We Asked 6 Moms in Their 50s, 60s, and 70s What They Actually Want for Mother’s Day

And no, it’s not jewelry or a fruit arrangement.

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We Asked 6 Moms in Their 50s, 60s, and 70s What They Actually Want for Mother’s Day


My mom and I have both reached a point in time where gifting can be tricky. Computers have our credit card information saved and our phones have Apple pay, meaning there isn’t too much we want that we haven’t already bought ourselves. Routinely, I put off buying new running shoes so my mom can grab those for my birthday, while she drops hints about the bag we bought her a few years ago needing a new strap. But on Mother’s Day, I’m often left with no idea where to start — so rather than guessing, I just asked.

To get an idea of what moms actually want for Mother’s Day, six InStyle beauty and fashion editors went straight to the source. And rather than asking for short-lived flowers, fruit arrangements, or jewelry (the usual Mother’s Day go-tos), our moms — who range in age from 53 to 70 — went the more practical route, sharing the everyday style and home essentials they’ve been eyeing. While you don’t have to skip a bouquet, you might consider grabbing one of these mom-approved gifts as well.

Adidas Puremotion Adapt Sneaker

adidas Women's Puremotion Adapt Sneaker


All my mom wants for Mother’s Day (or any holiday, really) is a pair of comfy sneakers. She stands on her feet all day at work, so she’s constantly asking me for a pair of shoes that are supportive. On top of that, my mom loves being stylish, so it can’t just be any plain ol’ pair of shoes. That’s why I’m getting her these Adidas kicks, which are equally fashionable and comfy. Made with the brand’s cushy Cloudfoam midsoles, they have more than 12,800 five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers who say they’re “extremely comfortable and very well made.” “I originally got these to work out in but I ended up wearing them every day,” one customer wrote. “They are comfortable and breathable and NEVER have slipped off my feet.”

Even better? They’re on sale right now for as low as $39 at Amazon depending on your size and color preference.

— Christina Butan, Senior Commerce Editor

Shop now: $39–$56 (Originally $70); amazon.com

Vera Bradley Cotton Large Travel Backpack 



My mom has been obsessed with Vera Bradley since I can remember. Before my first year of college, she gifted me a tote and wallet from its collegiate collection as a going-away present. She knew I would stuff them to the max and that they would hold up for the whole four years, and surely enough, they did. But unfortunately, I can't say the same for her frequently worn Vera Bradley travel tote. The strap recently snapped, and though she has had it for years, she was hoping to take it on her upcoming trip. 

I decided with Mother's Day around the corner, I would treat her to the Cotton XL Backpack instead. It comes in 17 colors and prints including darling paisley designs and floral options, has tons of storage space for all the important essentials, and extra easy-to-reach pockets, plus a trolley sleeve to easily slip onto luggage. She's so excited that she wants me to give it to her ahead of the holiday, but I'm standing my ground. The best part is that the backpack is on sale in certain colors, so I am also planning to surprise my grandmother with a matching one. Plus, Vera Bradley has plenty of bag options any mom is sure to love, which you can peruse at Amazon, here.

Jailynn Taylor, Commerce Writer

Shop now: from $94 (Originally $145); amazon.com

Spanx The Perfect Pants, Wide-Leg

The Perfect Pant, Wide Leg


When I first tried the Spanx Perfect Wide-Leg Pants, I knew I had to give my mom a pair, too. They’re comfortable, easy to wear, and timeless, all the things she (and I) love in a really good pair of pants. To no surprise, my mom fell head over heels the minute she put them on and has been asking for a second pair since, because, well, this style is all that she wears. Long hours at work? These pants have her back. Dinner out with friends? You’ll find her in these pants. Lounging around at home? She’ll wear them for that, too.

The funny thing is, she’s managed to mention these Spanx pants are her all-time favorite during every FaceTime call we’ve had (and we have a lot), so what kind of daughter would I be if I didn’t gift her another pair? 

— Eva Thomas, Senior Commerce Writer

Shop now: $168; spanx.com

Kate Spade New York Apple Watch Strap

Kate Spade New York Interchangeable Silicone Band


A few years ago we got my mom an Apple Watch during the holidays — per her request — and it’s since become a part-time replacement for her phone (so much so she’s been known to leave the house sans-cell). It’s a work and real-world essential, allowing her to peek at texts without pulling out her phone, set important alarms, and track her day-to-day movement. So, I’m not surprised that she asked for a new Apple watch band this Mother’s Day.

She sent me a few options from Kate Spade, including this floral pick, which features pink and green flowers on a black silicone band, as well as a stainless steel buckle. Depending on your mom’s preferences, the brand has a number of other options, including one with scalloped edges, classic polka dots, and more summery blooms. We both love how a new strap (or two) can make her wardrobe staple a bit more versatile.

Kaelin Dodge, Commerce Writer

Shop now: $68; amazon.com

Chaco Classic Sport Sandals

Chaco Women's ZX3 Classic Sport Sandal


In addition to the Apple watch band, my mom also shared that she could always use a pair of comfy new sandals since she stands all day at work. For years she’s loved her Chacos sandals and right now its Classic Sport Sandals are up to 52 percent off at Amazon, making it the perfect time to snag her a new pair. The athletic sandals offer support under and around the foot and are available in 11 colorways. More than 4,700 shoppers agree with my mom that these are a must-have, with the supreme comfort making them the “go-to walking sandals” for many customers.

Shop now: $48–$52 (Originally $100); amazon.com

Sweet Water Decor Spa Day Candle

Sweet Water Decor Spa Day Candle


My almost 71-year-old mom — an attorney with an insatiable desire to work — is in desperate need of a vacation. I’ve yet to convince her, but I’m hoping she’ll pause to light this soy wax candle, aptly named Spa Day, while she’s burning the midnight oil. With notes of sea salt, jasmine, cream, and wood, the handmade candle is sure to bring some semblance of well-deserved pause to her hectic days. It has a 60-plus hour burn time, according to the brand, and comes in other scents like Relaxation, Calm + Comfort, and Stress Relief, which are all sure to bring calming vibes. Plus, the minimalistic design of the stoneware vessel will add aesthetic appeal to her workspace.

– Sophie Wirt, Commerce Writer

Shop now: $28; amazon.com

Venus Et Fleur Le Clair Quinze 

Le Clair Quinze Eternity Roses


My mom is all about the finer things in life — think sun-drenched vacations, bright manicures, dozens of stilettos, and a closet full of the most splendid clothes. So when I thought about what to gift the woman who has it all, I landed on a present that I already knew she loved, and was equal parts luxe as it is beautiful — just like her. 

Venus Et Fleur’s Le Clair Quinze acrylic box of eternity flowers features 15 stunning preserved roses that last up to a year. Best of all, the sleek case features a hidden drawer, so my mom can store her most prized possession under a bed of florals. But what I love most is that there are 28 colored roses to choose from, including classic red, pearly white, and  pretty lavender, making it easy to select the color that best suits your mom’s preferences. If this isn’t a jaw-dropping Mother’s Day gift, I don’t know what is.

– Ruby McAuliffe, Associate Commerce Editor, Fashion

Shop now: $419; venusetfleur.com and nordstrom.com

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