In Style

Outfit ideas for the mother of the bride (and of the groom)

The mother of the bride (but also that of the groom) is certainly one of the wedding protagonists: her look is one of the most commented and focus of particular attention.

Since the period of ceremonies is approaching, today we talk about the rules of style that dictate the choice of the mother of the bride’s outfit: model, fabric, color and accessories.

Obviously there are no universal rules: we must always take into account the tenor of the marriage, its time and location.

Here then how to orientate:



As for the colors, white, black and red are absolutely banned. Green light to soft and dusty tones if the ceremony is in the morning or to a more intense color palette if it takes place in the evening.

Silk, velvet, chiffon, crepe and all light fabrics are to be preferred, while linen, cotton and more casual materials are to be excluded in any case.



The dress for the mother of the bride must surely be more elegant, but this does not mean that it must be long with and with a train! It always depends on the time and the context.

For ceremonies in the morning the dress will be knee-length or midi length; for the evening instead we can focus on a sheath dress (you’re never wrong) or on medium-long lengths, but only if the wedding is very formal.




If ceremony and reception take place in the morning, a sheath dress is definitely a good idea: in sober colors and precious fabrics it is definitely a simple and elegant option.

Obviously you can focus on some detail or more particular accessory, but the overall look remains clean.



Also for the ceremonies that take place before 6pm, maybe in town, an alternative to the dress can be a two pieces: it is a slightly less formal choice, but no less elegant.

Obviously the same rules regarding style, color and fabric are respected.




As we said, the long dress is quite challenging, even if to wear it is the mother of the bride: it is indeed suited to very formal ceremonies.

The location can be a useful guide for choosing the outfit: the long dress will therefore be perfect in a villa, inadequate on an agritourism. As for the time, we talk about evening weddings, never during the day.



A solution that I find very elegant are trousers, often underestimated for the mother of the bride.

Advantages: they are more comfortable and easy to wear than a long dress, they cover the legs for those who have this need, and are more modern and sophisticated.

The idea could be a silk shirt with wide pants or even a crêpe suit. Obviously it is never a suit that we could wear in the office: the difference, once again, makes the fabric, the cut and the details.




A delicate theme for the mother of the bride, but in general for all the guests, is the shrug.

Personally I find the classic stole very boring, so I always suggest to solve the problem with a dress that already covers shoulders and arms, leaving us free in the movements.




In general, solid color is more formal than patterns. If the wedding is in the morning, we can also choose a beautiful print, provided it is delicate and uniform overall: nothing optical or too eye-catchy.



The same applies  floral prints: it is less formal than the solid color and should be chosen in medium-small size, with not too aggressive contrasts.

Even the floral print is more suitable in the morning than in the evening, unless it is a very small and delicate pattern.




Lace can certainly embellish a dress: we must consider its texture as a fantasy, so for the wedding should be combined with accessories in plain color.

The fuller lace is less formal and we use it to the maximum in the morning, while in the evening we prefer lighter and more impalpable versions, but never too transparent.




As we said in the post What to wear at a morning wedding, during the day it is possible to combine a medium-small bag to carry on shoulder or arm, favoring the classic goatskin, also in an eco-version.

Prohibited models too small for the evening or those too big, for free time.



Vice versa, for the evening, we can bet on a clutch or sachet model, daring even with glitter or more precious decorations.



Even the choice of shoes is quite delicate, because it has to combine elegance and comfort.

The closed-toe shoe is always more formal than the open sandal; a good compromise is the chanel model.

In the morning, focus on nude colors: they combine with everything and optically lengthen the leg. As for the shape of the heel, go along the ankle and calf structure: thin legs want thin heel, sturdy legs want thicker heel.



For the evening go-ahead to more elegant models and more precious materials: the nude is always good, but metals shades are also perfect.



For the other guests, it is good to remember that the hat at the wedding is worn only if it is also the mother of the bride to wear it. Furthermore, it is only suitable for morning ceremonies or outdoor receptions.

As for the rules of etiquette, in closed places, as in church, women can keep it (unlike men). Instead they have to take it off when sitting at the table.



Rossella Migliaccio
Italian Image Institute

You may also like

How to dress in style when it’s cold

Posted on December 19, 2017

Women’s tuxedo. Password: sensuality

Posted on December 29, 2015

Previous PostThe use of color in the world: North vs South
Next PostBorsa tonda: il trend dell'estate (e dell'autunno)

No Comments

Leave a Reply