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, ten of our current favorites that have nothing to do with unflattering skirts topped with horrendous matching jackets.

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mother of the bride dresses adrianna pappel

Cap Sleeve Sequins

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.

Adrianna Papell ($278)

mother of the bride dresses sachin
Sachin & Babi

Lace Embroidery

Isn’t she lovely? This gorgeous gown is intricate without being too busy, with simple embroidery down the front and a straightforward A-line cut. Think classic, with a twist.

Sachin & Babi ($388)

mother of the bride dresses love squared

Casual Elegance

A less-fancy affair calls for something shorter but equally chic. A knee-length sheath in a rich color like dark, almost navy blue fits the bill, doubly so with a simple but beautiful flourish like a ruffled V neckline.

Love Squared ($60)

mother of the bride dresses js collection

Two-Tone Print

A structured sheath in a solid color and basic fabric is kind of boring. A structured sheath in a luxe two-tone embroidered print is sophisticated and lavish and totally wedding-ready.

JS Collection ($348)

other of the bride dresses badgley mischka
Badgley Mischka

Chiffon Cape

A running theme among our favorite mother-of-the-bride dresses is that they start with a basic concept—here, a long black dress—and add an unexpected accent, like a gorgeous chiffon cape. Plus, the Wonder Woman cape connotations couldn’t be more spot-on for an M.O.B.

Badgley Mischka ($595)

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David's Bridal

Subtle Sexiness

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

David’s Bridal ($148)

mother of the bride dresses komarov

Flouncy Florals

Doesn’t this dress just make you want to twirl? It’s a bit casual for a black-tie affair, but this swingy ankle-length number is youthful (without being too young) and extra flattering, with a slightly fitted top and looser skirt that skims the lower body.

Komarov ($298)

mother of the bride dresses tadashi
Tadashi Shohji

Covered Up

Not so into showing off your arms and décolletage? No matter. There are plenty of options that cover you up without drowning you in fabric. Take this Tadashi Shohji number: The high neckline and three-quarter sleeves are modest without being matronly.

Tadashi Shohji ($300)

mother of the bride dresses jenny yoo


This silhouette, with its defined waist and loose skirt, is not only flattering; it’s also incredibly comfortable. (Read: You’ll be able to dance all night long.)

Jenny Yoo ($280)

mother of the bride dresses jay godfrey

Dramatic Ruffles

If you’re looking for something a bit more glam, look no further than a gown with statement details, like a giant ruffle, one-shoulder top and mermaid hem. Are you headed to your daughter’s wedding or the Oscars? No one will know…

Jay Godfrey ($495)

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