Alternative Mother of The Bride Outfits

alternative mother of the bride outfits collection

Alternative Mother of The Bride Outfits collection from Vanity Fair Boutique!

More than half way through March and it’s still all about mothers of the the bride upstairs in Vanity Fair. There’s a slight shift this season when it comes to mothers of the bride outfits! Yes our usual best sellers like Condici and John Charles are still in high demand, and as for the Veni Infantino collection, well that’s practically all gone! What is considered the “typical” mother of the bride look is of course still very, very popular, otherwise we wouldn’t stock it! But there is a new customer too that is looking for something a little less formal, and this is where things can get tricky.

Maybe it’s because the mother of the bride is getting younger in age, we’ve had a few customers this year only in their late forties with children getting married! Maybe it’s because people just generally are getting younger in themselves and the way they dress. A sixty year old today does not dress the way a sixty year old dressed even 15 years ago. Maybe it’s because weddings are getting less formal, there’s a lot of humanist weddings, civil ceremonies, smaller weddings. There’s a lot of weddings abroad in the sun and heat. Whatever the reasons, the traditional Irish Catholic wedding is definitely changing, and so is the style of the mother of the bride.

The dilemma that this new breed of customer faces is, how do I buy a dress/outfit for my child’s wedding that will reflect who I am and how I dress, and yet still be special enough for mother of the bride/groom? It was kind of easier ten years ago, you bought a traditional mother of the bride outfit, you paid a lot of money for it, and you never wore it again! Simple right? Not anymore! Now, customers want a dress they feel they will wear again, they want to look and feel like themselves, but they still want to look “better dressed” than the guests, and they want to be sure a guest won’t turn up at the wedding wearing the same dress! See the challenges us retailers face?!

Some customers even lie to us, they tell us they’re just going to a wedding as a guest and later confide that they are actually the mother of the bride, but they were afraid we would dress them up in shiny taffeta! Trust me, if you’re in a shop where staff are trying to dress you up in anything you don’t feel comfortable in, leave the shop. Yes, it is important to try on things you wouldn’t normally try and let the staff guide you through the different options available, but we’re never going to make you buy something you don’t love yourself.

So getting back to the point, how do you buy a mother of the bride outfit, that doesn’t look like a mother of the bride outfit? Well, we’ve put together a few options for you below, so let us know what you think.

Red this season, is huge! Usually a colour associated with Christmas, this spring summer has lots of red on offer. These three are all by the designer Gina Bacconi. The red lace is simply divine. So simple, so elegant, with beautiful scalloped detailing at the neckline, the cuff and the hem. The cream with the red lace overlay is another beauty. And the dress with the chiffon cape attached? Fab! You can keep your arms covered or pop them out through the slits in the side.

Another two winners from Gina Bacconi above. The dusky pink dress with the beaded top over it is light and comfortable to wear and both pieces can be worn separately afterwards. The little swing dress with matching jacket is so cute and girly, it would also be a great outfit to wear at the races.

Aideen Bodkin is another go to label for mothers of the bride/groom. It’s definitely a more structured formal look than the ones above, but there’s something very elegant and sophisticated about her designs. It can sometimes be hard to carry off the classic sophisticated look without looking “mumsy”, it’s a thin line! But Aideen always manages to put a modern twist on her elegance! Three lovely looks above, that are definitely not too weddingy and you’ll get lots of wear out of again and again.

Badoo is another label we used to consider more for guests, or for the races, but more and more mothers of the bride are choosing it as their wedding outfit. These are two great outfits, both with coats that are light and versatile, and easy to wear. And yes, you can wear ivory to your child’s wedding, there are no rule books anymore. As long as the bride is happy for you to do so, then off you go. Do check with the bride though, she is the most important woman in the room that day!

Or maybe you just want a dress, a dress you’ll wear going out for dinner, a dress that will take you anywhere! The three above are just a tiny snapshot of what’s available. We literally have hundreds of dresses from Tia, Badoo, Michaela Louisa, Daisy May, Diva, there are seriously hundreds of dresses in store. Add a headpiece and transform your look from dinner date to wedding wear. Do be aware though, if you chose a dress like this that you’ll get lots of wear out of yourself, there is absolutely no guarantee a guest won’t appear in it, but the same could be said for any outfit to be honest. And any shop that gives you that promise, is telling white lies!!

It’s not certain, but honestly the only way to cut the chances of a guest wearing your same dress, is to spend a bit more! A guest will spend €250 on a dress for a wedding, but won’t usually go above €300. (Of course, it depends, there’s always someone willing to spend whatever the price is, if they want it!) So I wanted to include a few dresses that are at a higher price point, that are still “just” a dress. These three above are from a Chinese designer working out of London. The fabric is like a scuba stretch and is so comfortable and flattering to wear. These dresses have proved really popular and there’s only a couple of each style left at this stage, so don’t delay.

Of course, there’s a lot more to choose from! The Mashiah label and of course Teresa Ripoll also offer stunning top of the range designs that are that little bit different. And our real winner this season has been Fely Campo. We included that in our last post at the end of January where we went through the more established mother of the bride labels, so have a read through that too if there’s nothing here that catches your eye. Stock of Fely Campo is getting low, but we are expecting a repeat delivery of the two best selling styles from this label in early April, so stay tuned.

If you’ve managed to read through to this point, well done! I really just wanted to make the point that no matter what your budget is, and no matter what kind of look you’re after, we’re sure to have something for you to fall in love with. If you have €1000 to spend and want a Condici, we have it, or if you prefer a Daisy May dress for €200 we have that too! Hope to see you soon and again, I can’t stress this enough, even if the wedding is not until August or September, now is when you need to be shopping. Wedding stock started to arrive before Christmas and our three busiest months of the year are nearly behind us.

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