What to Wear – Mother of the Groom

July 19, 2022

Last year my eldest son was married and it was the most perfect day. As I prepared for the big day I headed to the internet to find advice on what the Mother of the Groom or MOG should wear. There were so many articles for Mothers of the Bride , but very few for Mums of the Groom. I decided I needed to write my own and share with you all the mistakes I made, plus some of the good advice I was given, so that you can look fabulous and feel confident on your own son’s special day. 

          1. Mothers of the Groom must wait until the Mother of the Bride has chosen her outfit so as not to wear the same colour or clash.

Did I do this? No. Our MOB lives in the country and this MOG lives in the city, so it was much easier for me to look around the shops. I was prepared to have something made if I couldn’t find the perfect outfit. I really hadn’t started looking when the perfect dress literally fell off the rack in front of me. It was in David Jones and was from Hugo Boss. I had wanted to wear an Australian design. I had wanted sleeves. It was sleeveless. I had said I wasn’t wearing blue just because I was the mother of a boy. It was blue!

But it was heavily discounted with shoes to match and most importantly it fit like a dream… so I bought it. What I did do was to check with the bride and her mother. I was prepared to buy something else if I was the one who clashed or it wasn’t right for the occasion. In the end both mothers complimented each other’s style seamlessly. 

          2. Check the dress code early. 

Did I do this? No. The invitations hadn’t been sent or the venue decided upon when I bought my dress. I lucked out though when the bride and groom suggested a formal dress code. My dress was ankle length and quite formal, in a beautiful Japanese crepe, so definitely fitted the suggested dress code. 

           3. Check the projected weather for the day.

Did I do this? No. However, the bride told me it would be cold in the evening. When they decided the ceremony would be in a church I decided to add a jacket. It was for warmth , but also seemed more respectful to the solemnity of this happy occasion. The blue was a very different hue so I tossed up going with a gold or silver jacket. 

My hairdresser and the designer suggested gold as it suits my skin tone and hair colour. Always think of this for the photos and if the shade you choose is not quite right or washes you out, adjust your make up and accessories accordingly. Young emerging designer Kat Harvey from Aldertree Designs had made me a cropped Chanel style jacket once before and thankfully she was willing to create another one in gold.

Finding the fabric was tough. The shade had to be just right and sourcing the silk lining just as we were coming out of lockdowns was tricky. Kat rose to the challenge. This gold jacket now holds pride of place in my wardrobe. It is so nice to have such a bespoke piece that goes with everything.

To accessorise I added small gold Chanel earrings that I’d received from my girlfriends for my 50th birthday and a fine gold and diamond necklace which had been given to me by my husband. My husband then bought me a lighter blue and gold bag from Michael Kors to finish the outfit. 

           4. Don’t buy your dress too early as your shape may change.

Did I do this? No. I bought my dress in February. It fit like a glove. There was no room for any extra weight. The wedding was in October! I tried it on every month just to make sure it still fit. One of my neighbours scared me as she’d  bought her dress after a bout of illness. By the time the wedding arrived her dress was tight and uncomfortable. No one wants to be uncomfortable. You are there to enjoy the day with friends and family. 

If you are worried, have a second more forgiving dress, just in case. This also allows you peace of mind, in case of mishaps like make up spills, stuck zippers, tears or if you are just not feeling it on the day. I had a floral dress from Scanlan & Theodore for the wedding breakfast which could have been called on if necessary. This dress is now one of the most worn in my wardrobe so was certainly a good option to buy.  

          5. Check that your dress is easy to get in and out of after hair and make up has been done.

Did I do this? No. My dress had to go over my head and had a small zip on the side. I would suggest a dress that you can step into so as not to ruin your hair and make up. I had to wash my dress just before the big day as I had smeared some makeup on the neckline in one of my many try ons. Luckily  Japanese crepe hand washes like a dream. I certainly breathed a sigh of relief that day. I did take a scarf to pop over my head as I was getting dressed and this prevented make up transfer … but it was still a bit fraught. 

          6. You must wear a dress. 

No, many Mothers of the Groom can look spectacular in a jumpsuit, tuxedo, tailored suit or fabulous skirt and top. You have to be true to your own unique style and don’t be afraid of thinking outside of the box. Many Mothers of the Groom wear beautiful navy or gold lace dresses and these are always right. Because I write about fashion I was going for a colourful and modern, but still classic Mother of the Groom look. I wanted to look appropriate but not like I was trying to overshadow the bride or Mother of the Bride. I also knew that as the first of my close friends having a child getting married my look would be scrutinised. No pressure!

          7. Check the location and venue before you choose your look. 

Did I do this? No. What you wear to a summer beach wedding or a boho wedding in Byron Bay will be very different to a formal or black tie wedding in the city. Some brides choose a black and white theme and for a more relaxed country wedding pretty florals might be just right. 

          8. Trial your hair and makeup before the big day.

Did I do this? You know the answer. No, the wedding was in the bride’s hometown out in the country, so there was no Mecca makeup and no regular hairdresser for me. What I did do was ask my hairdresser for recommendations. She asked around and forwarded me websites and through her Nak rep we found a beautiful salon close to where we were staying. 

My younger son’s partner and I had a lovely, relaxing morning getting ready together at Rebel and The Gypsy in Warwick, whilst the boys enjoyed a round of golf. The stylists did a fantastic job on our hair and makeup. We were both so happy and a little flabbergasted with the results.

Best of all I still felt like myself. I wanted my hair down, but with waves, so I looked like I’d made an effort. They pinned it up on one side which I loved. When the wind picked up I began wishing I’d chosen a stiff up do, but the curls lasted and I felt fabulous the whole day.

So despite my many mistakes the outfit came together beautifully and I felt just right. It looks good in the photos and I was even complimented by many of my fashion friends and fashion designers whom I’ve met at Paris Fashion Week. This made me feel very proud.

I have two more sons to go so I will follow some of my own rules next time, now that I am more experienced in this role. My best advice is to follow your intuition and if an outfit makes you feel special and feels right it probably is. Your best accessory on the day is a smile and don’t forget to dance. As Oprah says, “ If you get the chance to dance you should dance. “ 

And dance the night away is just what we did. 

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