Red dress with lace bodice

When it comes to mother of the bride dresses, there are no hard and fast rules. The only thing you need to have in mind is finding an outfit that makes you feel good.

After all, this wedding is a special day for you, too!

For far too long, stereotypical mother of the bride outfits were - let's be honest - rather frumpy, and were designed to conceal rather than to flatter. That's no longer the case.

From elegant tea-length and long dresses to more unusual outfit ideas, we've found the mother of the bride outfits that are sure to have you feeling your confident best on the big day. 

Our edit features beautiful mother of the bride dresses and outfits to suit an array of body shapes, styles and budgets. These looks reference current trends, for a fresh effect, but at the same time they're utterly timeless and very wearable.

NB: We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.

What Does the Mother of the Bride Wear?

Woman helping her daughter put on her wedding shoes
Oliver Li/Pexels
  • Think in terms of comfort as well as style. If it's a long celebration, you'll want something you'll feel comfortable in for many hours. For the same reason, avoid any fabrics that crease easily. You should also think about what you'll be doing on the wedding day - if you're due to help your daughter get ready, or do any last-minute décor set-up, you'll want a mother of the bride outfit you can move in with ease.
  • Consult your daughter! Ask her if there are any particular colours she’d like you to stick to (or any colours to steer clear of), and find out whether she’d like you to pick up any elements of the bridesmaids' outfits, for a cohesive wedding party look.
  • Chat to the other mother of the bride or groom about your outfit choice – you do not want to turn up in the same dress...
  • Take inspiration from the season and the venue. Summer garden wedding? Pastel shades will look pretty. Modern city winter wedding? Consider a bold colour or something monochromatic.
  • Invest in a good quality outfit. It’ll last you a lifetime and give you a great silhouette.
  • Treat yourself! Have a pampering session and get your hair and makeup done professionally on the morning of the wedding – that way, it’ll last perfectly even when you’re running around after the bride.
  • Don't forget accessories. Whether you're buying new or using jewellery and shoes you already own, the finishing touches will really make a difference to your overall look.

Now you're ready to go shopping!

Short & Midi Mother of the Bride Dresses

1. Principles Twist Front Artist Print Dress - £45, Debenhams

Mother of the Bride Dresses

We know what you're thinking - a cream dress to your daughter's wedding? Don't worry, this modern twist-front dress with a painterly print embraces a soft colour palette that makes it perfect for a mother of the bride. The splashes of yellow and terracotta are fresh and inviting, and you'll get no end of complements on your contemporary, youthful dress choice.

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2. Principles Tie Dye Print Midi Shirt Dress - £39, Debenhams

Mother of the Bride Dresses

This beautifully flattering gown is a bargain buy! It looks effortlessly more expensive than its price tag and you'll want to wear it again and again after the big day. You might not be able to tell from the photo, but the stripes are actually a rich navy tone rather than black which makes the dress much warmer. Those stripes are in a subtle chevron pattern on the skirt, which skims over hips and elongates the body.

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3. Bianna Moss Crepe Dress – £350, Gina Bacconi

White dress and jacket

This Gina Bacconi dress is wonderfully sophisticated for a mother of the bride look, and can easily be accessorised to make it your own. If your daughter isn't keen on the idea of you wearing ivory, it also comes in pink and navy.

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4. Marcia Cherry Blossom Smocked Dress – £150, Kitri

Green dress with white cherry blossom

A chic option from fashion editors' favourite Kitri. The lightly puffed sleeves and high neck of this Marcia dress keep the silhouette contemporary, and the midi length makes it easy to wear.

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5. Maggie Ponte Dress – £90, Boden 

Blue dress

Boden's Maggie ponte dress is an easy-wearing classic, with a flattering full skirt. The pared-back style will suit a minimalist mother of the bride.

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6. Sidney Shift Dress - £250, L.K. Bennett

BLUE TWEED DRESS

Tweed can look a bit try-hard; L.K. Bennett's Sidney shift dress is anything but. With its striped grosgrain ribbon embellishment, raw-edge trim and patch pockets, it's the epitome of laid-back cool. Want to take it in a more formal direction? Add the matching jacket.

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READ MORE: 32 Stunning Mother of the Bride Hairstyles

7. Style 991532 – £699, Veni Infantino

Pink midi floral dress

The dream dress for a garden party, style 992532 by Veni Infantino is a flattering tea length and features a lovely illusion neckline.

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8. ATOL Style 112  £710, Pronovias

Short cerise pink dress with lace bodice

An effortlessly chic cocktail dress, the details of ATOL Style 112 by Pronovias are perfectly judged, from the lace bodice to the sash belt.

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9. Mila Shift Dress – £55, Hobbs

Pale pink shift dress with chiffon sleeves

If you'd prefer a long sleeve in summer, go for sheer, to keep the look light (and so you don't over-heat!). This pink Mila dress from Hobbs is perfect, and comes in a beautifully romantic pale pink.

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10. Curve Bardot Neck Embroidered Midi Dress – £159, Coast

Pale pink midi dress

This Bardot neck dress is pretty as a picture, with an eye-catching embroidered skirt and a figure-flattering silhouette.

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READ MORE: Mother of the Bride Duties Explained

11. Bellana Wilderness Midi Dress – £149, Ted Baker

Mother of the Bride Dresses and Outfits

You can’t go wrong in a statement midi dress if you’re playing the very important role of mother of the bride.

This midi design features an all-over animal print as well as flattering cap sleeves and a subtle thigh slit. Pair with yellow-gold accessories and you’ll look so refined.

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12. Luisa Lace Dress – £120, Phase Eight

Mother of the Bride Dresses and Outfits

Sticking with bold hues, the gorgeous Luisa Lace Dress by Phase Eight is a statement take on classic lace and would look great at your daughter’s wedding whatever the season. We’re huge fans of the stylish cape-style statement sleeves.

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13. Ella Floral Print Dress – £130, Phase Eight

Navy, pink and cream floral dress with high neck

 

This floral dress is pure elegance, from the delicate print to the on-trend high neck with twist detailing. That waist tie is a lovely finishing touch. All in all, a designer-look piece at a high street price point.

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14. Polka Dot Print Pussybow Dress + Tie – £250, Me+Em

White dress with black polka dots

 

Pair this above-the-knee dress with chic heels or flats, and you have a contemporary-cool yet still romantic take on the classic polka dot print. You can wear the tie as a belt or around the neck for a pussy-bow effect.

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READ MORE: What to Say in a Mother of the Bride Speech

15. Black Bardot Stripe Detail Midi Dress – £79, Sosandar

Black dress with white stripes and a Bardot neckline

Sosandar is a great brand for stylish, easy-wearing pieces that won't break the bank - like this Bardot neck dress. You can dress it up or down depending on the style of wedding, and the fine-knit fabric would be a pleasure over the course of a long day.

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16. Fiona Cotton Blend Shift Dress – £149, Hobbs

White sleeveless shift dress with pink and green flowers

A floral shift dress is always in style, and this Hobbs design is particularly elegant. The fuchsia flower print looks striking against the white fabric.

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17. Trompe L’Oeil Printed Satin Dress – £279, Maje

Dress with black sleeveless bodice and floral skirt

When it doubt, go French - Parisian label Maje has some beautiful pieces that would work for mothers of the bride who want something chic yet unusual. This floral dress is divine, with a fitted bodice against a flowing, tropical-print skirt.

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18. Nightingales Navy Print Tiered Dress – £75, JD Williams

Navy pink print dress with tiers

Tiered dresses are very on-trend, but it's a look that can easily become too fussy. Not so this JD Williams dress, which has just the right number of tiers, plus a navy background, to stay on the sophisticated side.

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READ MORE: How to Choose a Flattering Mother of the Bride Hat

19. Lace Top Overlay Pleated Dress – From £32, Amazon

Mother of the Bride Dresses and Outfits

Who knew you could put together a polished outfit from Amazon? Well, we did, actually, and that's how we came across this elegant and understated gown.

It comes in several colours, but we reckon the navy is the most refined.

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20. Rae Colourblock Dress – £189, Hobbs

Black and white colourblock dress

You can always rely on Hobbs to make contemporary trends timeless, and this colourblock design is no exception.

The fit-and-flare silhouette is very flattering, with a wonderfully crisp navy and ivory colourway.

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21. Strappy Dress with Embroidery – £185, Uterqüe

Back strappy dress with white embroidery

Who says the mother of the bride can't wear a strappy dress? Just make sure to choose a sophisticated design, as befits your status, like this Uterqüe dress. The embroidery is exquisite, and you could always add a jacket for when temperatures fall in the evening.

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22. Fine-Knit Dress – £39.99, H&M

Cream short dress with navy trim

H&M may be targeted at the under-30 market, but in among the trend-led pieces, you can find some stylish bargains at any age - like this cream dress with contrast trim. There's something rather regal about it, and it would look good at any style of wedding.

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READ MORE: Gifts for Couples: 35 Unique Ideas

Long Mother of the Bride Dresses

23. Daryl Pleated Maxi Dress – £150, Phase Eight

Multi-coloured maxi dress with long sleeves and a pleated skirt

It's all too easy for a bold pattern to look a bit relentless in a long dress. That's why this Phase Eight maxi is so clever: the pleated skirt breaks up the pattern, for an overall effect that's fresh, vibrant and full of movement.

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24. Veni Infantino Style 991535 - £700

Silver and pink dress

If glamour is the order of the day, this high-waisted skirt and glittery top combination from Veni Infantino is ideal - just make sure you keep accessories to a minimum for a sophisticated feel.

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25. Zadig & Voltaire Ray Crepe Maxi Dress – £333, Selfridges

Green silky maxi dress with short ruched sleeves

This Zadig & Voltaire dress is just beautiful, from the colour to those short ruched sleeves. It's the grown-up way to do boho, so would be ideal if you want to stay sophisticated yet mood-appropriate at a barn or festival wedding.

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26. Hannah Artwear Luna Printed Silk Wrap Maxi Dress – £238, Net-a-Porter

Blue printed silk wrap maxi dress

We love the print on this blue silk maxi dress. It would be a gorgeous look for a beach wedding, or you could dress it up even more through your accessories for a smarter summer celebration.

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READ MORE: Why Asking My Mum to Walk Me Down the Aisle Was One of the Best Decisions I Made

27. Rioni Twist Waist Detail Maxi Dress – £299, Ted Baker

White maxi dress with long sleeves and pastel pattern on skirt

If your daughter is wearing white, it's worth checking that she's happy with you turning up in a largely pale dress. Fingers crossed she is, because this Ted Baker maxi is an absolute find, with a subtle, painterly pattern and a refined silhouette.

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28. Lace Maxi Dress – £69, Warehouse

Lilac lace maxi dress

Lace is a bit of a mother of the bride cliché, but it's still possible to put a contemporary twist on the look. What makes this Warehouse maxi feel so modern is the fact that the lace features oversized flower shapes, with a very-now high neck and volume sleeves.

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29. Sequin Angel Sleeve Maxi Dress – £149, Coast

Silver sequin maxi dress with floaty skirt

Fancy a mother of the bride outfit with some sparkle? All over sequins may be a bit much, but this Coast dress combines a dazzling bodice with a floaty skirt to soften the effect.

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30. Rasario Silk-Satin Gown – £1,595, Net-a-Porter

Emerald green maxi dress with long sleeves

This Rasario dress is a real showstopper! It's the sort of gown you'd expect to see on the red carpet, worn by a sophisticated actress - so it's certainly perfect for playing a starring role as mother of the bride.

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READ MORE: The 28 Best Wedding Guest Hair Accessories

Mother of the Bride Dresses with Jackets

31. Condici Style 70977 - £765

Navy and white dress

Spring and even summer evenings can be chilly in the UK, so choose a style that comes with a jacket, like Condici style 70977. The dress features a floral top and delicate diamante at the waist.

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32. Carly Floral Midi Dress & Eliza Jacket – £169 & £129, Hobbs

Navy dress with white flowers with a cropped navy jacket

Of course, a jacket isn't just for keeping warm at a wedding - it can also help to make your overall look even smarter. Hobbs' Elize jacket, for example, adds a chic note of formality to the Carly midi dress.

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33. Condici 70993 - £819

Pale green dress

As a softer alternative to a jacket, why not try a cape? Style 70993 by Condici comes with a lightweight, waterfall version with slashed sleeves - perfect for a summer's evening.

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34. Mariposa Floral Lace Bodice Dress & Mariposa Occasion Jacket – £160 & £130, Phase Eight

Pink dress with lace bodice and matching pink jacket

The Mariposa jacket looks so romantic with the matching dress, contrasting beautifully with that intricate lace bodice. The shade of pink is perfect - elegant rather than sugary.

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35. Nightingales Ivory Lace Dress & Jacket – £150, JD Williams

White lace dress and jacket

We love the way this JD Williams design feels so coherent - the jacket picks up on the lace of the gown, and falls just so, to emphasise the beaded waistband.

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READ MORE: The 31 Best Mother of the Bride Outfits for Every Budget

Mother of the Bride Trouser Suits

36. Alexandre Ponte Jumpsuit – £120, Boden

Navy long-sleeve v-neck jumpsuit

Jumpsuits work beautifully for a contemporary-chic mother of the bride look. We love the figure-flattering shape of Boden's Alexandre jumpsuit - from the v-neck to the wide legs, this is such an elegant silhouette.

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37. Spring Tailoring Tapered Leg Suit – £440, Me+Em

Cream trouser suit

This Me+Em suit is such a fresh take on the traditional women's trouser suit, with those chic tapered trousers. Pair with a silky t-shirt or cami to pretty it up, or keep the whole look pared-back and minimalist.

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38. Audrey Blouson Sleeve Jumpsuit – £130, Phase Eight

Jumpsuit with white long-sleeve top and pale pink trousers

This two-tone jumpsuit has a beautifully romantic feel, and we love those sheer sleeves for a spring mother of the bride look.

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39. Casey Floral Bodice Tapered Jumpsuit – £130, Phase Eight

Jumpsuit with black trousers and a black and white floral top

Phase Eight really are nailing it with their jumpsuits at the moment, and the stylish Casey is no exception. It's a great look if you prefer darker colours but don't want to look too somber at the wedding!

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READ MORE: The 60 Best Mother and Son Dance Songs

40. Leah Tailored Blazer & Wide Leg Tailored Trousers – £235 & £135, Reiss

White wedding suit

This sleek suit is contemporary elegance at its best, from the beautifully cut wide-leg trousers to the impeccably cut blazer.

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Monsoon Mother of the Bride

41. Eva Floral Embroidered Shift – £120, Monsoon

Navy shift dress with colourful embroidery

There's so much to love about this Monsoon dress - where do we start? That figure-flattering silhouette; the intricate embroidery; those sheer dotted sleeves - it all adds up to a gorgeous mother of the bride look.

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42. Paris Floral Dress - £99, Monsoon

White dress with bright flower pattern

Do florals the modern way by choosing a bright colour palette. Monsoon's Paris dress cleverly picks up on the folk mood that's been all over the catwalks, keeping your look pretty but with a nod to the trends.

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43. Tabitha Embellished Maxi dress - £170, Monsoon

Sparkly pink dress

Sparkle like the star you are in Monsoon's embellished Tabitha dress. It has a gloriously Art Deco feel to it, without being in any way costume-y.

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44. Lili Embellished Midaxi - £69, Monsoon

Sparkly green dress

Well, this is just lovely. Monsoon's Lili midaxi - a hem length between a midi and a maxi - has the perfect balance of contemporary touches and timeless appeal.

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READ MORE: The 25 Best Wedding Films on Netflix, Amazong Prime and Now TV

45. Lolita Lace Midi Dress – £99, Monsoon

Mother of the Bride Dresses

Odd name choice aside - Lolita? Really? - you'll exude classic elegance all day long in Monsoon’s Lolita lace dress.

Designed in a sweeping midi-length and with a delicate lace bodice, the keyhole back adds a stylish finishing touch. 

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46. Millicent Floral Print and Lace Dress – £130, Monsoon

Pink floral midi dress

Want a mother of the bride dress that's unashamedly pretty? Millicent combines a floral print, pink hue, lace detailing and an illusion neckline, all to bewitching effect.

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Plus Size Mother of the Bride Dresses

Note: most of the other dresses in our edit above are available in plus sizes, too.

47. Izabel Curve Floral Maxi Dress – £55.90, Navabi

Black sleeveless floral maxi

Navabi is one of our favourite destinations for plus-size style, with a range of designers as well as their in-house label. This floral maxi is utterly enchanting, with a pattern we can't get enough of.

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48. Lace Evening Dress – £276.90, Navabi

Short pink lace dress

Planning a glamorous mother of the bride look? This lace evening dress must be a real contender, with it shimmering finish and beautiful sheer sleeves.

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49. Black A-Line Dress – £390, The Hour

Black dress with sheer long sleeves

The Hour is the name to know for perfectly cut plus-size designs with an emphasis on quality fabrics - like this black a-line dress. It's lined with satin so it feels deliciously soft to wear, and the precision cut makes it a very refined proposition.

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50. Studio 8 Rachel Wrap Dress – £65, John Lewis

Mother of the Bride Dresses and Outfits

You can’t go far wrong with a wrap dress, and this mother of the bride dress by Studio 8 is guaranteed to turn heads.

From the gorgeous emerald colour to the ruffle detailing around the neckline and the luxurious fabric, there's so much to love about this piece. 

Make sure you hurry – we predict a sell out!

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51. Studio 8 Nola Jacquard Dress – £62, John Lewis

Mother of the Bride Dresses and Outfits

The magenta shade of this Studio 8 occasion dress is giving us real autumn vibes. Designed in a flattering wrap silhouette, the dress features romantic angel sleeves and an asymmetric frilled hem. Pair with metallic heels for a show-stopping look.

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Now you’ve chosen your mother of the bride outfit, you’d better refresh your memory on your mother of the bride duties in time for the big day…