Although everyone is looking at the bride at a wedding, the mother of the bride will also be front and center. If you’re the mother of the bride, you will want to put in the effort to look as nice as possible on your daughter’s special day. Formal wear is not something that most people pick out often, so finding the right dress can be overwhelming with all of the options there are to choose from. By knowing what styles and color to look for, you can narrow your choices and find the most flattering mother-of-the-bride dress.
Talk to the bride about her preferences for your mother-of-the-bride dress. She may have certain colors or styles she wants you to go by when choosing your dress.
To ensure the most flattering dress, you will most likely have to have it special-ordered, since most bridal shops keep limited sizes and colors in stock. Begin the process of choosing your dress as far in advance as possible, because you will need time to have it altered for the best fit.
Find out what dress styles are most flattering for your body type. Read an online shape guide (see Resources) so you know what to look for and what to avoid when shopping or looking through a bridal magazine. A-line dresses are generally flattering to most body types, because they fit close through the waist and gradually billow out toward the hips.
Select a color that is both wedding-appropriate and flatters your skin tone; try on different colors to see what looks best. You can also consult a skin-color-matching guide online, which can give you some general guidelines on what colors may look best on your skin tone.
Once you decide what style and color you are looking for, look through bridal magazines or bridal-shop catalogs for a dress that fits your criteria. Once you decide, ask at the bridal shop the bride has selected if they have your selected dress in stock; if not, they will special-order it.
When your dress arrives, make an appointment with the bridal shop’s tailor. The key to a flattering mother-of-the-bride dress is a proper fit, and the right alterations will make the dress custom-fit your body.
Choosing the right undergarments will make any dress much more flattering, so purchase a midsection body smoother from an undergarment store.
Avoid white or ivory, which takes the focus off the bride, as well as black, which is traditionally considered a mourning color.