Help me! I have tons of $$$ to redo Mom's wardrobe

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  1. While my mom is an extremely successful consultant, her fashion sense has always left something be desired. She's become an expert in her field since I left for college and she needs to update her wardrobe. I didn't realize how badly she needed to buy new professional clothes I started getting into fashion more myself. She spends all of her money on adventures and the associated gear. She has a $4000 custom made mountaineering coat that she bought to climb Mt. Aconcagua in the Andes! So I've convinced her that because she's been speaking at so many conferences she needs new, *nice*, dressy clothing so that she'll look as pretty as she is smart.

    So here's the deal: She's flying up Michigan where I go to school so we can go to Neiman Marcus and Nordies together. Money is no object. She's in her mid-forties and has very conservative tastes. She hates heels and skirts. She also hates handbags and has carried the same Cole Haan wallet/clutch for 10 years. I made her buy a handbag when I was in high school and she only used it 3 times. Total! Hopefully that will give you and indication of how desperate the situation is. She's letting me take control and since I'm only 21, I'm afraid my taste might be too young for her.

    The goal is for me to buy her some designer staples. She already has tons of Brooks Brothers blouses so no need for shirts. What are some things I should pick out for her? Help!
  2. The Chanel boutique in NM would be a good place to start. They have good suits, jackets and pants she could wear for years to come. Vince and Theory would be good labels to look at also; alot of the female professionals in the Los Angeles area order suits and business separates from these lines. YSL might be a bit much for her in terms of a "conservative" look, but in the recent Vogue (the one with Winona Ryder...I think) they stated Prada as a good label for older women. Marni would be good too. Actually, you may want to pick that issue up for ideas - Vogue does an "age" issue every year that is really interesting to look at. Good luck, and have fun!
  3. My mother likes conservativish clothing as well. She tends to buy items from Max Mara, St. John, Dana Buchman. They have very polished suits that your mom would like. Maybe she should look into a simple structured bag by like Tod's or something from Gucci's classic line or even Burberry.

    Vince has some really nice basic cashmere pieces that would go good with tights or jeans or skinny jeans (if you can convince her to buy a pair lol). Check out for some of the styles that are out now. I just saw them in person at Bloomingdales the other day.
  4. THEORY. The brand will be your best friend.

    And FIND A TAILOR--Expect to nip/tuck EVERY item. It's Oprah's secret, it's my secret, and honey, now it's Mommy's secret.
  5. St. John is a great choice as well as a couple of great Armani pants and jackets will go a long way, the fit is awesome. Ellen Tracy has some great clothing for your mom and Prada and Chanel would be great for handbags., you know, the stores you mentioned all have professional shopping assistants that are really good at chosing functional and great looking wardrobes, you should give them a try, Good luck. What a fun mom/daughter adventure!!!!!let us know what you find!:heart:H
  6. Without naming particular brands, I think you should focus on straight leg, lightweight wool pants. Lightweight wool is a great, breathable fabric that drapes well and doesn't need to be ironed much, so it's low maintenance for your mom. I'd pair it with a blouse or cashmere sweater, a great leather belt, silk scarf and ballet flats (bonus points if you can convince her to get pointy toe flats--they really elongate the leg). Sure, it's a basic look, but I bet she'd feel relaxed in it and that's most important; you don't want her feeling too out of place.
  7. I have a subscription so I devoured that issue weeks ago! I was thinking Prada too. She could totally use a new pair of loafers, I was thinking Prada or Gucci. She'd love Tod's too. I was also thinking about a Chanel or Armani suit. She has tons of dress shirts and with a black suit she could make so many outfits.

    I'm so happy that you all mentioned designers that aren't too famous because I think she's less into labels and more into quality. I have a Theory white button-down blouse and I am so in love with it.

    You're spot on! She will be totally comfortable in the items you mentioned. I think ballet flats will be a hard sell (pointy-toed are impossible). I know she has loafers. She loves Cole Haan but I want her to buy a pair of big name designer loafers that I know she'll wear out.

    Thank you all so much for all your help! She's not flying in until next week so I have a week to brainstorm.
  8. I second that Chanel would be a great choice. Even just a few wardrobe peices from Chanel would last a lifetime, and they're classics. Some Chanel pieces like their blazers and skirts are also very conservative and pretty, she'll probably like them, and they're very fashionable.
  9. Chanel jacket, some pieces from Max Mara and Theory, and some shoes from Tod's ... the ladies above pretty much said it all!
  10. Look into Chanel, and St. John.
  11. My mom hates skirts as well, but she loves St. John jackets. I would also suggest Armani pantsuits.
  12. Armani (there is a boutique in NM and at Saks) and St. John (there is a store in Somerset). Look for pant suits.

    Prada doesn't really do pant suits. They have some this season but they are adventurous with fabric, so it's not actually that conservative.

    Maybe Gucci ... Gucci makes fab black suits (if your mom likes black). I especially love their pants. (And, yes, not every Gucci piece is super sexy, some of their pieces are actually conservative.)

    Anne Fontaine for shirts.

    Ralph Lauren is also quite conservative. I love their blazers.

    Also try Max Mara, very classic.

    All these stores are at Somerset South.
  13. Let her keep her conservative style and don't push skirts on her if she doesn't want to wear them. If the clothes and such you pick out aren't "her" she won't be inclined to wear them.

    Rather, upgrade stuff for her. A nice suit you can get tailored to fit her perfectly, a few nice pairs of shoes, belts, a bag that's both classy but comfortable [ie. a designer messenger bag]
  14. Armani makes very nice classic pants suits. And get it tailored to fit if needbe. How about some silk button downed shirts? Rather then just cotton.

    Maybe some dress shirts shirts from Thomas Pink with French cuffs or for the flair of their color schemes.

    For shoes I think a pair of low heeled classic black Choos or Manolos would be great and really aren't that uncomfortable. I think heels with pants suits really dress them up. Also, I don't think ballet flats would be a good look given her age/profession for business wear - casual wear is a different matter.

    How about other accessories, like a fun Chanel necklace or a Hermes scarf. That would add some 'luxe' and color to her existing wardrobe. Big pearl studs, things like that.

    A classic Chanel tote or bag would be a great investment.