There's a great deal of baggage that comes with being a mother-of-the-bride. Historically, they'd be dressed in a tailored two-piece complete with a large hat and fussy string of pearls. The outfit would be age-appropriate and no way draw attention away from the bride herself (god forbid!). Thankfully, these old-fashioned tropes are becoming a thing of the past, and brides now want their mums dressing up in something that makes them feel their best.
Obviously, this doesn't mean you can't go for something traditional. Just look at our ultimate mother-of-the-bride muse, Doria Ragland, who rocked a tailored co-ord and pillbox hat for daughter Meghan Markle's wedding. The key to the success of this look lies in the way she balanced out the classic lines of her suit with a contemporary mint-green hue and simple accessories.
So what should you look for in a mother-of-the-bride outfit? We asked Yvonne, mum of Who What Wear's deputy beauty editor, Mica Ricketts, to tell us about her experience of looking for that all-important outfit.
"At first, choosing a mother-of-the-bride outfit felt rather overwhelming. It was made much easier when Mica decided she wanted a relaxed wedding with a dress to match," she explains. "I knew I didn't want a formal look and definitely not the standard two-piece expected to be worn by mothers of the bride. I tried on a ridiculous number of dresses and finally fell in love with a black floral sleeveless dress from Horrockses via ASOS that featured colours that match both the beading on the brides' dress and the bridesmaids. I loved it as soon as I put it on and the fact it had side pockets! It felt dressy yet relaxed."
With this in mind, I've done a bit of digging and come up with four mother-of-the-bride outfits that will make you look polished and stylish and not at all fussy. Whether you're heading to a countryside 'do or a black-tie affair, I've created a look for you. Scroll down to see and shop my mother-of-the-bride edit.
Style Notes: A jumpsuit is a fab option for a MOTB who wants something less traditional. This Somerset by Alice Temperley look is so flattering with its long sleeves and fitted waistline, plus the fact that it's a jumpsuit means you don't need to worry about any unexpected gusts of wind. I'd recommend styling it with a pair of chunky heels to avoid getting stuck in the grass. Prada's party-ready metallic pair will do the job nicely.
Style Notes: A registry office wedding calls for blush-coloured tailoring, and Roksanda is the queen of grown-up yet stylish pieces. This crepe dress is elegant in the front and party in the back (click on the link below to see a 360-degree view). All it needs is a pair of colour-pop earrings and a marble-effect box clutch.
Style Notes: If you're heading abroad for your mother-of-the-bride duties, look to Ganni for the perfect silken maxi dress. It's flowy enough to keep you cool, but the mid-length sleeves will help avoid any midday sunburn risk. Keep the ensemble summery with Zara's white strappy sandals and some arty gold earrings.
Style Notes: This Ghost gown feels very Duchess of Cambridge, and who better to emulate for a black-tie 'do? A dress like this deserves killer heels (if you can bear it) and polished accessories. Stacy Chan's octagonal clutch feels both timeless and chic thanks to its pale pink hue, while Mango's crystal strappy heels add a glam finish.