Maria Loizou

Guest Editor



Mother of the Bride Outfit Ideas

There are no hard and fast style rules when it comes to how to dress as mother of the bride, aside from the fact that your daughter must approve, of course. However, that being said, it is perhaps one of the trickiest wedding season remits to fulfil. You want to look elevated against the other guests, as the day is almost as special for you as it is for your offspring and you’ll feature in all key family photos, but the unspoken rules around not upstaging the bride loom large over any outfit decisions. Plus, decision fatigue is already rife as the onslaught of nuptials has already begun in earnest, and so it’s likely you’ve already had to curate a selection of sunny sartorial looks that match the array of dress codes circulating on wedding invites. In short, it’s not an unenjoyable task but a ‘task’ it is nonetheless.

Once upon a time, mothers of the bride were expected to wear matronly dresses in Easter-egg pastels or washed out shades of beige. Thankfully, that's now in the past, but it leaves our options wide open and the checklist is seemingly endless. Any MoB outfit needs to be comfortable enough to dance in, chic enough to elevate it above the other guests, breathable enough to combat the day’s unpredictable climes and flattering enough to ensure you feel at your best even after the dessert course is served. So, to reign things back in, we’ve created five style profiles to help guide you toward the second most important dress - or jumpsuit - of the day with the same ease and decorum your grown-up girl will show gliding down the aisle.

Now all you need to think about is where to put your tissues for the ceremony.

Karen Millen satin dress

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Though modern prints and contemporary cuts are exciting, sometimes sticking with a classic silhouette is best, and a particularly good option for a church wedding or a smart ballroom affair. A timeless midi dress - and particularly the satin version we’ve picked out - helps to create a flattering outline. Add a co-ordinating fascinator in a nod to the glamorous nuptials of yesteryear and a pair of court heels to really offset the luxurious sheen and simplicity of the outfit. When it comes to accessorising, thanks to your traditional base, you can really add your own personality, whether that’s a pair of classic pearl earrings and stacked gold bangles or a statement necklace.

Karen Millen crystal embellished dress

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Mother of the bride outfits used to mean a muted pastel with a complementing buttoned-up blazer, but now - thankfully - aside from not wearing white, there are no longer ‘rules’ around what you can wear. For the more daring MoB, this crystal-embellished dress features a flattering sweetheart neckline, adding a feminine touch, while intricate claw crystal embellishments add an undeniable glamorous mood. This statement piece can be paired with co-ordinating crystal earrings and metallic heels. There’ll be no shying away from dancing into the early hours now, this ensemble demands a party.

Karen Millen print dress

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We’re big fans of a floral ensemble but printed pieces have become so much more diverse, bold and interesting than they once were, and so those who shun tradition (or have daughter’s who do) might want to look further afield than the dainty biophilic designs that have become customary at weddings. Featuring a flowing pleated skirt for a rippling finish, this tropical print midi is enriched with diamante trim details, while loose sleeves cater to those who want to keep their shoulders covered but also stay cool and comfortable. The vivid tones pair perfectly with a green statement headband fascinator, continuing in subverting those age-old MoB sartorial traditions. Ideal for a summer or destination wedding, the look flirts with both conservative and outgoing styles and creates a fanciful feel that’s rooted in timeless style principles.

Karen Millen blush dress

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Pastels for a wedding are not revolutionary, but they are long-loved for a reason. The softer look lends itself perfectly to garden nuptials or weddings in warmer climes and the more muted tones help to easily create a high-end, timeless look while keeping the wearer feel cool and comfortable throughout the day’s long hours. Our own pick encompasses an off-shoulder neckline for an elegant touch, and is crafted from luxurious Italian structured satin to add character to the blush hue and give a polished finish to the piece. A pair of strappy heels keep interest running throughout the ensemble and pick up on the pastel palette. Add a co-ordinating fascinator to complete the soft, romantic look and you’ll slip in perfectly beside your daughter all day-long.

Karen Millen orange jumpsuit

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If exuding understated elegance is your sartorial motivation then a tailored jumpsuit should be high up on your agenda. Tailored suits and jumpsuits are still relatively new to the wedding scene but are fast becoming chic, all-in-one alternatives to a traditional dress or skirt. The humble jumpsuit has had a makeover, transitioning into elevated, tailored pieces that create a sleek silhouette and make a refreshing choice for post-ceremony celebrations too. This tuxedo belted wrap jumpsuit features an ultra-flattering wrap front and waist belt to create a high-end tailored look, once only achievable by spending hours in a fitting room with a seamstress ahead of the big day. It’s structured yet comfortable and the vibrant colourway will ensure you stand out from the other guests. You’ll want to let the immaculate tailoring and sophisticated details do the talking here and so a pair of sleek black heels with delicate straps are ideal, offering a flattering, leg-lengthening finish to the look. Add statement accessories to ramp up the Hollywood glamour.

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