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Mother-of-the-bride outfits

Lynnette Peck / 15 March 2016

Expert advice and suggested mother-of-the-bride outfits for that very special, long and emotional day.

Bride with her mother
Standing in church and outside for photos can get chilly so don’t forget a cover up.

Your daughter announces she is getting married and your first thought is to worry about what you will wear.

Welcome to the dilemma that thousands of MOTBs (mothers of the bride) face every year. But fear not as we are here to navigate this one for you, with expert advice and suggested outfits. Happy shopping - and congratulations.

Related: How to look good in wedding photographs

Related: Make-up tips for the mother of the bride

What the fashion stylist says

Hannah Eichler, fashion stylist (

Dress from the inside out

A properly measured bra and briefs can not only make your clothes fit better and help to smooth your silhouette, but they’ll make you feel more confident.

Avoid going match-matchy

A mismatching pair of shoes and handbag look modern, and steer clear of matching jewellery - a statement bracelet, cocktail ring or earrings is just the right touch.

Comfort is key

Shoes with a block heel or wedge will keep your feet happy - and remember to wear them in around the house. If you purchase your heels first take them with you when shopping to ensure they’ll complement your whole look.

You don’t have to wear a dress

Opting for separates like a skirt and blouse, or an elegant tailored trouser suit makes a chic statement. Plus you’ll be able to mix and match them after the event to get maximum wear out of them.

Clever ways to flatter your figure

Panelling or pleats can help flatten stomachs, subtle boning can sculpt your figure, plus you can even enhance an hourglass figure by looking for 1950s’ style dresses and skirts. Sheer fabrics are a great way of subtly showing some skin while providing extra coverage - dresses or tops with lace or crochet sleeves are perfect for disguising arms.

Don’t forget your cover-up

Standing in church and outside for photos can get chilly so don’t forget a cover up - side step dated pashminas in favour of a fitted blazer, lightweight knee-length coat or cropped jacket which will flatter your figure, look great in photos, and serve as investment you can wear again.

Make sure you're visible in photos

As MOTB you’ll spend a large part of the day posing for photos and meeting and greeting people, so when choosing a hat ensure you’re visible underneath. Side swept hats, styles which perch on the crown of your head or even a chic hair clip or headband are great options.

The buying director says

Cheryl Coucher, buying director of Navabi (

1. Let the bride be the guide as she will set the tone for the event; is it a formal black tie, laid back beach wedding or country house formal? Once MOTB’s know this then outfit planning can begin.

2. As long as the MOTB doesn't wear the same colour as the bride, but tones in with the colour scheme of the event, as dictated by bridesmaid’s and flowers, the MOTB's happiness will shine through.

4. The MOTB must feel comfortable in her outfit - elegant and appropriate for the venue and reflective of her style - otherwise she will feel uncomfortable which will show in the many photographs which will be taken.

The party planner says

Jessica Brunt from Hen Heaven (

1. Don’t go overboard with the headwear. The first thing we think about when we’re invited to a wedding is the age-old ‘Shall I buy a hat?’ It’s not a no-go, but headwear has got to be fitting to the ceremony. If you’re a fan of a hat, it’s probably best to wear only if your daughter is having a formal wedding. If it is less formal it might be better to go for a fascinator.

2. Have a blow dry or professional make up done before. It’s also worth thinking about what make up looks good in photos as some foundations will give you flashback and its worth bringing a light powder to keep that post-dancing shine at bay for photos.

3. Consult the other party members. Traditionally the mother of the bride will set the style and colour for what both she and the mother of the groom will be wearing, so try to be aware of what would suit both parties.

Best websites for mother-of-the-bride outfits

The Mother of the Bride Outfits -

Next -

Jacques Vert -

John Lewis -

Debenhams -

Monsoon -

Hobbs -

Navabi -

Hats and fascinators

House of Fraser have a great selection of hats and fascinators -


We rate L.K.Bennett when it comes to handbags, ranging from totes to clutch bags -


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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