Congratulations! Your son is getting married, and we bet you’re so excited.
You’ll no doubt want to look your best for his big day, but it can be tricky to find the right outfit that you look and feel good in. Many clothing brands have dedicated mother of the bride departments… but what about mother of the groom dresses?
We understand that you’ll want to highlight your important role with a look that you love, so we’ve hunted high and low for our favourite mother of the groom outfits out there. Plus, we caught up with the experts to put together our top mother of the groom outfit styling tips – whatever burning questions you might have, we’ve answered them all below.
Whether you’re after a designer dress with all the trimmings or a high street hit that won’t cost the earth, you’re bound to find something you adore in this edit. Keep on scrolling to discover your perfect piece.
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.
The Best Mother of the Groom Dresses & Outfits for 2020 & 2021
1. Gina Bacconi Darlene Floral Embroidery Dress – £280
Keep it simple and soft with the Darlene dress by Gina Bacconi which was just made for mothers of the groom. The sheer lace arms make it perfect for spring celebrations, while the pencil skirt adds a touch of of modernity. Team this dress with metallic accessories for a sublime mother of the groom outfit.
2. Hobbs Haisley Silk Dress – £269
This kingfisher blue Hobbs dress might be unexpected as a pick for the mother of the groom, but that’s just what we love about it – it’s a seasonless style that oozes elegance. Keep your jewellery minimal and hair pared back; this dress is a showstopper in its own right.
3. Hobbs Adaline Jacquard Fit and Flare Dress – £169
You can’t go wrong in a fit and flare shape, especially when it’s paired with a chic crew neck like Hobbs have done with the Adaline. The green leaf-patterned devore fabric would be gorgeous for an autumn celebration – layer it up with a smart coat or blazer if you’re likely to be spending a lot of time outdoors.
4. Coast Flare Sleeve Crepe Dress – £85
Coast’s beautifully-cut crepe dress comes in so many colours, from this pretty blush to a sleek navy, rich burgundy and even a vibrant orange. No matter what venue or theme you son's wedding has, you’ll find an option to suit.
5. Gill Harvey 4013
The sequins and feathers give a fun 1920's finish to this stunning Gill Harvey outfit. Silver is an ideal colour choose for your mother of the groom look, as it's distinctive enough to feel seriously special, but not enough to draw attention away from the bride.
READ MORE: 21 Timeless Wedding Jumpsuits
6. H&M Satin Dress – £49.99
Holy wow, this satin dress is a knockout – literally no one would ever guess it cost you less than £50 from H&M. If you’re shopping on a budget, we’d highly suggest not ruling out this high street hero for occasionwear.
7. Mango Belt Pleated Dress – £49.99
Mango is another affordable store that has plenty of hidden gems than its more casual everyday collections would suggest. Take, for example, this belted dress, which comes in a choice of green or red; if you’re looking for a simply draped pleated halter that will never go out of style, you could do a lot worse.
8. Monsoon Antonia Floral Embellished Maxi Dress – £250
Forget everything you’ve heard about wearing black to weddings – when the embellishment is as intricate as this Monsoon dress, you can absolutely pull it off. The halterneck is great if you like to show off your shoulders – lift the maxi hemline slightly with a pair of block heels so you’re not held back on the dance floor.
9. Rixo Camellia Pleated Floral-Print Silk Crepe de Chine Midi Dress – £315
Fashion editor’s favourite Rixo’s mission is to design dresses that have 'timeless silhouettes to flatter every woman, irrespective of age, season, size, nationality or time of day’ – ideal for any mother of the groom who wants to earn her style points. Enter the stunning silk Camellia dress, which would be perfect with your favourite pearl jewellery.
10. Rixo Dani Open-Back Ruffled Floral-Print Silk Midi Dress – £335
We’ve also fallen pretty hard for RIxo’s Dani design, which features an exaggerated floral print and subtle open back detail – it’s top of our list for a wedding where the dress is more cocktail dress than classic two-piece suit.
11. Ted Baker Trishna Masquerade Pleated Maxi Dress – £299
When you’re wearing this gorgeous Ted Baker maxi, you won’t just enter a room – you’ll positively grace it with your presence. The angel sleeves and long skirt give you lots of coverage without feeling frumpy, and the geometric pattern will work alongside a surprisingly high number of accessories.
12. Ted Baker Pohsahn Keyhole Detail Midi Dress – £179
A radically different take on mother of the groom dressing from Ted Baker, but a version that we love just as much. This dress takes a Grecian influence and turns it on its head in a truly contemporary way – and that salmon pink colour will make sure you stand out from the crowd. Top it off with a coordinating fascinator for ultimate glamour.
13. Ted Baker Sonyyia V Neck Lace Midi Dress – £249
Our third and final pick from Ted Baker taps into the same coral colour palette, but translates it into a longer-sleeved dress with feminine lace edging and a pleated skirt. We particularly love this with tan or gold shoes for a summer occasion.
14. Phase Eight Juliana Floral Dress – £199
The Juliana dress from Phase Eight has been designed to show off your curves, with a nipped-in waist, sharp v-neck and peplum hem that’s super flattering. What really sets it apart is the playfulness of the textures – the velvet ribbon, fabric covered buttons and the sheer upper bodice mean that no one else will be wearing anything remotely similar.
15. Phase Eight Jordyn Fit and Flare Dress – £150
Picture Phase Eight’s Jordan dress with a blush pink fascinator, matching heels and a statement clutch, and you’ll have an idea of just why we think it’s such a great pick. Navy is always a timeless choice, but the addition of the brushed ballet pink florals takes this dress to the next level.
16. Phase Eight Frances Lace Fitted Dress – £169
The swirls and lace of Phase Eight's Frances give it a really romantic feel – highly appropriate for a day that’s all about love! Complete your outfit with one of Phase Eight’s brilliant formal coats – they’ll have the exact colour to match.
17. John Charles Style 26795
If your son has opted for a gorgeous summer wedding, then consider a pastel hue to complement his choice of season. A head-to-toe coordinating pastel outfit is an easy way to do summer dressing, and is guaranteed to look totally chic. In this style by John Charles is the panelled, structured silhouette is super-flattering and the beaded detailing on the arms is a beautiful contrast to the heavy fabric.
18. Ghost Opal Dress – £149
Ghost’s satin dresses are legendary for their ability to slot seamlessly into your wardrobe for any event where you need to look and feel your best. This effortless olive-green wrap dress has a a shawl collar and balloon sleeves, which give it an understated charm (and if green’s not your colour, it also comes in navy).
19. Ghost Myla Dress – £245
At the full-sleeved end of the spectrum, we’d also recommend taking a look at Ghost’s Myla style, which looks like it just stepped straight off the set of an old Hollywood movie, thanks to its bias cut, cowl neckline and glorious forest green hue.
20. Jigsaw Rainbow Ditsy Goddess Maxi Dress – £165
Flowing skirt? Check. Stylish floral? Check. High neckline? Check! This Jigsaw dress ticks all of the trend boxes in a really subtle yet effective way. If you usually wear dark shades but want to branch out into brighter colours for the wedding, this would make an excellent first foray.
21. John Charles Style 26872
There are so many details to fall in love with on this beautiful dress by John Charles. The label’s signature cut allows the statement bell sleeves and stunning twist waist bow to take centre stage. The fitted skirt, which is fully lined, finishes just above the knee. And don’t get us started on the print.
22. Cefinn Freya Dipped Hem Midi Dress - £290
Move over LBD – going forward, we're all about the LPBD (that's little petrol blue dress, in case you were wondering). The Freya dress is one of Cefinn's bestsellers, and for very good reason – the wide sash, cap sleeves and dipped hem highlight your shape instantly, and the lightweight fabric means it's as comfortable as it is elegant.
23. Cefinn Rosie Silk Sleeveless Maxi Dress – £320
A set of statement earrings is all you really need to style up Cefinn's Rosie dress - just look how amazing the model looks with her bold lip and drop earring dazzlers. If you adore the shape but aren't so keen on the pattern, Cefinn also makes the Rosie in red and black.
24. Jaeger Colour Block Boucle Fitted Dress – £175
Maybe it's the monochrome palette, maybe it's the classic cut – either way, there's something about this boucle Jaeger shift dress that screams Chanel to us. Whether you add a jacket and accessories or keep things simple, it's a seriously classy find.
25. Jaeger Painterly Floral Print Midi Dress – £199
Also on our Jaeger radar (and under £200, no less) is this painterly floral print black and white dress, which has a slightly more relaxed, free-flowing feel. The way the hem hits the mid-calf will make your legs look amazing no matter what type of shoes you opt for.
26. Karen Millen Sleeved Envelope Neck Dress – £169
How about being a lady in red for the day? This Karen Millen dress is modest without being at all boring, and the seams on the front will really shape and showcase your waist. And as if the aesthetic wasn't enough, it's got one of our all-time holy grail features: it actually has pockets.
27. Gina Bacconi Anushka Crepe Chiffon Dress – £299
Gina Bacconi's designs are always popular among mothers of the bride and groom, and it's not hard to see why – her dresses come in a rainbow of pastel shades that are perfect for weddings, and always have that little something extra that set them apart from the crowd. In this case, it's the draped crepe overlay, which has pearl beaded embellishment down the arms.
28. Gina Bacconi Cynthia Crepe And Chiffon Dress – £260
Or if you don't mind having a little décolletage on display, how about Gina Bacconi's Cynthia style? The bordered V-shape neckline and half length chiffon sleeve are details that turn a staple tailored dress into something totally eyecatching and unique.
READ MORE: Perfect Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day
29. Adrianna Papell Beaded Flared Sleeve Floral Embellished Maxi Gown – £350
Well, if you can't wear a dress this extravagant at your own son's nuptials, when can you?! Adrianna Papell's biscotti-coloured beaded dress is a totally dreamy, ethereal choice that will earn you dozens, if not hundreds of compliments.
30. Adrianna Papell Short Sleeve Floral Embellished Maxi Gown – £335
A second Adrianna Papell beauty that we're equally obsessed with – the floral embellishment on this dress is some of the most lavish and exquisite we've come across. What you can't see in the picture is the slinky slit up the back – make the most of it with a special pair of tonal heels.
31. Chi Chi London Amanie Dress – £73
We just couldn't resist rounding off our list of dresses with this one – you'd be forgiven for thinking the Chi Chi Amanie dress was far more expensive than its £73 price tag. If you ever needed evidence that you don't need to spend a fortune to look and feel a million dollars on the day, this is surely it.
32. Bombshell HQ 'Edge of the Shoulder' Midi Dress – £389
However, if you do have a little extra cash to splash for a once-in-a-lifetime look, Bombshell HQ will kit you out in the most magnificent retro-inspired dresses you ever laid your eyes on - we particularly love this gold dress for a mother of the groom, but the entire collection is worthy of your attention.
7 Mother of the Groom Outfit Styling Tips
Image: John Chapman Photography
John Charles are renowned for their luxury occasion wear, so we thought it only right to catch up with Regine Ellis, their Creative Director. From colour palettes to whether or not you can wear white, she has all the answers to help you look your best on the biggest day of your son's life.
READ MORE: Gok Wan’s Top Styling Tips for Brides
1. What Does the Mother of the Groom Wear?
There aren’t any hard and fast rules, but there are a few recommendations when it comes to choosing your mother of the groom outfit. First of all – you’ve got to make an effort! You should choose something smart and good quality – it is a major milestone for your family, after all.
“Choosing a quality outfit will not only give you a great silhouette, you’ll also have an outfit that will last a lifetime”, says Regine.
You should also consider colour. Regine adds: “Work to complement the wedding’s colour palette, not match it. Look at the colour scheme of the bridal party; if the bridesmaids are in lilac, go for a rich deep purple accent. You should also aware of the type of wedding and venue your son is having, as this should be reflected in your outfit.”
Last but not least, you’ve got to abide by the golden rule of styling! That is to work with what you have an highlight your most beautiful features. Regine told us: “A knee-length, tailored fit is fantastic for elongating and showcasing legs, for example”.
2. Can the Mother of the Bride and the Mother of the Groom Wear the Same Colour Dress?
Of course! There is no rule to say that you can’t wear the same colour as the mother of the bride (or other mother of the groom). The key is to make sure you’re wearing dresses in colours that don’t clash, if you’re opting for different shades.
Traditionally, the mother of the bride would buy her dress first, and then consult with the mother of the groom who’d buy something to complement the chosen gown. Now, the rules are a little less strict – but we’d still recommend you confer before the big day!
3. Can the Mother of the Groom Wear a Patterned Dress?
Yes, you can – in fact, some of our favourite mother of the groom dresses are patterned. As long as your dress doesn’t clash with the bridal party’s outfits, you’re good to go.
4. Can the Mother of the Groom Wear Black to a Wedding?
These days, black dresses are very much accepted for the mother of the groom. It’s elegant and slimming, and as you've seen above, there are so many lovely black or monochrome mother of the groom dresses out there.
As long as the couple are happy with your colour choice, there’s nothing to say you can’t choose a black outfit.
5. How Should the Mother of the Groom Prepare for the Big Day?
Regine says: “Have a pampering session and get your makeup done professionally for the big day. Bear in mind the running around you’ll be doing on the day… and the tears! Be prepared to apply touch ups.”
6. Can the Mother of the Groom Wear White?
It is acceptable to wear white, but it's best if it's broken up into a print with other colours – you don’t want to upset the bride!
7. Does the Mother of the Groom Wear a Hat?
If you want to - absolutely yes! “It’s the eternal signature of glamour and a form of costume that gives you confidence. A comfortable, securely placed hat will always look lovely”, says Regine.
READ MORE: The Complete Wedding Anniversary Guide
Now that you’ve got your mother of the groom outfit sorted, check out our personalised wedding gift ideas to find the perfect present for your son and his partner.