Every mother of the bride wants to look her best on her daughter’s wedding day. People assume all eyes will be on the happy couple, but the fact is that the mother of the bride gets her share of attention, too. There’s no rule, written or unwritten, that says that the mother of the bride has to choose a dress that’s matronly — or dress in head to toe beige. Modern MOBs have free rein to wear dresses both fashionable and fun. While some weddings will call for the mother of the bride to wear a formal gown, tea length mother of the bride dresses are one option that’s gaining in popularity.
They strike a beautiful balance between the short skirts on today’s cocktail dresses and the floor-sweeping hemlines of maxi dresses. The hems on mother of the bride dresses in tea length can fall anywhere between the lowest point of the knee and just above the ankle. ‘Tea length’ may call to mind retro cuts or old fashioned frills, but the dresses on this page are nothing like the ones Emily Post described as "a hybrid between a wrapper and a ball dress” in 1920. The mother of the bride deserves to strut her stuff on her daughter’s Big Day, and these dresses are figure-hugging without being flashy and elegant enough to make the MOB feel extra special.
What Is a Tea-Length Dress?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a tea-length dress as one with a hemline that “falls above the ankle and below the knee. Traditionally, mother of the bride dresses in tea length would have hems that grazed the ankle, but the majority of modern tea-length dresses hit about four inches above the ankle — somewhere mid-calf. Typically, people wear tea-length dresses for dressier daytime affairs, but lately it’s a hem length that has become an acceptable evening alternative to a full-length gown. That means moms shouldn’t be afraid to choose a tea length mother of the bride dress if their daughters are getting married in the evening.
The Rising Popularity of Tea Length Mother of the Bride Dresses
There are a few reasons that this length has become a popular choice among MOBs. First, it’s perfect for dancing — it’s not as binding as a full-length skirt but it’s unlikely to cause a wardrobe malfunction. In other words, tea length mother of the bride dresses are the comfortable option that works for weddings of almost any formality level.
If you’re a mom shopping for your daughter’s wedding, the best mother of the bride dress advice we can offer is ‘When in doubt, ask.’ If you’re not sure what your daughter’s expectations are regarding your dress, have a conversation about it sooner rather than later. Once you know if she’d like you to wear a specific silhouette or a certain color, you can come to The Knot to browse mother of the bride dresses that will make you feel beautiful on her Big Day.