February 17, 2022 Ideal Length for A Mother of the Bride Gown

February 17, 2022

Ideal Length for A Mother of the Bride Gown

For many women, watching their children walk down the aisle is a special kind of joy that they’ve dreamed about for years. Your child’s wedding day is a unique opportunity to celebrate your baby and the love they’ve found — and it’s also a chance to dress up and have a party!

On that special day, everyone’s eyes will be on your beautiful child. However, as a mother of the bride (or MOB), there are certainly moments when all eyes will be on you. Therefore, it’s important to dress appropriately. Of course, no one really knows what that means!

What color should a MOB wear? Does she have to wear a dress or is a pantsuit acceptable? If she does wear a dress should it be short or long?

Ultimately, the answers to these questions will vary from one MOB to the next. Today, let’s take a closer look at just one of those questions: dress length.

February 17, 2022 Ideal Length for A Mother of the Bride Gown

Things to Consider When Picking Dress Length

Traditionally, the MOB look was… well, matronly, colorless, and bland. The belief that the MOB shouldn’t outshine the bride resulted in too many mothers that wore shapeless clothing that didn’t help them look their best — and frankly, we’re glad those days are gone.

These days, MOBs are free to wear pretty much whatever they want. Of course, there are a few things you need to consider when making your final decision. Make sure you think about the following while looking for your dress:


Modern weddings can take many shapes, from a traditional ceremony in your family church to a laid-back barbecue on the beach. As the MOB, you need to dress nicely for the occasion, but your outfit should also reflect the formality the couple has in mind.

Talk with your daughter and her fiancé about the kind of wedding they want to have. Will it be a black-tie event? If so, you will want to stick to floor-length gowns for your look. In fact, it’s wise to stick with long skirts for any wedding that takes place after noon, regardless of the dress code.

But what if the wedding is a morning wedding? What if it takes place on the beach or somewhere else outdoors? In these cases, you might be able to get away with a short dress.


Let’s say that your daughter is having a church wedding, with a reception at a nearby country club. Both these venues are more buttoned-up spaces that expect a certain style of dress. If you want to give your daughter the wedding day of her dreams (and we know you do), your look should include a long skirt to suit the venues’ expectations.

Now, let’s say that the wedding is in a more relaxed venue, like a national park, a local brewery, or a botanical garden. These venues rarely have dress codes. These venues are often outdoors, too, which makes a short dress length more acceptable.

What should you do if you’re not sure how to dress for the venue? Ask the venue if they have any photos from other weddings held there and use other MOBs’ fashion for inspiration. If that’s not an option, simply ask the couple — after all, they have the last word on how their wedding party (which includes you) should look. 

The Bridal Party

As we just mentioned, you are technically a part of your child’s bridal party. You’ll be in the wedding photos. You’ll walk down the aisle during the procession. You’ll stand in front of all the guests during the reception. You have to look like part of the group!

Luckily, this means you can model your fashion after everyone else in the wedding party. Look at what the bridesmaids are wearing. Look at the colors, the styling, and the length. Then, use that information to figure out what you should wear. 

Of course, it is important to remember one thing: while you are part of the bridal party, you’re NOT a bridesmaid. Don’t opt for a dress that’s exactly like the bridesmaids’ gowns; in fact, don’t even opt for something in the same color. Your look should be in a complementary color and feature a flattering, yet age-appropriate style.

Your Preference

One of the most important rules for MOB fashion is to find a look that you love. This may be your daughter’s special day, but it’s a big day for you, too! You need to feel confident and beautiful from the first notes of the wedding march until the last guest walks out the door. 

Think about styles that will make you feel your best. Do you want a long, flowing gown? Would you prefer a shorter dress that shows off your gorgeous gams? Are you most comfortable and confident in a formal jumpsuit than a dress? Try on different style options until you find the look that suits you and makes you excited to wear it out!

The Bride’s Preference

While your preference is a very important part of choosing the right MOB look, there is one opinion that matters just a little more: the bride’s. This is your daughter’s wedding day, and therefore you need to run any outfit you want to wear by her.

Talk to the bride and groom as you’re searching for your wedding day look. They already have an idea of what they’d like you to wear (or at least what they DEFINITELY DON’T want you to wear), so they will be able to help you make a decision that makes both you and them happy.

But what if you want to wear a short dress and the couple would prefer something long? This is one time when the kids get the final word. 

Luckily, there are plenty of MOB dress styles out there today, so you can find something that catches your eye at any length. And here at New York Dress, you can find countless designer gowns that are perfect for a MOB look! Check out our selection online today.  

Written by Jonah Levine

February 17, 2022 Ideal Length for A Mother of the Bride Gown

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top