Jump to content

Menu

Mother-of-the-bride dress


Recommended Posts

My beloved daughter is getting married on Memorial Day weekend. I do not know what to wear and feeling insecure about it. I've never been a fashion plate.😅

Here are the stats:

Bride in standard gorgeous lace gown with a bit of a train.

Bridesmaids in long, forest green infinity dresses (brushing tops of feet).

Groom and groomsmen in gray suits.

We've rented an elegant barn both for coronavirus safety and because bride and groom and families love forest hikes and camping and being outdoors.

We are city folks (originally from Chicago), so even though we have a barn we are not looking at a barn or country theme. Rather, the theme is more elegant. No burlap. Rather, think glass and silver. Barn has pretty crystal chandeliers and tulle curtains at the door.

Dd says it's not as formal as black tie but it's not casual either. I am not sure what that means. I asked what color to wear and she said, "Any color that is found in nature."🤔 I am not sure what that means either.😂

Edited to add: New information from dd--semi-formal or cocktail. Wedding at 4pm followed by dinner.

I am tall, full bust, and unfortunately heavy in the midriff. (And it feels unfair because I exercise all the time and eat nutritiously. So much salad! And whole, non-processed foods and all that jazz. I am one of those people with excellent muscle tone and yet, still heavy.) I have silvery-white hair and I look best in bold jewel tones. Styles that look good on me are:

  • V-neck
  • Deep scoop neckline
  • Portrait collar
  • Wrap-style fronts
  • Waistline that either falls a little high under the bust or low to skim the hips. (In other words, not right at the waistline.)
  • Long skirt, definitely. Perhaps ankle length or tea length?

I am leaning towards wearing blue, gray-blue, navy, or perhaps a lighter olive kinda green. Blue is my favorite color, though I love green, too. I look hideous in sweet, spring pastels. I am not opposed to plum or purple or wine but am afraid that I will guess the shade wrong and end up clashing with groom's mom. Word on the street is that the groom's mom is considering either plum or black/white floral.

I am insecure about hitting the right note as far as formality and fabrics. I do not want to look like a bridesmaid?? I can sew and alter anything to be exactly what I want.

I could use some direction from those who have more fashion savvy than me. Some do's and don't's would be much appreciated.

For example, these dresses are pretty. Too formal? Too bridesmaidish? Or just right? Or should I lean more towards Sunday best?

https://www.jjshouse.com/A-Line-V-Neck-Floor-Length-Chiffon-Lace-Mother-Of-The-Bride-Dress-With-Split-Front-008164059-g164059

https://www.jjshouse.com/A-Line-V-Neck-Floor-Length-Chiffon-Evening-Dress-With-Split-Front-017198659-g198659

https://www.jjshouse.com/A-Line-V-Neck-Floor-Length-Chiffon-Lace-Mother-Of-The-Bride-Dress-With-Ruffle-Beading-008114230-g114230

https://www.jjshouse.com/A-Line-V-Neck-Asymmetrical-Chiffon-Evening-Dress-With-Beading-Sequins-017208806-g208806

Edited by Harriet Vane
add information
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations!  I don't have a lot of specific advice...  My favorite though was the last, mostly because as the mother of the bride, I'd prefer something elegant (given the particular wedding style) but without the added embellishment that's on the other dresses.  

Also, I wanted to say that I'm just a tad envious of someone like you -- great muscle tone but somewhat heavy.  You'll be one of those women that go into old age looking strong and healthy.  I'm just going to look older and weaker.

Oh, also -- I do like the floor-length style given what else you've described about the wedding.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations! I don’t have much advice, but if you happen to live near a Nordstrom they’d be excellent at helping you with this!

eta: of the ones you linked, I think #4 is lovely! I’m not digging the high split on the legs of the others, but that’s just my opinion.

Edited by mmasc
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, mmasc said:

Congratulations! I don’t have much advice, but if you happen to live near a Nordstrom they’d be excellent at helping you with this!

I do live near Nordstrom's but we are totally locked in here. Both dh and I are working from home (me because that's how it's always been and him because of coronavirus), and we don't go anywhere these days. We don't want to get sick, and we don't want dear fil to suffer either. So I am trying to guesstimate  from the internet.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Harriet Vane said:

I do live near Nordstrom's but we are totally locked in here. Both dh and I are working from home (me because that's how it's always been and him because of coronavirus), and we don't go anywhere these days. We don't want to get sick, and we don't want dear fil to suffer either. So I am trying to guesstimate  from the internet.

I completely understand that! They do have free shipping and free returns...maybe they’d even help you over the phone ?? Good luck!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are plus sized, Kormorov is my go to for things like this.  I can always find a skimming, flattering dress that is not too bridal and not too funereal in just about any color scheme I need.  I buy them on clearance from Nordstrom or the Nordstrom Rack.  To me they are pricy but I still have the first one I bought, now 10-11 years old, and it’s a timeless enough style that it still looks great, so the price per wear is actually pretty low.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite was the last one, but it would depend on how it fits.  I suggest ordering several, and returning the ones you don't want.  I can never tell how a dress will fit until I have it on!  With the wedding you describe, I think navy, plum, or garnet, possibly a little sparkle on the dress. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I like all of your options. I'm drawn to jewel tones for MOB dresses. I would avoid green and gray. MOB should get her own color. If you love blue, go for blue!

I would order a couple, try them on/make returns, rinse-repeat.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my favorite site and it's where I bought my mother of the bride dress. You can customize your length, sleeves, etc.

I was SUPER happy with their service. It fit perfectly. 

(I think that silver, navy, blue would all be good choices. I wouldn't go too close to what mother of the groom will pick.)

https://www.eshakti.com/

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

No on any dress with a thigh high split. I know it’s supposed to make one’s legs look trim, but I don’t think it’s a trend that will age well.

Are you committed to floor length dresses or are you willing to consider dressy pant suits or knee length dresses?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, prairiewindmomma said:

No on any dress with a thigh high split. I know it’s supposed to make one’s legs look trim, but I don’t think it’s a trend that will age well.

Are you committed to floor length dresses or are you willing to consider dressy pant suits or knee length dresses?

I will not wear a dress with a thigh high split. If I buy such a dress, I will sew it shut  or at least a little lower.

I am willing to consider dressy flowy pants and any skirt longer than knee length. I tend to look better in longer skirts, but am open to any number of variations.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I vote the last one or something similar.  I really like that stormy color.

The most beautiful mob dress I ever saw was my late sister's.  She had silvery white hair and wore a gray dress.  It was floor length and flowy with detail that was sort of like a jacket.  She looked stunning!

If the other mom wears a print I think dresses like the first two would clash.

Congrats!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, sassenach said:

This one is beautiful! I'd say this leans towards Sunday-best (less formal but still lovely and dressy). I am personally better off with something longer, but it's good to have some reference for what others have done.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Another option that I used for my sister's wedding was Azazie. I'm new and unsure how to post a link, but they have lovely dresses and, for no extra charge, they will fit the dress to your exact measurements. Her wedding was last September (also outdoors) and it was so nice to be able to get a custom fitted dress without having to go anywhere. They carry mother of the bride dresses.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations! My daughter got married last summer, outdoors, so you are doing what I did a year ago...online shopping. At least I tried on a few dresses before the lockdown and got a sense of colors looked good on me, or not  I ended up with a navy dress. All your choices look beautiful.  Consider a color that would also compliment the bridesmaid dresses.  

Since it is outdoor and you may have pictures on the lawn, I would suggest at least a tea length dress, but no longer.  My seamstress and I contemplated that one, and I should have gone shorter.  Even though I had a small heel, the grass was long. It looked ok, but just a tad long in the grass.  Also, I had a slightly pointed heel which kept sinking in the lawn walking down the isle.  Be careful on this choice as well. 

I found my dress at Macy's. Don't be afraid to order a few with the intent of returning.  IDK what bridal shops are doing now, but if they are still being careful, you may be able to get an appointment to try on.  There may not be as many people in the store as usual.  Ours was on lockdown, and I had no choice but to order online.  If you do get to try on, you can get a better feel for color and style and order elsewhere if you don't find what you like there. 

A tip for the reception:  Think to have any food that will be served, to be served by specific people only. No foods with tongs for guests, as everyone will be touching even the tongs. Plenty of hand sanitizer around...

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I went through this last summer. I started looking about the time all the supply chains were backed up. lol  I like the 4th dress. I wouldn't worry too much about the bridesmaids colors. Your formal pictures will be mostly your immediate family. I would dress elegantly and probably in a long dress from your description of the venue and what your daughter says. You can be a bit more dressed up than the guests. Enjoy!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, ***** said:

Congratulations! My daughter got married last summer, outdoors, so you are doing what I did a year ago...online shopping. At least I tried on a few dresses before the lockdown and got a sense of colors looked good on me, or not  I ended up with a navy dress. All your choices look beautiful.  Consider a color that would also compliment the bridesmaid dresses.  

Since it is outdoor and you may have pictures on the lawn, I would suggest at least a tea length dress, but no longer.  My seamstress and I contemplated that one, and I should have gone shorter.  Even though I had a small heel, the grass was long. It looked ok, but just a tad long in the grass.  Also, I had a slightly pointed heel which kept sinking in the lawn walking down the isle.  Be careful on this choice as well. 

I found my dress at Macy's. Don't be afraid to order a few with the intent of returning.  IDK what bridal shops are doing now, but if they are still being careful, you may be able to get an appointment to try on.  There may not be as many people in the store as usual.  Ours was on lockdown, and I had no choice but to order online.  If you do get to try on, you can get a better feel for color and style and order elsewhere if you don't find what you like there. 

A tip for the reception:  Think to have any food that will be served, to be served by specific people only. No foods with tongs for guests, as everyone will be touching even the tongs. Plenty of hand sanitizer around...

 

Thanks for the tips!

Re shoes: Has to be flat or almost flat because of chronic foot pain AND grass.

Re food: Believe me, I am on full coronavirus protocol. There will be servers and we are planning for masks and distanced tables and hand sanitizer. I question whether a big affair will be allowed at that time, but dd would like to plan for their ideal and then scale back if necessary.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going to suggest jjshouse as a source, in part because they have a zillion colors and you can order swatches. 

I like all of the linked dresses, but I think the second one and the last are best. I like the dark navy of the first one. What I like more about the second one is, the appliques look more like vines and therefore, look more like the “found in nature” theme. You will definitely want your dress to be in harmony with the wedding party for pictures. Navy ought to accomplish that, or a dark grey or green. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some random encouraging tips:

IMO, the dresses with the thigh slit are full enough that you (or a friend) could carefully stitch that opening closed without an issue.

My dh and I have decided we're wearing the same outfits to ALL of our kids' weddings.
I have a navy dress with a subtle darker navy floral design, calf length. 
Somewhat like PP = https://www.nordstrom.com/s/komarov-beaded-neck-three-quarter-sleeve-a-line-dress/5750057?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FBrands%2FKomarov&color=moroccan blue
DH has a dark gray suit.  We're dressed up, but not becoming the center of attention.

Amazon has "Prime Closet" where you order a boxful of dresses and only pay for what you keep.
My dear SIL used that to find a beautiful MOB dress, as she wanted to try them on at home, in a variety of sizes.

Best wishes as you shop-but-not-stress-out for this special dress!


 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, sassenach said:

I like all of your options. I'm drawn to jewel tones for MOB dresses. I would avoid green and gray. MOB should get her own color. If you love blue, go for blue!

I would order a couple, try them on/make returns, rinse-repeat.

I thought etiquette deems the MOB gets dibs on color and then the MOG chooses accordingly.  

I think you would look lovely in any of the jewel tones - navy, a darker orchid, grape would all look lovely on you.  They would compliment your hair and coloring nicely.  Of the selections you linked, I like 3 and 4 the best.  But, you never really know until you try it on. 

I needed a fancy dress for a black tie wedding and ordered several dresses, thinking I would love them based upon how they looked on the model.  When I tried them on, they just weren't flattering.  One waist hit in just the wrong spot on my.  Another made my arms look chubbier and less toned than they really were.  I happened to be in the store returning the dresses and a clerk insisted I try on a dress that I thought looked silly on the hanger (it had all these tiers that were so in.)  I tried it on and loved it!  

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you sew, I suggest making it yourself.  I have had so much drama getting dresses for our first two weddings that I've made everyone promise to not let me even try but to just start on a custom dress from the beginning. I have fit issues due to being petite (but overweight) and also strict modesty requirements per religion. Starting from scratch would have been worlds easier than what I went through. 

My dress from JJs house was lovely. Didn't fit, but was lovely 😬☹️

Edited by busymama7
Trying to change smiley but can't get it to work 🙄
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the first three! (We must have similar taste), but I’m not a fan of the last one. 
 

But I agree with whoever said no to the thigh-high slit. They look great in models, but not on me. 
 

I also agree that you should order several and try them on and decide. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

No on any dress with a thigh high split. I know it’s supposed to make one’s legs look trim, but I don’t think it’s a trend that will age well.

Are you committed to floor length dresses or are you willing to consider dressy pant suits or knee length dresses?

Gotta agree with the split, I would sew it closed. 
 

I haven't read all the way through, but have you considered something in the cafe au lait/taupe/bronzish color group? I keep thinking with the forest green dresses that would blend and look nice in photos. It would have to be the perfect shade for your skin tone, but consider it. Mother of the bride should get her own color, but it should complement and not stand out starkly in photos. 
 

You are going to be beautiful no matter what because you will be clothed in happiness for your daughter. ❤️

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

I thought etiquette deems the MOB gets dibs on color and then the MOG chooses accordingly.  

I think you would look lovely in any of the jewel tones - navy, a darker orchid, grape would all look lovely on you.  They would compliment your hair and coloring nicely.  Of the selections you linked, I like 3 and 4 the best.  But, you never really know until you try it on. 

I needed a fancy dress for a black tie wedding and ordered several dresses, thinking I would love them based upon how they looked on the model.  When I tried them on, they just weren't flattering.  One waist hit in just the wrong spot on my.  Another made my arms look chubbier and less toned than they really were.  I happened to be in the store returning the dresses and a clerk insisted I try on a dress that I thought looked silly on the hanger (it had all these tiers that were so in.)  I tried it on and loved it!  

Yes, the unspoken hierarchy of color choice:

1 - bride (not always Snow White!)

2 - bridesmaids

3 - mother of bride

4 - mother of groom

5 - grandmothers

Also, in our family weddings we deferred to the bride’s choice of length, a sweet bride will give the moms choice but that’s also determined by formality of event. I rarely get to wear long dresses so I leaped at the chance. A long dress also meant I didn’t have to wear stockings or get my legs spray tanned. Also easier to hide non-diva comfy shoes!

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

I thought etiquette deems the MOB gets dibs on color and then the MOG chooses accordingly.  

I think you would look lovely in any of the jewel tones - navy, a darker orchid, grape would all look lovely on you.  They would compliment your hair and coloring nicely.  Of the selections you linked, I like 3 and 4 the best.  But, you never really know until you try it on. 

I needed a fancy dress for a black tie wedding and ordered several dresses, thinking I would love them based upon how they looked on the model.  When I tried them on, they just weren't flattering.  One waist hit in just the wrong spot on my.  Another made my arms look chubbier and less toned than they really were.  I happened to be in the store returning the dresses and a clerk insisted I try on a dress that I thought looked silly on the hanger (it had all these tiers that were so in.)  I tried it on and loved it!  

Groom's parents are both really lovely people, and we genuinely like them. Dd gave MOG exactly the same vague guidance she gave me (any color in nature), so I think we're all doing our best here in a new role and a new stage in life. It wouldn't surprise me if Dd told her blue is my favorite color.

I know exactly what you mean about thinking one thing from the look on the rack but finding that it fits completely differently when you try it on. That is my reality. I am planning to order a few to look at.

I found a few options on Eshakti and one on Amazon as well, so there's a lot to puzzle through.

Edited by Harriet Vane
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

https://www.nordstrom.com/s/alex-evenings-sleeveless-beaded-gown/5621847?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FWomen%2FClothing%2FDresses&fashioncolor=Blue&color=navy

 

What about this?  The waistline is higher.  I like how it’s solid on the top and lace on the bottom. The skirt appears a bit more full in this one. 

Or how about this? It’s wrap, with a sweetheart neckline.

https://www.nordstrom.com/s/la-femme-ruched-twist-column-gown/4598587?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FWomen%2FClothing%2FDresses&fashioncolor=Blue&color=gunmetal

Another wrap style:

https://www.nordstrom.com/s/alex-evenings-embellished-side-drape-column-gown/4660306?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FWomen%2FClothing%2FDresses&fashioncolor=Blue&color=navy

My personal preference for wedding is a solid color or solid color with different textures or tone-on-tone.  I think patterns or things with a lot of contrast start looking busy in photos pretty quickly. 

Edited by Hoggirl
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also sew any high split.

I think the 3rd or 4th link in your original post are lovely. I prefer solid colors, for me they are more timeless. Mother of the Bride gets to choose first and set the tone. Mother of the groom fits in with you. Wear what makes you feel happy and good. If you love blue, wear blue.

Our son got married almost 4 years ago. It was at anice outdoor venue, both MOB and I wore long dresses. Pictures turned out very well. I wore navy (groom and groomsmen in blue uniform) dad's wore gray suits. MOB wore a silvery color, so we didn't 'match', but the colors went together well. I had originally thought I should coordinate more with her, but she is 5 feet tall and a rounder build, and I'm 6 feet tall and angular. Since we don't look anything at all alike, I think dresses that worked well together but did not 'match' in any way actually helped us to look our best as individuals-and not try to make 2 very different people match.

Good luck!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Hoggirl said:

 

https://www.nordstrom.com/s/alex-evenings-sleeveless-beaded-gown/5621847?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FWomen%2FClothing%2FDresses&fashioncolor=Blue&color=navy

 

What about this?  The waistline is higher.  I like how it’s solid on the top and lace on the bottom. The skirt appears a bit more full in this one. 

Or how about this? It’s wrap, with a sweetheart neckline.

https://www.nordstrom.com/s/la-femme-ruched-twist-column-gown/4598587?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FWomen%2FClothing%2FDresses&fashioncolor=Blue&color=gunmetal

Another wrap style:

https://www.nordstrom.com/s/alex-evenings-embellished-side-drape-column-gown/4660306?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FWomen%2FClothing%2FDresses&fashioncolor=Blue&color=navy

My personal preference for wedding is a solid color or solid color with different textures or tone-on-tone.  I think patterns or things with a lot of contrast start looking busy in photos pretty quickly. 

I really like all three of these, particularly the first one. Thank you! More to consider.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...