother sounds...refreshing and delightful! and a straight shooter. love you in big hoops, PS.

  7. My mother and I have the same body type, indeed, but my mother believes in brutally practical clothes that are comfortable. Her uniform comprises loose pants she makes herself from a pattern she found and liked in 1985 (from natural fibres); men's cashmere sweaters from LL Bean; simple T-shirts and blouses (she makes the blouses herself, as well); and flat, plain, unadorned, solid shoes. If I wanted good advice on towels that would last, or winter boots for a hike, I'd certainly go to her. She dislikes everything I wear, and thinks that any kind of dressing for interest or looks is ridiculous.

    I have probably absorbed a lot more of her clothing philosophy than she realises (I also like natural fibres, and shoes I can walk in, and clothes that fit comfortably and can be washed) and I certainly learned from her how to sew a seam that will outlast the actual garment, but I'd never take her shopping with me unless I was feeling particularly masochistic. I can get all the honesty I need if the dressing room has a three-way mirror.

  8. That dress looks incredible on you! I like how you paired it with a tough looking belt to cut down the sweetness.

  9. That dress is AMAZING. I love it.

  10. My mom's too fragile to go out shopping now, but we did have loads of fun back in the day. I can't say she has a keen sense of style but she does have a sense of the *joy* of fashion.

    Your dress/belt are faboo.

  11. This is my very fave outfit I've seen you in, so far. The dress is super. Buttons all the way down the back = A++

  12. ugh...I wore shortalls sometime in the 90's...why did I do that to myself? So not flattering.

    I love your dress! And LOVE the shoes! Great outfit and it looks great on you!

  13. I love your style, I love your blog and I LOVE your name! ;)

    Please come share some of your styling tips at www.styledbyu.blogspot.com

  14. I find it so sad that girlfriends would lie to each other like that.

    I shop with my mom a lot, but unfortunately her advice always seems to be "buy it, looks great", even if it doesn't. My friends are great at being brutally honest about what works and what doesn't.

  15. For me is impossible shop with my mum! Your look is to cool :)

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  16. Wow, that dress is amazing! That a great find ;).

  17. I love this outfit! You look amazing.

    I cannot shop with my mother. It isn't her commentary, it's her speed. Or lack thereof. The woman is sloooow as molasses and really wants to look at everything. I am a speed shopper and can be in and out stat. Polar opposites.

  18. I love your dress! You have the best thrift find.

    My mom is definitely my shopping buddy, but I've found that my husband is the most brutally honest with me about my choices. I've gotten where I snap a pic with my phone and send it to him if Mom & I are on the fence about a particular piece or outfit.

  19. This post title literally made me laugh out load. After all the crazy stuff my sister and I wear my Mom's learned to just shake her head and smile. For more formal/business style things and fit her opinion is very helpful though.

    My husband is really the brutally honest one. I've learned not to ask unless I *really* want to know! (or otherwise decide to ignore him if I love it anyway, haha)


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