We recently spoke to Lynn Jo Chaney, a lifestyle blogger who formerly worked in a department store advising lots of lovely ladies on the best style for weddings. Lynn Jo gave us some great insight into choosing an outfit for the mother of the bride or groom.
When should you start shopping?
Personally I am the kind of person who would shop for an outfit months in advance but you don’t necessarily need to be as super prepared as me. I would say don’t leave it to the last minute. Give yourself at least a month, two if you’re willing. To me this is enough time to allow for everything on top of actually looking for an outfit. People forget the work that would go in on top of actually finding the outfit you like. You may want to come back to try the outfit on with different people or different underwear. The size you need or colour you want may need to be ordered. You may want the outfit in a different colour which may not be in stock for a few weeks. There may be new ranges coming in you wish to look at. You may also need to make some alterations; while many people find the perfect outfit, it’s not uncommon for it to need a little tweak here or there. This amount of time also allows for anything which may go wrong!
Are mothers dieting to fit into the perfect out?
There is a mix here. Some mothers come into the store and have dieted and lost some or a lot of weight. I found in most cases these were slightly larger women and often they told me it was because they normally have such trouble with trying on clothes that they lost weight to make the experience a bit easier or for their own confidence. Often, it was because the other mother was very glamourous. However, mothers losing weight was definitely rare when compared to the number of women I would have dressed. Most women at the age where their child is getting married have grown to accept their bodies and know what suits them and work with it. A lot would come in knowing exactly what they wanted as it suited their shape, something they have worked with for a long time. Also most knew how to camouflage or hide their insecurities and if not we were on hand to provide advice, whether it be a wrap to cover bumpy arms or a belt to cinch in that waist.
What type of underwear and shoes are best to bring when trying on outfits?
We were blessed that our department store had a lingerie section where the staff were more than willing to come to our ladies and recommend underwear for their outfits. But so often did women try on dresses and turn around and say “sure I’m wearing crap underwear”. Wear your good underwear, not necessarily what you’ll wear the day of but something similiar, with a good silhouette and lift. If you think you will wear Spanx on the day, wear them trying on. You don’t want to have to come back to the shop for the sake of trying an outfit on with the right pants. You may as well get the full effect first time. Sometimes the right underwear is the difference between loving or loathing an outfit. Same goes for shoes. Wear the type of shoes you would most likely wear to the wedding. They may not be the exact pair but once they have the height you would go for wear them. This again can be the difference between taking or leaving a dress. We had a shoe shop in store which was handy to give someone an idea of shoes but often they didn’t have what the customer would naturally wear and they found it hard to get an idea.
Annburys Boutique, Tralee
Are there any fashion DON’Ts?
Do not wear the same colour as the bride. It is her day and she is meant to stand out. I know the saying is don’t wear white, but don’t wear the colour the bride is getting married in, especially if you are in the wedding party and will be in the photos. I find personally you should try to compliment the colour scheme of the bridal party. Also don’t wear something inappropriate for the occasion. Mainly though, don’t settle on your outfit. Go for something you are happy, confident and comfortable in, not just because it is a typical outfit. It’s a big day for you too and you should enjoy it without worrying about how you look.
Thanks so much to Lynn Jo for sharing these great shopping tips with us! Make sure you check out her blog here.