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Your child’s marriage is one of life’s greatest celebrations, and as such, requires a truly special outfit. Sometimes, however, it can be tricky to find a stylish, comfortable and practical ensemble. Here, we’ve curated an edit of trustworthy Mother of the Bride outfits that tick all three, with brands such as REDValentino, MAX&Co. and PS Paul Smith.
Finding a Mother of the Bride (or Mother of the Groom) outfit used to be filled with confusing rules and formalities, making it quite a feat to find the perfect ensemble. Nowadays, however, dress codes have relaxed and the choice of [occasionwear](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/women/clothing/dresses/evening) has greatly expanded, making the experience a far more enjoyable one. And with a few of our expert styling tips, you’ll be looking and feeling your best all day long. First things first, give yourself plenty of time to find your outfit. Six months is a generous timeframe, while three months is the minimum if you’re wishing to make special orders or alterations. When it’s such a special occasion, you certainly don’t want to leave it to the last minute.
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It’s nice to let the bride or groom offer a helping hand when searching for that all-important ensemble. Consider their preferences for colours, styles and degree of formality when making your decision. It’s traditional for the Mother of the Bride to complement the colours of the bridal party, but let the bride decide. That said, they’ll likely want you to feel confident, comfortable and chic, so enjoy finding an outfit together that reflects your personality, as much as the sense of occasion. It was once customary for the Mother of the Bride to find her ensemble before the Mother of the Groom. Nowadays, however, it’s only a kind courtesy to let each other know about your chosen outfits – you’ll both want to avoid any colour clashes in the wedding photographs.
##### What should a Mother of the Bride wear? If you’re going for classic style, look for soft pastel colours such as lavender, silver, dove grey, and champagne. We particularly love these styles from [REDValentino](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/brands/red-valentino) and [Preen](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/brands/preen-line) in soft pink, as well as the spring-ready yellow of this [Lizon dress](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/women/clothing/dresses/day/lizon-dress/0000574419-211.html) by [Vanessa Bruno](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/brands/vanessa-bruno). Knee-length dresses, capped or ¾ length sleeves, bateau necklines, and a touch of tailoring with co-ordinated accessories, are as elegant as they are flattering. If your style is more irreverent, don’t be afraid to explore colours, patterns, prints and embellishments. This [Denso dress](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/women/clothing/dresses/day/denso-long-sleeve-maxi-dress/0000406813-RAINGARDENPATTERN.html) from [MAX&Co.](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/brands/maxandco.) is the perfect combination is vibrant colour and stunning pattern. It’s best to steer away from anything too bold or quirky – you don’t want to detract attention from the beautiful bride – but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to head-to-toe beige. And remember, there are plenty of dress alternatives to choose from. A smart two-piece suit like this sophisticated grey number from [Margaret Howell](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/brands/margaret-howell), a well-matched blouse and skirt pairing, or a tailored jumpsuit can all rise to the sense of occasion while making you feel comfortable and look incredible.
No matter what, be mindful of religious customs and cultural norms. For example, if it’s not appropriate to show bare shoulders, it’s the perfect opportunity to pop on an immaculately tailored jacket or stunning shawl. You can always be stylish and respectful at the same time. ##### Can the Mother of the Bride wear black? The current consensus is that yes, you may wear black to a wedding, but not an all-black look – otherwise you will look like you are in mourning on one of happiest days of your child’s life. Instead, opt for black in patterns and prints or accessorise with colour for a more celebratory ensemble. Remember that you’ll be wearing this outfit all day – from the ceremony to the dinner and into a night of dancing – so creasing is a very real problem! Semi-synthetic and manmade materials tend to wrinkle less than natural fibres, so they’re ideal for lengthy celebrations.
Hats are sometimes something of a puzzle, and nowadays, are entirely optional. A beautiful hat or headpiece can add a sense of tradition and formality, but they’re in no way essential. Remember that you’ll be greeting guests and embracing family and friends all day long, so something smaller like a percher or a fascinator might be a more practical option. Drop in to one of our incredible millinery departments for expert advice on matching a hat to your outfit and occasion. Whatever you decide to wear, the most important thing is that you enjoy the day to its absolute fullest. Whether you do that in a complementary-coloured day dress and matching jacket or in a bright, ruffled, floor-length number, you’ll only have happy memories if you opt for something that makes you look and feel amazing without compromising on comfort, practicality and style.
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_Image via MAX&Co._