At every wedding, all eyes are on the bride and bridesmaids, but there is another leading lady who will be admired all day – the mother of the bride. We asked four fabulous fashion gurus to give us some styling tips for the guest of honour...
Emma Forbes is a TV and radio presenter and the founder of online lifestyle destination, forbesstyle.com
Emma says: “As the mother of the bride, you need to be totally elegant, in subtle colours and hues that compliment the bride; Kate Middleton’s mother got it just right at the Royal wedding. Mothers should always go for something classic. Never forget that you will be in lots of photographs, so anything too risky or mad will be remembered (and may be mocked) forever.
“The best style for a mother of the bride is a coat worn over a dress. A coat that matches adds elegance and it can be removed for the evening, giving two looks.
“Bright and bold colours should be avoided; the bride will be in pale white or cream and for her mother to appear in shocking orange or pink would be a huge mistake. Nothing too revealing either – it’s better to look “Audrey Hepburn classic” than using the moment to wear a plunging neckline.”
Nicola Cupples is a UK style expert, personal shopper and owner of My Style Companion
Nicola says: “Mums of the bride should always stay true to their own sense of style when looking for that special outfit, rather than living up to what they feel guests’ expectations will be of them.
“In terms of colour, metallic or block colours in hues that you enjoy wearing will always look elegant in the photographs. Avoid busy prints that are high fashion at the time, as they date quickly. It’s better to go for something classic and timeless. And don’t wear all-white or cream unless the bride specifically says it’s ok, or you run the danger of looking like you’re trying to upstage her.
“Accessories can make or break an outfit, so make sure they aren’t left to the last minute, and when it comes to your shoes, think about comfort as well as style.”
Lisa Talbot is an award-winning personal and fashion stylist
Lisa says: “For the mum of the bride, finding the perfect outfit is top of the agenda. The colour you choose needs to work with you, not against you; the wedding guests do not want to see the colour of your outfit before they see you.
“Wide-leg trousers suit all body shapes as they balance the hip line or, if you carry a little weight around the tummy, the best style is an empire line, giving structure to the upper body whilst disguising the tummy area. A blouson or peplum style top (gathered at the bottom) also hides a multitude of sins and looks feminine too. If it’s a summer wedding and you don’t like your arms showing, you can still have a sleeveless dress but use a chiffon wrap, Pashmina-style scarf or soft top with angel style sleeves to cover the tops of your arms.
“Above all, your outfit must reflect your personality; although you will be on show for the day, don’t feel you have to dress in something that you won’t feel comfortable wearing.”
Zofia says: “A mother of the bride should always wear a hat. It distinguishes her from the other guests, as well as setting the tone; she and her husband are the hosts of this special occasion.
“In 2012, there will be Charleston inspirations, smaller shapes and more sparkle with brooches and feathers – but asymmetric wide brims always make a dramatic entrance. On-trend colours are dark peony and petrol but avoid yellow, orange and anything too pastel as it does not create enough of an accent.
“I wouldn’t recommend pillbox hats - and too wide a brim, without any side slant, makes exchanging kisses impossible. Sloping brims that shade the eyes can be disastrous in the photos and fascinators are not for the mother of the bride. Rather than netting and flowers, try something simple and more sculptured."