The bride’s mother is a special lady, and she deserves to feel fabulous on her daughter’s big day. She can’t be frumpy or too young and should complement the bride.

While many people think the bride’s mother should only wear white or ivory, she can be bold. She can even go non-traditional and wear a jumpsuit or pantsuit.

Mother of the Bride
Courtesy Pexels / Jay jay Redelinghuys

Short Sheath

It is recommended that the mother of the bride or groom choose a dress that complements the wedding’s color scheme and theme. However, she doesn’t need to match precisely with the bridal party. Instead, she can choose a color that stands out or a fabric that looks elegant and classic in its own right. For example, a lace sheath dress has a vintage flair with scalloped cape sleeves that add dramatic style. It’s an attractive choice for a fall wedding. If you like a delicate and breezy outfit, you may want a frothy sheath dress with blousy sheer sleeves. This option can give you a romantic and feminine bohemian vibe. It’s available in several colors and a range of sizes so that you can find your perfect fit.

While sleeveless dresses are commonly worn, it is also appropriate for the mother of the bride or groom to choose a gown with sleeves. She can also select a sleeveless or off-the-shoulder neckline if she prefers. Another option is a dress with structured or architectural sleeves to give it a modern and trendy look. Regardless of your look, the most important thing is that it’s comfortable and flattering to your figure.


If you’re searching for dress styles for the mother of the bride that is chic and not frumpy, go with black. This dark hue is naturally slimming and will never be out of style. Achieve a polished and regal look by adding tonal beading, a romantic cold shoulder design, or glamorous draping to your outfit. These stylish touches will make you feel like royalty.

A matched pantsuit is another elegant option for the mother of the bride. Choose wide-leg palazzo pants to emulate the look of a long dress. The suit’s trendy boxy jacket and textured fabric create an ultra-sleek look that will stand out at any wedding. Pair this look with gold accessories for a chic ensemble.

Pantsuits became increasingly popular in the 70s as women fought for equality in male-dominated workplaces and public life. Older women scornfully viewed them, but younger women adopted them as a stylish and sophisticated alternative to formal dresses and skirts.

Traditionally, the bride’s mother is in charge of hosting the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner (though this task often gets passed to the maid of honor or groom’s mother). The mom also hosts post-wedding parties and may be asked to go table to table to greet guests or perform other hospitality duties. She may be asked to help the couple create their registry or serve as a second set of eyes during wedding planning meetings and trunk shows.

Long Sleeve

Many mother of the bride dresses are sleeveless, leaving some women wanting something with more coverage. Thankfully, many fashionable and elegant options are available for women who wish to conceal any arm jiggle on their daughter’s important day.

Sheer long sleeves are a great option that adds texture and subtle coverage to the silhouette of a dress. They can be lace or even satin for a feminine look, or they can be made of heavier fabric such as velvet or wool to keep you warm and add an element of drama.

For a mother of a bride who wants to keep it light, airy, and trendy for her daughter’s wedding, a sheath dress with short flutter sleeves is an ideal choice. 

For a wedding in the summer, a bohemian long-sleeved mother of the bride dress is a perfect match. Pair it with your favorite sandals and a cute hat to make your look polished yet relaxed.


Whether you opt for a long or short dress, pairing it with the perfect jacket doesn’t just make you feel stylish and chic and allows you to adjust your outfit for changing weather conditions throughout the day. For instance, if the wedding is outdoors or at an indoor venue with a cold air conditioning unit, a long mother of the bride jacket will keep you warm without adding extra bulk to your frame.

If your daughter is wearing a specific color palette for her bridal party, choosing a mother of the bride dress that pairs well with its hues is a great way to ensure that your ensemble will look cohesive. For example, if her attendants are in navy blue, a tea-length mother of the bride dress with a ribbed hemline would pair beautifully.

Traditionally, mother of the bride dresses are often found in dark hues to complement the lighter color of the bride’s gown. If you want to take your mother of the bride style up a notch, consider a petite midnight silk dress with a slim silhouette and glamorous cold shoulder details. It’s sustainably made and super flattering, too. Pair it with a pretty bracelet stack for an elegant, wedding-ready look.