The wedding of your son or daughter will be one of the most memorable events in your lifetime so naturally you want to look amazing. So before I even go into detail on what best to wear, I want to emphasize one important thing.
It is ok (perhaps even mandatory) to splurge on your outfit!
Don’t economise on your clothes for such an important event as this one, even when you think that you will wear the outfit only once. Of course, you may want to try and get an outfit that you can wear for other occassions as well, but if those outfits don’t make you feel as special as you like, then just accept that you will need a good budget.
Ok, so now that I have this important point out of the way, let’s take a look at what you should wear.
What requirements does a mother of the bride / groom outfit have?
Although dressing rules at weddings vary by country, in general a mother of the bride dress should:
- Not be the same colour as the wedding dress. So check with the bride! Also find out which colour the bride maids are wearing. You do not want to be mistaken for one!
- Preferably not be all black as that may suggest mourning. Although this is not a strict rule, I would personally prefer you to choose another colour since most women over 40 look much better in more colourful outfits. An alternative is to mix black with another colour, as in the black / pink outfit below, which is very chic. I also like the other black and grey combination I feature, because of the great drape of the dress and the chic combination with the jacket.
- Avoid flashy shades like bright red, pink or yellow as the dress may stand out too much. If you like to wear colour, go for something more subtle like the multicoloured dress I featured with the very stylish long purple coat. This combination is especially great for summer weddings.
- Not be overly sexy. Avoid too much cleavage and let the bride be the sexiest girl in the room.
- Offer solutions for multiple locations. If the wedding includes a church service for example, make sure that you have an accompanying jacket with your dress. Most of the combinations if feature here come with great jackets. One of my favorite jacket and dress combination is the pale green combination at the top. This dress has a flattering drape and a superbly chic accompanying coat.
- Not be too fashionable. Remember, you will look at these photos in years to come. Opt for something current and more timeless with clean lines. The top right grey silver dress will always be in style and flattering for many body types. Superbly chic and elegant! The navy blue ensemble is a perfect example of a timeless dress as well.
- Be made of a good quality fabric. Make sure it does not wrinkle too much and is appropriately warm or cold for the climate in which the wedding takes place. The spotted pattern dress in layered chiffon with moss grey jacket is made of 100% silk, which will be perfect for any climate and not wrinkle.
- Talk to the bride and ask her about her preferences. If she is casual about your dress, then you can just select whatever you please. But if she is sensitive about certain colours or gives you some guidelines, you may want to stick to that. She may even want to coordinate the colour of your dress with those of the bride maids (let’s hope not!)
- Even though you may want to take the bride’s and groom’s wishes into account, make sure you select something that YOU love too.
- Don’t leave shopping for your special dress to chance. Plan well in advance, so you will not get too stressed and can help either your son or daughter with the wedding preparations.
- Stick to your style personality as much as you can. If you normally like clean, plain clothing, don’t go over the top with sequins and diamonds. On the other hand if you like to be hip and enjoy pattern you could consider the featured modern black and white outfit.
- Although it’s perfectly fine to wear pants at the wedding, nothing says party like as a dress. However, if a dress is totally out of your comfort zone, then choose a great pants and blazer combination in a luxurious fabric.
Here are some ideas for your outfits
Please note that fashion items sell out quickly so these may no longer be available in stores. They can still serve as inspiration though.
- Badgley Mischka embellished blue dress
- Loren Hope crystal drop earrings
- Glint navy blue clutch
- Menbur blue satin pumps
- Halston Heritage gown
- Erika Cavallini flower brooch
- Suzanna Dai drop earrings
- Sole Society gold clutch
- Via Spiga gold heels
- Badgley Mischka lace and crepe dress
- Vanessa Mooney drop earrings
- Glint jeweled clutch
- Sam Edelman red pumps
- Adrianna Papell lace colorblock dress
- Tahari envelope collar midi dress
- Emma Street illusion banded gown
- Alex Evenings chiffon dress
- R&M Richards sequin trim gown
Long and elegant
- Adrianna Papell sequin lace gown
- Eliza J lace and taffeta dress
- Decode beaded gown
- Adrianna Papell beaded gown
- La Femme champagne gown
Short and Sweet
- Adrianna Papell lace dress
- Alex Evenings off the shoulder dress
- Tadashi Shoji sequin lace dress
- Adrianna Papell embellished wrap dress
- Komarov charmeuse and chiffon a-line dress and jacket
Getting away with black
- JS Collections lace-paneled gown
- Alex Evenings velvet dress
- Tahari embellished shift dress
- Decode taffeta gown
- Tadashi Shoji embroidered lace gown
The dress suit option
- Kasper Metallic Jacquard Printed Open-Front Jacket & Sheath Dress
- John Meyer Black Jacquard 2 Piece Coat Dress
- Tahari ASL Faux Leather Trimmed Cropped Bolero 2-Piece Dress Suit
- Tahari ASL Organza-Collar 2-Piece Jacket Dress
- Albert Nipon 2-Piece Jacket Dress Suit
If you’re in England, you can also visit the Riva online store. They stock a wide variety of casual wear as well!
What do you think is the perfect mother of the bride outfit?
P.S. For more ideas on on how to dress when you are the mother of the bride please see our article on the best mother of the bride dresses. Below is a selection you can purchase right now.