Just as the bride-to-be should take plenty of time to pick out her wedding dress, so should the mother of the bride spend time picking out hers. Even though it may not be a once-in-a-lifetime event (perhaps the MOB has other children), it's still a momentous occasion and one that deserves a little prep time.
When picking out Mom's dress, there are a few of things to keep in mind.
One is the color palette. Is there a certain color the bride wants to see her mom in or one that will complement the bridal party's colors? What color will the groom's mother be wearing? Is the wedding formal or casual?
Black and white is an elegant and stylish color combination and one that works well for more formal, black-tie weddings. Off-white and navy are also popular mother-of-the-bride dress colors and can work for both formal and more casual weddings.
Another thing the bride and MOB will want to think about is the dress style and design. What will Mom feel most comfortable in and what kind of style does she adore? Is there a certain fit that will flatter her more than others?
The modern mother will want to wear a quality fabric and a flexible design that will allow her to move comfortably throughout the day. A fit-and-flare dress will accentuate the waistline, as will a sash/belt or wrap dress.
If the mother of the bride would rather do a bit of mix and matching, she might want to consider separates like a peplum top and long skirt or a pant suit.
Details like scalloped and lace inlays add elegance to an outfit and ruching is great for smoothing out everything. If Mom is worried about her tummy, suggest an empire dress, which will cut slightly above her waistline and fan out. If she's particular about her arms, suggest a bolero or shrug that she can throw over her dress or have her try on dresses with three quarter or long sleeves.
The most important thing to remember is that the mother-of-the-bride's dress doesn't have to be outdated or frumpy. Mothers deserve to look and feel fabulous on the bride's wedding day. Plus, if she keeps all of these points in mind and chooses a dress that fits her to a tee, then she'll be able to wear it again at a cocktail party or formal dinner. Take your time, mothers, and find or customize a dress that suits you beautifully!