What to consider when shopping for the mother of the bride or groom outfit
The search for the mother of the bride or groom outfit can sometimes prove more problematic than the bride’s search for her wedding dress. While there is plenty of variety on the high street and in independent boutiques, the mother of the bride and groom outfits can be a fine balance in finding something that not only makes the wearer feel comfortable and confident but is also in-keeping with any colour schemes, themes or wedding dress codes.
As always, it is best to consult with the experts when finding the perfect wedding outfit. Sales assistants, personal shoppers and independent stylists are all best placed to guide and advise, and also offer a fresh perspective on a style to suit you.
Budget is also an important consideration. With the average wedding guest outfit now costing £155, and with the cost-of-living crisis an ongoing concern, wedding guests are becoming more savvy in the ways they choose to shop. Sustainability also has a part to play, and wedding guests are increasingly opting for classic choices over trend-led styles so that they can wear their outfit more than once.
Jane Lewis, founder and creative director of online womenswear retailer JANE, says: “Floral prints and romantic, feminine dresses are key trends at the moment, however this is in tandem with a more understated aesthetic. Increasingly, customers are looking for versatility – namely items with a before and after-life, easy to accessorise and timeless in appeal so that pieces can be worn to a variety of events.”
With this in mind, here are some other considerations mothers of the bride and groom should make when shopping for their outfits.
Think about formality
The location of the wedding will ultimately determine the formality of the day and the subsequent dress code; whether it’s a casual and relaxed beach-front wedding, or a castle ceremony and reception befitting of a more formal ensemble.
Guests of destination weddings will likely keep accessories to a minimum, while a traditional white wedding will attract a variety of styles. Hats, headpieces and fascinators are a quick and effective way of adding formality to your outfit. However, always ensure that they don’t swamp your frame or hide your face.
Think about outfits befitting of the occasion
Flatter your figure
You will know your figure the best and what parts you want to accentuate. The good news is that all body shapes can benefit from some clever styling tricks to ensure utmost confidence on the big day. For example, pear body shapes with narrow shoulders and wider hips can be balanced out with a structured jacket or blazer, while wider waistlines can be nipped in with a ribbon tie or waist belt to create a flattering and feminine silhouette. If your upper arms aren’t your favourite feature, opt for sleeves or cover-ups such as a shawl or bolero to make you feel less exposed. You can also use jewellery to draw attention to or divert attention away from particular areas of your body.
Avoid low-cut necklines or short hemlines to maintain an air of sophistication. Midi and maxi-length dresses and skirts are an ever-popular choice and are both comfortable and practical.
A classic cut will never go out of style
The wedding colour scheme is always a good place to start when thinking about the colours you want to wear. Avoid clashing with the colour scheme at all costs by considering a complementing colour palette for your wedding wear.
While white is traditionally considered a colour to avoid, reserved only for the bride, that is not to say mothers of the bride or groom can’t defy convention and wear a lighter shade – as long as you have the bride’s approval. Similarly, if you wish to wear bold and bright hues, consult with the bride and groom first to ensure your decision doesn’t detract from them on the day.
Whatever your colour choices, make sure your outfit and accessories work in harmony with one another.
Make modest choices that allow the bride and groom to take centre stage
Make seasonal selections
Think about the season in which the wedding is taking place. Spring, summer and destination weddings carry the risk of hot weather, so consider cool, lightweight fabrics such as linen and cotton for the day. For fabrics which don’t crease as easily, consider scuba or lace. You’ll still want to think about a cover-up for when the evening draws in, but avoid anything too heavy or restrictive to allow you to fully enjoy the balmy temperatures. Also consider shoes if there are lawned areas at the venue that will be used; a sturdy wedge shoe will be more practical than a high heel or kitten heel, which can sink into the grass.
Conversely, for colder autumn and winter weddings, sleeves or a warm jacket are a must – especially when it comes to outdoor photos. Layer more structured fabrics –such as a tweed or bouclé jacket, over lighter choices – such as a chiffon dress, to ensure you stay warm without compromising on style.
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