Supportive, sweet, and totally stylish! The ideal mother of the bride needs to make a “bella figura” and this includes choosing the right gown, too.
Her outfit is typically meant to be classy, coordinated with the colour theme of the wedding, and, of course, not outshine the bride. That’s why finding the perfect dress to wear on that special day might be challenging.
Thankfully, style has evolved, and today’s mothers of brides shouldn’t feel restricted to traditional attire. While some of them still will go all out with a classic dress, a matching jacket to cover up, and a hat, others may prefer a trouser suit with a blazer for a little more coverage. Also, long dresses, bare shoulders, and even jumpsuits are all perfectly acceptable.
Unsure of where to start in your search? As the wedding season approaches, let CrunchyTales be your guide.
Mother Of The Bride’s Dress Options
The choices are endless, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and confident. The secret to being elegant and not frumpy is to sometimes stray from traditional boutiques and dressmakers. These days, high street shops and department stores are great places to go to for modern style (and sometimes they are also a lot cheaper).
From John Lewis and Karen Millen to Nordstrom, Macy’s, Saks 5th Avenue and many other retailers, there are plenty of options you can count on.
They sell formal gowns and cocktail dresses that are versatile for any type of wedding, all in a range of prices (with some looks coming in at under $100). While you can probably find something in the mother-of-the-bride category, there are also thousands of other ensembles available on the site to consider.
The secret is not just asking to see the mother of the bride’s dress options. Try a different tactic asking for formal or black tie gowns instead. In this way, you may get a whole other array of dresses shown to you that are cool and far away from the typical matronly or conservative look.
Mother-of-the-bride dresses can be found in a variety of styles. There are numerous pretty floral dresses that will make you feel like a million dollars, but not go overboard. You will most likely need to make a few trips around to find the perfect one, that’s why it’s important to start looking for your gown no later than three months before the wedding in case you might need to make special orders or alterations.
Keep in mind that your budget is important. Opt for dresses for sale or check out online retailers because they are often more affordable (but first make sure to read the reviews).
If you want to take away only one tip, let it be this: follow the bride’s cues about style, colour, and degree of formality. She and the groom set the tone for the event, whether that means a casual country wedding or a formal black-tie affair.
Mother Of The Bride’s Dress: Do’s and Dont’s
The bride will be the centre of attention on her wedding day, but you will have your fair share of eyes on you, too. The mother of the bride is considered a host of the wedding, and that means you’ll likely have to walk down the aisle at the start of the ceremony and say a few words at some point during the reception.
If you’re going to have a prominent role in the wedding ceremony, you’d better look the part!
As a rule of thumb, the first step to take into consideration when looking for the right outfit is the area of your figure you want to highlight (for example, your shoulders or legs) and look for a gown that makes these assets look their best (for example, an off-the-shoulder neckline or a knee-length number that shows off your calves).
Also, when choosing your outfit is important to take into account the time of day, season, location and tone of the event, this will help narrow down your options.
For instance, if the event is formal, then the mother of the bride should dress accordingly in a more sophisticated gown. On the other hand, if the wedding is more relaxed, the mother of the bride can opt for a dress that is more comfortable and casual.
“Your chosen colour scheme can serve as a helpful point of reference“, explains fashion editors at Vogue. “Also, mother-of-the-bride dresses are a perfect place to bring in whimsical prints and textures such as florals and lace. And don’t be afraid to embrace statement silhouettes like pleated skirts or tiered ruffles“.
Most commonly the mother of the bride will wear a mid-length dress, usually a full length of ¾ length design, although capped sleeves are also an option.
Some mums may prefer to layer a blazer over their shoulders if the wedding is in a religious setting, or for a spring or winter wedding when the temperature can drop, as well as a hat or fascinator. But it all depends on the bride, and what the mother of the bride is comfortable wearing.
When in doubt, “a fitted bodice and gently flared skirt work universally on most women,” New York City stylist Jacqui Stafford says. “They create the illusion of an hourglass figure.”
Just say no to boleros, while functional when temps fluctuate, they cut you off mid-chest and are often unflattering. Same thing for shawls, which can look fussy and be distracting. If your arms aren’t your best feature, try embroidered or lace cardigans, or above-the-knee evening coats for coverage.
If your outfit is fitted, a piece of shapewear can also help “nip and tuck”. Spanx and Maidenform carry below-the-bust bodysuits are the way forward.
What colour should the mother of the bride wear?
There is no such thing as a specific colour that a mother of the bride should wear. Choosing hues other than white, ivory, or champagne is generally the best way to avoid distracting the bride. So, with that in mind blush pink, taupe, silver, navy, jade and lavender are favourable. Avoid Easter egg pastels or washed-out shades of beige.
If you are a bit on the daring side, you might feel inspired by two stylish mothers like Kris Jenner who – for daughter Kourtney Kardashian’s wedding – opted for a blush-hued gown featuring dramatic bell sleeves, sequins and feathers and Victoria Beckham who picked out an incredible dress for her son Brooklyn Beckham’s wedding to Nicole Peltz choosing a slinky silver slip dress.
Whatever outfit you will fall in love with, don’t forget to consider cultural or religious customs. Remember, you can never go wrong if these three words come to mind: elegant, understated, and appropriate.