How to Find the Best Mother Of The Bride Dresses for Your Figure, From Petite to Plus Size

We know that shopping for a mother of the bride dress can often be quite a time-consuming process, even more so if you are petite, tall or plus size. This is why we have found all the best advice and suggestion to wear to shop, to make this an enjoyable and exciting experience.
manikin with mothers on it

We all know that being a mother of the bride is a very special day and one that really doesn’t come around all that often. No matter what possible size or shape you are, we think that you deserve to look and feel your most beautiful every single day of the year. But, since your daughter’s wedding day is such a fantastic occasion, why not pull the boat out for this particular day! 

Finding a mother of the bride dress can be a hard task for even the most seasoned of shoppers, with many things to think of from the weather to the venue and dress code, lots of women struggle to find something that meets all their criteria. 

mother helping dress daughter in wedding dress

The complications of finding a mother of the bride dress are often made all the more difficult when your body type does not come as well catered for in the mainstream shops. But we know that all women, no matter their size or shape should feel as beautiful as possible on their daughter’s wedding day. As the disappointment of ordering a dress online that looks one-way on the model and a completely different way on a more natural figure is not an occurrence that should dictate your mother of the bride shopping experience. 

This is why we have searched the furthest realms of the internet, to be able to get all of the best advice in one place. To help you decide what styles are best, what you will feel the most beautiful in and where to shop, in the hope to make buying your mother of the bride dress a purely fun and exciting experience. 

How to find the perfect mother of the bride dresses for a petite figure

women laughing

We know that women's bodies come in such a beautiful array of shape and sizes, and even to label one group of bodies as 'petite' can be seen as quite a generalisation, but, for simplicities sake, we are going to define petite as under 5.4". 

If you fall into the petite category, then we are sure that you have, all too often, had to struggle with finding a beautiful dress, in a style you love that suits your body shape. This is why we have found the best piece of advice the internet has to offer, so you can more easily find something that suits your body and your daughter's dress code. 

The first thing to think of is 'Proportion. Proportion. Proportion' as Chi the founder of Petite Dressing says 'no matter what age you are and regardless of the occasion, proportion should always be the number one focus of petite fashion.' 

Chi also helps us understand how to master the art of proportion dressing in more depth 'there are many ways to use proportions to flatter your petite body frame, but the waistline is critical. For petite ladies, you want the waistline higher than your natural, to make your torso look shorter and legs look longer. Going with the mother of the bride dresses for petite ladies like these will raise your waistline and divide your body into the ideal 1/3 and 2/3 proportions.' 

flowers in a jar'Let's face it short dresses never fail petite girls' - wearing a short mother of the bride dress

In talking to many women with petite body types we have discovered that lots of them love to wear shorter dresses and we think this is great. But, there is a question that comes up again and again with the mother of the bride dress, can I wear a short mother of the bride dress? 

We think in 2019 it is perfectly acceptable to wear a shorter mother of the bride dress, and these can often look great, particularly on petite figures. But, if you are after a petite mother of the bride dress, there should be a few things you consider before making the purchase. 

You will need to think about the venues first, if your daughter is holding her ceremony in a strick orthodox catholic church, then stick move on the conservative side if only to keep the prest from blushing (this isn't your fleabag moment!) 

If you are freer in terms of venue, then we suggest that a shorter mother of the bride dress to still not be able to be referred to as a mini. If you are comfortable showing your knees then feel free, as the ideal skirt length to make you look taller is 4-5 inches above the knee. 

But we do think that if you are after a shorter dress it is best to keep the event in mind and make sure that the top half is a little more conservative. It is your daughter's day and she won't want the attention being drawn too much to her mother's figure. 

What about a maxi dress for a petite mother of the bride? 

woman in yellow maxi dress holding flowers

If you're in the mindset of thinking that maxi dresses are no more than ultra-casual beachwear for 20 somethings then we want you to reassess, especially as a petite mother of the bride. 

This is because, as Chi describes 'if you are short, long mother of the bride dresses for petite women can also be very flattering for you. The reason? It creates a constant column of colour which gives you the illusion of length'. 

Although a maxi dress can be the perfection option for a petite mother of the bride dress, as it helps to create an elongated elegant look that will be beautifully appropriate for any dress code, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

We suggest that you purchase a petite maxi dress from a dedicated petite clothing store or one with a dedicated petite line, to ensure you don't look swamped by your dress. If you have fallen in love with a maxi dress you have found that is a little too long, there is always the option to get it tailored, which shouldn't cost too much. But do make sure you start this process in plenty of time, also bear in mind that if your dress is sequined or of similar material this process will take longer and be more expensive. 

What about accessories?


As for accessories most of this doesn't differ from the advice we have to mothers of the bride in this article and our writings on mother of the bride shoes. But, one thing to keep in mind is when choosing a mother of the bride hat it is best to opt on the smaller side, as large hats can overwhelm a petite figure. For more advice on mother of the bride, hats click here

Here are a few shops that offer a wonderful range of occasion wear for petite ladies. For maxi dresses click here or you can find some shorter options here.

From hemlines to pantsuits mother of the bride outfits for taller ladies

flowersJust as petite ladies often have to wade through a mountain to dresses that will swamp their figures to make them look smaller than they are, a similar occurrence is true with taller women, all be it, the other way around. 

We know all too well the excitement you get of a gorgeous dress online, only to find when it arrives that it couldn't possibly be worn out of the house, for fear of showing all who you pass by your underwear. 

We have also realised in our heavy research session for this article, that there are many many more articles giving advice for more petite ladies, plus size women than there are advising those with a taller frame. 

Although the fashion world of 2019 seems to be doing a very good job of trying harder to cater for women who don't fit their traditional shape, with brands such as Topshop and Asos offering tall ranges, it is still a slow process. 

So where should you shop for occasion wear if you are a tall lady? 

Clothes hanging on a rail

We think that no matter what size or shape you are you should feel free to wear whatever style and shape dress will make you feel your happiest as a mother of the bride. But, we are very aware that this concept is often more difficult to make a reality then it should be. 

Often, the goto suggestion to the 'what to wear' question for taller ladies is a jumpsuit. This is because of the floor-length skirt, its length eliminates any of the worries of showing too much skin that come with a shorter option.

Not only does a maxi dress take away the concerns over the length and what is appropriate for the mother of the bride. But, we think that is can also make a very beautiful elegant option. If cut with a tight waistband a maxi dress can create a gorgeous hourglass shape. The flowing skirt keeping an atmosphere of timeless elegance to the outfit. If you buy it in a more autumnal shade, it can be a great mother of the bride dress for this coming season. 

If you have your heart set on a shorter dress, don't rule it out simply because you are taller. Check out this website for a great range of dresses or taller ladies. 

What if you want to wear a mother of the bride pantsuit or jumpsuit? 

woman in corral jumpsuit 

We know that finding a mother of the bride pantsuit or jumpsuit can be especially hard if you are a taller lady. Jumpsuits are often too short all over meaning the legs up while the too short body tugs them further, creating an uncomfortable digging and rouching around the crouch than no mother of the bride should have to contend with. 

Stores such as this one offer a wonderful tall line that provides jumpsuits for special occasions. 

We know that to find a tall mother of the bride pantsuit can be equally as challenging. Making sure the suit fits in all the right places, with the traditional worries of a flattering cut around the waist and shoulders, with the added concern with the length of the arms and trousers can make finding a mother of the bride suit a very daunting process. 

woman wearing blue pantsuit

But we do think that a pantsuit can be a wonderful choice for a mother of the bride in 2019, especially as they are so in vogue right now there are so many beautiful colour options available (check out this article to learn how to pick your perfect mother of the bride colour). 

This store offers some wonderful mother of the bride suits for taller ladies. If you have a little more time, website such as this one offer to tailer makes a suit to fit you in your desired colour and shape. 

If you are also wondering what shoes to go for have a look at this article where we give some advice on the best mother of the bride flat shoes. 

Mother of the bride plus size dresses, the best dresses for a fuller figure 
women with wine

 Just as it is difficult to find beautiful occasion wear for taller and shorter ladies, finding a dress that you love the style of and compliments your body can be equally hard if you have a fuller frame. But, again, just because it is harder to find doesn't mean you should settle for less. We have outlined some popular mother of the bride dresses plus size as well as where to find them, to help make your search easier and more enjoyable. 

Dresses to flatter the mid area

Deborah from Fabulous After 40 describes how 'plus-size moms should be on the lookout for gowns that are soft and flowing, and that gently drape and flow over their curves. Ruching over the tummy or across the bust can help hide trouble spots and create a fabulous look.' 

A short cocktail dress for a less formal wedding 

For a wedding that is not super-duper formal, a short cocktail dress is often a popular option. For those of you who might want to show a little leg, this can be a good choice and has the bonus of being worn again to your next dressy event. 

Mother of the bride outfits that cover the arms 

 As Deborah says 'many larger women are self-conscious about their arms not being as firm as they would like them to be. That's why plus size mother of the bride dresses with sleeves are so popular. But another option is a sleeveless dress and cover-up'. 

dressing hanging in a line

She continues to offer this advice 'plus size mother of the bride dresses with jackets are for gals who prefer a sleeker, more tailored look. They are classy and refined. Don’t be surprised to find a lot of lace plus size mother of the bride dresses with jackets. They’re a popular trend.'

If you would prefer a dress with sleeves then it is better here are some advice 'Short sleeves and cap sleeves end too high up on the arm and exaggerate flabby arms. You should also make sure sleeves look light and airy, not solid and heavy. Choose chiffon sleeves or lace sleeves,  slit sleeves or sequinned sleeves. These are better than long, solid cloth sleeves which look and feel hot and heavy. The best plus size mother of the bride dresses with sleeves have a light and airy look and feel about them.'

Plus size mother of the bride tea dresses

A tea-length dress can be a great mother of the bride choice, as the 3/4 length skirt makes it a 'conservative and ladylike'.' They are a nice compromise between a formal full-length gown and a short cocktail dress'. 

Some longer options 

Websites such as this one offer some beautiful plus size mother of the bride and groom maxi dresses, in a wonderful array of colours and sequins galore. 

Where to find plus size mother of the bride pantsuits 

women's white jacket with gold jewellery

If, like Deborah says 'you never wear dresses and prefer to wear pants, go for all one colour, dressy pantsuit that is soft and drapey. It should have the fluid look and feel of a Mother of the Bride gown. Avoid anything stiff or tailored. You should float down the aisle in that pantsuit. You’ll find lots of Mother of the Bride Pantsuits at Amazon.' We know Amazon does seem like a strangle suggestion but it weirdly has some great options, who knew! 

For some shops that offer wonderful plus size mother of the bride, options check out: John Lewis or Curvissa or Bombshell or JJ's House.

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