32 Modern Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses That Are Trendy, Not Frumpy

Moms, get ready to bring your A game.
Monica Mercuri - The Knot Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
Monica Mercuri
Monica Mercuri - The Knot Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
Monica Mercuri
Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
  • Monica writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in fashion commerce content
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Monica was an assistant style and market editor at House Beautiful
  • Monica holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs
Updated Apr 23, 2024
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There's a world of possibilities when it comes to mother-of-the-bride dresses, which means you're pretty much guaranteed to find something you love. That said, having such a wide variety of options might feel a little overwhelming. If you're not sure where to start (or you just want to see what's out there), consider us your personal stylist.

Before you begin your search (which usually happens six to eight months before the wedding), brush up on mother-of-the-bride attire etiquette. Then, let the event formality, season and venue be your guide. Lastly, you should feel comfortable and confident in whatever outfit you choose—and definitely don't feel confined to matronly styles.

A bride and her mother smile happily for the camera.
Photo: Connie and Stewart

While shopping locally is certainly an option, there are plenty of fashionable and contemporary mother-of-the-bride dresses available online, from off-the-shoulder gowns to sequin-embellished styles (or you could even rock a mother-of-the-bride pantsuit as a stylish alternative). Ready to get started? We've got all the advice and inspiration you need to find the perfect MOB outfit. And if you're looking by season, check out our editor-curated guides featuring trendy mother-of-the-bride dresses for spring, summer, fall and winter:

Keep reading to discover the best mother-of-the-bride dresses that are not frumpy, all of which you can shop instantly.

In this article:

Simple Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses

If you like to keep things classic, start with the dresses for moms on this list. From silky, full-length gowns to options fit for a cocktail occasion, the simple yet elegant styles that follow are perfect for minimalist mothers of the bride.

Sachin & Babi Kayla Gown

Halter-neck jade mother-of-the-bride gown
Photo: Sachin & Babi

Effortlessly elegant in every way, this modern mother-of-the-bride dress boasts a sophisticated bow neckline and silky silhouette. It's available in lots of colors and prints, but the Jade shade will stun at daytime parties. Complete the look with silver or gold jewelry and a bedazzled clutch.

Size range: 0-22W | Length: Maxi | Color options: Rouge, Jade, Champagne and more

BHLDN Leila Deep-V Flutter-Sleeve Satin A-Line Gown

Short sleeve plunge-neck green gown
Photo: Anthropologie

Modest yet daring, this classic mother-of-the-bride dress features an A-line silhouette and plunging neckline. Choose from 10 different hues in standard and plus sizes to suit your style and body type.

Size range: 0-26W | Length: Maxi | Color options: Moss, Petal Pink, Dusty Blue and more

Teri Jon Off-Shoulder Metallic Jacquard Midi Dress

Pale purple off-the-shoulder knee-length dress
Photo: Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus offers lots of beautiful designer dresses for mothers of the bride. Take this stylish wedding guest dress for moms. The metallic jacquard material gives it a glam feel, while the off-the-shoulder sleeves and knee-length skirt make it suitable for cocktail attire.

Size range: 2-18 | Length: Knee | Color options: Lavender Gold

Adrianna Papell Imitation Pearl Halter Neck High-Low Mikado Dress

Light pink halter cocktail dress with pearl detail neckline
Photo: Nordstrom

With its softly sculptured high-low silhouette, this pick is a cocktail-worthy dress ideal for weddings all year round. The lovely light pink hue works just as well with metallic pumps in the fall and winter as it does with heeled sandals in the spring and summer. The pearl-embellished neckline adds even more class to the understated silhouette.

Size range: 4-16 | Length: Knee | Color options: Bellini

Staud Emelyn Dress

Cap sleeve black wedding gown by Staud
Photo: Rent the Runway

There's no need to go over the top with embroidery and embellishments if that's not your vibe. Minimalistic mamas, you'll look breathtaking in this black mother-of-the-bride gown with cap sleeves. Better yet, you can save big by getting this fancy MOB dress at Rent the Runway, a retailer that lets you borrow some of the absolute best dresses for mothers of the bride.

Size range: 0-12 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Black

Azazie Cecily Dress

Asymmetrical neckline knee-length dress in taupe
Photo: Azazie

Wondering where to buy mother-of-the-bride dresses at affordable prices? Meet Azazie. Their Cecily Dress comes in 20 colors, so there's an option to suit every MOB's wedding vibe. The asymmetrical neckline and pleated bodice add a stylish finishing touch to the basic silhouette.

Size range: Custom, 0-30 | Length: Knee | Color options: Taupe, Dark Navy, Dusty Sage and more

Formal Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses

If a formal wedding is in the works, you'll need an over-the-top pick fit for the occasion. Whether you're picturing a bold printed gown or a silky number in a stunning shade, look no further than the fun mother-of-the-bride dresses below.

Teri Jon Taffeta Shirt Gown With Feather Pattern

Shirt dress gown with feather print
Photo: Teri Jon

Hear us out: shirt dress, but make it fancy. Teri Jon is a go-to for the top mother-of-the-bride dresses, and it's easy to see why. This unique gown features metallic hues and a glamorous feather print. (Oh, and it has invisible pockets, too!)

Size range: 2-22 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Gold Multi

Mac Duggal Ieena Satin Sheath Gown

Blue long sleeve embellished neckline gown
Photo: Saks Fifth Avenue

There's a lot for mom to love about this stunning mother-of-the-bride dress, from the deep sapphire shade to the graceful long sleeves. Another plus? The elegant embellished neckline that adds just a touch of sparkle.

Size range: 2-24 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Sapphire

Lauren Ralph Lauren Women's Twist-Front Cape-Overlay Gown

Short-sleeve shimmery black gown
Photo: Macy's

Found: the best gown for mothers of the bride looking for something comfortable. This beautiful MOB dress is perfect for formal functions all year round. It comes with a striking V-neckline, short sleeves and eye-catching shimmery fabric.

Size range: 2-18 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Black, Winter Cream

Atsu Sally Bow Midi Dress

One-shoulder green gown with bow
Photo: Anthropologie

Anthropologie is a great spot to keep in mind if you're on the hunt for cool mother-of-the-bride dresses. Moms who want to give a little drama, consider vivid hues and statement features. This one-shoulder MOB dress has all of that and more, including the most beautiful oversized bow.

Size range: XXS-3X | Length: Maxi | Color options: Turquoise, Peach, Blue Motif and more

Teri Jon Bateau-Neck Column Cape Gown

Navy cape gown with bow detail
Photo: Neiman Marcus

An event as special as your child's wedding doesn't come around every day. With that said, feel free to splurge on a gorgeous mother-of-the-bride dress that you absolutely love. This black-tie attire is absolutely showstopping, thanks to the rich navy hue, shoulder bow and cascading cape.

Size range: 2-18 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Navy

ML Monique Lhuillier Leela Crepe Long Gown

Light pink mother-of-the-bride gown with rosette details
Photo: Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway is a go-to for moms in search of the top designer mother-of-the-bride dresses. This gown's pretty pink shade and sweet rosette details are a match made in heaven—just like your child and their soon-to-be spouse. Pair it with metallic sandals and a matching clutch for the warm-weather months, or make it feel fall-ready with black pumps and a cozy wrap.

Size range: 0-16 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Lilac

Sachin & Babi Blakely Gown

High-low gown with sheer shoulders and statement flower
Photo: Sachin & Babi

Here's another one of the best mother-of-the-bride dresses you can buy online. This gorgeous gown is made from double-stretch Mikado for a streamlined, comfortable fit. Sheer stretch tulle and cap sleeves at the neckline add an eye-catching detail, giving the illusion of a strapless look. A statement hibiscus flower is the icing on the cake.

Size range: 0-22W | Length: High-low | Color options: Jet

Badgley Mischka Navy Drama Ruffle Gown

Navy sleeveless ruffle detail gown
Photo: Rent the Runway

Looking for something a bit more traditional? Opt for this glamorous and elegant mother-of-the-bride dress with billowing ruffles. Add some sparkle with a blinged-out pair of heels and silver accessories.

Size range: 0-16 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Navy

Beaded Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses

If the wedding vibe is all-out glam, rise to the occasion with a MOB dress that's just as dazzling. From sparkling LBDs to eye-catching dresses adorned with sequins, these maximalist options will fit the bill.

Adrianna Papell Hand Beaded Short Sleeve Floral Godet Gown

Short sleeve pink gown with embellished floral details
Photo: Adrianna Papell

Beaded dresses are some of the most popular mother-of-the-bride styles, and it's easy to see why—sparkly sequins and beading just scream "celebration." This blush pink gown is adorned with beadwork and gorgeous floral details for a breathtaking ensemble for mothers of the bride.

Size range: 0-26 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Blush Pink, French Blue, Night Plum and more

Mac Duggal Hand Beaded Flounce Sleeve Midi Dress

Black beaded flutter-sleeve midi dress
Photo: Mac Duggal

This unconventional mother-of-the-bride dress proves that short MOB dresses can look just as formal as floor-length gowns. The classic silhouette and midi-length skirt are ideal for weddings in the spring, summer and fall.

Size range: 2-16 | Length: Midi | Color options: Black, Sage, Midnight

XSCAPE Petite-Beaded Sleeve Gown

Black gown with beige beaded sleeves
Photo: Macy's

Here's a fashionable petite mother-of-the-bride gown to rock for your child's wedding. The beaded sleeves make the otherwise traditional gown pop. This youthful mother-of-the-bride dress is ideal for fall and winter weddings.

Size range: 4P-16P | Length: Maxi | Color options: Black Nude Silver

Dress The Population Sidney Bead & Sequin Floral Appliqué Gown

Blue beaded floral gown with V-neckline and sheer skirt
Photo: Anthropologie

Looking for unique mother-of-the-bride dress ideas? Consider this sequined floral gown from Dress The Population. The stunning color, plunging neckline and sweeping peekaboo skirt do all the talking—all you need is a metallic heeled sandal or pump, and you're all set to party.

Size range: XXS-XXL | Length: Maxi | Color options: Seafoam Multi

Mac Duggal Sequin One-Shoulder Column Gown

Olive green sequin one-shoulder gown
Photo: Nordstrom

Carrying a touch of Old Hollywood glamour, this shimmering gown by Mac Duggal will fit right in at an upscale black-tie affair. We also have to call out the floor-sweeping skirt and the chic asymmetric neckline.

Size range: 0-16 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Olive, Lilac, Yellow and more

Connected Plus Size Cutout-Detail Lace Maxi Dress

Cobalt sparkling lace gown with cutout detail
Photo: Macy's

Macy's is easily one of the best department stores for buying a mother-of-the-bride dress. For starters, just look at this sparkling blue gown. The silhouette skims the figure while still offering plenty of room to move, while the cutout detail adds an on-trend touch. Pair this plus-size MOB dress with heeled sandals and get ready to take on the dance floor in style.

Size range: 14W-24W | Length: Maxi | Color options: Cobalt, Black

SHO by Tadashi Shoji Sequin Ruched Long Sleeve Gown

Long-sleeve V-neck copper gown
Photo: Nordstrom

Nordstrom mother-of-the-bride dresses never disappoint. This embellished option will accentuate your figure but still feels oh-so sophisticated thanks to the chic copper shade, long sleeves and floor-grazing length. With its plunging neckline and timeless wrap bodice, you'll be getting compliments all night long.

Size range: XS-XL | Length: Maxi | Color options: Copper

Floral Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses

While they may be a go-to for spring, florals are truly ideal for any time of year. Whether you want artistic 3D appliqués, intricate embroidery or a modern, statement-making print, the flattering mother-of-the-bride dresses that follow are sure to impress.

Mac Duggal Embellished Illusion Cape-Sleeve Trumpet Gown

Lilac floral gown with sheer cape overlay
Photo: Saks Fifth Avenue

You'll stun from all angles wearing this eye-catching floral mother-of-the-bride dress. We're equally obsessed with the sheer cape overlay and 3D florals that look straight out of a painting.

Size range: 4-20 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Vintage Lilac, Midnight, Coral

Adrianna Papell Floral-Embroidered Column Gown

Short sleeve floral embroidered gown
Photo: Macy's

We're simply in love with the vibrant florals on this romantic mother-of-the-bride gown. The column silhouette and sheer short puffed sleeves hit the perfect playful note for spring and summer celebrations.

Size range: 0-16 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Midnight Nude

Lulus Gorgeous Desire Light Blue Floral Strapless High-Low Maxi Dress

Strapless light blue floral high-low gown
Photo: Lulus

Lulus might not be the first site that comes to mind when you think "mother-of-the-bride looks," but there's a great selection of budget-friendly dresses on the site that could definitely work. This strapless floral style would look incredible with a pair of strappy stilettos and statement earrings.

Size range: XS-XL | Length: High-low | Color options: Light Blue Floral

Adrianna Papell Floral Print Organza Sleeveless Jumpsuit with Self Tie Waist

Pink floral mother-of-the-bride jumpsuit
Photo: Adrianna Papell

When it comes to modern outfits for mothers of the bride, a jumpsuit isn't unusual—especially if the wedding is taking place during the day or outdoors. This super-cool MOB attire gives the appearance of a flowing floral gown but really features wide-leg pants. Wear it to a garden celebration with block heels or wedges.

Size range: 0-20 | Length: Maxi | Color options: Pink Multi

Sachin & Babi Brooke Gown

Light blue v-neck gown with green floral print
Photo: Sachin & Babi

To round out our floral picks, we had to include one of our favorite botanical styles. Covered in gorgeous green florals, this light blue mother-of-the-bride dress features flattering box pleats, side pockets and a V-neckline.

Size range: 0-22W | Length: Maxi | Color options: Sky Citrine Floral

Casual Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses

If you're dressing for a low-key ceremony, you'll need MOB attire that's just as laid back. Including feather-adorned minis, brightly colored maxis and beach mother-of-the-bride dresses alike, we've rounded up a range of casual options that are anything but boring.

ELOQUII Knot Front Pleated Skirt Dress

Pleated long-sleeve green dress

Looking for casual mother-of-the-bride dresses? Laidback attire doesn't have to be completely toned down. Instead, opt for something that's dressy but versatile. This vibrant plus-size dress with a pleated skirt does the trick. And look at all of those gorgeous colorways to choose from!

Size range: 14-32 | Length: Knee | Color options: Aventurine, Violet Indigo, Rich Burgundy and more

Tuckernuck Light Blue Feather Mod Ellie Dress

Light blue turtleneck mini dress with feather sleeves
Photo: Tuckernuck

Casual doesn't have to mean you can't go all out. With its stunning blue shade and fun feather cuffs, this nontraditional mother-of-the-bride dress has "cool mom" written all over it. The best part about this fashion-forward number? It has an easy, flowing silhouette that's guaranteed to keep you comfortable all night long.

Size range: XXS-3XL | Length: Short | Color options: Light Blue, Mint, Black and more

STAUD Midi Marlowe Dress Black

Black halter-neckline midi dress
Photo: STAUD

A voluminous silhouette, midi length and halter neckline make this dress an instant standout, yet it still looks laid back. Style it with strappy sandals and a fun bag for a casual wedding or beach celebration.

Size range: XS-XL | Length: Midi | Color options: Black

Banana Republic Cascade Silk Maxi Dress

Sleeveless pink V-neck maxi dress
Photo: Banana Republic

If it's a casual daytime wedding, you'll need an appropriately casual outfit. This petite modern maxi dress fits the bill (plus it comes in a versatile shade of pink). The shimmery silk fabric and cascading silhouette will easily elevate any look.

Size range: XXS-XXL | Length: Maxi | Color options: Sweet Lilac, Blue City and Black Print

ELLIATT Astrid Dress

Long sleeve floral dress with asymmetric hem

Headed somewhere tropical? This mom-approved dress for casual weddings would fit right in at a seaside soiree. The puffed sleeves will keep you warm if there's an ocean breeze, while the all-over ruffles and romantic floral print will complement any beachside backdrop.

Size range: XS-XXL | Length: High-low | Color options: Multi, Black Multi

Reformation Woodson Dress

Short-sleeve black midi dress with sheer details
Photo: Reformation

Here's a midi-length mother-of-the-bride dress you can easily pull out of your wardrobe time and time again. The georgette fabric and A-line silhouette are just some of the things we love about this classic black dress.

Size range: 0-24 | Length: Midi | Color options: Black, Ivory

Kate Ferris contributed to the reporting of this article.

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