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12 Fashionable and flattering dress styles for the mother-of-the-bride

Shopping for your daughter’s wedding is very exciting. In fact, your daughter’s wedding is an occasion that gives you the opportunity to relive the excitement of shopping for your own wedding dress. This occasion is in fact more fun, since there are fewer rules, but more options. Although you may no longer be 20 years old, you are still fabulous and deserve to look your best on your daughter’s special day.

Nevertheless, there are certain factors to keep in mind when you buy your MOB dress. Let us look at what they are.

  • Every wedding has a color scheme and style. Be considerate and find a dress that works with the colors and the formality of the wedding your daughter has planned.
  • Look glamorous, but don’t upstage the bride with your dress choice. Make sure that your look won’t compete with that of the bride.
  • Although the above rule holds, this doesn’t mean you should dress down for your daughter’s wedding. Dress smart by making a choice that flatters your body type and makes you feel beautiful.
  • Make sure your dress works well with the wedding setting. It should be suitable for the weather at the time of the wedding, convenient to move around in and appropriate if there is a religious or cultural dress code for the event.

For more essential shopping tips for the mother-of-the-bride, we suggest you take a look at this post on the Knot website. 

Now, let’s move to the interesting part—Fashionable dress styles to choose from for your daughter’s wedding.

Every season shines the spotlight on new and evolving trends. Shopping isn’t the same when we cross 50, as our body starts to display signs of ageing. Nonetheless, there are plenty of stunning choices for women your age. All you have to do is keep an open mind. You are bound to find one that ticks all the boxes. Dresses for mature women are just as interesting as those for young ladies. The secret is to find a style that flatters your body type and is fashionable too.

So, first identify your body type. This will help you recognize dress styles that are sure to flatter you. This detailed guide on the 40 Plus Style website provides all the information you need. Check it out!

Then take a look at our list of fashionable and flattering dress styles available for mothers of brides. You are sure to find a hot and happening style that perfectly matches your vision here.

Dresses with sleeves

 

Most of us are reluctant to show off our upper arms, as these often show the signs of ageing. If this problem affects you, we suggest that you choose a gown with half or 3/4th length sleeves that covers up this area. You can further shift focus to another area of your body with a suitable design. We suggest a dress with a dramatic neckline or skirt to show off assets you are proud of. Remember that dresses with sleeves need another wow factor, to look beautiful. So, make sure your dress isn’t drab by choosing one with a statement style element that compensates for the long sleeves.

Fit and flare silhouette

This is a universally flattering silhouette, as the fit and flare suits almost every body type. While simple, it has an elegant finish and can be adapted to any dress length. The silhouette basically shows off the natural waistline, and has a skirt which flows away from the body. This makes it ideal for camouflaging thin or thick hips. Find a fit and flare dress of the length that enhances your body structure. Consider adding an accessory like a belt or sash, if you want to draw attention to your waistline. Choose short dresses if the wedding has an informal tone. Long fit and flare gowns are stunning, and the perfect choice for black tie weddings.

Separates

 

This versatile dress style is comfortable and perfectly suited for events in the summer. There is an undeniable sophistication and maturity to this dress style. Hence it suits older women. Mix and match pieces, or go for a set that flatters you with its colors and details. It is a good idea to choose separates with textures that differ in the upper and lower halves to make it more interesting. With the mix and match option, you can easily pick pieces that blend with the theme and also reflect your personal style. Peplum tops are also a fantastic choice that you can pair with pencil skirts or trumpet skirts for a stylish finish.

Draped dress style

The draped style as a trendy introduction to the fashion scene continues to be very popular. Your dress can feature draping in any area. It could be at the neckline, at the waistline or even in the skirt. The best part of this style element is that it instantly highlights the said area. As a result, it can be used to distract from a less attractive area. The draping can be tight and neat, for a formal look. Choose a looser drape for a less formal setting. With such a dress style, it is best to avoid other embellishments in the rest of the dress, or you may end up with a cluttered look.

Column or sheath dress

This silhouette is one of the most flattering for mature women. It has a simple, streamlined look and extends to full-length or features a shorter hemline. The sheath flows naturally, embracing natural curves. The benefit of this style is that it creates the illusion of curves, even while emphasizing a naturally curvy figure. This is a great dress style if you have a straight body structure, since it adds more curves than you actually have. Sheaths are available with lace details, in satin or  chiffon and other breathable fabric. The simple style makes it perfect to pair with statement accessories and jewelry for an elegant look.

Lace dress

Another classic that keeps reinventing itself, the lace dress is a safe bet for the mother of the bride. These come in a stunning range of options in fabric, design and style. Nonetheless, lace has a timeless charm that makes it an unbeatable choice. Either go with an all-over lace dress or choose one with smaller, scattered lace details. For a modern twist, opt for laser-cut lace or 3-dimensional lace details that make it more attractive than traditional lace designs. So, if you want to look your charming, feminine self at your daughter’s wedding, lace it is!

Color blocking

This is another style that allows camouflage of less desirable assets, while accentuating the areas of your body that you love. Color blocking can be done vertically, horizontally, or even in geometric or alternating patterns. The style you choose will determine the overall effect you achieve with it. It works on both tall and short women, and you have options in both long and short dresses. Make your color choice wisely, since this will decide the overall effect. Colors that are close to each other on the wheel have a slimming effect, while contrasting colors have a more dramatic effect.

Empire waistline

This is the perfect style to hide bulges in the waist and stomach area. The empire waistline rests above the natural waistline, with a bodice that cuts just below the bust. Most dresses with this feature have layered voluminous skirts that entirely hide the waist and hips. It creates a statement look, and is just right for a formal effect. Dresses that come with long, flowy fabric skirts are also suitable for outdoor weddings in garden settings or even the beach. The style shifts attention to the neckline and bust, adding more dimension to this area. So, it is a style to consider if you are naturally small-busted.

Bold prints

Best-suited for fun and casual themes, bold prints instantly uplift and make a dress look cheerful. So, let this be your go-to dress style if your daughter has a casual-theme wedding. Choose from geometric prints, stripes, florals or classic designs to find one that matches the theme. With bold prints, you do not need many accessories to complete your look. In fact, we suggest you keep the accessories to a minimum, so it doesn’t look too busy. Just a pair of statement earrings, or a pretty clutch should be sufficient to complete your look.

Rocking red

Red is a color that immediately steals the show, and hence one you should consider wearing. It has a cheerful, energetic vibe that will help you look ultra-stylish. So, choose a shade of red that matches your complexion, and you do not need more to be noticed. Red dresses, whether short or long, are equally attractive. Take care that the cut and fit flatter your natural shape and the silhouette fits snugly along your natural curves. Keep the jewelry and accessories simple, as the color speaks for itself. If you aren’t too sure of wearing the brighter shades of red, settle for maroon or wine red for a subtle effect. You may also want to make sure that the red you choose will go well with the colors in the wedding theme, before you commit to it.

Pastel and neutral combination

Here is another combination that will turn heads your way. Most neutrals combine beautifully with pastel shades to add elegance and sophistication to an outfit. These are age-appropriate combinations, that also give you plenty of accessory options. Pair it with a printed clutch, glitzy earrings or a statement necklace and shoes to be a glamorous mother of the bride. The combination goes well with pearl jewelry, and it also works with silver, gold or platinum finishes.

Embellished neckline on long dark silhouette

If there is one detail you should nail when choosing your outfit, it is the neckline. Most women over 50 prefer to avoid deep and low-cut necklines, that draw attention to their chest and jaws. So, pick a dress with a high neckline, like a halter or scoop with embellishments in the area. The benefit of this style is that it is simple, yet stylish. Embellishments like embroidery, sequins or even crystal and rhinestone details look beautiful against dark colors in the rest of the dress. When such details appear on a full-length gown, it is easy to adjust the rest of your look for the formal occasion. You can also find plenty of shorter dresses in our collection with details confined to the neckline alone. These are better suited for semi-formal and casual wedding themes.

Now, tell us which of these styles do you like most?

Do you prefer the glamorous deep dark colors or classic lace and prints that will never go out of style? Take your time to decide. For it isn’t everyday that your daughter gets married. So, plan your look carefully for this special once-in-a-lifetime occasion and make sure everyone remembers how happy and beautiful you looked on this day.

All the dresses featured here are from our Mother-of-the-bride collection at Best for Bride. They are available in a range of sizes and some of the dresses are available in color variants. We suggest that you take a look at the Mother of the bride dress collection here for more details on these dresses. You can also see the rest of our collection here.

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8 etiquette questions for the mother of the bride

Every mother has a vision of how her daughter should look as a bride, and it is no surprise that moms are usually a great help in helping the bride plan her wedding. All the way from being a part of her shopping entourage to supporting her with making vendor decisions and other important details, they are an indispensable presence.

However, it isn’t always smooth sailing. Unless you are a regular society bee, or have had another child get married in the recent past, it may be time to brush up on the etiquette rules you should follow for your daughter’s wedding.

So, this article is dedicated to all mothers of brides out there. Join us to find out all you need to know about your role in your daughter’s lifetime celebration.

Do I have to stick with the tradition of choosing my dress first and tell the mother of the groom what I’ll be wearing?

If you and your family are all about following traditions at your daughter’s wedding—Yes! The original practice was for the mother-of-the bride to first finish her dress shopping, and inform the mother-of-the-groom about what she would be wearing to the wedding. Then, the groom’s mother would choose a dress that would tie together with this choice, even if it wasn’t too similar. Now, times have changed, and not all people are fond of old traditions. You can always conform to the practice, if that is what you like.

Notify the groom’s mother of the outfit you have chosen for the wedding day. However, be realistic with your expectations. If she isn’t keen on following the practice, let her be. If you aren’t sure of whether your daughter’s future mother-in-law would appreciate you informing her, or whether it would seem to pushy instead, check with your daughter. She should be able to advice you on whether it is a good idea. Or, you can ask her to pass on the details to her future mother-in-law herself.

1.Do I have to ask my daughter for her thoughts on what I wear to her wedding?

Jasmine M171008

Yes! It is your daughter’s day, after all. Although it would be unreasonable of her to dictate your overall look, she may have suggestions on what you could choose to fit the overall wedding party look. Ask your daughter for recommendations on colors and dress styles, and make your pick so that it matches her expectations.

It would be a good idea to choose a color in the wedding palette or one that goes well with the bridesmaids dress colors, though not exactly the same. Either pick a different shade in the same color spectrum as the bridesmaids, or a neutral or complementary color that will work with it. Most couples have a general idea of how their wedding scenery should be, and if you can find an outfit that works well with the theme, you would be doing your bit to make them all the more happier.

2.Are there any styles that I should absolutely avoid?

This again depends on your personal preferences and that of the bride’s. You should be comfortable in what you wear and feel good too. When choosing sexy dresses that are too short, with long slits or ones that expose too much skin, you may first want to get the go-ahead from your daughter. If she is fine with your dress choice, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Instead, if she feels that you should make an elegant and modest choice, or that you may steal her thunder with the way you dress on the day, it is better you rethink your original idea. Remember that you can look glamorous and stylish, but in a way that doesn’t make anyone unhappy with your choice. We think this is the route you should take. The same applies for when your daughter asks you to dress in something that you aren’t comfortable in. Although you should try to meet her expectations when choosing a dress, you should finally wear one that makes you happy too.

3.Should I be offended if the couple won’t take any of my suggestions?

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We understand that you may not be entirely happy about the couple not taking your suggestions seriously, especially if you are footing the expenses for the wedding. However, you should remember that this is their special day, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime affair for them. So, prepare to handle it gracefully if your daughter decides not to go with your suggestions. Accept that you are making suggestions, not decisions! It may not be that she thinks they are bad ideas, it could just be that she has other ideas herself that she thinks are better suited for the situation.

So, before you provide any inputs, you may actually want to ask your daughter about what her own ideas and vision is. This way, you will be able to think of relevant and appropriate suggestions, that they are more likely to accept.

Now, for some humor, we think you should head over to this page on the Knot that lists some really crazy wedding planning comments from moms! You may also like to share it with your daughter, if she thinks your suggestions are weird! She may probably ease up a little, once she sees what other moms have been up to!

4.I am not sure the to-be-weds know about our limits to finance their wedding. Is it alright to discuss this with them directly?

If the couple expect you to pay for their wedding, it is only right that you inform them of the maximum amount you can afford to spend. Have a chat about the wedding finances with the couple, so they can plan expenses accordingly. Get this across right at the start and you can save them from being disappointed after booking everything at rates that you cannot afford.

Now, if the couple intend to pay for their wedding themselves, it is best that you do not interfere with their plans at all. If you will be contributing a specific amount to the wedding budget, you can share the amount with them beforehand, so they can plan it accordingly. Or, if your idea is to sponsor a certain wedding expense, like the wedding dress or entertainment, make sure that you tell them what your limit is. This will help you both be on the same page when the time arises.

5.I think my daughter is turning into a bridezilla. Should I do something about it?

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You know how the excitement and overwhelming planning stress can get to your daughter and turn your level-headed, pleasant girl into a monster! This does happen to many a bride, and such women put all those around her in misery. From straining her relationship with her partner, to making her bridesmaids miserable, this can cause a lot of damage. As her mother, it is essential that you support her whole-heartedly during this trying time.

Nevertheless, it is also your responsibility to put her in her place and tell her when she crosses the limit. Make suggestions to help relieve the stress, and tell her not to freak out over unnecessary details. Also gently remind her that her friends and relatives need to be treated nicely, and she cannot forego behaving well just because she is a soon-to-be bride. You are the best person to put this across to her. So, take this responsibility seriously and make things better for her and all the others involved.

6.Do I have to take the initiative and reach out to her in-laws?

It is not just customary, but sensible as well, to meet your daughter’s soon-to-be in-laws once she is engaged. Ideally, your daughter and her fiance should set this meeting up. So, wait for them to do this. If you get the idea that they will not be taking the initiative, you can take the first step forward. Talk to your daughter’s partner and find out how you can get in touch with them.

Either invite them over to your home, or plan to meet for tea or dinner at a good restaurant or cafe. If you are comfortable in playing host and inviting them to dinner, it would be a good idea to contact them directly and invite them over. Whether you meet at home or outside, make sure that the first meeting is very casual, and the purpose is to get to know them. Be supportive of your daughter’s relationship with their son, and make the most of this first move by fostering a friendly relationship with them.

7.I would love my daughter to wear my wedding gown, but I am worried it looks dated and may not be her taste. Do I offer it?

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Your wedding dress is associated with a lot of fond memories, and it would be a dream come true to see your daughter be wed in the same dress. However, as you have already realized, it may not be the right style or fit for your daughter. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer it to her. Just don’t force her into considering it. If you have a great vintage dress, and it is one that matches the theme of the wedding, you may even be doing your daughter a big favor.

Also, there are many talented wedding dress makers who can repurpose a wedding gown into a brand new wedding dress, while keeping the important elements of the original dress alive. This could be by taking the lace from the dress and adding it into a modern silhouette, or simply redesigning the gown to make it modern. If your daughter would like to consider this option, give her full freedom to do what she wants with your gown. You cannot expect her to wear the dress as it is, so don’t feel bad about the dress being taken apart after you agree to let her do what she chooses with it.

There are also options like taking the lace from the wedding dress and adding it to the bridal bouquet. Finally, just remember that whether the bride says yes or no to your dress, accept her decision gracefully and don’t complain about it later.

8.What say do I have in planning the guest list?

If you are sharing the wedding expenses, it is only reasonable to expect that you have a say in who is invited to the wedding. Nonetheless, talk to the couple and find out what type of ceremony they have in mind. Keep that in mind when deciding on who you should ask them to invite. If their idea is a small, intimate wedding, respect their choice and don’t expect to invite all those you want to.

Get a clear idea of how many people you can invite, and then decide upon who goes on the list. If the number is small, make sure that you list those who are most important. As with everything wedding-related, be reasonable with your expectations and nobody will feel hurt.

Weddings are a difficult time, and a bride is lucky if she has a supportive mother to help her meet the various wedding-related challenges. It is a one-time occasion, and she deserves all the support she can have to make it a memorable event in every way. Isn’t this what moms are always there for?

To take a closer look at any of the dresses featured here, and at more mother of the bride dresses available in our collection at Best for Bride. Browse through our extensive dress collections for top-class dress designers to find the dress that is just perfect for your little girl’s big day. We also have a huge inventory of wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses and flower girl dresses. Come visit our one-stop bridal destination for anything and everything you need and make your wedding day a huge success in every way.

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3 Tips to help mom find her dress for your wedding

Every bride will agree that wedding shopping is more complicated than it seems. You not only want to look stunning on your wedding day, but want the entire bridal party to complement your look too. Where your bridal party is concerned, one person who deserves some extra help with picking out her outfit for your big day is your mom.

This article on the Huffington post mentions that dressing a mother of the bride is usually more challenging than the bride herself, as there are a whole other set of constraints to meet.  After all, everyone notices her and you don’t want her to look anything less than beautiful on your special day.

Although it is only right that you allow your mother to pick her own dress for your wedding, there are some things you can do to help her make her decision easier and to ensure that what she wears goes well with your wedding theme. Here is what you can do.

1.Give her a reasonable variety of colors and patterns to choose from

Whether it is color or pattern, don’t restrict your mother’s choices to just a few. It is a big day for her, so she should have the liberty to choose a dress that brings out her best. Make sure that your suggestions include colors and designs that she will be comfortable in. Give her a wide range of colors that will blend well with your wedding palette, and suggest a range of patterns that will look good on her. This will allow her to look at more dresses and locate one that she loves.

2. Help to co-ordinate with your future mother-in-law, so their looks on they day complement each other

Traditionally, the mother of the bride picks her dress first, and then the mother of the groom chooses a dress that matches it. Although the two mothers weren’t expected to dress the same, their choice of dresses were supposed to be complementary and go well together. This may sound unrealistic today, but wouldn’t it be good if their looks matched? Talk to your mother-in-law before both mothers go shopping and find out whether she has any specific plans on how she will dress on the day. You can then suggest designs for your mom. Go with either a traditional look or modern style for both moms, and their dresses should ideally be in different colors but ones that go together.

3.Encourage her to step out of her comfort zone and choose a dress that will allow her to shine

Many mothers decide to go for something classic and safe for their daughter’s wedding day. You know your mother’s personality and the type of dresses that she can carry off confidently. Encourage her to choose a dress that will bring out her best features, and in which she will look elegant, but different. Why don’t you spare some time to look for designs that you think will look great on her? You could offer to go with her when she goes shopping. It would be exciting for both of you, and you will remember the experience fondly as it becomes part of your wedding memories.

For an inspiring collection of mother-of-the-bride dresses, don’t forget to visit us at Best for Bride today.