Photo: Bella Madison, NJ / Christy Nicole Photography
For many, the thought of a mother-of-the-groom outfit conjures up images of someone in an ill-fitting wool suit (no matter what the season). Or, worse, some equally matronly ensemble.
For those who are thinking this and wondering how to travel back in time to secure such a piece — please. There’s no need for anyone to put themselves through that. We’ve got some much better ideas.
This article covers a ton of mother-of-the-groom (and mother-of-the-brides are welcome here, too!) options.
With so many different styles, fabrics, and cuts, there’s bound to be something that’s both comfortable – and looks stunning on everyone.
The goal is to look and, more importantly, feel fabulous.
Most of the dresses featured here come in various colors and hues. Choose colors that coordinate with the rest of the wedding party, or the mother-of-the-groom can select her personal fave.
Many size options for the dresses depicted come in an inclusive range of sizes. You can also alter them to fit your figure, no matter what size mother-of-the-groom dress you buy!
Mom will look ah-mazing!
The dresses also come in slightly different cuts and styles than those shown here. So feel free to take a peek at the rest of our collection, which features over 200 options.
We hope that the beautiful, fab options here inspire and lead to finding “The One.”
A-line dresses have long been the number one choice because they look glam on everyone.
A dress is an A-line when the bottom hem is wider than the shoulders' width. Sometimes the top portion of the dress is a corset or halter style, and the dress usually cinches or ties at the waist.
Common lengths for A-line dresses are below the knees.
The Alfred Sung D812 dress is a gorgeous example; an A-line at its finest. Its flattering nature makes it the kind of dress that those who wear it once will want to wear again. And again and again!
The dress is versatile. It’s perfect for a summer wedding but can also look fabulous at a winter wedding since it looks equally smart when paired with a blazer.
Knee-length dresses are always fun; they look effortlessly chic. The downside is that many women have no idea how good they look in them because they never dare to try them on.
The Jenny Yoo Angie Dress is a showstopper in the best way possible. The hem cuts off at the knee. Yet, the long, slightly ballooned sleeves, the high neckline, and the optional sash that gathers around the waist add a graceful element.
That, plus the addition of glittering stripe sequin fabric makes it worthy of a special occasion. This is the dress for those unafraid to receive admiration or turn heads.
Shopping for the mother-of-the-bride, too? We reveal some tips in our article 9 Stunning, Elegant Looks for Mother of the Bride Dresses.
3. Maxi Dress
A maxi dress may be the solution for those who shy away from knee-length. As the name suggests, it’s floor-length. And while some may shine better at casual events, others have elegant little details that make them perfect for special days.
This Alfred Sung long-sleeved maxi features a high-low hem and pockets!
4. Midi Dress
A midi dress sits below the knee and above the ankle. So, of course, this would be the perfect style wedding outfit for an outdoor wedding.
After all, a longer maxi dress could get grass stains as mom’s busting out her moves to “Old Town Road.” Or, if it’s a beach wedding, a longer dress can easily become sandy and damp.
This stunning Amsale Clark GB203S Dress is both simple and elegant. Pair it with a shawl or light jacket for a beautiful, more-covered look.
5. Tea-Length Dress
Tea-length dresses are slightly longer than midi dresses, and the hem hangs anywhere from calf to ankle.
They have formal appeal without being so long that they get in the way of your mom’s “Thriller” rendition at the reception.
This Dessy Collection 3077 is a gorgeous example of a tea-length mother-of-the-groom dress. It has a 1950s feel, yet there’s more movement to it.
It doesn’t feel stiff or starched. The fabric of the neckline drapes elegantly, and the loose sleeves end between the elbow and shoulder. It ties at the waist and looks glam without being overly fussy.
6. Long Sleeve Dress
For fall weddings (or those who want to look amazing without showing off too much skin), long sleeve dresses are the way to have your cake and eat it too.
Those who want to look sophisticated and glamorous can do so in this Amsale GB178F Bailey Dress without straying too far from your comfort zone. The raglan sleeves begin at the collarbone, taper at the wrists, and the dress gathers at the waist.
7. Flutter Sleeve Dress
A flutter sleeve describes those irresistible sleeves that look both innocent and flirty. They perfectly encapsulate a breezy outdoor feel. These dresses also have a less formal yet still appealing and big-day-worthy air. So they’d suit a boho, country, or cottagecore wedding perfectly.
This Jenny Yoo Marin Dress is absolutely enchanting. The cascading flutter sleeves end at the elbow, and the dress ties around the waist. Its fabric is a soft and comfortable Lux Velvet. And, yes, it too has that universally flattering A-line silhouette.
8. Strapless Dress
Strapless dresses are another style many snub, never bothering to try on and thus never knowing how incredible they’d look wearing one. A strapless long, flowing dress is sophisticated and alluring. Some may go so far as to call it glamor, defined.
This Parker Rose Dress Style G10718 has a fitted overlay bodice and a straight floor-length skirt with a knee-length slit in the back. It’s made of Bella Chiffon fabric and has hassle-free evening dress vibes. These details make it appear as if those who wear it put a lot of effort into obtaining that look.
Regarding modesty, this dress is flattering without being too revealing.
9. Cocktail Dress
Is there anything more fun than a cocktail dress? While cocktail dresses are typically “semi-formal,” they run the gamut from simple to fancy – casual to elegant.
Think little black dress-style dresses or a chic 1920s-era lace or sequin one. Cocktail dresses work well for summer evening weddings, warm weather, and a semi-relaxed outdoor vibe.
Cocktail dress meets romantic elegance in this Twobirds Convertible Short Straight Dress. The soft tulle drapes absolutely breathtakingly, and you can tie the dress in 15 different ways. It looks incredible and detailed, but… it’s also really comfortable.
Dressing the dads is just as important! Keep dad looking fab with our guide, How to Dress Dad: Fab Father of the Bride Suits
10. Evening Dress
An evening dress is a great option if it's black tie, black tie optional, or more formal. These types of dresses are usually long and made from a luxurious material.
This Jenny Yoo Nicole Dress is the perfect example of timeless elegance. With a mock neckline and a bias-cut skirt, this dress is so chic; a perfect balance of old Hollywood meets modern-day black tie.
11. Jacket Dress
A jacket dress is usually a simple dress that has a matching jacket. The jacket can be silk, lace, or have beaded detail.
The After Six J525 dress is for those who take a conservative approach to dresses but don’t want to sacrifice elegance. This dress cascades beautifully to the floor, and at the top, it has a smart combo of a shawl jacket.
It keeps modest coverage while allowing the arms the freedom to toast to the newlyweds and hug guests.
You can buy jacket dresses as a set. Or, for those who like to mix and match, you can grab them separately. Jacket dresses lend themselves perfectly to fall and winter weddings or weddings in colder climates.
They are a good option for those who feel more comfortable taking a conservative approach to getting gussied up.
Mother-of-the-groom dresses don’t necessarily have to be “dresses,” either. For those who are not comfortable in anything dress-related, a pantsuit is a perfect way to skirt (sorry) the issue.
Pantsuits look sharp and sophisticated. Pair with a blouse and a set of heels, and other guests will wonder who you are and want to chill with you at the wedding.
This Women’s Burgundy Suit by SuitShop features a stretch-fit fabric. It exudes confidence and class and proves there are still ways to dress up that don’t involve wearing one.
If a pantsuit and a dress came together, the result would be a jumpsuit. Jumpsuits have all the swoopy drapey dress details.
That includes all the soft elements that lend themselves to dresses, except the bottom portion is pants. They're also usually loose and flowy, so they still somewhat resemble a dress.
Take this lovely After Six 6839 piece. It features a lux one-shoulder bodice, with an a-symmetrical bell sleeve ending just past the elbow. The pants are a crepe material and are wide-legged.
A Few More Things to Consider …
Before committing to what outfit to wear on the big day, there are a few things to consider.
Even with a dress code there are ways to incorporate personal style and feel your best.
Dresses should also be appropriate for the season or wedding location. If it’s a sunny summer to-do, think short sleeves or cap sleeves. Come spring and fall, you’ll want an additional layer, just in case. And, if it’s a white wedding in winter, a fancy coat will be the icing on the cake.
An often-overlooked part of dressing up is to have fun and express your style on your son’s special day. Try on something new and different. Sequins, dresses with beaded detail, ruffles, or even a lace dress are good solid choices, depending on the vibe of the wedding day.
Dress shopping is a joyful occasion, so to those who are still somewhat hesitant: enlist the help of friends.
It’s no secret most of the attention goes to the groom and bride outfits. However, nothing says their mothers can’t shine as well.
Seeing a child get married is a huge deal, and the best mother-of-the-groom wedding dress is the one that’s the most comfortable and looks breathtaking at the same time.
We don't doubt that — whatever the choice — this mother-of-the-groom will look radiant.