9 Tips: Mother of the Bride
The aim is to blend in as an important member of the party but not stand out in the photos
Being the mother of the bride will be an incredible moment in your life and you will be the second most looked at woman – after the bride!
And choosing the perfect wedding outfit can be a complex and stressful process – where do you start? Here are 9 crucial tips from expert stylist and personal shopper Caroline Shaw from her wealth of experience. Use these as a guide to getting your hands on the mother of all outfits!
Always start the process by considering colour. Ideally it should match the colour scheme of the wedding and ‘compliment’ the colour of the bridesmaids outfits, but never match. The aim is to blend in as an important member of the party but not stand out in the photos. The colour you select should always compliment your natural skin tone. Popular choices are soft tones of creams and beiges if you are have a “warm” skin tone or soft choose navys and greys if your colouring is “cool”.
Always avoid wearing white and strong colours like lime greens or fuschia as they will quickly look dated in the photos! For a added pop of colour, do bring in brighter tones with accessories such as hats, bags or jewellery. And finally, always check with the mother of the groom to make sure you are wearing different colours!
2. The type of wedding your daughter is having
Select the right outfit for the type of wedding your daughter has chosen. If it’s a formal daytime church or civil wedding, a knee length or mid-calf dress and jacket and hat are the best choice. If It’s a beach or evening wedding, maxi dresses or cocktail dresses can be worn.
3. The Style
The most flattering style of outfit will enhance and show off your natural body shape. Know your assets and flaunt what you have! If you have a beautiful décolletage show it off with deep ‘v’ or scoop neck dresses. If your legs are you best asset, choose fab statement shoes and a knee length dress. If you have curves, choose a flowing jersey or soft silk styles to enhance your curves . If your style is sporty and you have an angled body shape, choose the simple clean lines of shift dresses and sharp tailored jackets. If you are ‘petite’ avoid overly large patterns and stick to fitted shapes. Don’t be afraid to use bold statement jewellery and bags to enhance simple outfits.
4. The Fit
This is probably the most important part of buying the outfit. If you feel comfortable you will look confident and really enjoy the day. It may seem obvious but many women got this wrong. Don’t look at the size on a label as the sizing varies from store to store, go for the most comfortable fit. Remember if the dress is not a perfect fit, do as Kate Middleton does and get the dress altered to your shape. Most boutiques offer a tailoring service and you can end up with a ‘bespoke’ outfit. Do play close attention to how the outfit looks at the back – does it look as good as the front? If help is needed to smooth out lumps or bumps invest in good shapewear and the right underwear to ensure a smooth silhouette.
Spend time choosing the most comfortable but stylish pair you can find as you will be on your feet all day. Try to buy them at least 3 months in advance to give your self time to wear them in. Do select a pair with a stable heel as stilettos are difficult to wear for a long length of time. Luckily block heels are in this season so there is plenty of choice. The best colour choice is a nude tone as they will then match any outfit.
Think Carol Middleton. Matching coloured shoes are definitely out this year!
6. The Hat
Start with the colour and select a tone that picks up a colour in the dress . If you are fair skinned try to avoid very dark colours as they can cast a shadow over you skin. Look at the scale of the hat and match your height and scale. Avoid hat brims that are wider than your natural shoulder line or hats that are too small if you are quite tall. Generally if you have ‘round’ facial features, echo the curved shape in the brim and if your features are more ‘angled’ go for angled shaped brims. Make sure the hat fits and does not obscure your eyes – use hat pads if necessary to get the perfect fit.
7. Wedding Hairstyle
This is not the time to try out a new hair style or colour ! Occasion hair need not be difficult just stay with what you feel most comfortable with. If you have long hair try an elegant chignon style or add in soft curls for a feminine look. For shorter hair a good blow dry perhaps adding more volume will give a perfectly groomed look. Always check with you daughter to see what style she has chosen to avoid having the same look!
8. Make up
Spend time making sure your skin is well moisturised and nourished in the lead up to the wedding. Ensure the make- up colours perfectly match tones in your outfit. Do invest in trying out a ‘ day to evening’ look with a make - up artist as you will need to re - apply make up during the day. Practice perfecting the make - up look before the day as tears and dashing about can cause the make up to come off easily.
9. Timing of buying the outfit
Many clients leave buying the outfit until the last few weeks which can only add to the stress. The ideal time to start looking is six months before the wedding and aim to have the outfit complete three months before.
For winter weddings aim to have bought the outfit by September and summer weddings buy the outfit by March. Bear in mind the stores go into clearance in December and June and its hard to shop during sale time as the sizes have gone etc.
For more advice and style tips as well as information on her personal shopping service and wardrobe analysis, contact Caroline at carolineshaw.co.uk.
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