DEAR MISS MANNERS: My mother-in-law is very concerned that my love of bright colors and patterns conveys "lower class" standards to her uppity family.
Her snobbery and striving led to our falling out when I disagreed with her dictating what her extended family would wear on a vacation that she did not pay for. She tried to insist that the entire family would wear neutrals and classic lines, which she already has plenty of.
My grandma taught me to dress as I want, so I wore comfortable original and designer clothing by my favorite makers. My MIL tried to exclude me from any family photos because I didn't meet her dress code.
I contend that I cannot smile in beige or ecru, and I cannot stand people who are rich enough to be snobby but not rich enough to be kind. She thinks I should accept her "training," or down-dressing, and step in line.
GENTLE READER: There are no class rules, Miss Manners assures you, about clothing colors -- as long as you are not dressing in bright colors at a funeral. Although if your MIL's browbeating continues, you might one day be tempted.