Choosing mother of the bride outfits, whether you want a dress or separates, can be a tricky task. All eyes are, of course, on the couple. But chances are, you’ll be your daughter’s right-hand woman, supporting her throughout the day, so you’ll be very visible to all the guests – not to mention that your look will be captured in plenty of photos. This means that finding an outfit you feel confident and comfortable in is essential.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes for shopping for your mother of the bride outfit, ask your daughter for some tips. She might have a colour she’d like you to wear (maybe the same shade or colour family as her bridesmaids and maid of honour), or be able to shed some light on the vibe of her wedding. If she’s having a boho theme, you might look a little out of place in a formal dress with a matching hat and jacket.
The couple’s choice of venue will also be able to help you along the way to choosing your mother of the bride outfit. If they’re getting hitched in a country house wedding venue, for example, you know you’ll want something rather dressy, while if she’s having an outdoor or woodland wedding, a floatier, floral dress could be a good choice.
It may seem obvious advice, but the season of the wedding is something to keep in mind too, especially if you’re buying your outfit months in advance. If your daughter is having a summer wedding, the full range of summer outfits won’t be available on the high street if you’re shopping in the winter!
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What colour should the mother of the bride’s dress be?
Pastel mother of the bride outfits are among the most popular choices, but that’s not to say you have to go down the traditional route; if colourful wedding outfits are more your style, by all means rock a bright hue – there are plenty of funky and quirky mother of the bride outfits that are bold and stylish.
Who pays for the mother of the bride outfit?
The mother of the bride tends to pay for her own wedding outfit. If you both love retail therapy, you and your daughter could go looking for it together. You could make it into a fun occasion, organising a lunch or going for a glass of prosecco together when you’re done for the day.
What is the difference between mother of the bride and mother of the groom dresses?
There isn’t really a difference, but it’s worth asking the mother of the groom what she plans to wear, to avoid clashing, or even worse, turning up in the same outfit! Ideally your outfits will complement each other, without looking matchy-matchy.
What length of dress should the mother of the bride wear?
You’ve probably come across ‘style rules’ for dressing your age. You know the sort of nonsense – don’t wear a shirt above the knee past 50. The truth is, there are no rules. We say, wear whatever you want if it suits your personal style. Whether you’re looking for mother of the bride outfits for over 50s, 60s or 70s, there are fabulous options to choose from.
Scroll down for our favourite mother of the bride dresses and outfits for 2020.
Spring mother of the bride dresses & outfits
Spring is possibly the easiest season for mother of the bride dressing; it calls for fresh and pretty hues, midi dresses and matching jackets, and fancy hats – all the classic elements included in mother of the bride outfits!
Silk Blossom Dress – £299, Hobbs
How romantic is this pattern? The 100% silk fabric gives Hobbs’ Blossom dress a really luxurious feel.
Oline Lace Dress – £130, Gina Bacconi
Yellow is bang on trend, and it’s the perfect colour for a spring wedding, bringing a happy, optimistic vibe. It can be tricky to wear as a block of colour, but the lace inserts in this Gina Bacconi Oline dress break it up beautifully.
Piaf Block Print Silk Dress – £236, L.K. Bennett
A mouthwateringly spring-like colour in a modern pattern – what’s not to love about this L.K. Bennett Piaf dress?
Andre Dress – £235, Reformation
A wonderfully chic option from fashion editors’ favourite Reformation. The lightly puffed sleeves of this Andre dress keep the silhouette contemporary, and the midi length makes it easy to wear.
Style 991532 – £699,Veni Infantino
The dream dress for a garden party, style 992532 by Veni Infantino is a flattering tea length and features a lovely illusion neckline.
ATOL Style 07 – £275, Pronovias
An effortlessly chic cocktail dress, the details of ATOL Style 07 by Pronovias are perfectly judged, from the illusion sleeves to the Mikado cuffs.
Frances Floral Tea Dress – £99, Monsoon
This is a 2020 update on the classic tea dress. The mix of gold florals with metallic dots, the perfectly shaped sleeves and the asymmetric neckline all give Monsoon’s Frances dress a fresh feel.
Style 70977 – £785, Condici
Spring evenings can be chilly, so choose a style that comes with a jacket, like Condici style 70977. The dress features a floral top and delicate diamante at the waist.
READ MORE: The best mother of the bride dresses with jackets
Clarissa Jumpsuit – £140, Boden
We love the figure-flattering shape of Boden’s Clarissa jumpsuit – from the high neck to the palazzo legs, this is such an elegant silhouette. It’s available in three colours, but we think the maroon is the most sophisticated.
Summer mother of the bride dresses & outfits
Summer weddings call for bright and breezy outfits that will keep you cool under the hot sun. You may still feel the chill as the mercury drops, however, particularly if you’re planning on staying to the end, so do consider a stylish cover-up.
Sidney Shift Dress – £250, L.K. Bennett
Tweed can look a bit try-hard; L.K. Bennett’s Sidney shift dress is anything but. With its striped grosgrain ribbon embellishment, raw-edge trim and patch pockets, it’s the epitome of laid-back cool.
Style 991535 – £700, Veni Infantino
If glamour is the order of the day, this high-waisted skirt and glittery top combination from Veni Infantino should do the job – just make sure you keep accessories to a minimum.
Kira Jumpsuit – £140, Phase Eight
The pretty lace bodice with scalloped sleeves on Phase Eight’s Kira jumpsuit has a beautifully romantic feel, and the taupe hue is easy to accessorise.
Puff Sleeve Midi Dress – £59.99, Warehouse
We’re going to be totally honest: we never actually liked THAT Zara dress. When it comes to polka dots, this Warehouse midi dress is far superior in the style stakes. As the fabric is pretty sheer, you may need to buy a slip.
READ MORE: The best gifts for the mother of the bride
Style 70993 in Soft Pistachio – £819, Condici
Capes are set to be a major trend for 2020. Style 70993 by Condici comes with a lightweight, waterfall version with slashed sleeves – perfect for a summer’s evening.
Jamie Dress – £59, Hush
Leopard print is always going to win you style points, and the short sleeves on Hush’s Jamie dress make it perfect for summer celebrations. Style it with gold jewellery and sexy shoes, whether heels or flats.
Style 991497 – £686, Veni Infantino
This tiered-skirt dress is available in four colourways, but we’re particularly drawn to the navy and pacific blue version. Veni Infantino style 991497 comes with a three-quarter-length sleeve coat as a chic cover-up.
Mila Dress – £189, Hobbs
If you’d prefer a long sleeve in summer, go for sheer, to keep the look light (and so you don’t over-heat!). This pink Mila dress from Hobbs is perfect.
READ MORE: 22 emotional mother of the bride pictures
Side Slit Wrap Dress – £65, & Other Stories
You don’t have to go for a statement dress. Choose something chic and simple, like this & Other Stories wrap dress, then build your look through your shoes and jewellery.
Style 26782 – £837, John Charles
Another excellent summer sleeve: these flowing cape sleeves keep the look seasonally appropriate. John Charles style 26782 also has intricate shoulder detailing, to make this mother of the bride dress feel even more special.
Elise Ponte Dress – £110, Boden
The colour blocking on Boden’s Elise ponte dress adds contemporary style to the classic A-line silhouette, and the bow neckline feels very on trend.
Autumn mother of the bride dresses & outfits
Autumn weddings are often associated with rich burgundy dresses and navy blue ensembles, but purple, pink, cream and blue look just as fabulous.
Style 5022 – £558, Gill Harvey
This is a real showstopper, from the bubblegum-pink lace to the fabulous feather trim. If you want to wear the style but feel the colour is too much for you, Gill Harvey’s style 5022 is available in other hues, too.
Animal Clash Midi Dress – £89, Harpenne
For a bold, fashion-led look, the bright animal print on Harpenne’s midi dress could be exactly what you’re looking for. The finer details are on-point, too, from the black lace trim to the handkerchief hem.
READ MORE: 100 best wedding guest dresses
Esther Dress – £159, Hobbs
You may not normally associate shirt dresses with party outfits, but that’s until you met the slinky and sophisticated Hobbs’ Esther dress.
Munroe Jumpsuit – £85, Phase Eight
Phase Eight really are nailing it with their jumpsuits at the moment, and the understated Munroe is no exception. The semi-sheer sleeves provide a delicate note, and the draped silhouette is easy to wear.
Tenerife Collection, Set 7 – £POA, Linea Raffaelli
This look is contemporary elegance at its best, from the beautifully cut high-waisted trousers to the fluted sleeves and form-flattering crossover top – one of our favourites from the Linea Raffaelli Tenerife Collection.
Style 991467 – £475, Veni Infantino
A jacket and pencil skirt combination is timelessly stylish. Veni Infantino up the romance factor with style 991467, with pretty embroidery and a hint of sparkle.
READ MORE: The worst-ever mother of the bride dresses
Valerie Dress – £300, Reformation
We know that wearing black to a wedding can be controversial, but so long as you and the couple are happy, we say go ahead. The sophisticated black Valerie dress by Reformation has chic puffed sleeves and embroidery at the hem.
Style 71000 – £785, Condici
The rich colour is very season-appropriate, and we love the intricate detailing on the bodice of Condici’s style 71000. The three-quarter sleeves make the whole thing feel extra fresh.
Buttoned High Neck Dress – £139, Massimo Dutti
If your style is on the minimalist side, this could well be the dress for you. The A line silhouette and high neck speak to pure refinement – another winner from Massimo Dutti.
Winter mother of the bride outfits & dresses
Winter wedding outfits can be tricky, as you need to find a wedding guest coat the flatters the ensemble too. Thicker materials and matching jackets are the perfect way to keep warm and still look stylish.
Tracy Dress – £110, Phase Eight
The romantic rose pattern is wedding-perfect, and Phase Eight’s Tracy dress is made from a stretch jersey, ensuring you’ll be comfortable from morning to dance floor!
Style 29461 – £POA, Invitations
There’s something romantic about pastels in winter. Invitations Style 29461 is available in four colourways, but we particularly like this ivory and blush combination.
Polka Dot Blouse with Tailored Man Pant & Belt – £630, Me+Em
We love mannish tailoring, and this is exactly the kind of cool silhouette we could see Tilda Swinton wearing. The pretty mint colour of this Me+Em outfit adds a feminine edge.
READ MORE: 22 thoughts all winter wedding guests have
Style ISE830 – £495, Ispirato
The shape of this navy dress by Ispirato is supremely flattering, from the pleated bodice to the collar-bone highlighting neckline. The micro polka dot pattern is very 2020.
Annabelle Dress – £145, Ghost
The rich colour, fluted sleeves and sexy satin fabric of Ghost’s Annabelle all say grown-up party dress. The shoulders are slightly padded to enhance the silhouette.
Theodora Pleated Skirt – £85, Boden
Of all the colours and pattern Boden’s Theodora skirt comes in, our favourite is Bright Camellia. Pair it with a colour clash top, as here, or for more of a contrast, choose a black blouse – like this Oliver Bonas beauty.
READ MORE: 13 ways to save money on winter weddings
Letty dress – £230, Gina Bacconi
Rich velvet is such a winter-perfect fabric, and the rich green hue of Gina Bacconi’s Letty dress makes it even more seasonally appropriate. The wrap style makes it even more glamorous.
Style 26854 – £POA, John Charles
We love a textured fabric for chillier months, and this jacquard dress absolutely fits the bill. The fluted sleeves and 3D flowers at the neckline take style 26854 by John Charles from chic to glam.
L.K. Bennett Lazia Dress – £550, L.K. Bennett
What could be more appropriate for Christmas party season than a red sequinned dress? It would be all too easy for something like this to tip over into too-much territory. Luckily, as this Lazia dress is from L.K. Bennett, you know the cut will be refined and the fabric sophisticated. The grown up way to do sparkle.
Chosen your look and ready to accessorise? Check out our statement earring edit.