Am I overreacting about what Mom wears?

Asked by

We live in Florida and Mom likes capri length pants. This is fine most of the year. But in the colder months here - and it does get cold - she likes to wear capris with ankle boots. Or with loafers and socks.

I'm not a fashionable person at all and I'm all for comfort. I'd rather Mom wore a sweatsuit or sweat pants. And she says she doesn't really care how she looks anymore, now that dad has passed away.

But I really dislike the capri pant with boots look. And I know it's terrible but when we go out and she wears them, I'm mostly worried about what others will think - that they'll think I'm not taking care of her by letting her wear a crazy get-up. I even think this when we visit family.

I hate having to find out what she's planning to wear before we go out - or worse, trying to get her to change once she's in the capris. Should I just let her be?

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
My mother can put on the most dreadful things, too. She has swollen legs and often puts on socks that look like tourniquets with her skirts. When she sits down, it is not a pretty sight. I usually don't say much to her, because if I do, she'll stop wanting to go out. I doubt that people pay much attention. I've never received any bad looks or comments. I have asked her to change before when she wore things that didn't match -- like plaids with checks or orange with purple. My mother has never had good fashion sense.
JessieBelle-----OMG!!!! Your mother sounds like my mother. I HATE her clothes!!!!! She wears weird colors together like peach & pink. Her standard uniform is usually a t-shirt & sweatpants. She had a pair of sneaker from the 90s, and, even though I kept buying her new sneakers, she kept wearing the old ones. I also like to preview her clothes before we leave & try to talk her out of some hideous ensemble, but I usually never win. The best solution I've come up with is to buy the special occasion clothes, keeping in mind the types of clothes she likes to wear----longer skirts, pant suits, cardigan sweaters & tops that do not need to be tucked in. As for what she wears around the house or when we go to the store, I just let her do her thing. I admit that sometimes certain items of clothing have just disappeared (wink wink). Maybe buy clothes & try to insist that the items be worn together as a set. For the most part, I think it's harmless, but keep making wardrobe suggestions. It may work one day. Good luck!
Top Answer
I've actually seen dad putzing around the house in a button up, long sleeved flannel shirt tucked into his grey sweatpants, with white socks and black shoes. When I lived in Miami, I saw crazy homeless guys with more "together" ensembles. However, if he's comfortable and not complaining, I don't really care what he wears. I look at it this way: He's got dementia, congestive heart failure, cancer, failing kidneys and liver. He regularly has a temper tantrum because we won't call long-dead relatives for him, and may soil himself at any moment. If all I have to worry about on a given day is how dorky he looks...must be a good damn day.
When my husbands grandmother had dementia, she got where she didn't see spots on her clothing. It drove my mil nuts and she would make her change before they went to church. She bitterly complained all the time because her mother's clothing was not as clean as it used to be or her house was not as clean, such as build up in the sinks, etc. I think you have to pick your battles wisely especially when dealing with dementia. My mil could not handle it when her mother would tell her that her deceased husband (mil's father) had been at her house that day or other deceased family members. I started laughing one evening when the in-laws were visiting, my mil said "It's not funny!!" I told her I know it's not funny, but you have to laugh about some of this stuff or you will go nuts trying to reason with her.

My son picked up my mom for Thanksgiving dinner. She arrived in pink sweat pants and tennis shoes and sweatshirt. My - was she a sight!!!
Hi cm: I don't know. Why not just let her do what she wants. She's not embarrassed by it so who cares. Maybe it's more important that she just gets to feel like she can still control some small things in her life. It's not your fault and maybe telling her she looks nice is better than being honest. You are a good daughter. Try to make peace with who she is now. Hugs.
cmc, they have the cutest rubber boots these days, so get her some. If she's going to dress like that, she might as well be stylin' at the same time.
NancyH - she might like rubber boots, actually. I hadn't thought of that. Good idea!
As a follow-up, we did go buy 3 pair of long pants about a week ago. Today, she came out in the capri jeans and I asked if she wanted to wear her new long jeans. "We bought new jeans?" she asked. So that can explain, it, too. I'm still learning to cope with the forgetfulness from her stroke.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support