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.
12 Mother of the Bride Looks That Are Far from Matronly
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Mother Of The Bride Looks At A Glance:
- Best Short Sleeve Gown: Adrianna Papell Sequin Mesh Gown
- Best Tea-Length Dress: Azazie Sanna
- Best Lace Dress: Alexia Admor Delora Lace Dress
- Best Satin Dress: Aidan Mattox Satin V-Neck Gown
- Best Empire Waist Gown: Basix Metallic Bow Shoulder Dress
- Best Velvet Dress: Jenny Yoo Ryland Velvet Maxi Dress
- Best Cocktail Dress: Mac Duggal Angelica Midi Dress
- Best for a Black Tie Wedding: Mac Duggal Yvette Dress
- Best Custom Option: Azazie Selah
- Most Glamorous Gown: Oleg Cassini Glitter A-Line Gown
- Best Jumpsuit: Adrianna Papell Embellished Jumpsuit
- Best Off The Shoulder Gown: La Femme Surplice Column Gown
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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…
11. Adrianna Papell Embellished 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.
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.