Mother Of The Bride Dresses

7 Tips to Help You Master Accessorising Your Mother of The Bride Look

 We know that choosing a mother of the bride dresses can be a time consuming and often tiring process. But, finding the perfect dress is only half of what makes a mother of the bride outfit.    There is quite a lot of tradition wrapped up in the mother of the bride outfit, and that extends to the accessories she wears on the big day. Her hat is expected to set the tone for female headwear, while her jewellery and shoe choice should fit seamlessly with her daughter's dress code.  To help you feel your best on your daughter's big day we have created this list to help you master the art of mother of the bride accessorizing. From the commonly thought of fascinator and footwear to the less considered options of underwear. We have all the bases covered.  1. Finding the perfect mother of the bride jewellery When thinking about what jewellery you would like to wear, you first need to consider what type of dress you have chosen. If you have opted for a more simple dress, one without patterns, or eye-catching fabrics. Then a piece of statement jewellery can be a great way of adding a level of grandeur to your outfit. But, do be careful not to overdo it! If you, for instance, are wearing a statement necklace, then make sure the rest the jewellery you are wearing is very minimal.    If your dress is on the slightly louder side, we recommend being much more conservative with your jewellery. As this is your daughter's big day you want to make sure your outfit doesn't distract attention from her. Julie Sabatino, founder of The Stylish Bride says 'keep it classic and simple, this isn't the day to be outrageous or experimenting'.   Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert, says 'it's all about finding the right balance.' For appropriate jewellery for the mother of the bride, she advises 'going for a nice pair of simple studs, a small ring on each hand, and a bracelet. Then look at yourself and decide if you need to take one piece off. If you wonder if it's too much, it probably is.'  Gottsman also offers this great piece of advice ‘steer clear of noisy jewellery in both sense of the word, you don’t want anything too loud or over the top, like fluorescent colours. Don’t wear any jewellery that’s noisy or dangling or distracting.’ So if your bracelets click together, then they are best left at home, unless you want to risk an irritated side-eye during the ceremony.  As for rings, Gottsmand says to keep any on you right hand on the modest side, since you’ll be shaking hands with friends and family and a big ring could start hurting your hand after a few firm handshakes. Maybe just treat yourself to a manicure instead! 2. Things to consider for the best mother of the bride shoes? When it comes to heels for the mother of the bride's shoes, there is no hard and fast rule. We think that the best advice is to go for what you are confident in and is appropriate for the wedding venue and dress code.  If you are attending an evening, urban wedding, then this is the perfect time to wear a pair of stilettoes, if that is your desired shoe. But, if they are a pare haven't worn them for a long period of time before, we really recommend you try walking in them first. Even if this is only for a few hours around your home, you just want to make sure they aren't so uncomfortable they will distract you from the evening.  Another thing to keep in mind, when choosing a thin heal, is the type of terrain you will be walking on. The last thing you want is to be wearing a gorgeous dress and beautiful shoes, only to be called onto the grass for the wedding photos. As soon as you step out your heel skins into three inches of grass and mud.  As we said in this article, wedges are always a great alternative, especially for a summer wedding, for those still wanting the hight but also a little more comfort.  If you aren't a heel wearer we think that this isn't the day you should start. You want to be comfortable greeting people and that is hard to achieve when balancing on heels. A flat sandal can be a wonderful alternative, as elegant and as sophisticated as a heel. Look at shops such as Emma Hope to find beautiful sandals that can be worn both winter and summer.  We also recommend that you stash a spare pair of shoes somewhere in the reception venue. Just in case your feet start to ache, you can slip on some flats to keep you up and dancing. 3. How to pick your mother of the bride handbag   The first thing many people think of when hearing the words 'mother of the bride handbag' is one that perfectly matches the colour of her shoes. But, you no longer have to stick to this expectation. We think that it is much chicer to pick the tones of your accessories so that they work together in complimenting each other and your dress, rather than completely matching.  Achieving this complementary look does not need to be as difficult as it might sound. Tools such as this one help you find shades that complement one another. While websites such as net-a-porter (for the more high end) and asos (for the more affordable), offer such a wide range of handbags that finding a bag that will be in one of those tones shouldn’t take hours either. When choosing a mother of the bride bag, apart from the colour the next aspect to consider is the size.  We recommend a small handbag. When we say small we don’t mean the small that is trendy right now – so small you can’t fit anything in it. But practically small. It should be large enough to fit the essentials, which for the mother of the bride are a lipstick, some powder, a foldable hairbrush, your card, a phone and a handkerchief. We recommend something with a thin strap or chain rather than a clutch to keep you hands-free. So you can greet guests with one hand while holding a glass of champagne in the other. 4. What are the best mother of the bride hats for 2019? There are many traditions surrounding the hat of the mother of the bride. Etiquette states, that she is able to wear the largest hat of the wedding party and sets the tone for what headwear is appropriate for other female wedding guests.   But, just because there is much tradition associated with the mother of the bride hat, this doesn't mean you need to get carried away by it all. If you aren't usually a hat wearer and are a little intimidated by the prospect, we think you can steer clear of it. You want to make sure you are wearing the hat, rather than the other way around. For the mother of the bride in 2019 the hat is an accessory, not an essential.  But, if you are the type of person who is excited about this opportunity to wear beautiful headwear, we think you should go for it!    To pick which colour of hat will work best with your outfit, we suggest using the same technique recommended for choosing your shoes and handbag, to ensure your outfit looks great as a whole.   We know the fascinator is no longer the mother of the bride stape that it used to be. But, just because smaller hats are no longer so in vogue, this doesn't mean 'the bigger the better' necessarily. As it is quite easy to look overwhelmed in a larger hat, especially if you have smaller features or a more petite frame. It also presents the risk of blocking peoples faces when it comes time to take the wedding pictures. Meaning, you could be asked to take your hat off by the photographer, which might lead to the photographs showing your hair more on the messy side. We think that it is probably best to save those really big hats for Goodwood or Ascot.  The most important thing to consider when asking yourself what type of hat you want to wear is what makes you feel your best. We recommend if you can, go into a shop rather than ordering online, this way you can find what suits you and play with a few different styles and sizes. Or, if you want to order online, or even if you are just after a little more inspiration, the Evening Standard has recently published an article on the best hats and fascinators to wear to a wedding, check it out here. 5. How to master the art of layering as the mother of the bride. A jacket or coat can often transform your whole look, taking attention from the dress, and changing the silhouette of the outfit. Because of this, you want to make sure that the additional layer you choose will not only bring you warmth, but help elevates your outfit, rather than distract from your look. The first thing to consider, when choosing what type of additional layer you will bring to your daughter’s wedding is: what is its purpose. Is it a for protection against the forecast bad weather, is it to cover your shoulders and décolletage while in church, or are you bringing it just in case you get a little chilly?  A shawl or pashmina can be a great option for those who are after a little cover-up layer and some added warmth. Being available in almost any colour imaginable you are sure to find one that will compliment your outfit quite easily.  They are a very versatile option as you are able to wear them so they lay on your arms over the elbow, or from your shoulders or so they cover your whole chest area.  If you are only something to cover your shoulders on a warmer day then opt for a light fabric. But if you want to ensure that added layer of warmth then go for a cashmere or wool blend which is surprisingly cosy. Check out some options here. A jacket can be a great summer or autumn option, for those weathers that are just in-between warm and cold. We think that a well-tailored jacket is often the best choice, as it will keep a beautiful silhouette, drawing you in at the waist. We recommend that you avoid too old fashioned boxy jackets or those that finish in the middle of your torso as they can often make you look smaller and more square.  Try this Seed Dawlish Jacket for a beautiful option.  For the winter, a coat can really be a perfect choice. We suggest that you go for one that hits just above the knee. Covering most of your dress, the coat takes the pressure off matching the outer layer to the tones fo your outfit. You also won't have to worry about it cutting you off in an unflattering place on your torso.  Below is the gorgeous Seed Raquella Coat.   6. The right underwear can make all the difference If you have opted for a more form-fitting outfit, then you will want to consider the type of fabric it is made from. If it is created from a quality stretch fabric then the fabric will do the work of smoothing your figure and flattering your curves. But, if you have gone for a form-fitting outfit of a different composition then you might want to consider what type of underwear to go for. Investing in a good piece of shapewear can help smooth things out and enhance your natural curves. Spanx and Maidenform carry below-the-bust bodysuits 'that won’t pinch or roll like girdles'. We do know that they really don't sound very comfortable, but the technology has come such a long way recently. So apart from the slightly uncomfortable moment of getting it on, you can be assured you will have a night free from Bridge Jones struggles. Another thing piece of advice when thinking of underwear, is, as Martha Stewart Wedding puts it ‘Nix the Nylons’. Fashion today has moved past associating stockinged legs with elegance. Instead, go bare-legged, just add some moisturiser or body oil to help them look their best. If you are worried about being too pale, then try a streak-free, gradual sunless tanner, like this St Tropez one. 7. Is the mother of the bride expected to carry flowers?  Tradition calls for corsages to be given to the mothers of the bride and groom. Yet this is becoming somewhat old-fashioned. If this is a tradition you want to honour in 2019, then give it a ‘modern look, try a flower that is big and elegant, like gardenia or a flat garden rose’.  Or why not try and different approach? Pin a flower to your hair, or carry your own nosegay? This means that you are able to hold it for the photographs and then just leave it on the table when it comes time to dance.    As for what flowers to go for it is really up to you. ‘While lilies and roses are classics’ but you could incorporate your own favourite flower or one that compliments your outfit. Alternatively, you could go for a flower that is in the wedding party’s bouquet to look more uniform or match with the boutonnieres pinned on the father of the bride. Go for whatever would give you the most pleasure, it isn’t often we get to carry flowers so you should try and ensure you get as much joy from it as possible.  Although all the accessories associated with the mother of the bride outfit can be daunting, we think that they should be a fun way of elevating your outfit. We hope that our advice has taken some of the pressure away from your accessory choices, so you can enjoy the process of dressing up for this special day. 

Read more
photo of black shoes on a white carpet with gold earrings

What Traditions to Consider for the Modern Mother of the Bride's Dress Choice

Weddings bring with them many traditions and for the mother of the bride, this can often extend to your choice of dress. But, in a time where many couples are opting out of more conventional ceremonies to make their day more individual. It leads us to the question: how appropriate are the old expectations of wedding outfits today? Can the mother of the bride wear black to the wedding?  The first big rule for wedding dressing has always been 'never wear black to a wedding'. Yet with more and more examples of people defying this expectation, we have decided to break down where this idea has come from. With the aim to decide if it is still relevant and if a mother of the bride can wear black in 2019.   The belief you shouldn't wear black to a wedding is due to its association with the mourning period. An idea that is  believed to date back  to the Roman Empire when families would wear black togas to signify respect for their departed loved ones. Having been first documented in England in medieval times, women would wear near black caps and veils after the passing of their husbands. Remaining right into the nineteenth century, when women who did not dress in dark clothes for a mourning period, were judged as 'dangerously eccentric'.  This historic association, between the colour black and the death of a loved one, is the reason it has been regarded as inappropriate for weddings. Especially for the mothers of the couple, who's black dress would be seen as a sign of disapproval in their child's choice of partner. According to Elizabeth Taxi in her article in Vogue Magazine, this historic dislike of black wedding attire could be felt right into 2016. Her article describes the extent to which this view has become outdated. In an age where the traditional wedding is being left behind, surely those traditions of dress should also?  As of 2019, you can find so many articles advising on how best to wear black to a wedding, in the assurance that it is not only acceptable but a great choice.  However, just because wedding guests are now able to sport the darkest of shades to wedding celebrations, this does not necessarily mean that it is such an easy choice for the mother of the bride. The question of what is an appropriate mother of the bride outfit recently become more relevant, as a tweet of this particular 'mother of the bride' dress  became a viral sensation.  With its layers of mesh, sequins, lace and pheasant fathers it is fair to say that this dress can definitely be described as 'bearly there'. Reactions to it varied from admiration at the body confidence necessary for such a look, to horror at the labelling of such a dress as 'mother of the bride' wear.  Whichever side you fall on with these hilarious tweets, we can all probably admit to the fact that it is not simply the colour of this dress that has caused such a reaction.   We get that just because you want to wear black to your daughter's wedding it does not mean that you would want to cause a storm. That's why we wanted to include this dress, not to scare you as to the reaction to it. But to illustrate the extent to which traditional rules of wedding attire are being regarded as irrelevant. Martha Stewart weddings describe how the old rules and expectations are a thing of the past. In this article about if the mother of the bridegroom can wear black to a wedding, she makes some amazing points.  ‘Haven't men been wearing black tuxedoes for centuries? Why has no one been judge-y about that? If half of the wedding's guest list will be wearing black attire on the big day (including the bride and groom's fathers!), there's no reason why the moms shouldn't be allowed to wear this colour, too.’ In answering the question can the mother of the bride wear black a wedding in 2019 we agree with Ms Stewart's statement: 'Times have changed, why not let your outfit change with them?'. If the bride is happy with your choice and you feel your best then why not go for it? And if anyone gives you the 'side-eye at the reception, ignore them and revel in how gorgeous you look'. A darker shade can also make the perfect mother of the bride dresses for fall.  Which are the best mother of the bride colours for modern times?  In an article in Glamour Maganize Jennifer Hyman the co-founder of Rent the Runway talks about outfit colour etiquette: "There are far fewer rules today when it comes to wedding style, besides the ubiquitous don't upstage the bride. It's acceptable and even fashionable to wear black year-round, sequins for daytime and a cocktail-length dress to a black-tie wedding. My one style rule when it comes to weddings is be spirited! A wedding is an incredibly happy occasion and it is an opportunity to show your best self—whether that's in black, bright pink, or a bold print, this is an opportunity to party!".  Since we are in an age when the colour black has become acceptable, it shows how really any colour, apart from maybe white of ivory, can be worn to a wedding. You could go dark, or bright and bold, or more neutral, whatever makes you feel your best.  Yet, just because you wish to be current with your choice of colour, we want to advise you against falling into the trap of simply going with what is trendy right now. For example, although it is so awfully 2019 we really do believe that you will thank yourself for keeping things like neon firmly away from your daughter's wedding day.  The vast extent of choice available to the modern mother of the bride can make actually finding your best colour quite a daunting prospect. Because of this, we have included some advice on how to find the perfect colour for your daughter's big day. So hopefully you will no longer question if you should be looking for mother of the dresses in blush or in burgundy.  One way of thinking about what colour of dress to choose, is by taking inspiration from the bridal party and the wedding venue. There are a few ways of doing this, one way is 'monotone' which means that the mother of the bride dress would be in 'the same general colour family' as the dress of the bridesmaids. For example, if the bridesmaids were wearing violet then you could opt for a deep purple. Why not try this dress if you are after a mother of the bride dress in purple.  Or you could choose to go directly opposite the colour of the bridesmaids. For a mother of the bride who wants to stand out and create a great contrast between yourself and the bridesmaids in the pictures. For example, if the bridesmaids are in pumpkin you wear navy, for example, you could try the Ontario pencil dress for a mother of the bride dress in blue.  There is also the tonal choice, which means 'choosing a colour in the same theme or seasonal palette as the bridesmaids. So for a winter wedding, the bridesmaids are in emerald-green, you are in charcoal.' Why not try the beautiful swing dress for a mother of the bride dress with long sleeves?  The website David's Bridal offers a great tool to help the mother of the bride coordinate her colour choice with the rest of the wedding party by showing you which shades work best together.  Another way of finding your best shade is by figuring out which colours flatters you the most. Although the idea of 'colour matching' seems slightly 1980s, it is still advised when you are considering what to wear to a big event. There are many tools online that can make the process of finding your colours free and simple.  Once you have worked out if you are more warm, cool or neutral you can then go about choosing your outfit colour either by what shade appeals to you the most or by what would suit the weddings aesthetic and bridesmaids dresses.   For example, if you are you are cool toned and the wedding party are in a dusty pink you could opt for a jade green to contrast. Or if you are more warm-toned attending a summer wedding, where the bridesmaids are in light peach, you could go for a honey yellow for both a tonal and monotone option.  Something else that comes from doing a colour-match is that you become aware of more of the downsides of the traditional mother of the bride attire. The expected pastel colours really don't suit the majority of skin tones. They are only really recommended for those who fit the neutral category, i.e. neither warm or cold, with hazel eyes and browny, blonde hair.  Because of this, we really recommend that you embrace the huge and exciting variety of colours available to the modern mother of the bride. As the fact that really no colour is off-limits means that you can find one that compliments not only the bridal party but yourself too.  How have mother of the bride dresses changed over the years?  It is hard to know historically what the mother of the bride outfit was. Portraits of the newlyweds were sometimes created however these were infrequent due to the expense of their creation. When they were made they would often only feature the couple themselves, and not the rest of their family.  Yet we are able to view the mother of the bride dresses of the last century more easily through the record of photography.  Pictures of royal weddings give us a great way of looking at wedding attire. Click on the links below to view royal mother of the bride dresses from the last nine decades. From the marriage of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947 to Princess Margret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones 1960  then Prince Charles and Dinna in 1985 to Prince William and Kate Middleton 2011 and Harry and Megan last year.  These photos show us just how little the mother of the bride dresses have changed over time. Quite striking when you think of the huge evoltion of fashion from 1947 to 2019! The only area in which we can see a change is in the length of the skirt, moving from floor-length to just below the knee. The colour of the dresses has stayed remarkably similar throughout all those years, champagne and light blue tones being prefered. The style and cut of the dresses have also maintained a familiarity through loose-fitting skirts. Cropped or slightly longer jackets that match the dress have also stayed a stedfast staple.  This unchanging mother of the bride dress is not simply a phenomenon within the royal family. Rather, their status as icons of occasion wear means that this is a style of dress that has reigned supreme over wedding dressing.  Martha Stewart weddings describe the pros and cons of this: ‘Not too long ago, the couple's mothers were relegated to a "uniform:" a loose-fitting gown, often beaded, with a matching jacket in some shade of beige or champagne. The colour and style worked for some, especially those who preferred more conservative attire. Today, however, there are many women who want to wear a dress in a colour and cut that shows off their sense of style—and it's not always a beige sheath that allows them to do so.’ This type of dress is all too familiar, countless websites and articles refer to the downfalls of the matronly style. Yet, just because the wedding of Harry and Megan brings this mother of the bride style of dress into 2019. This does not mean that the modern mother of the bride needs to be restricted by such a dress.  Just as the age-old rule 'don't wear black to a wedding' is no longer relevant neither is this unflattering uniform. The internet offers a huge amount of inspiration from red carpet looks to Instagram and webpages. Making it easier than ever to past the traditional 'uniform' to find your perfect option wether that is mother of the bride dresses vintage or something a little more modern. You can make sure it suits you, not just your role in the wedding. Traditionally a bride's mother would be expected to conform to a sartorial uniform, often wearing a dress that would make them look matronly and demure. Yet, this style of dress is a hangover from a time where the mother would take a backseat in the wedding day proceedings. Watching the father walk his daughter's down the aisle, listening to the speeches of the groom, best man and brides' father.  Luckily, this expectation of the silent woman is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Just because you are the bride's mother this does not mean that you have to resign yourself to being a quite, matronly figure. Your daughter's wedding day is one to be proud of, not just for her but for yourself too. We really hope you find an outfit that helps you celebrate this special day.

Read more
Couple, pink dress, black suit, flowers