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Help! Skirts for my mil (aged 93) - where on earth do I shop?

(20 Posts)
firesidechat Tue 29-Dec-15 11:27:15

My husband's sister has asked him to get their mother some skirts for Christmas. She knows this is mission impossible and I hate her right now (not really, she is lovely).

My mil is 93 years old and in a care home which she never leaves. Clothes need to be easy care and reasonably inexpensive because I think they go in the same hot wash as everyone else's stuff. She likes A line skirts and seems to have a passion for brown, although other drab colours may be acceptable. She is a somewhat difficult character and I don't think we have a hope in hell of getting her something she likes, but we will try our best.

Any ideas?

Keeptrudging Tue 29-Dec-15 11:28:06


mysteryfairy Tue 29-Dec-15 11:29:26

I buy my MIL in similar circs stuff from M&S or Bon Marche.

Lolimax Tue 29-Dec-15 11:29:30

Try Edinburgh Woollen Mill or Bon Marche. Both do a wide range of 'older ladies' clothing.

NorbertDentressangle Tue 29-Dec-15 11:29:53

BHS? Or Bon Marche?

(no experience TBH but they look like the sort of shop where you might find something)

thelaundryfairy Tue 29-Dec-15 11:30:16

This might sound ridiculous, but check out the Zara sale. I went yesterday and saw many skirts like you´ve described, all reduced to 10, 8 or even 6 pounds.

Good luck!

8dayweek Tue 29-Dec-15 11:32:02

M&S? M&Co? Bon Marche? Or possibly a local department-style store? Or even a local market?

lurkingabit Tue 29-Dec-15 11:38:25

M&S. They do a lot of easy-care, elasticated-waist stuff, trousers and skirts. Ideal for washing and ease of dressing.

firesidechat Tue 29-Dec-15 11:46:53

Bon Marche is a good idea. We don't have one is our city so I will have to hunt for the nearest branch. We do have an Edinburgh woollen mills though and will try that first. Our BHS went a couple of years ago. Where we live doesn't cater for older women at all.

Thanks for the ideas.

MeolsCop Tue 29-Dec-15 11:48:44

I'd second Damart and Bon Marche. I have to cater for almost exactly the same needs and yes, something stretchy, not overly tight and with gored panels is what you're after.

No idea how you feel about charity shops but I've bought several ideal (and in some cases brand new, tags still attached) skirts from local shops. Always worth a look.

chantico Tue 29-Dec-15 11:55:49

You really don't need to try to think of places which cater to 'older' women, because I assume the only reason her age is relevant is because she is in a home with communal laundry, so something durable is needed.

John Lewis have a number of A line skirts in brown and grey (a possibly acceptable other drab colour) including heavily discounted Viyella ones, like this one in a colour described as 'mushroom'

WalterandWinifred Tue 29-Dec-15 12:45:43

Have a look at Both my Grannies have had their skirts.

firesidechat Tue 29-Dec-15 14:25:12

This is the type of skirt she wears, if it helps:

Slightly more A line would be fine too, although having done hours of goggling, I now realise that A line means almost anything. About knee length is good.

She is a size 12 and quite petite.

Walter I liked that site, but they are too nice in a way. Care homes are not great at looking after expensive clothes. Mil also has a history of giving away things she doesn't like or even just because she feels like it, which I can stomach more if we haven't spent loads of money.

CMOTDibbler Tue 29-Dec-15 14:34:51

Ambrose Wilson do a lot of easy care stuff, and are targeted at the more mature lady. They do a paper catalogue so you could let her choose

bojorojo Tue 29-Dec-15 14:40:33

My Mum is 91 and for her 90th birthday we went on a cruise - cue new clothes. M and S Classic range was just perfect. Some elasticity in the waist is a good idea and a choice of lengths can be helpful.

firesidechat Tue 29-Dec-15 17:29:23

Thank you for all the helpful advice. We went in to M and S this afternoon and managed to find a couple of skirts. Hope the mil approves.

Floisme Tue 29-Dec-15 18:42:13

My mum wasn't in a care home so there weren't as many washing issues but she struggled with buttons, zips and fasteners so for the last few years of her life, everything was pull on or off in comfortable fabrics e.g. soft cotton, modal or viscose. Her standard outfit was pull on trousers, T shirt with a cardigan (unbuttoned and she liked boyfriend style) plus slip on shoes. For colour and a bit of individuality, she liked scarves. She gave up on skirts as tights were too much of a faff but I'm sure she would have said eleasticated waist, straight up and down, unfussy.

M&S were always reliable (including lounge wear and active wear) but also Next,, White Company (she liked the feel of the fabrics), White Stuff and Uniqlo. When she could no longer get to the shops she enjoyed looking at catalogues until her eyesight went.

I have to say the comment about things being 'too nice' made me feel a bit sad although I do understand the reasons for saying it. My mum was never difficult but she had always enjoyed clothes and she felt the loss of stylish options very keenly.

firesidechat Tue 29-Dec-15 19:02:06

Unfortunately she has had severe mental health problems for decades and I wasn't kidding about giving stuff away. She would spend a fortune on expensive things and distribute them without a thought. Unfortunately she doesn't have the funds for that these days and the drugs dampen her desire for nice things. It is sad, but we have to be practical.

Also expensive clothes seem to be dry clean only.

Floisme Tue 29-Dec-15 20:36:27

Sorry to hear that, it must be very hard and I hope I didn't sound judgemental - apologies if I did.

The Mark & Spencer loungewear department was a real find for us: soft fabrics, comfortable, no zips or fasteners, machine washable and suprisingly durable. Less useful if she only likes skirts though.

firesidechat Tue 29-Dec-15 22:51:48

Just felt the need to explain and you didn't sound judgemental.

I don't think she would be seen dead in trousers or at least I've never seen her in them.

Anyway I appreciate all the help.

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