Outfits for the mother of the bride
The date is confirmed, the invitations have been sent and preparations have begun, so the time has come to choose the all-important outfit. The best man is charming in his tux, the bride is ethereal in white and the bridesmaids are angelic in taffeta and tiny satin slippers. But for the mother of the bride (or groom!), choosing an outfit can be a bit of a minefield.
It's difficult to know where to start; you want to look classic and ladylike, but not plain and prim. You may like the idea of florals and prints but worry they're far too bold, and entering the hat department is a little overwhelming. We're here to help.
Our wide range of stunning occasion pieces has something for everyone, from tailored shifts in subtle neutrals or bold primary shades, to floating skirts and soft, luxurious wraps. Browse Jewellery, Handbags and Shoes in our Finishing Touches collection, and read on for tips on how to choose the perfect pieces for you.
For something chic and understated, with a subtle dose of summer glamour, opt for tailored silhouettes. Structured shift dresses from the likes of Hobbs Invitation, L.K. Bennett and Alexon are figure-flattering and stylish, try the light lagoon Alexon Alexa with its gorgeous pleating at the bust and luxe silk texture, or the sleek Hobbs Invitation Belle in a deep ruby red. The key is in the clean, simple cuts, defined waists and soft linings, where well chosen accessories can lift and personalise block colours and lightly accent bold prints like Kaliko's pink Waterflower Tuck Dress.
On the other hand, fluid fabrics and a few feminine frills lend themselves perfectly to outdoor services and receptions in the afternoon sun. Slim, hip-skimming styles keep the look youthful, with beautiful colour combinations and seasonal prints abundant for a real depth of choice. JacquesVert's occasionwear selection is brimming with wedding-perfect styles, with tonal tailored jackets to match each summery shade. The Ivy Leaf Dress pairs a lilac and soft grey colour mix with delicate detailing and a lovely sheer skirt, falling lightly to the mid-calf, whilst the baby blue Monet Devore features fine angel sleeves, a cowl neckline and a tiered hem.
Then there's the outer layer, the cover-up to both match and complement your chosen dress, and provide both comfort and style when moving from one lovely location to the next. Many of our brands have specially co-ordinated pieces; Jacques Vert, CC and Alexon offer charming tailored jackets and boleros to match their designs, ranging from short sleeves, shimmering finishes and cropped to regular lengths. Or try a smart, versatile separate, like Jaeger's Edge Jersey Jacket in a creamy ivory for something to wear again and again.
A luxurious wrap or pashmina can offer easy elegance when draped over bare shoulders - add detail with beaded trims, sequins and two-tone styles. The John Lewis Double Layer wrap scarf in a muted blue/grey or taupe would look stunning teamed with all shades, from summer greens to nude.
A formal, yet stylish finish is key to bringing your whole look together, from out-there hats to simple fascinators, timeless pearls and the perfect heel. Accent looks with the John Lewis Sinamay Fascinator in muted neutrals for a sophisticated touch, featuring a fine headband for ease of wear, or go colourful in the John Lewis Emma Starbust in a popping fuchsia.
Why not go all-out and sport a fabulous hat? Browse our Occasion selection for your preferred style, from patterned to feathered. For dresses with low necks, decorate with flashes of sparkle and dainty styles - Lido Pearls have an extensive range of pearl necklaces for a timeless feel, and Kit Heath offer a mixed array of token pendants for something subtle yet elegant.