modest, pretty, plus-size, and with pants
February 1, 2017 12:02 PM   Subscribe

My mom needs to get a mother of the bride outfit for my wedding, and finding something that will work for her has proven harder than I thought.

She's plus-size, I think in the 20W range. She doesn't want excessive sequins, and she has a horror of plunging necklines. She's pretty conservative! This already rules out a lot of the MOB outfits I'm finding. To complicate matters, she is really set on wearing something with pants, which seems to eliminate a lot of choices. Is there somewhere I should be looking that I haven't looked? Macy's was a bust, David's Bridal had one ore two options, but ideally I'd like to present her with more. For a variety of reasons, assume that she can't really look for an outfit herself, and she can't get out to stores to try stuff on.
posted by cakelite to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
maybe nordstrom?
i only found boring black evening palazzo pants but lots of nice tops to go with...
Stein Mart is another good source for event clothing...
posted by calgirl at 12:09 PM on February 1, 2017

Dillards has quite a few formal pantsuits of varying fanciness and sparkliness. I quite like this one for a day or early evening wedding.

This pant suit from Catherine's isn't super-sequined and I think the color is very MOB.
posted by muddgirl at 12:12 PM on February 1, 2017 [8 favorites]

I didn't follow a lot of the wedding standards, so I don't know exactly what makes something an "MOB" outfit. But my mom wanted pants, and she just got a nice pantsuit and wore a fancy top and scarf underneath. Is something like that out of the question?
posted by thejanna at 12:19 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

My mom solved a similar conundrum with something that I would describe as a floaty chiffon tunic. I'm trying to GIS for you and haven't found the right thing yet but if you haven't tried that tack yet, I'd suggest it.
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:20 PM on February 1, 2017

Perhaps an ethic shop for a flowing structured top and a pair of loose pants? Something Indian or Middle Eastern or African. Other cultures do curvy fashions better.
Add the right shoes, hairstyle and jewelry and she can be fashionable but not overwhelming.
posted by TrishaU at 12:24 PM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

Alex Evenings at Nordstrom has several jackets that might work with some chiffon pants. Also check out Watters for lots of jackets and tops that might work with really any pants.
posted by notjustthefish at 12:25 PM on February 1, 2017

I'm not finding exactly what I came for but I did find this Alex Evenings (jinx notjustthefish) top at Macy's. Macy's online actually has a lot, lot lot more than the stores do, and the search interface is good, so if you were limiting yourself to the store, try online? What about this or this with something underneath for modesty?
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:31 PM on February 1, 2017

You might have luck searching using the term "separates" or "evening separates."
posted by ocherdraco at 12:32 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you're looking specifically for 'mother of the bride outfits,' you're gonna wind up limiting yourself a lot. Have you tried looking for eveningwear more generally?
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:35 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am plus size, and I have a business trip coming up that means I have to dress more formally/conservatively than I do in real life, so I have ordered from about 10 online shops this week so I have plenty of options to choose from. Obviously my businesswear is quite different than what your mom is looking for, but I have a few suggestions for stores that make returns very easy (with free return shipping), as your mother may wish to order from several places to ensure she has the right size/style for her.

If either of you has Amazon Prime, this is the easiest way to try on a variety of options and get a good sense about what works and what doesn't. I found quite a few outfit options when searching "mother of bride plus size pants" just now. Just make sure there are free returns (almost all Prime clothing does.) Since Amazon is so enormous, they generally offer most brands Nordstrom or Macy's have with much less hassle about shipping and returns, even considering how amazing Nordstrom customer service is.

Relatedly, Zappos has more limited options for dressier plus size separates but they are another quick shipping, easy return option.

SimplyBe (links to pants) has a ton of options. It can be overwhelming since they don't have a specific section for pants & tops occasionwear. However, if Nordstrom is too expensive you can be pretty sure that SimplyBe will have something similar for much less so it might be worth it to search for it there if your mom knows what she wants. They offer free returns, but they are coming from somewhere in the UK so it's a bit slower shipping.

Not so much for the pants (though they have a few), but Kiyonna is a go-to for well-constructed occasionwear. Some of their tops would be appropriate for a MOB (such as the lace), and many have more modest necklines. They do not offer free return shipping but they are very easy to work with and will offer you an incentive to choose store credit if returning items.

For more ideas, Authentically Emmie is a go-to for plus-size fashion. Her clothing directory offers many more ideas — I agree with others that a department store might be your best bet, and she has some listed not yet mentioned here (Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor).
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 1:27 PM on February 1, 2017 [4 favorites]

Chico's might be good for more conservative and less pageanty.
posted by nakedmolerats at 1:52 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

A silky or lace camisole could solve the plunging neckline problem, if she finds something that is otherwise suitable.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:35 PM on February 1, 2017

Maybe something like a s(h)alwar k/qameez or a kurta would fit the bill? Unfortunately I don't know which websites to recommend for online shopping, but if there's a South Asian community near you there will probably be a clothing/fabric shop you can explore.

(More images of shalwar kameez and kurtas)
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 4:01 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

My plus size mom found her non-sequiny MOB outfit at Dress Barn, as separates.
posted by paradeofblimps at 5:11 PM on February 1, 2017

When I was looking for my plus-size dress for my son's wedding, I ordered about fifteen dresses from Nordstrom to try on, including multiple sizes in some styles, and sent back all but one. It was extremely easy. There is no charge for returns, and the boxes they provide are super easy to use for returns. You just have to slap the label they provide on the front. I'm not sure what Amazon Prime could do that would be simpler, but maybe "the thorn bushes" knows something I don't. I have Amazon Prime, but I've never returned anything from them.
posted by FencingGal at 11:01 AM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just got this catalog in the mail and they have nice things in plus size. How about this? [Edit - the paper catalog has a lot more pretty things in this style, so might be worth ordering one.]
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:07 PM on February 5, 2017

« Older Your Experience with Nexplanon?   |   Here they come to cheer the rooster... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.