When it comes to choosing the perfect outfit as the mother of the bride or groom, we know all too well that finding something that’s stylish, flattering and on budget while also leaving you free to express your sartorial sensibilities isn’t always easy. But as the most important guests at the wedding (after the newlyweds, of course), it’s only right that you should be dressed to impress.
The first person you should take lead from is the bride herself, and by the time you start shopping, you should have a good idea of your daughter’s wedding style and aesthetic.
While traditionally, mothers have had the option to match the bridal party by wearing the same color or choosing a variation on the palette, there are no hard and fast rules anymore – which could be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at Item. Either way, be sure to shop around. After all, if you pick something you feel amazing in and will wear again, the cost per wear will take care of itself.
“Choose something that has versatility and can be styled in different ways,” adds designer Suzannah Crabb. “An immaculately cut dress in a solid block colour, for example, can be given a whole different dynamic when you combine with different millinery choices or contrasting colors as opposed to neutrals.”
And the question we’re all dying to know the answer to: is it essential for the mother of the bride to wear a hat? “Absolutely not,” says Suzannah. “Beautifully styled hair and some statement jewelery looks just as chic and polished and is a very modern take on mother-of-the-bride style.”
From high street stores to independent designers, consider this your ultimate guide to the best places to shop for your big-day look.
Regardless of whether it’s a special purchase, if you’re keen to shop from a brand that’s doing its utmost to help the planet and its people, Beulah is a good place to start. It’s no secret that many garment workers face unsafe conditions and forced labour, but this brand works to empower vulnerable women who’ve escaped the sex trade by providing them with an income and skills, all the while raising awareness of the issue.
As for the clothes? Well, they’re beautiful. You’ll find everything from sophisticated chiffon midis and silk shirt dresses to tailored party frocks. The Ahana (£775, Beulahlondon.com) – a wool crepe fit-and-flare midi – is a bestseller and a lesson in elegance. The expertly placed belt gives a figure-defining fit and the buttons offer a beautifully classic finish.
Visit Beulah now
Think mother-of-the-bride style has to be trad? Think again with Rixo’s dreamy silk fabrics, hand-painted prints and flattering necklines. The London-born brand, which made its first foray into bridal in February last year, was founded by Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey in 2015, after the pair met at the University of Arts London. It soon became a hit with the fashion elite for its vibrant floral and vintage-inspired prints – not to mention a go-to for wedding guest dresses.
Whether you choose to match your daughter’s palette or clash it up and follow your own, you’ll pretty much nail it in a free-spirited Rixo design. Shop online or visit one of the four standalone stores in the capital.
Visit Rixo.co.uk now
There’s a reason the column dress and tailored jacket has stood the test of time as a mother-of-the-bride look, and it’s a vibe that London-based formalwear specialist Favourbrook does so well. Widely known for its menswear (and for being a popular choice with grooms), the womenswear collection is similarly crafted using luxury fabrics – think silk, organza, and the most beautiful linens.
The label produces its clothing in small batches, all of which are designed in the capital and handmade in the UK and Europe (fast fashion this is not), so while it’s on the pricier end of the scale, you’re paying for quality craftsmanship here. The attention to detail – particularly on the long-line coats – is exquisite.
Visit Favorbrook.com now
Already a staple for sophisticated event dresses and everyday wear, high-street favorite Monsoon comes into its own for wedding season with some great pieces for mums that you’ll no-doubt wear after the big day, too. Look to its beautifully embroidered midi and maxi dresses for a versatile take; striking floral prints for a bold statement; or its ever-flattering wrap dresses in sustainable fabrics for feminine appeal. You’ll also find a range of occasion jackets to fend off the cold, including a cropped scallop-trim number.
Visit Monsoon.co.uk now
From her eponymous Marylebone boutique, designer Suzannah Crabb is well-versed in dressing mothers of the bride, having created clothes for the likes of Kate and Pippa Middleton, Dame Helen Mirren, the Countess of Wessex and more. Her timeless signature dresses and coat dresses look just as much at home in a slick city venue as they would in a countryside church and are sustainably crafted from only the finest Italian wool crepe, silks, and satin. As a couture label, this is definitely an investment purchase, but we have every faith that after the big day you’ll be dreaming up excuses to wear your Suzannah ensemble again.
visit Suzannah.com now
With such a wide variety of formal dresses, separates, jackets, plus some fabulous accessories and jewelery, Hobbs is bursting with wearable pieces you can dress up or down after the wedding. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and want style advice from the high street favourite, you can book one-to-one personal styling appointments in store or over video call and WhatsApp. You’ll also find a Petit range in selected stores and online.
Visit Hobbs.com now
From cream coats to candy-coloured dresses, mums can’t really go wrong with a nude or pastel pink, which is a hue this classic British occasionwear label does so well. Alongside its dresses, which come in a variety of wearable shapes and luxurious fabrics, you’ll also find plenty of fabulous capes and jackets which will add a touch of drama to your look. You can find your nearest John Charles stockist by visiting the website.
Visit Johncharles.co.uk now
From stylish jumpsuits to polished party dresses, Reiss has some of the best occasionwear options on the high street to help you dazzle on the big day. Our favorites from this season include the Samantha cape one-shoulder dress (£198, Reiss.com), which comes in both nude and a show-stopping lime hue, as well as the high-waisted, floor-sweeping Gigi skirt (£ 198, Reiss.com) with secret pockets and front-split detailing.
Visit Reiss.com now
Glamor at Sonder Studio
For brilliant quality and affordability, the Glamor occasionwear edit at Sonder Studio ticks all the right boxes. Shop everything from flattering cape-sleeved creations and jumpsuits to separates and traditional pencil dresses. If the branding feels familiar, Sonder Studio is the premium in-house label from M&Co, but you’ll find it way fresher and more sophisticated than its parent company. It’s been a hit so far with celebrities, including Amanda Holden, and influencers-of-a-certain-age alike. Plus, the sizing is spot on (we love to see it).
Visit Sonderstudio.co.uk now
Come on Infantino
Since launching her label, having earned her stripes in several fashion houses in the years prior, designer Veni Infantino has become synonymous with sophisticated, stylish, and feminine designs. The newest addition is Veni invitations – a range of floaty chiffon dresses and jumpsuits that’s more relaxed than the signature collection, but still comprises the quality fabrics and cuts the designer is known for.
Veni’s signature accents include statement sleeves, flattering necklines and elegant embellishments, resulting in outfits that can be worn time and time again, whether it’s date night, as a wedding guest, or a day at the races. You’ll find the designs stock in more than 150 retailers across the UK and Ireland.
Visit Veni-infantino.com now
This dreamy London-based brand is already a firm favorite with bridesmaids – yet with its exquisite detailing and flattering fits, Needle & Thread’s show-stopping, ready-to-wear dresses work just as well for mothers-of-the-bride outfits. Expect to find an array of romantic designs; ankle-grazing maxis crafted from layers of chiffon and tulle, sequin-embellished midi dresses, statement sleeves, and the prettiest floral prints.
Visit Needleandthread.com now
From high-low hems to tuxedo-tie midi dresses, statement shoulders and lashings of lace, Coast is a brilliant one-stop shop for both mums, maids and guests. For mothers of the bride, you’ll find some beautifully structured pieces that are both flattering and well-made, plus a considered collection of shoes and accessories – shop the curated edit online and search by fit, size, dress length and more.
Visit Coastfashion.com now
For the latest discounts on women’s fashion, try the links below:
Our best high street wedding dress round-up proves that “the one” doesn’t’ have to break the bank