Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Averting Wardrobe Disasters - The Mothers' Dresses

The mothers of the bride and groom (MOB and MOG) are each expected to wear dresses that blend into the general color scheme of the wedding. Neither dress should clash nor should it stand out as a fashion statement on its own. This isn't either woman's high school reunion where she wants to be the slimmest, youngest-looking woman in the place; it's the bride's day, so she needs to be elegant and lovely without taking the shine away from the bride.

So while the MOB and MOG dresses should be somewhat conservative, they should definitely not be dowdy! Too many of these mother of the bride dresses look like drapes wrapped around a mannequin. What is worse, they cost hundreds of dollars - and like bridesmaids' dresses, may only be worn once.

What to do? If you want your mother and mother-in-law to blend into the entire scheme of the wedding, take them shopping. If they live in the same town, make a day of it. Invite them to a brunch and then visit some of the more upscale stores in your area.

Otherwise just take your mom out and have her search for her dress first. Once she has it, she can snip a bit of the fabric from an inner seam and send it to the groom's mother with a photo print of the dress so she can try and blend her dress to it as well. For your peace of mind, ask her to send you a return photo with the finished dress so you know that it is going to work for the wedding .

Bridal salons do have some dresses that don't make the mothers look like holdovers from "Antiques Roadshow," but you might want to make appointments with the special occasion buyer of your local department store.

You will find styles there that are more youthful, much more becoming and less expensive than your typical mother of the bride dress.

Visit a Filene’s Basement or a David’s Bridal. These stores are huge and are parts of national chains. They also cater to formalwear other than just wedding, so chances are you will be able to find something there. If all else fails, have the dress made in the style and color you want. Hire a professional seamstress and see what she can come up with based on the pattern, material and style you choose for your MOB and MOG dresses.

Above all, make your shopping trip with the mothers a fun and happy time. Listen to their ideas and consider their needs. It may be your day, but they have a vested interest in looking their best for you both.

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