We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best
products—learn more about
our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
As the mother of the bride, your role comes with big responsibilities. You've likely been by the bride's side helping, planning, and lending invaluable advice along the way. So, when it comes to securing the perfect mother of the bride dress, you deserve to find one that truly celebrates you and your personal style.
While your look should complement the wedding color palette, season, and venue, today's mother of the bride (and mother of the groom!) shouldn't feel restricted to traditional attire. In fact, mother of the bride dress etiquette has changed over the years, offering mothers the opportunity to spotlight their personal style and have fun with their look. Love allover sparkle and intricate beading? Endless options abound! Coveting shorter hemlines? We've got you covered! Searching for off-the-shoulder necklines or long sleeves? We've got those, too! No matter your style, there's a dress out there that will make you feel beautiful and confident on your daughter's big day.
Read on for the best mother of the bride dresses for every season, body type, and budget.
Best Allover Beading: Pisarro Nights Beaded Mesh Dress
Show off your figure in this body-hugging gown featuring an incredibly flattering wrap skirt with expertly placed ruching. A lace bodice with subtle sparkle details makes this dress feel all the more special. This style is also available in a rich navy blue hue.
As versatile as is elegant, this icy blue frock is the perfect transition piece to take you from the ceremony to the reception. Follow the styling lead and pair yours with silver sandals and a berry lip.
If you're looking for an elegant dress that will not only look timeless in photos but can be worn again, consider this impossibly chic gown from BHLDN. Crafted from luxurious satin and featuring a sophisticated V-back, you'll be sure to stun at your daughter's wedding and all future formal events.
A structured dress will always be flattering, especially one that nips you at the waist like this chic frock from Amsale. Impressive beading and an alluring neckline make this style worthy of even the fanciest of black-tie weddings.
Best Budget: RM Richards Sequin Capelet Jersey Sheath Dress
We are picturing this beautifully embroidered gown for a backyard or garden wedding set among romantic flowers and rich greenery. Wear yours with a strappy block heel–a stylish and practical solution for an outdoor wedding.
Don't be afraid to make a statement in head-to-toe sparkle. Whether the wedding is around the holidays or calls for a formal dress code, add some serious glitz and glam to your look in this gown adorned with allover sequins.
Most Formal: Reem Acra Embellished Tulle and Satin-Piqué Gown
A little sparkle is a must when celebrating such a joyous occasion. This gown in timeless navy is flocked with shimmering sequins and eyecatching beadwork. Wear yours with heels in a neutral tone and delicate shoulder-grazing earrings.
Best Jumpsuit: Talbot Runhof Draped Metallic Voile Jumpsuit
Calling all fashion-forward MOBs! This seriously chic jumpsuit is an undeniably striking choice for a formal wedding. Pair this stunner with matching black shoes and a clutch for a sophisticated monochromatic look.
Calling all winter MOBs who love velvet and a little sparkle! This midi dress with flattering and elegant draping is perfect for a winter wedding or a festive choice for a wedding around the holidays.
What to Look for in a Mother of the Bride Outfit
Shopping for a mother of the bride outfit is exciting but it can also be overwhelming at the same time. If you don't know where to start or you're having trouble narrowing down your options, it's always helpful to look to the wedding's venue, color palette, and dress code for inspiration and direction. For example, floor-length gowns in jewel tones are always appropriate for formal fall and winter weddings while shorter dresses in light lace or soft pastels are more fitting for casual spring and summer weddings. Next, consider what silhouettes work best for your body type and what features you'd like to highlight. Keep in mind that many websites allow you to filter dresses by color, silhouette, length, and neckline.
When should I start shopping for my mother of the bride outfit?
To be on the safe side, we suggest that you start shopping for your dress six months before the wedding to allow for any shipping delays or alterations. If you’re in a pinch, many e-commerce sites like Net-a-Porter or Nordstrom offer rush shipping.
What should I consider when shopping for mother of the bride outfit?
When shopping for a mother of the bride outfit, you should take into consideration, the dress code, season, and wedding venue. And while your outfit should always be season-appropriate and complement the wedding color palette, it’s also important to pick a silhouette that flatters your body type and celebrates your unique personal style.
What colors should I avoid wearing?
Although not all brides choose to wear white, it's best to avoid wearing white or any color that resembles the bride's wedding outfit.
Do I have to run my dress by the bride?
While your child will undoubtedly want you to look and feel your best on the big day, having a conversation with the couple before you start shopping can help set expectations and narrow down your options.
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, wedding parties, and more.