Style 911: What Should The Daughter Of The Bride Wear?

My mom’s getting married next month, and I don’t even know where to start when it comes to finding a “daughter of the bride” dress. Mom is pretty laid back and hasn’t given me much guidance, fashion-wise, because she’s been so busy with wedding planning. Any tips would be much appreciated! –Proud DOB

Congrats to your mom! So, this is a really interesting question, because while there are plenty of resources out there for mother of the bride outfits (all of which seem to involve beaded boleros), “daughter of the bride” is still mostly uncharted fashion territory. Obviously you’re not alone in your quest: so many women decide to remarry later in life that “daughter of the bride” is now a very common role.

It really depends on the formality of your mom’s wedding and if she wants you to wear the same style as her bridesmaids or coordinate with the wedding colors, but in any case, here are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when choosing a DOB dress…

  • Even though she’s your mom, she’s still the bride, so don’t choose anything that will draw attention away from her. Steer clear of styles that are super flashy or extremely revealing. Cleavage should be kept to a minimum. Hemlines should hit just above the knee or lower.
  • When in doubt, choose something simple. You can always put your own spin on it with your choice of shoes, jewelry, and hairstyle.
  • A good place to start your search would be bridesmaid dresses. Even if you’re not a member of the wedding party (or your mom is forgoing that tradition), bridesmaid dresses often strike a nice balance of flirty and formal.
  • It’s not a hard and fast rule, but I’d steer clear of black. As flattering as it might be, it’s too somber for the occasion. Opt for a more cheerful color (peach, pink, blue, or purple) to show your positivity and support for your mom’s big day.
  • Where to shop: Try Ann Taylor, Modcloth, J.Crew, Shabby Apple, Kiyonna (plus sizes), and department store dress sections.

I’d love to hear from readers who have been daughters of the bride. What did you wear? Were you happy with your choice? Was your mom?

Dresses shown above (from left to right):

Gathered Silk Dress: $165, Modcloth
Strapless Chiffon Maxi Dress: $70, Target (yes, Target!)
Ruched Purple Satin Dress: $60, Nordstrom