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Style Tips

Curvy or petite, there’s an outfit for you

There are no hard and fast rules for finding the perfect outfit for your big day. That’s why Nigel Rayment’s London and Manchester boutiques encourage you to come and try on different mother of the bride outfits – you’d be surprised at how many end up picking the wild card once they’ve had the opportunity to browse and try on our fantastic range. We are open seven days a week and you now have to book an appointment because we think it’s important to have the space and time to browse at leisure and try on any Mother of the Bride and Grooms outfits in a safe environment. So take your time and do try different styles on.

You’ll get lots of friendly advice from our skilled and experienced staff if you would like our help, and here are a few tips to inspire you as you look at our collection.


When to start shopping

It’s never too early to start looking out for the outfit you want – especially as there are so many other things to organise. Our main delivery of the new season’s mother of the bride and groom outfits takes place each January, with a second smaller delivery in early summer.

We offer a one-stop-shop where you can find the whole outfit – from hat to shoes – in one place, with exclusive millinery designs that perfectly match the look you choose. You can secure your outfit for a £250 deposit, with final payment on collection or a monthly payment scheme (with no hidden charges, fees or credit checks) if you prefer.

As we also offer an alterations service in both of our boutiques, you have the opportunity to ensure your outfit is perfectly tailored to suit your frame.

Tip: Remember that many of our exclusive hats and shoes are dyed to order, so do try and build time into your schedule to ensure you can have the top-to-toe look you are after.


Outfits for curvy figures

Consider Mother of the Brides and Grooms outfits with longer length jackets or dresses and long coats, as these tend to create a more streamlined shape and can also add height. The longer-length jacket is increasingly popular among our Mother of the Brides designers and is a look that flatters all shapes. Lower necklines and lightweight and floaty fabrics such as lace and chiffon (also extremely on trend) can be very flattering in drawing the eye to the areas you want to show off.

Tip: Solid colours are a classic choice, but pattern and texture can also be effective for enhancing your look – for instance, a vertical panel or stripe can give the illusion of a longer and leaner shape.


Outfits for petite frames

We offer small sizes in many of our collections. You’ll find the classic dress and bolero or tailored jacket will accentuate your slim figure and add inches to your height. Large prints, vertical stripes or loose-fitting garments are probably best avoided, but do consider outfits with texture, and carefully placed pattern or horizontal stripes on the bodice. A peplum shape can be effective at lengthening a short body and enhancing a slim waist, while three-quarter sleeves are very flattering and also fashionable.

Tip: High waists and slim-cut outfits just on or below the knee will elongate your legs and add elegance to your look. The classic shift dress is also a good choice for petite frames, especially paired with a lightweight jacket, lace coat or wrap.

See our full range of petite mother of the bride dresses here.


Colour matching with bridal colours

Finding an outfit that works with the bridal colours can be a real headache, especially if the chosen wedding colours don’t suit your skin tone or style, or you are struggling to get a perfect match. Our advice is to consider a complementary (darker or lighter) shade that you know will suit you when you are browsing, as this avoids the risk of a colour clash or an outfit you’re not happy with. Do liaise with other members of the wedding party (especially your opposite number mum) but remember that these days many wedding couples are opting for a more relaxed approach to colour theming outfits, and the most important consideration for everyone is looking and feeling confident in their outfit.

Tip: Consider choosing an outfit in a versatile colour (a neutral or navy for instance) and then picking out the wedding colours in hat, bag and shoes. This will widen your range of options and may give you an outfit you are more likely to want to wear again.


Overseas and high-summer weddings

Many Nigel Rayment clients are looking for outfits that will work for high summer or overseas weddings. The good news is that these days the emphasis is on comfort with style, so you can keep your cool even if the temperature is tropical. Look for lightweight dresses with lace jackets, coats or capes that can be removed – and choose soft sleeves if you are self-conscious about your upper arms, or pick one of our wraps to give you extra coverage.

Tip: For overseas weddings, we offer a great range of flattering and comfortable dresses and separates that are specifically designed for weddings where the climate requires cool but stylish dressing. Labels to look at include Condici and Carla Ruiz.


The comfort factor

It doesn’t matter how glamorous the outfit is, if you don’t feel comfortable on the day – or don’t feel like you. This is why it’s important to try on lots of different choices. At Nigel Rayment, we have many options that are specifically designed with both glamour and ease in mind. It may help to also consider the kind of outfits you normally wear and feel good in – we all have our favourite styles and you want to look like you on your son or daughter’s wedding day. 

Remember too, that if you have any particular areas you are self-conscious about (and, let’s face it, we all do), we have outfits to enhance your strong points and skim over others you’re not so keen on. Figure flattering shapes, soft sleeves, waterfall jackets and a whole host of other flattering designer features are included in our extensive range, and our stylists are happy to share their tips and tricks of the trade for ensuring you feel confident and glamorous.

Tip: Remember that we offer an alterations service, so that if an outfit is almost perfect but needs some adjustment, we can advise you on how to get the look and the comfort you want.

What mums said about us …

Hi Sean

Just to let you know we popped into your London shop and Caroline attended to us.

My son-in-law to be bought me a beautiful dress in size 6 and also a hat, Caroline was so kind and had lots of time for us.

He is going to bring his Mum, who lives in Cornwall back to get a dress for her as he was so impressed with how helpful and great service we got.

Thought I would pass this on to you as you emailed me about an enquiry I had for a dress.

Many thanks again
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Nigel Rayment Retail Limited (company number 3973160), a company registered in England and Wales. Our HQ is at 9 Frederick Street, Luton, Beds, LU2 7QW.