29 In Style

Summer Style for a Mother of The Bride

Cherry Trees House of Fraser Orchid dress

Today we’re going to talk about what to wear if you’re the mother of the bride, or even if you’re just a wedding guest.  Now, once upon a more traditional time, the mother of the bride wore muted colours, lots of chiffon, and an understated arms-covered silhouette.  Basically, she disappeared and became a smiling prop in the wedding photos. Today, I don’t recognise this stereotype at any of the weddings I’ve been to.  Modern mothers stay true to their own style and wear what makes them feel good and look fabulous.  Also, most of the weddings I’ve been to in recent years haven’t been in a church.  They’ve been on a beach, at a hotel, in a garden, or (like my own wedding) in a registry office, so there is more latitude in what counts as ‘appropriate’ in these venues.  These days, no one reaches for the smelling salts if they see a bare shoulder or arm at a wedding.  Thankfully, time has moved on and style has moved on with it.

Now with this in mind, I was given the chance by House of Fraser to choose and style anything I liked for a summer mother of the bride outfit.  Personally, if I’m going to spend money on any ‘occasion dress’, I want something that I can wear many times.  I want to invest in something that I love and will get lots of mileage out of.  I don’t want it hanging in my closet gathering dust… I’ve got my wedding dress for that!  Also, I want it to be a beautiful flattering colour, not the face-draining dusty mauves and pale greens of the past.  The trickiest part is the fabric; it needs to be versatile.  If it is too shiny or silky, it is limited to evening wear only.  I didn’t want beadwork or embroidery or crystal clasps, again, because it is too limiting to work around these embellishments for re-styling purposes later.  I wanted a dress to go as easily with a pair of heels as with a pair of flat sandals and a tote bag on holiday.  The other thing I put on my mental checklist was I didn’t want anything to ‘fashiony’ with overly trendy details (no bell sleeves and no cut out shoulders).  It might look okay this season, but a few years from now, it will look dated… not a wise investment.  Instead, go classic.  When in doubt, I always think to myself, WWGKD? (What Would Grace Kelly Do?). Grace never steers you wrong.  This dress reminds me of THE blue dress she wore in To Catch A Thief, maybe one of the best dresses ever worn on screen.

I tried on about 10 dresses from the House of Fraser wedding boutique; all floor length/maxi dresses in summery jewel tones.  Some could have been cut at the knee to make a cocktail dress for future wear, but I chose one that I’d have to do nothing to.  The fabric is wrinkle-proof, which makes it good for destination weddings or warm holiday evenings.  As soon as I put this dress on, I had that THIS IS IT fireworks moment that we all have with a dress that makes sense from a practical standpoint and also makes our hearts race.  I couldn’t fault it on any level.  I immediately saw this orchid purple colour with turquoise accessories, like I am wearing here; I love these two colours together.

turquoise earring detail

Instead of turquoise, it would also look fantastic with orange, yellow, or hot pink as an accent colour. I could especially see the orchid and orange working well on someone with dark skin.   Maybe in the winter it could benefit with some sparkly jewellery, but for a summer wedding I think the punchy bright contrast of two colours is more than enough.

The asymmetrical drape in the back would look right at home on a Greek island

Lamp post fascinator, the most unexpected accessory

 

Now that we’ve had our serious formal occasion, let’s see how this dress looks in other situations.

Summer Wedding StyleA summer party or a race event

Purple Maxi One Shoulder Dress Ralph Lauren

I think it works equally well with flat sandals and a bright bag.  Imagine it with the turquoise and wood beaded bracelet which I forgot to take out of my bag 🙂  A simple change of shoes and bag takes it directly from evening occasion wear to daytime maxi dress, which is exactly what I wanted.  This is the perfect versatile all-rounder dress and a smart addition to my closet.  I’ve linked to it online in the navy, but in House of Fraser stores it comes in other colours.  I also found quite a few other excellent options in store, but once I saw this orchid purple one that could take me from a summer wedding to an evening party to Ile de Ré, I knew it was the one!

Summer Destination Wedding

House of Fraser Lauren by Ralph Lauren One Shoulder Dress

House of Fraser Wedding Boutique

Other House of Fraser Mother of the Bride ideas

Thank you to House of Fraser for partnering on this post.

Linking to: visiblemondayfashionshouldbefun, notdressedaslamb

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5 people like this

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Susan B
    April 17, 2018 at 12:30 AM

    Wow, you look FABULOUS in that dress! Gorgeous color and style.

  • Reply
    simplementlui
    April 17, 2018 at 8:32 AM

    Fantastic and superbly elegant dress and you paired it great with two different sets of accessories 😉

    https://4highheelsfans.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/chantilly-day-2/

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 18, 2018 at 9:34 PM

      Thank you so much; I’m pleased that you like it! xx

  • Reply
    josep-maria
    April 17, 2018 at 8:33 AM

    You look absolutely wonderful! This dress is beautiful, I love the color, I love the design with this beautiful draping. A spectacular outfit and a really elegant and attractive look.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 18, 2018 at 9:34 PM

      Thank you Josep-Maria. I am glad that you appreciate this; the colour is really something else, isn’t it? xx

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Yeowart
    April 17, 2018 at 9:41 AM

    Oh Lisa!!!!!! You look absolutely stunning. I love every single thing you wear, but I think this is my all time favourite. You look spectacular. The colour combination of the purple and turquoise is exquisite and your figure is to die for. I love the more casual styling too. Beyond gorgeous my friend xxx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 18, 2018 at 9:31 PM

      Really?! All time favourite! Thank you so much, Liz. I really love the dress, and that makes it all so much easier to style and have fun with, as you know well. 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    notdressedaslamb
    April 17, 2018 at 1:53 PM

    Lisa I had to practically pick myself up off the floor after seeing you in this dress… as I said on Insta you look SENSATIONAL!!!!!!!! You’re right about going for classic over too on-trend (I too adhere to the WWGKD rule of dressing), and the pairing of the purple with turquoise is genius. The location was made for the outfit as well – I think lamppost fascinators may catch on! hehe 😉

    Catherine x

    • Reply
      notdressedaslamb
      April 17, 2018 at 1:55 PM

      In all my gushing I forgot to say: that’s one BANGIN BODY, hon…!

      • Reply
        Lisa
        April 18, 2018 at 9:27 PM

        Gosh, thank you. You and Michelle are embarrassing me (as usual :-D). xx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 18, 2018 at 9:30 PM

      Thank you so much, Catherine. The location was really good; I’m often laughing at how a background detail overtakes the photo, and we don’t even notice it until looking at the photos a few days later. I knew YOU of all people would like the colour combination. xx

  • Reply
    Mithra Ballesteros
    April 17, 2018 at 2:28 PM

    I don’t know many people who can slip into a Grecian column and make it look as effortless as a denim skirt but you do. You really do bring to mind the lovely Princess of Monaco. I want to be your wildchild Stephanie. xoxo

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 18, 2018 at 9:27 PM

      You can definitely be my wild child Stephanie, hahaha! Thank you Mithra. I do feel quite at home in a gown… I’m sure I was meant to be alive a few hundred years ago. People just don’t get it when you go to Tesco in a ball gown, do they? xx

  • Reply
    Samantha @ FakeFabulous
    April 17, 2018 at 3:06 PM

    Woweee… you are stunning in this Lisa!
    I think weddings are such a tricky style spot!
    You look a knock-out here and I’d love to see this dress again… at a hogmanay party!!
    I noticed you say that the weddings you’ve been to recently have been very modern and women wear what they want, which is brilliant!
    My wedding was like that however, every wedding I’ve been to in recent years (or seen photos of from friends) have involved LOTS of starched frocks, matching jackets and covered arms.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if smelling salts were in the clutch bags!
    Maybe it’s the difference between the big city and the sticks?
    I don’t know BUT whatever the reason I think more people SHOULD be wearing what they want and what makes them feel fabulous.
    XXX
    Samantha

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 18, 2018 at 9:25 PM

      Thank you so much, Sam. I agree, weddings are tricky, especially if you are in the wedding party. You don’t want to screw up anyone’s photos or ruin a subtle colour scheme :-). I’ve definitely not been to a traditional wedding in years and years and years. I’d hardly know what to wear to one of those! I think your post on the topic was brilliantly done. xx

  • Reply
    Northwest Mountain Living & Style
    April 17, 2018 at 3:35 PM

    This is so beautiful! I love the dress you chose and the color of the heels and bag are stunning with it! And I love how you changed the mood with the other shoes and bags. Perfect post!
    Cheryl
    http://www.northwestmountainliving.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 18, 2018 at 9:19 PM

      Thanks so much, Cheryl. I’m so pleased you like it! xx

  • Reply
    Suzy Turner
    April 17, 2018 at 3:50 PM

    Lisa, I said it before but I’ll say it again. You look like a total knockout!!! That dress was MADE for you. Absolutely freaking gorgeous! And how perfect is it for a wedding? LOVE LOVE LOVE
    Suzy xx
    http://www.suzyturner.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 18, 2018 at 9:18 PM

      Thank you so much Suzy! I’m so glad you like it. I fell in love with the colour and the asymmetrical neckline and that was me done! xx

  • Reply
    MichelleTyler
    April 17, 2018 at 6:06 PM

    Hubba Hubba! How on Earth did your Fella keep his hands off you shooting this Lisa?
    The images are utterly scrumptious as always but your styling & that killer body…Whoa!
    The whole “Mother of the Bride” thing has changed enormously, Hasn’t it? You know I hadn’t really thought about that until I read your observations on it. It means there are many more options when searching for that special outfit, as you’ve obviously shown here.
    I also love that you look for something to wear other ways 😉
    xxx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 18, 2018 at 9:17 PM

      Hahaha, thank you so much Michelle (blushing). It already pains me that my wedding dress doesn’t get any other use, so I’m not doing THAT again! I should have gotten married in red like I wanted to and then I’d have a dress sorted for any event for the next decade at least 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    LA CONTESSA
    April 18, 2018 at 8:06 PM

    WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    YOU ARE ROCKING THAT DRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I will be MOTHER OF THE GROOM SOON……………….SHOW ME THAT DRESS!!!!!!!!
    PS. I did find you in my SPAM!!!!!!!!!Hopefully I can correct that!
    XX

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 18, 2018 at 9:13 PM

      Thank you Elizabeth! Well, I’m absolutely certain that you will be a RIDICULOUSLY glamorous mother of the groom. I can’t wait to see what you wear… no disappearing into the background for you, that’s for sure. xx

  • Reply
    Annette
    April 19, 2018 at 11:50 AM

    What a stunning dress, Lisa, you look fabulous! I especially love the unique combination with turquoise.
    Enjoy the beautiful weather and nature and hope to see you in London soon!

    xx,
    Annette

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 19, 2018 at 12:40 PM

      Thank you, Annette! I can’t wait to see you xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    April 19, 2018 at 5:04 PM

    I agree with Michelle and Catherine. I might see the stunning dress for a few seconds, but immediately I think “oh my God, what a body!” You know I think like a man, don’t you?
    Combin8ng the dress with turquoise is brilliant. Totally love your earrings as well. Where did you find matching shoes? I knew you had the clutch.
    But I really doubt whether you can wear this dress and with high heels and with flat sandals. The dress will be too long for sandals. You solved it very cleaverly in the pictures. Stunning pictures again. Beautiful backgrounds, very skilled photographer. I need to know the camera details.
    Greetje

    • Reply
      Lisa
      April 20, 2018 at 10:48 PM

      Oh gracious, Greetje, you and Michelle and Catherine are all REALLY making me blush!
      Well! The earrings I’ve had for years, the clutch you’ve seen before (from Ebay) and the shoes were a recent purchase (on sale) which I was very happy with because I was looking for the EXACT shade of turquoise I wanted, the same as the clutch. It wasn’t that easy to find, but thankfully the internet (and Yoox) is a big place!! I think I will be able to wear it with sandals; I’m certainly planning to! I’ll have to go over all my camera details with you when you visit 🙂 It’s just a basic, but very good, Nikon DSLR. I’ll let you grill the photographer about his secrets. xx

  • Reply
    Little Red
    April 21, 2018 at 7:23 AM

    Wow! That dress in that color on you is spectacular. And the turquoise paired with it is wonderful. Following it up with a change of accessories to change the mood of the dress was a really good idea. It goes to show how things can be multi-purposed. That was one of the things that my stylist helped me with last year.

    You mentioned my favorite Grace Kelly movie. That blue gown that she wears is so beautiful but I think the white one she wears later is TDF. I’m pretty obsessed with that one and have been for years. I might have mentioned before that she’s a style icon for me as well. She and I are physically different as two people can be but her style just thrills me.

  • Reply
    sandypatti
    April 22, 2018 at 11:54 PM

    You look so stunning, Lisa! This dress is the perfect choice – the color and shape are made for you. And the blossoms – how beautiful to see. xo

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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