Help my mom find clothes and shoes that fit her and her style.
July 15, 2017 9:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm getting married next year, and my mom is looking for nice clothes for the wedding and surrounding parties. She had a favorite place in our hometown that had clothes that fit her style - flowy, but tailored, in multiple shades - but they shut down. She's also looking for shoes that work with her feet - she has wide feet and a high arch, and the only shoes she's found that reliably fit are Birkenstocks. I was wondering if anyone here knew of retailers that would sell clothes like what she likes, or cute shoes that would work with her feet.
posted by protocoach to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
What kind of shoes does she want? I have very wide feet with high arches; almost no shoes fit me, but I carefully curate the ones that do and will be happy to recommend specifics.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:23 AM on July 15, 2017

Would something like Eileen Fisher be her style? They do flowy but tailored pretty well, and while expensive, is always good quality. If thats a close idea I can think of other similar brands.
posted by zara at 9:48 AM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

A good search term for shoes she might like is "footbed", those are the ones, like Birkenstocks, that have a molded footbed, usually cork or whatever. Off the top of my head, Naot comes in wide withs, so it might be a good place to look.

Could you expand on what she likes? "flowy but tailored" is a bit of an oxymoron, and while I'm sure there's lots of things out there that fit your mom's needs, but more information would help. How formal is this going to be? Is She plus sized? Petite? Budget? Where are you located?
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:52 AM on July 15, 2017

San Antonio Shoemakers offer some dressy shoe styles with good arch support in wide widths. The website has a store locator so that you can find a retailer near you. If she likes Eileen Fisher, she may also like Elizabeth Suzann. I have clothing from both. Nthing that they are expensive, but good quality.
posted by jazzbaby at 10:13 AM on July 15, 2017

fingersandtoes: Dress shoes with up to a 1" heel, or dressy sandals (she says "lighter than a Birkenstock").

zara: That might work! We'll sit down and look through their stuff.

FirstMateKate: yeah, I thought that was a strange description, but I was quoting. 😄 She says that, when she says tailored-but-flowy, she is thinking of a pleated skirt with a jacket that's not all tight angular lines, but that is still clearly a jacket. I'm not sure if that helps; if not, I'll try to get more info from her. A little more detail: we're looking for widths D or E in shoes. She is plus-sized. Budget is pretty wide open. Level of formality is cocktail party/can be worn to court (she's a lawyer). Located in Iowa, but would prefer to shop online.
posted by protocoach at 10:16 AM on July 15, 2017

I find Clarks Have a variety of styles in E. I also have wide feet and high arches, these are the most comfortable for me.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 10:42 AM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

If birkenstocks work for her, then the footprints brand might as well. They're licensed to use the same Birkenstock footbed. Birkenstocks also has a ton of different styles besides the sandals - have her look at the catalog online, if she hasn't yet.
posted by umwhat at 11:09 AM on July 15, 2017

"Flowy and tailored" + "Mom" = Coldwater Creek or Chico's to me, perhaps not for the wedding itself (or, on preview, certainly not court) but fine for casual ancillary activities. Both stores are generally good about having consistent colorways throughout any given year's offerings.
posted by carmicha at 11:16 AM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

What about something like this or like this?
posted by DarlingBri at 11:51 AM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Dansko has some very cute dress shoes. I agree about Chico's. Also, Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue have very good options online. Finally, the website Eloquii.
posted by momochan at 11:54 AM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have wide feet and high insteps and just bought a pair of Beautifeel Mystique pumps. They are shockingly comfortable. Shockingly expensive, too, for me, but feeling good in shoes is worth a lot.
posted by lakeroon at 12:01 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

There are lots of good recommendations for comfortable shoes on
posted by gryphonlover at 12:20 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Buykud Is an unusual designer that I really like. Most of their stuff is VERY casual, and some is pretty far out there, but there are many pieces that would work for your mom. Watch the sizes carefully, though. I like their clothes because they are simple, flowing, casual, and somewhat affordable. And they have just a little bit of unusual tailoring that keeps their pieces out of the Flax baggy and wrinkled aesthetic, although I wear those a lot, too.
posted by raisingsand at 12:44 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Eileen Fisher, J Jill, Chico's, Bryn Walker.
posted by matildaben at 1:25 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I own two pairs of dressy Walking Cradles shoes that were incredibly comfortable for several big occasions. They come in black or shimmery finishes and in wide widths. Here's another pair of Walking Cradles.

Nordstrom online is wonderful special occasion dresses. Just filter for "cocktail and party" and "wedding guest." Another from the same line.
posted by Elsie at 1:32 PM on July 15, 2017

Sorry, too late to edit my post. I missed seeing that she needs to piggyback with her professional wardrobe, so my suggestions are way too dressy. For attire, do consider local consignment shops if you have any good ones near you.
posted by Elsie at 1:50 PM on July 15, 2017

I can't speak to arch support, but Munro American is the one brand of dress shoe that fits my super wide feet. I also mostly live in Birkenstocks.

Also, when my son got married, I ordered about fifteen dresses from Nordstrom and returned all but two. They have free shipping both ways, so it was great for trying on a lot of outfits to find what I liked. They have a good variety of plus sizes.
posted by FencingGal at 6:10 PM on July 15, 2017

I'm at the other size of the fit spectrum — very small. And I've always despised shopping at the usual mid-level mall and department stores. Nothing fit. There were no color options. Everything I bought needed to be tailored, and I didn't understand for a long time what could and couldn't be attractively tailored. Then I found ebay and, frankly, it's been a love story. I've never had so much choice in my life. For not much money per pop, I've gone up a couple levels and sometimes even wear designer brands. As is usual with online shopping you can start a favorites list there, too, which I've also grown to love. A big huge choice after all my sorting that I can all see at once makes it easy to choose. So does the fact that nearly everyone includes measurements along with the size. I started with brands I already knew fit, and slowly have expanded it. Have I mentioned it's affordable too? Some stuff you can send back if it doesn't fit, or if it's misrepresented. On the increasingly rare occasions when I would if I'd bought something retail, I don't because the price is just too low to bother. And a lot of stuff is new, though mostly I don't pay any attention anymore.

Anyway, when I look up "mother of the bride plus size," I immediately found this.

It might be worth a peek, and I realize I couldn't sound more effusive, but it solved a **really** huge life-long problem for me.

Congrats on the impending merger!
posted by Violet Blue at 9:55 PM on July 15, 2017

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