I was very excited to be approached with my first ‘style challenge’ last week. Gina Bacconi asked me to look at their luxury occasionwear selection and style 3 outfits my way with Mother of the Bride /Groom in mind. Now this was good timing because I’ve had lots of requests from you for help with outfits for weddings, race days and even a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
However, the thing that made me really want to accept the challenge was the fact that being the mother of 3 boys, I first of all bypassed the Mother of the Bride section wondering where to find Mother of the Groom. Then I saw that it was added as a gentle afterthought to Mother of the Bride. Having now spent some time looking at retailers that are selling these outfits I give full credit to Gina Bacconi for including the Mother of the Groom, many websites including John Lewis make no reference to her at all.
I wonder why the Mother of the Groom is always the understudy – after all, has she not raised her son to be the marriageable man without whom there would be no wedding in the first place? And does she not need help with her outfit after spending years on windy sports pitches dressed in jeans and wellies?
Not for her the intimate shopping trips with daughters trying on outfits and gossiping over coffee. Unless she has a very lovely future daughter-in-law there will be none of the girly catch ups in the run up to the event centred around dress fittings. Even on the day itself she plays the role of bystander, pitching up with the rest of the guests whilst the Mother of the Bride swans up the aisle on the arm of a handsome usher after arriving in a special car.
So, Mothers of the Groom I am dedicating this especially to you. I want you to claim your place on this day that is every bit as important to you as the Mother of the Bride… although if you’re a Mother of the Bride you’re still my friend and you’re allowed to join in too. The styling also applies to all wedding guests along with special days out to christenings, the races and tea with the queen. I’ve scoured some of my favourite websites to add extra detail to the outfits with some lovely accessories.
Classic Mother of the Groom
I’m always wary of pastels at weddings. As Mother of the Groom (or Bride) remember that you’re a grown woman not a bridesmaid; my advice is to leave the fondant fancy colours in the realms of Barabara Cartland. However there is always a place for a café latte shade in the halls of elegance. This look is dignified and quietly graceful, aimed at a woman who knows how to do a wedding. The colour is flattering for most skin tones and having both a coat and dress means that you can adjust your outfit according to the temperature. The hat and bag have accents of the same guipure lace and I’ve added tonal shoes and jewellery from other places to complete the outfit.
Chic Mother of the Groom
I often wear black or pewter to weddings, partly because I know I’m unlikely to be wearing the same as anyone else and also because I know I can wear it again for other events. My own mum wore black and red for my wedding so this outfit is partly a tribute to her. However wistful you’re feeling about losing your beloved son though, it’s important not to look as though you’re in mourning so add some bold contrast. This dress is a slightly softer shade of pewter than solid black so it is flattering on the skin but still tones beautifully with black accessories. It is made of a luxurious ponti fabric so it will skim the figure without clinging but you will also feel comfortable all day. I like to use accessories to introduce an element of surprise. When you add them to a classically simple outfit they give an instant nod to your inner personality.
Foxy Mother of the Groom
If you are a reader of this blog, you are likely to be someone who does not want to dress a generation away from their children. This is for the mother of the groom who is concealing an inner Mrs Robinson. I’ve given you two different dress ideas. The orangey red shade will lift most skin tones and the layering of lace disguises any lumps and bumps. The navy dress has this season’s on trend Bardot neckline. The shoulders and clavicles are one of the few areas of a woman’s body that don’t age so it is always good to find a neckline that will accentuate them. It is made from high quality jersey that helps to hold the figure in place whilst being extremely comfortable to wear. The shoes would be lovely to wear with jeans after the event and the bag and jewellery are timeless additions to your wardrobe.
So I hope this has been of help to those of you who are lucky enough to have a special event in your calendar. And if you’ve stumbled across this post as the bewildered mother of a future groom you are amongst friends. Knowing that my sons now read my posts I should just point out that I am in no hurry for a special occasion like this one, especially as they are still only 19, 14 and 12 – the hats can wait for a long time yet!
Lastly if you know somebody who is getting married, Gina Bacconi have a competition that is open until 11th April – they are trying to find the Mother of the Groom or Bride 2016. The entry details are here and the prize is a rather lovely styling day at Gina Bacconi’s London showroom where the winner can choose an outfit from the current collection and will be given a gift bag full of lovely things to take home. Anyone can see the entries and vote so why not take a look – there are some lovely stories but no mothers of grooms have been entered yet so will someone please nominate one and let me know!!!