Mother of the Main Event

By Callie Martin

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It’s that time of year again: countless couples are preparing to say “I do” in front of their loved ones. While most brides will don a white (or white-ish) gown, the fashion rules are less clear for the beloved mother of the bride or groom. Attending a wedding is stressful enough without having to worry about the number of sequins on your gown, so here are some tips for shopping for your formal wear in 2017.

One of the first things that gets decided upon is the colour your dress. Should you match the bridal party or do your own thing? While I advocate for the latter, it’s always a good idea to check with your son/daughter about any expectations for your gown (though it’s probably safe to say anything in the white family is off the table).

This year’s popular colour is a deep mulberry, as well the always-popular red, pink and navy. Since we’re entering the summer wedding season, try to steer away from darker colours if your child is tying the knot in mid-July versus mid-September. Though the guests may look stunning in black, keep in mind that black on a mother of the bride or groom can sometimes be misinterpreted as grief, so unless you’re on your way to a gothic wedding, best leave your little black dress in the closet.

Once you’ve picked a colour that looks fabulous on you, it’s time to decide on the cut and silhouette of your gown. While for a guest, a cocktail length may be appropriate, I typically suggest fuller length dresses for the mothers of the happy couple in order to emphasize the formality of the occasion and your importance in it. Most full-length gowns can be converted to cocktail dresses when the event is over. If you’re truly opposed to a full-length gown, however, at the bare minimum, I recommend the dress be no shorter than mid-calf to keep you stylish and protected from the heat of direct sunlight.
For the silhouette, select something more fitted — tailors are sought out for these events for a reason. This is one of the most important days of your child’s life, so no need to risk looking like a shapeless raincloud. Instead, keep things nipped in at your waist to show off your shape, and opt for a flattering neckline. Regardless of how well you are/are not endowed, plunging necklines are rarely received well at a wedding – for anyone – least of all the mother of the bride or groom. Likewise, strapless dresses tend to be better suited for the bridesmaids, but opting for shorter sleeves or capped sleeves can be just as beautiful (and allow for a nice breeze to cool you off). One of the most important accessories you can bring with you will be a bolero jacket or shawl, so invest in one that complements the colour of your dress to stay looking hot as temperatures cool in the evening.

Your best accessory, though? Your smile, which will come easily to you with these fashion tips for this year’s wedding season. Opa, mazel tov, blessings and hip-hip hooray!


may 2017 INSPIRED senior living


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