12 Mother of the Bride Looks That Are Far from Matronly

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The dilemma: You’re the mother of the bride (or groom), and you want to look and feel your best at your child’s nuptials, but you cringe at the thought of the matronly wedding looks that come to mind when you think “mother-of-the-bride dress.” Luckily, there are so many more options than the entirely taffeta looks of yore. Here, 12 of our current favorites that have nothing to do with unflattering skirts topped with horrendous matching jackets.

Mother Of The Bride Looks At A Glance:

Stylish Bridesmaids Dresses in Just About Every Color

mother of the bride dresses adrianna pappel

1. Adrianna Papell Sequin Mesh Gown

Best Short Sleeve Gown

Sure, this is your daughter or son’s day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shine a little. (Psst, it’s almost always impossible to outshine the bride.) In a neutral tone and simple silhouette, sequins can totally be appropriate and un-Vegas-like.

Size range: 0 to 16

azazie sanna

2. Azazie Sanna

Best Tea-Length Dress

Isn’t she lovely? This gorgeous gown is intricate without being too busy, with a simple embroidered overlay and a straightforward A-line cut, tea length. Think classic, with a twist.

Size range: Custom

mother of the bride outfits lace sheath dress
Nordstrom Rack

3. Alexia Admor Delora Lace Dress

Best Lace Dress

A less-fancy affair calls for something shorter but equally chic. A knee-length lace sheath in a soft, light blue color fits the bill, doubly so with a simple but beautiful flourish scalloped edges.

Size range: 0 to 10

mother of the bride outfits aidan mattox
Saks Fifth Avenue

4. Aidan Mattox Satin V-neck Gown

Best Satin Dress

A structured sheath in a luxe, satin, bold color is sophisticated and lavish and totally wedding-ready. The puff sleeves and deep V-neck are an elegant pairing (don't forget a fabulous necklace).

Size range: 0 to 18

mother of the bride outfits basix
Saks Fifth Avenue

5. Basix Metallic Bow-shoulder Gown

Best Empire Waist Gown

A running theme among our favorite mother-of-the-bride dresses is that they start with a basic concept—here, an empire waist V-neck dress—and add an unexpected accent, like a subtle metallic color and bow shoulder straps.

Size range: 0 to 16

jenny yoo

6. Jenny Yoo Ryland Velvet Maxi Dress

Best Velvet Dress

Who says mothers of the bride have to be covered up and toned down? Not us, certainly. In a burnt orange color with a plunging neckline, this velvet dress says, “Yes, I’m a mom old enough to have a child who’s getting married, but I still got it.”

Size range: 0 to 26

mac duggal angelica

7. Mac Duggal Angelica Midi Dress

Best Cocktail Dress

Doesn’t this dress just make you want to twirl? It’s a bit too cocktail-esque for a black-tie affair, but this swingy midi number is youthful (without being too young) and extra flattering. The sheer long sleeves are exquisitely elegant and the beading and floral pattern are absolutely stunning.

Size range: 0 to 16

mac duggal yvette

8. Mac Duggal Yvette Dress

Best for a Black Tie Wedding

Not so into slits and low necklines? There are plenty of options that cover you up without drowning you in fabric. Take this Mac Duggal number: The conservative V-neckline and full skirt are modest without being matronly. The dress is extremely detailed and staggeringly beautiful for an upscale wedding.

Size range: 0 to 16

azazie selah

9. Azazie Selah

Best Custom Option

This silhouette, with its defined waist, loose skirt and flowy sleeves, is not only flattering; it’s also incredibly comfortable. (Read: You’ll be able to dance all night long.) Plus, you can customize your fit to your exact measurements.

Size range: Custom

oleg cassini
David's Bridal

10. Oleg Cassini Glitter A-line Gown

Most Glamorous Gown

If you’re looking for something a bit more glam, look no further than a gown with statement details. We love the keyhole opening along the neckline and the glittery pink shade of the dress. Are you headed to your daughter’s wedding or the Oscars? No one will know…

Size range: 2 to 18

adrianna papell jumsuit
David's Bridal

11. Adrianna Papell Embellished Jumpsuit

Best Jumpsuit

Not into the dress route? Try a glitzy jumpsuit instead. This gorgeous pick has intricate beading along the sheer bodice for a luxuriously classy and sexy look, while the straight legs are going to be very comfortable as you dance the night away.

Size Range: 2 to 16

mother of the bride la femme

12. La Femme Surplice Column Gown

Best Off The Shoulder Gown

This style is a bit more classic "mother of the bride" with the off the shoulder neckline and draping in the midsection. The flattering satin fabric gives the color a bit of shine and glamour to make it even more elegant.

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