Why Are Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses So Freaking Ugly?

As the “Mother-of-the-Bride” I’ve so much to do before my daughter’s wedding next summer. Like stick to Weight Watchers to lose 15 pounds.  And to find a Mother-of-the-Bride dress!  Oh yeah. And I need to help my daughter pick out her dress too.

I’ll stop eating cheese after Christmas.  Actually, I’ll stop EATING after Christmas!  I have to get in shape for the daughter’s wedding!

But let’s talk about me. To keep me at bay, Oona gave me the “go-ahead” to look at MOB dresses but not to buy anything yet until the bridesmaids dresses are decided upon.  I think she’s petrified that I will buy a dress like her bridesmaids.  And that’ll only happen if they wear short dresses!

I promised not to wear anything that will embarrass her…

And besides not wearing anything to embarrass Oona, I won’t embarrass her with my actions–although I’ve been known to sizzle!!

But I do need a dress that I can run around on the dance floor in..

That’s right–I need a dress that I can have fun in.  

Seriously.  In my head, I know what look I’m going for.  Very Audrey Hepburn.  Very Jackie Kennedy circa 1964.  And I have to look in the Bridesmaid’s section for the dresses I like because the Mother-of-the-Bride dresses are hideous!

THIS is the look I’m going after and THIS is the dress I want. And pockets no less! But I made a promise I wouldn’t buy anything before the bridesmaids picked out there dresses…

But seriously.  This type of dress, pointy-toed kitten heels and a wig in an updo is Mother-of-the-Bride perfection for me!

For those of you who aren’t at this place yet, I can only hope that by the time you are a mom of the bride, the fashion industry changes things because presently, the pickins’ are slim to none for a hip, chic, classy and timeless dress.  The fashion industry has, once again, placed the mature woman of a certain age in the category of “no style” “frumpy” “matronly” “granny” “farty” and “downright effing ugly” back of the room.

The fashion industry sees me as the meddling  mother in Bye Bye Birdie…

And stereotypes me and my demographic as this.I would actually feel better if the fashion industry saw the older woman like Julia Roberts before the infamous Pretty Woman makeover!

The fashion industry continues to exhibit a of preponderance of ageism! Why?  Why do they do this?

Image result for matronly woman

I’m surprised I haven’t seen this getup in the Mother-of-the-Bride section!

Adding to the actual lack of fashion the advertisers insist on using women in their 20’s to model these atrocious frocks.  Think about it?  A 25-year-old mother of the bride?  What? Is she a freak that got pregnant at three years old?  Now that’s some ageist food for thought!

These are Mother-of-the-Bride dresses.  And for formal attire, they aren’t THAT bad–but I wouldn’t wear any of them.  What REALLY gets my goat is the age of the model.  She ain’t no 50 or 60 year old!

Let’s take a look at what I’ve found.  Shall we?

What is that hideous broach for? It cheapens the entire look of the dress.  The sleeves are ridiculous. You eat at weddings, those loose sleeves are sure to either get soaked by a drink or fall into a plate of food.  There is just too much material on this dress.  The dress will wear the mother rather than the mother wearing the dress.  It’s all wrong and uncomfortable looking.

It’s bad enough the 20-something model is trying to look old and stern, but the color of this dress is like wallpaper paste. If this model looks washed out, the mother-of-the-bride will look like she needs a night in the ICU!  The length is so frumpy it is sickening and don’t even get me started on those shoes.  Just. Don’t!

What’s with the washed-out colors?  And the overabundance of fabric in the skirt?  You can house a family of six under that skirt!  The length–mommy will trip, fall, and end up with a hip replacement by the time the newlyweds come back from their honeymoon!

I take it this Mother-of-the Bride watches Game of Thrones–or thinks she’s Stevie Nicks from the 1970’s. Let’s try to eat and drink with that dopey cape.  And another dress to trip over..

This dress is a complete lack of style.  WTF is on her feet?  Hurraches??????

I suppose this is a Mother-of-the-Bride Kentucky Derby ensemble?  Whatever it is, it’s a costume!  First of all, if  MOB is wearing a chapeau such as this, an updo is more flattering.  And once again, nothing like a color that will wash you out.  Is the bland look popular or something?  The length is off–too long. It should be shorter.  And if she’s on the dance floor, those underarms are going to darken ten shades due to sweat!

The other thing that kills me is that I’m not going for an expensive designer look.  My goal is to spend as little as possible on the dress.  I don’t want to spend over $225.  That’s my limit.  Between the dress and the shoes, I am pretty sure I can make it come in for a lesser total.

I can do this look without breaking the bank—or falling over fabric and breaking a leg!

My daughter’s wedding day will belong to her—and it will be all about her; as well it should.  But all I want is for her to be proud of me.  And for her to think I look great for her.  I can do that!

Oh dear God, I don’t want my search to end with me saying this because I couldn’t find a great Mother-of-the-Bride dress!

So, what say you?  If you’ve been a Mother-of-the-Bride, did you have a challenge to find a dress?  If you are in the same position as me, how’s the dress search going?  Am I being too fussy?

Seriously though. I’m so happy for my daughter that if she asked me to wear a paper sack, I would!  And I can’t wait to go shopping for her wedding dress with her!!!

She’s given me permission to come up with a playlist for the DJ.  I want some good classics on the dance floor.  And we have to have this  song that Bobby Darin made iconic.  From Threepenny Opera…….



About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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82 Responses to Why Are Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses So Freaking Ugly?

  1. Jean says:

    The blue dress with the pockets is terrific! See what your daughter says, maybe you’ll get lucky.

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Jean. I’m pretty darn sure that will be my dress!!!! XOXOXOXXO

      • Melissa Goodrum says:

        just seeing this blog. Where did you find the Audrey Hepburn navy dress? I love it but do not see a link? I tried searching it and no luck.

  2. Denise says:

    I’ll never be a mother of the bride, but 35 years ago I had one. She (and my mother-in-law) chose their own dresses which vaguely fit the color scheme and most importantly fit their ethos and as far as I remember, they were beautiful. Don’t sweat it. 💕

  3. Toni says:

    I love the look you are going for. I completely agree that so many MOB dresses are hideous and matronly. I was the MOB 10 years ago and it took awhile to find the perfect dress that didn’t make me look old (I was 53 at the time…..not that I was old then or NOW). I finally found one a a local shop on LI and I loved it and, more importantly, so did my daughter. Enjoy every moment with your daughter in the coming year. I had a blast with my daughter and hope you will, too.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Toni! I’ll be flying out to help her with the dress shopping late next month and can’t wait. It’s going to be so much fun!!! I never thought how exciting this would be–but it is!!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOX

  4. Momcat says:

    I hear ya. When I was slated to be MOG I was looking for a dress, found nothing that was stylish, attractive or flattering. The sparkles, chiffon and satin trim were too much for me. And the colours or rather, lack of colour near did me in! Since it was supposed to be a garden wedding there was leeway in that I didn’t have to go all out. Anyway it never happened, they called it off and moved on. He has a new partner and new baby and she has a new love….both are happy.
    But now my son and partner are talking wedding, no question as to who the ring bearer will be just hope he’s outta diapers so MOG won’t have to add chief diaper changer to her duties, in that case I’ll have the man from Glad design my gown! Enjoy the journey, you’ll be gorge, your baby girl will be a princess and all will be well! I do like the Jackie K/Audrey H look. Classic but not classic MOB.

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Momcat! Whew–you hit the nail on the head with the glitter, sparkles, chiffon–that is so not me and it’s so not a lot of women!! It’s a better thing that the wedding was called off and now you’ll have another to look forward to!! Thank you!!! XOXOXOXXO

  5. Nancy says:

    I truly do not know why someone has not discovered this need and designed flattering MOB/MOG dresses…goodness knows this is a market in need of help. I started my search at Nordstroms and found little unless I planned to join the pagent circuit after the wedding, find husband no. 8 in Las Vegas (I have been with no. 1 for 38 yrs. and plan to stay with him) or attend my 100th bday party…seriously that seemed to be the categories of dresses out there be it Nordstroms, Saks, Dillards, etc.. What woman under 50 does not hope for arm coverage??? If not in the dress then please at least offer options for this…none did and I didn’t want a pashmina…did not want to mess with it riding up, rearranging it, etc etc,,,, I planned to do a lot of hugging at the event and messing with this accessory did not work….finally found a dress that I loved at Teri Jon…it cost more than I had hoped but to find something I felt good in and fit was worth the cost.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Nancy. You are so true!! And so correct. It doesn’t matter what store you go to. The dresses are equally horrific. Nothing with a true short sleeve or 3/4 sleeve that’s flattering either. I’m at the point where I don’t care about my beefy wings anymore. The fashion industry is so foolish for not addressing this niche and they could do wonderful things!!! XOXOXOXO

  6. Rita says:

    Try going to a consignment shop, I have both of my sons getting married this year, one this past Saturday and the next in October , most dresses start at $500 plus so out of chance I went and found a dress at the consignment shop. Don’t know what you will find, this shop had bridesmaid dresses , MOB and groom , prom and bride dresses. There are also some online places where you can rent if you look you can pick out .

    • Catherine says:

      Rita. That’s a great idea! And here on the Mainline of Philly, I’ll bet there are tons of really good dresses!! I’m going to check out the consignment shops!!! Thank you!! XOXOXOXOX

      • Crew Mom says:

        But…but….for there to be good dresses at the consignment shops, they had to exist in a regular store somewhere first, right? So where is THAT store? The store where the good dresses lived before getting bought, worn, and consigned? So many mysteries.

  7. Daughter got married on the beach Key West 2013-MOB dresses all were so ugly! Finally found a short sleeveless turquoise plain cotton lace A line sheath.Daughter and I were both happy with it. It cost $130.00 on sale at Talbots

  8. Rhonda says:

    Of course, the decision also depends on the venue/location of the wedding. My son had a destination beach wedding, so I had to dress to be cool, comfortable, yet covered, and of course stylish! I ended up researching cocktail or party dresses… they offered better options than stodgy, full length-with-a-wrap/jacket styles that seem to typify MOG ensembles…I’m sure you’ll find something stunning and stylish! As a side note—my son’s wedding was a great motivator for my stubborn 10- 15lb weight loss, too! Unfortunately, three years later, I need to light the fire again! 🥂🥂life is good! 🤷🏼‍♀️

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Rhonda! As I sit here with a Magnum Ice Cream bar in hand (6 points), I am pondering that weight loss. I’ve been horrible this summer and need to get back on track! The cocktail/party/short bridesmaids maids are definitely more of what I’ll be looking at. I don’t like stodgy!!!

  9. Jean says:

    When my daughter married 13 years ago, she picked out her dress in a day but we spent hours over many weekends looking for something for me. We did not look in MOTB dress sections but in evening wear. We found a beautiful long dress with jacket at a Nordstrom (the only one they had in any size and I never saw it at any other Nordstrom – should have taken that as a sign) that didn’t move me too much but I bought it as a Plan B. Well, the more we shopped, the better Plan B looked and it turned into Plan A.
    Her older brother got married a year later. The two weddings were in two different states. I told my daughter I was going to ask my son and his fiance if they minded if I wore the same dress to their wedding. She said “If they say no, tell them they’ll have to deal with me.” So I wore the dress to my son’s wedding. And I wore that dress to about five evening functions since then. It looks just as beautiful, and timely, now as it did then. And I felt really good in that dress.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jean. That’s the beauty of finding that perfect dress. Hey, I would wear the same dress to my sons’ weddings when the time comes. Waste not what not is what I say! But to be able to get multiple wears out of an evening dress is definitely a score–even if plan B turns out to be plan A! XOXXOXOXOXO

  10. NJ says:

    I love that blue dress and I think you are right about that updo hairdo 🙂 and I am sure you will look awesome 🙂 I hope by the time my chance comes to be MOB 😀 the fashion industry do something about it 🙂 I have few decades to come to that stage 😛

    • Catherine says:

      NJ. I hope the fashion industry does come around–it’ll take them a few decades to do so! The updo. The dress. The eyeliner. It’s such a great look!!!! XOXOXOXOX

      • NJ says:

        😀 True, it’s such elegant look 🙂 Don’t worry you will look great on the Wedding day :-*

      • Danette says:

        The is so hysterical! I am looking at dresses as MOG, and I hate them! Matronly is all I see. I don’t want to look 20, but I want to be pretty, natural, and not matronly, Ugh! Did you do anyone find any great sites or stores for your dresses? Help! November this year, 2019.

      • Catherine says:

        Danette. At least you have till November. Time is starting to be of the essence for me and if I don’t find something–I’m goinI to a dress maker. Like you, I don’t wanna look twenty but I don’t want to look like an old fart either!!!! XOXOXOXO

  11. Miss Bougie says:

    You will rock that style of dress you have in mind. Looks perfect to me.
    As you will be in Paris soon why don’t you go have a peek at the dresses over at Galeries Lafayette. They have a whole section of stylish, timeless wear. There is a section called Ma Petite Robe Noire and they also have a personal shopper service you can book on line so someone can help you find what you need. Maybe worth a thought.

    • Catherine says:

      Hey B. Oh. I’ve been thinking about that–trust me. Galeries Lafayette is definitely going to see me this November!!!!! That section has already been written down in my book! Thank you!! OOXOXOXOXOXOXO

  12. Excellent and so so true and wow made me laugh as had this experience with my BFO when she was looking for her MOB outfit. We got depressed and had a long lunch! (This was in England)Hey sure you will look amazing!! Have fun.

    • Catherine says:

      LOL. Hideous MOB dresses are an international challenge I see! I’ll be in Paris in November and if I can’t find a decent dress there, I’ll never find one–although those short Alfred Sung bridesmaids dresses are calling my name!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

      • Well I worked for French lingerie company before we left to live in Spain. And all the women in the HO in Paris dressed classic with a cool trendy edge – fab! I learnt a lot as generally English women have no idea, in the nicest possible way. So, don’t forget to buy the correct lingerie for that perfect outfit. One stylebra does not do all the different looks needed. But you are a lady of style, so I think you know this!! xx

      • Catherine says:

        Funny you should mention the lingerie. We’ll be in Paris in November and I am planning to purchase some of my favorite bras by Princess Tam Tam. I’ll also be on the lookout for a strapless bra. French underwear it the greatest! Thanks for the reminder!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

      • Great brand Princess Tam Tam. I was MD of UK office for Simone Perele. They also have a sister brand called Implicite and their strapless Neon is really really great and similar price to Tam Tam I would think? Just in case you get stuck! xx

  13. junedesilva says:

    I will never be MOB – I have two sons – but I feel your pain! Your post did make me laugh; in a good way. I’ve always had my own slightly, quirky style and I don’t intend to conform because I’m over sixty. Good luck with your search and I’m sure whatever you select you’ll look truly fabulous, xoxo

  14. Anne says:

    You are so right! Mother of the bride dresses are hideous. I was not a young MOB at 61, and I am overweight. But no one was putting me in any of those monstrosities. I, too, bought a bridesmaids dress, though I opted for a longer length and had a small jacket made that matched the dress due to my fat and flappy arms. I loved what I ended up wearing. And you would think with the length and the addition of the jacket I might as well bought a MOB dress. But no. My dress had far less fabric, was slimming, and I choose a color that was not gaudy or turned my skin into paste. So, go get your dress! You will be among the legions of women who could not stomach the MON dresses and opted to choose something from the bridesmaid collections. I know you will look stunning, Catherine! 🙂

  15. The Audry Hepburn dress is fab and totally what you should wear but if you are forced into one of those hideous MOB outfits, wear it for the day but later, when everyone has had a few too many and the bride and groom have left for their honeymoon, please reappear dressed in the Pretty Woman call girl outfit and walk across the dance floor with said MOB dress and a pair of scissors, shouting “Big mistake, big, big mistake!” Oh and please post the photo’s 🙂 …… joking aside, I’m sure you will look fab for what will be a fab day. x

    • Catherine says:

      Wiggy!! I love that suggestion of dressing up in the before mode of Pretty Woman. But I will not wear one of those hideous dresses. My goal is a dance-friendly short dress!!!! XOXOXOXOXOX

  16. Bridget says:

    OK, I have to say that although I would not wear some of these because of my coloring, I do think some of them are lovely, and make very nice mother-of-the-bride looks. The lighter colors would look nice on someone who has a darker complexion than I do. And frankly, the woman in the blue looks great, if you ask me. I don’t like what I can see of her shoes, but then again I’m not wearing them! I like the dresses that you like as well, but keep in mind you are not only going for a different look, but you have different “requirements” for what you want to buy/wear. I just like it at a wedding when people are dressed up and not in tank tops!

    Maybe it’s because my wedding was very inexpensive and low-key. I don’t know, I think you find something you like and wear it. End of story.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Briget! Even for those women who do want a longer dress or formal gown, the bridesmaids dresses offer a more flattering choice. My goat gets ired because the fashion industry refuses to recognize the woman who wants a more hip MOB look. Regardless, my daughter is the most important part of the day!!! I’m so excited!!! XOXOXOXOX

  17. Penny says:

    Oh gosh – so many long styles for MOB. Here in the UK it’s more a floral (erk) floaty, mid-calf look with a matching (erk again) floral floaty coat. And then a humungous hat or even worse (as I hate them) a fascinator. The kind of Audrey Hepburn look that you’re searching for is wonderful – go for it! Keep us posted on this xxxxx

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Penny. Oh boy, I’m with you on the fascinators. There’s nothing fascinating about them. I’m not into florals either because they look like tablecloths and that mid-length is just not flattering. I’ll definitely keep you posted!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  18. vavashagwell says:

    Your post made me laugh…..some of those dresses are real doosies!!! LOL!

    I love the look you’re favoring – classy, beautiful, easy to wear. Looking forward to seeing what you pick out.

  19. Marsha Calhoun says:

    Still laughing – as an MOB, I sent away for, tried on, and rejected at least a dozen dresses before sending them back; when I showed one that I liked to my daughter, she responded diplomatically, “You can do better.” I finally found one that I could stand, my husband liked, and my daughter approved. Now I wish I had held out for one with sleeves (although the day was very warm, the pictures weren’t kind to me). I agree that you will do better to choose from the bridesmaids section – and I know you will find the perfect ensemble (sans fascinator, I hope, but hey – it’s your choice!).

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Marsha! No fascinator for me. I’m fascinating enough–LOL!!! A proper short sleeve would be so perfect but I think there isn’t a dress like that–maybe I’ll be able to find one!!! XOXOXOXXO

  20. Juliet says:

    That blue dress is gorgeous, you are going to be the cutest MOB, in fact your whole bridal party are going to be delicious – thank you for sharing with all of us, this is going to be huge fun. We are going to need posts on everything – dress, shoes, perfume…. (Can you tell I dont get out much – gravel-guy doesn’t like anything that doesnt involve an early night or trudging through muddy fields in a cagoule – lord only knows what will ever happen if the daughter decided to marry…) 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet. Oh. I love that blue dress and I think blue is a good color to not take away any attention from the bride. Kind of blending in without being beige or tan!!! I’ll be posting these pre-wedding adventures for sure!! XOXOXOXOXO

  21. Maryellen Reardon says:

    That was a hilarious post – mommy in the ICU!
    Mack reminds me of dancing with my father.
    Keep the wedding-related posts coming; we are all happy for you. Congrats!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Maryellen! LOL. This mommy has been in the ER in house-cleaning related injuries. No way am I wearing a gown that’ll get me wounded!! Mack is one of the greatest songs of all time–reminds me of dancing with my dad too!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  22. Laurie says:

    Hi Catherine , I have been a MOB twice , 6 months apart. Very different wedding colors so different dresses were required. I also went for a short sleeveless dress with a higher waist for both weddings. Haha, the second one was in Las Vegas. Found my first one online at Nordstroms and have worn many times now. The second one I found in small women’s clothing store. I will be in Paris too in November for a few days. I think sometimes trying to coordinate with the MOG and not clash with the bridesmaids can be the hardest part. Happy wedding dress shopping. My daughters both planned their own weddings yet I had lots of fun with them dress shopping. Don’t forget champagne and little glasses.

  23. Momcat says:

    I forgot to mention that at my wedding (back in the Jurasdic Era) my mother wore watermelon pink chiffon and my belle mère wore a BRIGHT turqoise…pretty vivid for a June day. The bridesmaids wore pale yellow. Ok, it was the ’70’s. It was a technicolor mess. If I had known what those two girls had got up to I might have chosen something different for Les jeune filles! Like black. We bought all the dresses at the same ‘salon’ ya think the lady who ran it would have guided MOB and MOG away from the neon brights when she knew what the bridesmaids were wearing! I wasn’t privy to this combo until the DAY OF THE WEDDING!!!!!😱The bridal industry was not the well oiled machine it is today. My mother always claimed her dress colour was a mistake and should have been peach ( like that would have been an improvement) my MIL was in her ‘south seas’ phase and loved the dramatic half cape that ran down one arm along with the ‘oceanic’ hue of the dress. All she needed was a Carmen Miranda head of fruit!! Oh well they did steal the show, I was the boring girl in white.

  24. Renee in Northern California says:

    Hi Catherine,
    My niece (wedding last May) chose the dresses for her Mother, Step Mom and MIL from Anthropologie. They all looked terrific and unique to their own personalities. I totally get the weight loss issue. I lost 10 pounds before that same wedding, specifically to fit into a dress I already own and enjoy wearing. Besides, I couldn’t find anything that I liked better….talk about incentive, lol! Being a wedding guest at age 61 and trying to find something to wear that’s not hideous is tough, too! Retail, needs to wake up!
    I’m excited to see what you come up with and I’m sure you’ll look terrific!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Renee. I’m going to check Anthropologie out too. I like what your niece did!! Ugh. The weight loss is just so awful right now. I’m been working late hours and that puts a damper on my trying to be organized. Once the summer is over I’ll be back on track. I’ve had my best luck starting programs in September! LOL–Retail ain’t gonna wake up–they are too youth-obsessed!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  25. Liz McGarry says:

    MOB dresses are hideous… When my son got married I wore a maxi skirt with matching short sleeved shell (fabric was bronze colored fluid jersey) with an antique bronze and black silk kimono over top. Flaunt convention, I say! I suggest Phil Phillips “Sea of Love” for the wedding playlist…
    We are not elderly…we are elders!

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Liz. Your MOB outfit sounds cool as all get out! Flaunt convention is correct. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I just added that song to the playlist. Excellent choice and I thank you!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  26. doodletllc says:

    First of all…I love your pick for the dress…love the look and weight of the fabric, love the cut, line, length and simplicity. Love that it is NOT A FLORAL PRINT…I think florals tend to be busy and dating. Love the show of the shoulders…edgy and youthful. Love your pick for shoes…pointy, cleavage, medium heel, leather. Dance-worthy. Now my quick story…my dear mom (miss her so) went to Kleinfeld’s in Brooklyn (this was way before Say Yes to the Dress when only the people in Brooklyn knew of the store)…I didn’t get a dress there but my mom found hers…short, sazzy, pink, and covered in sparkles. It was a statement, for sure, and was pretty but oh my, it was a photographer’s nightmare…in all the photos, the lights bouncing off the dress were blinding. But, in hindsight, that is very much who she was. 🙂 Another thought…following the lead of Jackie you can’t go wrong…and I also look to the royals…classic and timeless, nothing frou frou, over the top works every time. Have fun with the search!

    • doodletllc says:

      Another thought…I just took a look at Kleinfeld Mother of the Bride dresses…can you say MATRONLY??!
      adjective: matronly
      like or characteristic of a matron, especially in being dignified and staid and typically associated with having a large or plump build.
      “she was beginning to look matronly”

      Enough said. 🙂

      • Catherine says:

        Yeah. Jean. Oona mentioned coming up here to go to Kleinfelds. I perish the thought of overpriced bride’s dresses and a dress for me. She’ll find something gorgeous in her new hometown of Cincy!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO

  27. Go with your instincts – that dress will look FAB U LOUS with your figure and hair. Ooh which wig will you wear?!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Amanda! I’m excited about getting “dressed up”. Quite honestly, as much as I love clothes, dressy clothing is my least favorite..it’s so challenging to find the right dress. Thank you for your vote of confidence! Ohhhhhhh the hair is going to be a surprise!!!!! But it’ll look great!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO

  28. Liz McGarry says:

    Cathe – another playlist suggestion: “I Only Have Eyes for You” by the Flamingos.

  29. eveange33 says:

    Hi Catherine, how are you doing? Long time no comment but, here I am.
    I am sure you will be a great mother (mother of the bride) at this wedding, considering all the rules there are to follow in the US: weddings seems so complicated! I will never be a “MOB” as you say but, whatever, I would never let anyone make me wear anything that I do not like because of colour rules or because of my age. The mast wedding I went to I wore a light grey dress in heavy silk with 3 huge flowers brooch on the corsage (including red) with red shoes. I do hate the wedding outfit for bridesmaids or mothers, I think they are all so ugly and full of ruffles/ meh colours and such. And I have been invited to a wedding in the US for one of my friend next year: she ask me me to be bridesmaid but I refused. I’ll be much better as a “regular” invitee. But yes you might find something to your taste in Galeries Laffayette (or elsewhere). Why don’t you try vintage as well?
    When you come to Paris, if you have time and if you want to, I’ll be happy to meet you “in person” and show you some spots and shops ( do you love pearls? I have the shop for you) and places to see where to find wigs in Paris. I am happy to be commenting again and happy to read all the good news about you.

  30. maidsdayoff says:

    Tip #1 If they’re calling it a MOB dress, don’t even bother looking. I had much better luck simply searching for a DRESS. I’m with you – anything labeled MOB is hideous! I didn’t even bother with bridal shops or bridal departments at the mall.
    Tip #2 Find something that you feel good in and is COMFORTABLE. Same goes for shoes. No one wants to be fidgeting with a neckline or constantly tugging at a hem that rides up.
    Such an exciting time – congratulations!

  31. First, I’m so jealous you get to pick songs for the DJ. Argh, my daughter wouldn’t dare let me (not that I asked). Her wedding is next Sunday!!

    So, indeed I felt the same as you Cath, the dresses that I saw on-line and at some stores were awful!

    Knowing the venue for the wedding is a big helper as far as giving direction to how formal. I’m wearing a Calvin Klein shift dress in off cream (with a blush of pink) with a lace (boho style) topper to wear for the ceremony that I can later remove for the dancing. My shoes are open toed sandals with a block heel and SPARKLY!! Jewellery will be understated for me. Bracelets, long necklace and diamond studs. That’s it. I’m so excited for the big day—I can’t even!!!

    Short answer; I went totally classic and simple. You will be beautiful and I can’t wait to see what you decide on!!

  32. I am right there with you! I’m 50 and my son is getting married next summer. I started to pintrest dresses and noticed all the 20 year old size ZERO models wearing the MOB/G dresses. My future DiL sends me pics of dresses with jackets. I pass plse. Their wedding is in August in a barn venue. I would be a sweat ball lol.

    • Catherine says:

      LOLKarid–I’m still traumatized by the sight of many of the MOB ensembles. Don’t even get me started with the fact all human Q-tips under the age of 21 are modeling the dresses too! It drives me nuts!!!!! XOXOXOXO

  33. Marie says:

    Just browsing to help my daughter find a wedding guest dress, and came across this one, which reminded me of your post – I could see it as a MOB dress for you… or me!

  34. Cerce S Hammer says:

    Spot on!!!!

  35. Helen says:

    Yes, the MOB/G dresses are hideous, their purpose is to desex women and to ensure that no man comes near them so that they will concentrate on laundry folding and babysitting. I will avoid places that sell MOB/G dresses and just look at places that sell evening/formal and prom dresses. I don’t believe in the age appropriate rules, they are sexist and ageist. In fact, I will go out of my way to break them. I work out, I have biceps, shoulders, traps and a waist and I refuse to cover up with a drab tent.

  36. tabitha says:

    I think the secret to finding a non-awful MOB dress is to NOT shop at a wedding dress shop! There are so many lovely and tasteful choices available that are perfectly suitable for a wedding. They just don’t happen to be classified as “mother of the bride dresses”. Same goes for bridesmaid dresses. Last two weddings I was in the bridesmaids were able to select their own dresses and we all just kept to a color scheme and determined length. Other than that, people could choose something that flattered their body type and fit their wallet size.

  37. SB says:

    Oh my.. I’m a 46 year old MOB, slim with copper coloured hair. My daughter wants me to dye my hair brown and wear one of the typical monstrosities they call dresses too, to blend in better. I’ve never blended in in my life! I’ll be doing things my way and I’m sure she’ll survive

  38. Sharon Thomas says:

    I feel your pain! I’m from England living in USA and have a hard time finding fashionable clothing here apart from if you are a stick! Have a look at the UK websites. Got my last wedding guest outfit from there. They mailed to USA within 3 days!!! Not saying that is happening now with Covid. I’m looking now and stocks seem low. Hate all the frumpy outfits for Mother of the Bride/ Groom here and if you are plus size heaven help us! I would rather my son/ daughter elope than have to wear any on offer over here 😜

  39. Margy says:

    I want to rebell against MOB tradition. Every dress I view in store or on line is fast fashion with no style. Cheap, ghastly material. I agree witht the other writers; young, gorgeous women are wearing them. They don’t look like MOBs. Furthermore I would not be caught at my own funeral in one of these sick, Elvira dresses. I’m an old hippie with thoughts and style of my own. Boho chic is in, so where are these dresses? I can’t stand having to compromise. My daughter and her bridesmaids are wearing different dresses with varying coordinating colors. I can’t find narry a one to blend in. I want to scream, run off to bannana republic and by something off the rack. I have spent time in resale shops and found better quality just not quantity. My daughter will just have to deal with my rebellion!!! I’m going to wear an upcycled sari.

    • Catherine says:

      Margy! An updated Sari would be perfect. Why didn’t I think of that???? But yeah. I see women of MOB age all going after the most hideous of hideous for weddings and such and I’m going nuts. WTF???? Speaking of hippie days (I’m of the crunchy granola motherhood), I’m definitely getting back into the late 60’s early ’70’s vibe. Two days in a row this week I went braless at work. I’m tired of being confined! XOXOXOXO

  40. Honey says:

    Yep I feel your pain! I’m on the weight watcher train. Which seems to be easy compared to the dress hunt. There is two options out there old or slutty. Well I’m neither. Lace looks find on a 20 year old model but looks like a table cloth on someone over 60. But that’s what they keep throwing at you. I like classic too but there’s not a lot out there. To boot I’m short so that’s makes it even tougher when all the dress are on tall women.

    • Katttkinnnss says:

      It is awful when waist clinching styles, full skirt, or sausage corset sheat dresses are put on 18 year olds to display the dresses. I love the trendier, more flattering dresses but these are aimed at the Wedding Guests. So I cannot risk getting it, in case one of them has the dress. There are just no decent fashion designers for Brides Mothers dresses- the same fitted styles are churned out every year and over priced!

  41. Vicky says:

    Oh my gosh….this is me! I thought I was the only one struggling to find my outfit! My son is getting married in July…I’m 47 ( had him young…but all is good!) I’m literally banging my head off the wall! Help!

    • Priscilla says:

      I am right here with you! I am 48 and can’t find anything for the April wedding. Hope you have had more luck than I have.

  42. Katttkinnnss says:

    Bride’s Mother dresses are all the same stuff every year, just different patterns.
    All based on 1950’s style ……so boring, done to death and great if you have a waistline.
    There are never any new styles.
    Over the top gowns or overpriced glamour business-cocktail dresses. Big flouncy skirts that make us look bigger or sausage, corset sheath dresses that makes us look odd.
    No, I hate the 1950s or even 1980s stereo-typed cocktail style dresses with pinched waistline and displayed on models who are size tiny and age 19.
    We do not live in the past, from a newer generation, please reflect this in the fashion!

    Designers – please do pretty tulip style dresses to encompass our curves and not highlight waistlines.

    Designers – please do beautiful layers to gently conceal and use modern materials, colours and decent patterns and prints!

  43. Kelly says:

    My first daughter got married on a cruise ship. I couldn’t find anything so I wore something I already had. Daughter number two I won’t have that luxury as her wedding is going to be more formal. Everything I see is just awful.

  44. Elle Bradley says:

    Did you find a dress? I thought your blog post was very interesting. I’m a small British designer and I love making the sorts of dresses you were looking for. Unfortunately when ever I show them in my collections, my customers (I sell to independent boutiques) complain and ask for more length, more detail, and more sleeves! And we’re basically back to the old frumpy look! On occasion I get an adventurous boutique who will order the ‘non frumpy’ look but the shopper doesn’t want it. I swear there’s no winning.

    I totally agree with the pale wishy washy colours so frequently used. I use bright and bold as much as possible. However the fault doesn’t lie entirely with the designers. Blame the bridal magazines for suggesting the whole wedding party will look good if they matched the bridesmaids and most brides love putting their bridesmaids in a hideous pale pink.o

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