In my years of experience dealing with customers who browse online, their dilemma is finding a lovely mother of the bride dress to wear on their full figures. They lament that the dresses out there are either too flamboyant and revealing, or too matronly looking and make them look older than they feel.
Here are some guidelines for the plus size mother of the bride or groom to look becoming on their daughter or son's wedding, yet not sacrificing good taste and comfort while wearing their chosen dress.
1. Have an idea about fabrics, their textures, and quality. Every good clothing website will state the type of fabric used on the description summary of the dress. Mother of the bride dresses are usually made of synthetic fabrics nowadays, due to lower costs and their ability to be wrinkle-free. Remember that special occasion dresses are tailored, have lining, and are generally not stretchy like casual wear.
2. Every woman must have an idea of which colors looks good on them. Pinks may look great on the catalog models but do absolutely nothing for you. Discuss with the bride on the colors of the wedding and decide on the color variation that becomes you.
3. A mother of the bride who is well-proportioned or of an hourglass figure, can wear a more fitted style. Just remember to put on that body shaper or corset as this can work wonders for any figure whether it is slim or fuller.
4. If you are NOT of an hourglass figure, know whether you are bustier or more hippy. It is always best to find a dress that will fit the widest part of your body and then get the rest professionally tailored down to fit you. Remember--even skinny models have dresses tailored to fit their bodies for the photography session.
5. Browse online stores for a myriad of plus size mother of the bride gowns. They carry the latest styles and if they do not have your size in stock, they can surely special order one for you. Remember that every manufacturer size their dresses differently, especially special occasion dresses. So, it is helpful if you know what your body measurements are before you shop and then purchase online.
6. Know your figure type. If you are hip heavy, the A-line styles are definitely for you. If you are busty, stay away from clingy fabrics and low bodices that accentuate your fullness. Jackets whether long or the shorter bolero styles, always manage to hide a flaws like heavier arms. Or have thought about a snazzy shawl to wear over your shoulders?
7. Do not allow your daughter or daughter in-law to dictate which style she wants you wear. This could be potentially upsetting for you. Only you will know which styles and colors flatter you. Negotiation and compromise are best for both parties, achieving a better outcome, and no hurt feelings.
7. Golden word--TAILORING! Do not wear dresses that are too large for you as they make you look heavier and this is not what you want. You will look slimmer if a dress is customized for you. Invest in professional tailoring.
8. Give ample time--at least 4 months--before the wedding to find a plus size mother's dress. Do not make the common mistake of trying to lose those few extra pounds before the wedding and holding off buying your dress until then. You will be surprised that there are not too many physical shops out there that carry the style you want in a plus size. You may have to shop online and if so, need to allow time for alterations and exchanges, if any.