There is nothing quite as thrilling as the news that your daughter or son is getting married. Then, after the Champagne and the excitement of discussing the wedding plans comes the realisation that you are going to be a main part of the wedding party. That means you are going to be on show and in the photos, and of course, that you will want to look your absolute best and most fabulous on the special day.
So the pressure is on to find The Outfit. The first piece of advice when it comes to finding a mother-of-the-bride outfit is “don’t panic” because Cyndy and I, the co-founders of SoSensational the fashion website for grown-up women, promise you that, whether your budget is £200 or £2,000, you will find a fabulous wedding outfit.
And providing you follow these simple guidelines, you will look totally fabulous on the special day.
- Only take a friend, husband or family member with you if you totally trust their judgement and don’t feel intimidated or bullied by them
We all have friend/daughter/mum/husband whom we love dearly, but either their taste can be a bit iffy, or they put pressure on us to buy something we’re not sure about. Sometimes the relationship dynamic is such that you succumb to pressure and buy something you’re not totally happy with. If that’s the case, it is better to go alone and trust your own judgement, and that of the staff at the store where you are buying. These days, shops that specialise in mother-of-the-bride outfits and posh frocks know it is in their interest for the client to look and feel fabulous, so you can be confident they won’t push you into something that doesn’t look really good on you.
- Choose the right colour for you
Colour is what is noticed first. If you don’t already know which colours (and which tones of colours) make your skin and hair look glowing, make you feel confident and elicit endless compliments, get your colours analysed, or – if there’s no time – do your own blink test in the shop. As you try on something, look in the mirror and close your eyes for the count of 10. As you open them, do you see you or the colour. If it’s you, the colour is right; if it’s the colour, it’s wrong.
- Choose a fit and shape that is right for your body shape
Again, the expertise and knowledge of the team where you are shopping should help you. They can see your shape and proportions and they know their stock. Let them guide you, but remember you need to feel happy and comfortable in the outfit. If it is too tight, or too constricting, you won’t feel comfortable and that will show. That said, a pair of Spanx can make all the difference to your silhouette. Just don’t buy them too small – that flesh has to go somewhere!
- Buy your hat and accessories in a one-stop shop
If the shop offers hats, bag and shoes, take advantage – they have done the hard work for you. But avoid being too matchy-matchy. If you are wearing a pale colour, perhaps choose the outfit and hat in one colour and accessorise with nude shoes and bag. Or keep your outfit, shoes and bag neutral – silver grey, nude, navy, coffee and mushroom are all super smart – and wear a dramatic hat in a standout colour.
- Choose a hat that shows your face
Remember you are going to be in lots of pictures and it will be nice to see your smiling face. You will also be doing lots of kissing so choose a hat that doesn’t come too far down on your brow, or you run the risk of an over-excited uncle knocking your hat off before the bride has said “I do”.
- Shoes are made for walking
They don’t have to be flat or ugly, but don’t choose a pair so high that it is painful to walk or dance in them or it will show on your face. If you really feel the need for sky-high heels, stash a pair of fold-up ballerinas for dancing.
- Finally, smile and laugh (a lot)
When you smile and laugh, your body releases endorphins, which make you feel better. And remember, a radiant smile is what guests will remember long after they have forgotten the colour of your outfit…
Guest blog from Jan Shure & Cyndy Lessing , of SoSensational.
The fashion guide for grown-up women.