You're an elegant, sophisticated lady and it's your daughter's big day. (And you're wondering how did she grow up so fast?)
Which is just wonderful. Except you're thinking. WHAT ON EARTH AM I GOING TO WEAR?
Well, don't panic. There are some wonderful mother of the bride role models out there who in our opinion got the big day absolutely right and dressed the part to perfection.
We salute you Carole Middleton!
Carole Middleton (mother of Duchess Kate and sister Pippa Middleton). Okay, so she may have a larger bank balance than the average mother of the bride but that doesn't necessarily give someone taste and style (although in her case she has both in spades and in fact, as a role model for how the older woman looks, we don't think she puts a foot wrong really).
Carole got a number of things right on her daughters' wedding days, namely:
- She avoided layers of shiny silk
- She didn't have a complicated hair-do
- She didn't go overboard on the make-up (bright red lipstick etc.)
- She looked comfortable and true to herself. Sure, she's in great shape but she will have enhanced her good points and disguised the bad.
- She gets tailoring. Her outfits fitted her beautifully. Her jackets fitted her like a glove, the skirts were just the right length and fit - not too loose, not too tight.
- She forgot about on trend fashion. Carole went for classic styling, so these wedding pictures aren't going to date any time soon.
- She embraced pastels. She wore pale blue for one wedding and pale pink for another. Both shades flattered her skin tone completely.
Rules for the mother of the bride
- Don't wear white or cream (yes we know, it's obvious, but you'd be surprised ...)
- Don't wear a plunging neckline at an afternoon wedding (change into evening dress for an evening party)
- Don't allow yourself to be pigeon holed into a 'mother of the bride' outfit. Have a look at movie stars of a similar age and see what they're wearing. Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep tend to get it right.
- If you think you look better in trousers, then wear them. Just make sure they're tailored and worn with a well cut jacket.
- Don't wear an over-large hat - people will want to see your face in the pictures.
- If you're buying off-the-peg, then consider having your outfit altered. A good dressmaker or seamstress will alter a standard fit to fit you perfectly and it's well worth spending the money on a few alterations.
- If you're not happy to show your upper arms, then consider a dress with lace sleeves - which will flatter and disguise. Bracelet length sleeves are usually the most flattering.
Department stores are good places to shop because they have a vast and varied selection. However, a boutique might be more personal and have limited designs (so you don't run the risk of someone else wearing the same outfit!)
Alternatively, you might like to check out the new Jenny Packham range of dresses at Dessy, which feature lace and are super elegant.