Mother of the Bride: The Best Colours to Wear this Winter

Wondering the best colour for winter mother of the bride dresses? We have broken down everything you need to know for your upcoming colour choices.
background of flower with text over

As the mother of the bride choosing your outfit to seem like quite an uphill battle. Even once you have found a style that perfectly suits the venue and dress code, you have one more thing to think about. What colour are you wearing? 

This choice, unfortunately, is really rather complicated when it comes to the mother of the bride dressing. 

Not only do want to find a colour that compliments your own colouring, doesn't look matronly, but it needs to work well with the bridesmaid dresses and colour scheme of the wedding. While still looking appropriate for the time of year the wedding is being held. 

We will take you through all of this and more. 

Letting you know the psychological effects your colour choice will have on those around you.

chart of colours with the effects they have on emotions

To help you make sure that you are not only picking the perfect colour for yourself but your daughter’s wedding too. To work out what your colouring is, click here.  

Primary Red

three dresses, primary red colour. two pencil dresses one midi

For the dress on the left click here, the middle here and the right here. To see more red dresses click here.

 There is a reason we are starting with this colour, it’s because it has recently been discovered as ‘the most reliable in the world.’ Meaning it is the most flattering to the broadest range of skin tone and colouring.  This is because, as an image consultant, Helen Venables explains ‘it’s the colour that is right at the centre of all colour and has an equal flow through the colour spectrum’. 

Venable, who specialises in locating the right colours for your complexion goes onto explain the benefits: ‘wearing colours under your chin that you absolutely know suit you is vital. The effect of colour so close to the face can be surpirsingingly powerful - slimming, enlivening and health-giving or again, adding weight and making you look as if you are exhausted.’ 

In regarding Venables’ analysis of the effect of colour on appearance opting for this universally flattering shade seems somewhat of a no brainer. But it is also worth considering what this type of colour makes other people feel. 

It used to always be believed that wearing red makes you seem more attractive. Although some still firmly swear by this, and their little red dress, recent studies seem to suggest that these findings are quite as clear cut as we used to suggest. 

What we do know about the colour red, however, is it is one that will get you noticed. When you think of the animal kingdom, it isn’t a surprise that we are hardwired to notice the colour red. This is still true today, just think of traffic lights, stop signs, London busses. 

This is also certainly true when it comes to clothing, a recent study has shown that waitresses that wear red notice a 25% increase in tips. 

Mother of the bride dresses red would compliment bridesmaid’s who wore pink or orange dresses or contrast nicely with dark blues and greens. 

primary red colour chart

Primary red is the perfect shade for this time of year, perfectly in keeping with the autumnal colours, but is it too bold for winter? 

Well, we think that it can be a great option for winter mother of the bride dresses. However, do suggest that you check with your daughter first. Red is probably the most eye-catching colour you could opt for and so it is better to check that the bride doesn’t mind sharing some of her limelight with her mother. 

Ruby Red

three diva catwalk ruby coloured dresses, two pencil one swing

For the lefthand dress, the middle dress and the right hand click here. To see more swing dresses click here

Ruby Red or the slightly darker tone burgundy are wonderful winter colours, having the richness of a red tone, with a cooler mix of a slightly blueish hue, that stops them being quick so eyecatching. 

Not only does this mix of colours stop the tone from being quick as attention-grabbing as it’s a lighter sister, but it enables a large range of people to look great in it too. Summers and Springs are advised to stay on the lighter end of the ruby spectrum, while winters can opt for a rich ruby and Autumns can wear anything in the ruby and burgundy family. 

chart with different shades of ruby colours

The colours associated with the precious stone gives it the effect of evoking a feeling of reverence, elegance, love and passion. It is a colour that has captured humans for many years. 

It is said that 'ancient Hindus called the ruby strong ‘Rajnapura’ meaning King of Gems... ancient cultures believed its warmth and luminosity came from an inner flame, similar to the desires of the heart.’

Mother of the bride dresses in ruby red or burgundy will look great with bridesmaid dresses of the colours: emerald green, dark blue, dark purple, or tones in the same colour families such as pinks and oranges.  

Emerald Green

emerald green off the shoulder pencil dress

To see this dress and its other colour options click here

A classic, elegant, timeless winter shade. Emerald green is not only the perfect winter colour, but it is also a shade that is pretty flattering. According to Sibelle Mehmet ‘emerald is one of the colours that suit all skin tones. It’s a jewel tone so it won’t make your skin colour look washed out.’

This article also gives us some information about what wearing this colour makes us and others feel: ‘The colour of immortality, life and nature, the colour of opulence, rebirth and the universe, emerald green is the most magical refined and elegant shade it the colour wheel. It’s not by chance that we love green eyes and the spring season when everything is in blossom and it’s green all around’. 

It is these strong associations with opulence and elegance that claims to make the wearer of emerald green feel more confident and elegant. 

Emerald green will complement those in the same colour family: green, blues and purples, or will nicely contrast pink and red tones. If you have the chance to wear an emerald green mother of the bride dress we say, go for it! 

chart outlining best colours to wear with emerald green


model wearing diva catwalk green/ blue dress

A relation to emerald green, teal is another great winter colour, being the midpoint between green and blue. 

Artti Prasad talks about this ‘teal is a mix fo blue and green. Like its distant cousin, emerald, teal is also a jewel colour so it will have the same effect on your skin tone.’ 

The name of this colour often makes people think of its etymology, the shade being named after the bird - the common teal - which presents a similarly coloured stripe on its head’. 

Wearing the colour though produces very different connotations, it is a cool, contemplative and soothing colour that hs come to symbolize balance. =

For those who won’t want to go for such a deep jewel tone as emerald teal can be the best thing. It will look fantastic with maroon bridesmaid’s dresses, maroon being its complementary colour. 

Cobalt Blue

four cobalt blue diva catwalk dresses

For the first dress click here, here for the second, here for the third and here for the final dress. To see more pencil dresses click here


When it comes to this shade we really think that Artti Prasad says it best: ‘navy blue’s gorgeous cousin, cobalt blue has been revered since the day of the Ancient Egyptian’s! Perfect for any season, cobalt blue is a must-have in everyone’s closet.’

Unlike the lighter blues, the darker richer shades are recommended for a very large variety of skin tones, promising to compliment all different colouring. 

So how does the colour blue make us feel? ‘Blue is a colour often found in nature such as the pale blue of a daytime sky or the rich dark blue of a deep pool of water. It is for this reason perhaps that people often describe the colour blue as calm and serene. Yet as a cool colour, blue can sometimes seem icy, distant, or even cold.’ 

Cobalt blue will look great with members of its colour family, such as lighter blues and purples and will create a striking contrast with the colour red. 

colour for shades that go with cobalt blue



diva catwalk navy pencil dress of the shoulder

Check out this navy dress here.

Another all-round flattering shade: ‘My favourite of the neutral colours, navy is sleek and classic. Best of all it looks good with almost every colour as well as skin tone so it’s easy to wear as well as coordinate with the rest of your outfit. A navy blazer or dress is perfect for the office!’ 

Navy has the same colour psychology as the lighter blues, although its darker tone does make some people feel it give the impression of being more reserved. A mother of the bride dress navy will look great with bridesmaids in teal, emerald, or lighter blues, purples and brighter pinks.


three deep purple mother of the bride dresses

Click here to view the long sleeve dress, here to see the middle and here to see the swing dress. Click here for view more purple dresses.

The colour psychology of purple is more mixed, different shades have different connotations. ‘Light purple has a more feminine energy, bright purple is associated with richness and royalty’. This is because dark purple used to be one of the most expensive colours to reproduce. ‘These days, this connotation often translates to premium products or services.’ 

Unlike its lighter sister, lavender, which is pretty exclusively flattering for lighter, fairer skin tones. Or the redder Berry, that makes olive-tone skin ‘look dynamic’ because it reflects ‘a glow against a yellow-based skin.’ 

Purple is regarded as one of those hues that will suit all skin tones. But, it is specified that purple doesn’t mean lavender, mauve, or purple pizzazz (formulated by Crayola in 1990)

‘Just purple! Purple is a combination of the primary colours red and blue. Considering its origins, purple is bright like red but subtle like blue, so it can be worn with many different colours and it looks great on all skin tones.’

Not only does this meeting of warm and cooler shades in purple mean that it is pretty universally flattering, but it also makes it a great mother of the bride choice that is perfect for winter. This is because the shade won’t look out of place this time of year, and is also guaranteed to work well with the bridesmaid dresses. 



two diva catwalk pink dresses

This is the top dress and this is the bottom. 

So, what do we exactly mean when we talk about fuchsia? It is defined in this way ‘Fuchsia, a vivid reddish-purple that straddles the line between purple and pink is also a name for a flower: a genus of decorative shrubs that are tropical in origin but which are commonly raised as houseplants.’ 

‘Fuchsia is a mix between a dark colour and brighter colours so it works well with most skin colours. It’s not too bright that it will overshadow your skin tone, but it’s still bright enough to be a beautiful colour. A bright colour like fuchsia goes well with lighter neutral colours like white and beige.’ 

Fuchsia is a great colour for a mother of the bride to wear in winter if she wants to stand out a little as the brightness of the pink ensures she will make a statement while the darker purple keeps the colour appropriate for this time of year.  

fuchsia colour chart of complimentary colours    

To find out more about the colour psychology refer to the pink section. 

Vibrant Pink

three pink pencil dresses mother of the bride

For the first dress click here the second click here, and the third click here

So, when we are talking about pink, we aren’t discussing the shades on the lighter end of the spectrum. Not only are these pastel tones more appropriate for the summer months. But they are also very strongly associated with the matronly mother of the bride look, which we are sure you want to avoid. 

The darker vibrant pinks work best on Winter colouring, look for magentas and plums, or Autumn colouring, who should look for warmer more golden toned pinks. For those of you with Spring or Summer complexions be aware that these more vibrant pinks can have the effect of making you look washed out. 

The colour pink is thought to have a calming effect. One shade known as ‘drunk-tank pink’ is sometimes used in prisons to calm inmates. Sports team sometimes paint the opposing team’s locker room pink to keep the players passive and less energetic.’

Mother of the bride dresses pink will work well with many different colours, from its complementary colour yellow to those in its colour family, orange and purple, to more natural greys to the darker navy. It will work well in the wintertime as, although it is a brighter colour, it’s base tone is cool so it won’t seem seasonally out of place.


If you want to dress winter wedding appropriate but aren’t so much into bold colours, neutrals could be a great option for you.

beige dress

To see this neutral-toned dress click here.

Due to their muted qualities neutrals such as sand, beige and greys suit every skin tone. 

If you normally wear black why not try charcoal for your daughter’s wedding day? ‘Grey is a neutral colour which is a good substitute for black because it also can be worn with most colours. However, I recommend charcoal rather than any other shade of grey because a light shade can make lighter skin tones look faded and darker skin tones look ashy.’

grey swing dress

For more images of this dress click here.

Mother of the bride dresses in neutral colours are a safe bet for those who aren’t, after all, that colour, as they are winter-appropriate and are guaranteed to match the bridesmaid’s dresses. 

Wondering about any colours we have left out, well we covered white and black here and wanted to avoid those that were going to make you look more matronly those that only a very small number can wear.

Let us know what you think about these colours and which you would wear to your daughter's wedding in the comments below! 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.