In addition to all the lovely Brides and Grooms that come through our studio doors, we have a steady stream of proud mums looking for help achieving the perfect look for their son or daughter’s big day. 

If you’re struggling to decide what to wear, are not sure where to start or just feeling a little overwhelmed by conflicting advice, look no further for our simple tips on how to put the perfect outfit together.

1. Beware of a small but important handful no-nos

You will have likely come across a number of “dos and don’ts” already but as with bridal fashion, MOB attire doesn't have too many steadfast rules these days. There are, however, a few considerations and outright no-nos to bear in mind. 

The event’s level of formality is important to note. Whilst super-formal weddings are becoming less common these days, if the couple are going big on traditional glamour, it’s best to opt for a floor-length gown or an elegant cocktail dress. Most weddings seem to be semi-formal now which gives a much more room for interpretation. Knee length and midi dresses or sophisticated separates are by far the most popular choice. 
If the couple are channeling a more relaxed vibe, it really is an open brief. A structured sundress elevated with accessories would fit the bill perfectly. If in doubt, seek clarity from the couple. 

Most weddings will have a colour scheme or at least a shade the bridesmaids will wear. Ideally your choice of colour will complement the couple’s choice. Matching exactly or clashing are generally avoided.  Navy is by far the most popular choice we see here at Milli’s Sewing Studio, followed by baby blue or baby pink, perhaps as these are all pretty versatile.  Suffice to say, wearing white or ivory is generally frowned upon.


2. Stay true to your personal style 

Whilst it's important to consider the wedding theme and formality, choosing something that also reflects your personal style will leave you feeling relaxed and confident.
Don’t be afraid to rebel against what you feel is traditionally expected of a mother of the bride. Classic shift dresses and boleros are a timeless choice but don’t feel obliged to opt for this if it’s just not “you”. 

Some of our recent MOTBs have opted for ankle or floor-length dresses or skirts that allowed them to twirl and swish their way through the event. Jumpsuits are another increasingly popular choice; Easy and comfortable to wear as well as helping you do MOTB style a little differently.


3. Remember that fashion is increasingly circular

Driven by an increased awareness of sustainability, many MOTBs  appear to be moving away from outfits that will be worn just once, and instead investing in something that can be worn again after the big day. 

If you’re looking to rewear an outfit, it’s worth looking broader than special occasion boutiques or mother of the bride brands as the styles they carry will be more versatile. Ensuring you choose a style and colour you love, and which flatters you will mean you’re likely to reach for it again post-wedding. Remember that formality can always be added in the accessories – like a hat or classic jewellery.

Some great boutiques whose pieces we see in the studio time and time again are Anna, Fanny and Frank and Darcy B which are definitely worth a look. They have great customer service and will be happy to offer styling tips to help you choose your pieces for the big day. 

High street retailers are offering some increasingly stylish choices now which have the added bonus of being a little friendlier budget-wise. Just this year alone we have worked with MOTBs who have found their outfits at  Reiss, LK Bennett, COS, ME+EM, Karen Millan, Jigsaw and Phase Eight.

Don’t forget that fit is everything and even a high street outfit can be fitted to perfection leaving it look custom made. We are also able to alter skirt lengths after the event to make the piece more wearable. Just pop in and have a chat with us and we’ll be happy to share a few ideas with you.



4. Leave more time than you need

Ideally, it's best to start looking for an outfit six to eight months before the wedding date. This should give you enough time to try a few different options, find something you love and allow for any alterations that need to be made.

As soon as you find out about a wedding, start putting a Pinterest board together and looking at your current wardrobe to identify the pieces you look and feel the best in. Also, think about the time of year. If the wedding is next summer, the clothes in stores right now aren't going be right for then. 

With regards to alterations, we usually suggest booking in as early as possible, with your first appointment at least a month before the event, particularly if the piece needs more complex alterations. After all, the more time we have the more we can do and the more enjoyable the process is. 


5. The importance of foundations

Not only will a good support-giving bra and shapewear make a considerable difference to how your outfit fits and feels but will impact the alterations needed so be sure to consider this at the same time as shopping for your outfit. We’ll ask you to wear the exact foundations you plan on wearing the day of the wedding when you come in for your alterations fitting, as well as the exact shoes as we’ll need to establish the exact hemline. Guestimating and buying shoes later can often result in further tweaks being needed. 

6. Comfort is key

Above all, your outfit should be comfortable, allowing you to truly enjoy and be present on the big day. It’s worth testing how your outfit feels when sitting, standing and dancing. This is something we also take our brides through when we’re fitting their gowns as comfort has a huge impact on your experience of the day.

Here at Milli’s Sewing Studio we specialise in wedding dress and occasionwear alterations. Our studio is located at the picturesque Hall Farm Barns in Old Martlesham, Suffolk. We’re a small team of experienced dressmakers and seamstresses who pride ourselves in giving our customers a break from their hectic schedules when they visit us at our calm, rural setting. We absolutely love it when brides and their mums visit us together and we get the chance to help them make happy memories. 

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions about the process or would like to discuss your requirements, we’d love to hear from you.