13 Elegant Mother of the Bride Dresses That Are Never Frumpy
No matter your style or budget, these gorgeous mother of the bride dresses prove you can feel stylish on your daughter's big day—without stealing the spotlight.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Finding perfect mother of the bride dresses is a lot of pressure. You don’t want a frumpy or unflattering gown to be displayed in your daughter’s photos forever. If you’ve been procrastinating on dress shopping by distracting yourself with wedding wishes, seating charts and your wedding toast, we promise you this: you can (and will!) find a gown that’ll celebrate both your personal style and your daughter’s big day.
Whether you’re dressing for a casual garden wedding or a glam black-tie event, there are plenty of classic dresses on the market that’ll have you feeling confident and comfortable from the first look to the last dance. We’ve narrowed down 13 of the most elegant mother of the bride dresses for every body type, budget and style of wedding. Read on for the best mother of the bride dresses.
Beaded Mesh Column Gown
This Pisarro Nights beaded beauty is a show-stopping match to any formal dress code. It’s elegant for any occasion, but especially as a mother of the bride dress. It comes in five colors, including a radiant blush, a Gatsby-esque champagne tone and dramatic grays, too. Add a pair of strappy metallic sandals, a glamorous pair of earrings and voila!
Hopeful Romantic Lace Mermaid Maxi Dress
Looking to cut wedding costs? This dress from Lulus not only features intricate floral lace and a flattering illusion neckline, but an affordable price tag, too. The fitted mermaid silhouette hugs all your curves and flares out at the knee for a dramatic look. Keep in mind that it works best for smaller bust sizes, and if you want a roomier fit, shop one size up.
One-Shoulder Chiffon Evening Gown
Everyone expects the mother of the bride to exude elegance at her child’s wedding, and that’s easily achieved with this one-shoulder evening gown. The chiffon dress flatters all body types and the over-the-shoulder detailing will help you glide across the aisle. There are plenty of colors and sizes to choose from, making it a pick for any aesthetic. Just add some gold jewelry or silver gems to accessorize.
Off-Shoulder Satin Column Gown
From the luxurious satin material to the modern off-the-shoulder neckline to its subtle sheen, this Amsale Pryce dress couldn’t get any more glamorous. The variety of hues and inclusive sizes will ensure a perfect fit for both your body and the wedding’s color scheme. To feel your most confident, pair this gorgeous gown with smoothing dress shapewear.
Embroidered Two-Piece Gown with Jacket
For a more traditional wedding look, consider this two-piece Alex Evenings set. A sleeveless gown pairs with an embroidered lace bodice and smooth A-line skirt, while a matching open-front jacket with three-quarter length sleeves finishes the look. It’s one of those mature and timeless mother of the bride dresses that gives you flexibility, comfort and coverage.
Sleeveless Floral Maxi Gown
If you’re looking for something less sequined and more earthy, this floral maxi gown is an understated option. The flower motifs adorn the dress from top to bottom, while the A-line silhouette hugs curves for a flattering fit. It’s also perfect for a winter wedding—just add a winter scarf as a shawl for extra warmth.
Floral Lace Midi Dress
If a floor-length gown is too fussy for you or the wedding is a casual backyard affair, consider this Kay Unger midi dress. It features a flattering fitted bodice, flared skirt and a textured petal-patterned overlay. It’s sophisticated but not too stuffy, so you can comfortably mingle with guests and still dance the night away.
Looking for a last-minute engagement gift? The white version of this dress would make for a beautiful rehearsal dinner dress for your daughter, too.
Off-the-Shoulder Column Gown
Does an off-the-shoulder gown feel too risque as a mother of the bride dress? Maybe a long time ago, but not anymore. (Here are other outdated wedding rules no one follows either.) This elegant La Femme dress is made of smooth satin fabric that gorgeously gathers across a fitted waist. It’s pure sophistication for any mother of the bride.
Adrianna Papell Blouson Beaded Gown
Easygoing, yet exquisite—that’s how you’ll feel celebrating your daughter in this beaded gown. This art deco Adrianna Papell dress is available in multiple colors, as well as plus sizes. If it’s not quite your style, pass it along to the bridal party since it’d make for a beautiful bridesmaid dress too.
Plus-Size Long-Sleeve Sparkle Gown
More brides are opting for fall weddings this year. If that’s the case for your daughter, you may want a long sleeve dress like this sparkly gown. It’s made specifically for plus-size women and features a sequined bodice and long skirt. Pair it with a winter coat, snug shapewear and, of course, lots of body confidence!
Vince Camuto Bow Neck Jumpsuit
If you prefer not to wear dresses, there are still plenty of options. Feel like yourself on such a special day by shopping for a sleek and comfortable Vince Camuto jumpsuit instead. When worn solo, it shows off your shoulders, but you could always add another layer with a shawl or formal jacket if you prefer.
Cascading Ruffle Maxi Dress
This long floral Eliza J dress is a match made in wedding heaven, whether you’re the mother of the bride at a garden affair or simply a guest trying to decode what the different types of wedding attire mean. Its subtle fit-and-flare silhouette and long blouson sleeves are ultra-flattering, no matter your size or shape.
Belted Sequin Gown
There’s nothing shy about this sequined mother of the bride dress, and that’s what we love about it. From the moment you walk down the aisle, you’ll be turning heads in this fun and feminine stretchy Aqua gown. The sequins and shine make it an undeniable choice for a black tie wedding or New Year’s Eve fête. Pair it with bold trendy jewelry for a glam look.
What length should mother of the bride dresses be?
There’s no wedding rulebook that demands a specific length for the mother of the bride’s dress. Consider the style and location of the wedding, as well as your personal style.
Many mother of the bride dresses are floor-length, but if you’re more comfortable in a midi or knee-length dress, opt for that instead. Nix anything above the knee as that’ll likely look too casual, inappropriate or out of place. When in doubt, consult your daughter.
What color should mother of the bride dresses be?
There’s no specific color a mother of the bride’s dress should be, except white of course. While not all brides wear white, it’s best to steer clear of shades that resemble your daughter’s wedding outfit. (Unless, that is, she requests that her bridal party all wear similar shades, but that’s the bride’s prerogative.)
Otherwise, consider drawing inspiration from the wedding’s color scheme, florals and bridesmaid dresses. Your daughter’s advice is perhaps most helpful, if she’s not too busy with wedding planning, to find a color you’ll feel confident and comfortable wearing.
Stop hunting for the best products and deals—get our expert scoop on secret sales and discounts, gift ideas for everyone and can’t-miss products. Sign up for the Stuff We Love newsletter.