WJO - Home

First Published: 15th October 2014

Mother of the Bride and Groom Fashion– Fab After 50

Wedding wardrobe style tips for women in their 50s and beyond.


Fab After 50

The do’s and don’t’s of Mother of the Bride and Groom fashion.

2.Chiffon mock-wrap dress with hand beaded lace, style 114664, Cameron Blake
2. Chiffon mock-wrap dress with hand beaded lace, style 114664, Cameron Blake

The objective is to look fabulous rather than frumpy, in an outfit that complements the colours of the bridal party (a co-ordinated look works best in the all-important pictures) while remaining true to your personal style.

If the prospect of shopping for a mother of the bride ensemble is just too over whelming, you’re in luck – Ireland has a number of excellent special occasion boutiques offering up rails of tempting designer outfits and staffed by experts who really do know how to make you look your best.

5.V-neck dress with empire line detail from the Belgravia collection by Ian Stuart
5. V-neck dress with empire line detail from the Belgravia collection by Ian Stuart

Before you step foot into a shop though it helps to have an idea of the type of outfit you are looking for. The rules of wedding fashion etiquette have relaxed somewhat over the years, meaning you can choose from a dress, skirt and jacket, or a trouser suit – and yes, you can wear white – with the bride’s permission of course.

To help you narrow down these options think about the season – a skirt and jacket might be overkill in the summer, whereas a light cap sleeved dress, topped off with an elegant hat, could be perfect.

Give some thought to your body shape as well – apple, pear, strawberry or hour glass shapes all suit different cuts and styles. If you’re not sure which you are, don’t be afraid to ask the advice of the trained shop assistants.

Here are a few general shopping guidelines that apply to all women over 50.

Coral lace, satin and tulle dress, style 99122 Veni Infantino
Coral lace, satin and tulle dress, style 99122 Veni Infantino

Say ‘no’ to

  • Floor length floral printed dresses, you aren’t going to a festival.
  • Long, unstructured A length dresses and skirts, these flatter no one.
  • Elasticated skirts and trousers, they will always make you look like a balloon.
  • Large over size shirts that drown out your shape – again, why?

Say ‘yes’ to

  • Wear one simple colour like red, blue, pink or black as this will make you look slimmer.
  • Block colours. Keep patterns to a minimum (too fussy) and focus on solid colours.
  • Don’t be shy of colour – the bolder and brighter the better, especially if the sun is shining.
  • Statement jewellery – just don’t feel the need to wear all your pieces at once. Choose one item per outfit.
  • If you’ve got it, flaunt it! Mature women can still show off their cleavage – Helen Mirren always gets it just right when she makes a red carpet appearance.
  • Choose shoes with a slight heel – this will elongate your silhouette and improve your posture.