Slimming, Elegant Plus Size Mother Of The Bride Dresses

Dear Deborah,

My daughter is getting married, and I’d like to lose a few pounds before the big day, but realistically I will never be skinny. Can you suggest some slimming, elegant plus size Mother of the Bride dresses that will make me look fabulous? Thanks, June

Hi June

I’m so glad you aren’t setting unrealistic goals that you must achieve before the big day.  Many women wait until the last minute to get a mother of the bride or mother of the groom dress, thinking they will lose a lot of weight, but they never do.  As a result, they’re lucky to find any dress that fits, let alone one that they like. The best thing to do is accept the weight you are and order your dress ahead of time. If you do drop a few pounds, then have your dress taken in. It doesn’t matter what you weigh. So long as you choose a style that works with your body, you will look gorgeous in your dress.

Here are some beautiful options.



Beaded Bodice Lace Gown

1. Plus Size Mother of the Bride/Groom Gowns

The Mother of the Bride and Groom are important positions, and many moms want to honor that by going all out and wearing a long, formal gown. Plus, size moms will look fabulous in gowns that are soft and flowing, and that gently drape and flow over their curves. To draw attention upward, try a dress with a beautiful neckline that frames your face. 

 Beaded Keyhole Dress with Capelet

2. Short Cocktail Dresses

A short cocktail dress is also a popular choice for the Mother of the Bride or Groom, especially if the wedding is not ultra-formal or you have great legs and want to show them off! The bonus is you can wear a cocktail dress again for any personal or business event that calls for dressy.

Bell-Sleeve Sheath Dress

3. Plus Size Mother of the Bride Dresses with Sleeves

Many women are self-conscious about their less than firm arms. Dresses with sleeves are the obvious choice when you want to cover up. The best sleeves are elbow-length,  3/4 length sleeves, or full-length.

Short sleeves and cap sleeves end too high up on the arm and exaggerate flabby arms. You should also make sure your sleeves look light and airy, not solid and heavy. Choose chiffon sleeves or lace sleeves,  slit sleeves, or sequinned sleeves. These are better than long, solid cloth sleeves, which look and feel hot and heavy. The best plus size mother of the bride dresses with sleeves have a light and airy look and feel about them.

Cowl Neck Floral Chiffon Gown

4. Floral Plus Size Mother of the Bride Dresses

Floral Patterns can be really pretty for the mother of the bride, especially when everyone else in the wedding party is wearing a solid color. Prints are also a great way to camouflage trouble spots as they keep the eye moving. Florals are natural for a wedding. Just be sure your print isn’t too large or too tiny. A medium-size scale print is most flattering on plus-size gals. 


Embroidered Jacket Dress

5. Plus Size Mother of the Bride Dresses with Jackets

Another way to camouflage jiggly arms is to wear a dress with a jacket. This gives you a more tailored look, but can still be very pretty. For example, this dress features an embroidered jacket with a front closure that is attached to the dress. You’ll find that some plus-size mother-of-the-bride dresses have a removable jacket as well. Either way, this look is beautiful for a wedding.

Tiered Chiffon Dress

6. Tea Length Plus Size Mother of the Bride Dresses

Three-quarter length or tea length plus size mother of the bride dresses are conservative and ladylike. They’re a nice compromise between a formal full-length gown and a short cocktail dress. This is a lovely style if you want to show a hint of leg.

A solid-colored tea-length mother of the bride dress with beading or lace is lovely. Print tea-length mother of the bride/groom dresses are also popular. Prints can be a nice change when everyone else is in a solid color. They also work well for morning weddings and early afternoon weddings or weddings in less formal settings.

Cap Sleeve Lace Bodice Gown

7. Black Plus Size Mother of the Bride Dresses

Yes, you can wear black as MOB or MOG. Just make sure the bride is o.k. with it.  Black is actually quite elegant, and we all know it can make you look ten pounds thinner, which is a bonus. Some brides have no problem with their mom or future mother-in-law wearing black, while others feel black is a negative or sad statement. Honor the bride!

Lace Pantsuit

8. Plus Size Mother of the Bride Pantsuits

If you never wear dresses and prefer to wear pants, go for all one color, dressy pantsuit that is soft and drapey.

Shop more Mother of the Bride and Groom looks here:

Need More Ideas?

Need more ideas about what to wear as Mother of the Bride or Groom. Pick up a copy of my bestselling book, Tweak Your Chic – Mother of the Bride. It will tell you everything you need to know on one of the most important and cherished days of your life.

What are you planning to wear as the Mother of the Bride or Groom? Send me a professional photograph of you at the wedding, and I will post it—photos to info@fabulousafter40.com. Here are some real-life Mother of the Bride gowns from my readers.

Join the Conversation

14 thoughts on “Slimming, Elegant Plus Size Mother Of The Bride Dresses

  1. I wore the black cold shoulder gown that you are showing to a recent black tie wedding. I felt like it was very flattering!!

  2. I need a grandmother of the bride dress for my granddaughter’s wedding. The problem I have is I am VERY short -under 5ft and weigh 140 pounds. I need something that has a V-neck because I think it helps make me look taller. Hope that this might work.
    Thank you!

  3. These dresses are gorgeous. But I would love to see some mother-of-the bride (or groom) dresses for those of us who are not thin but also aren’t a plus size. I am short, smaller busted, and carry my weight in my hips/thighs. It is tremendously difficult to find styles that flatter. Surely I’m not the only one in this category.

  4. Just wanted to tell you about my Mother of the Bride dress. Thanks so much for all your help, all of you have been so helpful. Was able to borrow a beautiful dress to wear. Fits perfect, color is good and most of all not that traditional look so many MOB dress have. Wedding is 4 months away and lots to do. Will be sure to have a picture made and send for all to see. Still plan to take above skirt and matching jacket to a seamstress to give it updated look, still the best way to save some $$ at this time and will allow me to wear more. Some one gave me a chunky clear necklace as a gift and I am looking for some reasonable price shoes that will compliment the updated suit look.

    1. Hi Karen,
      Wonderful news!!! Can’t wait to see the photo of the dress…please do send it along and we will post it for all to see!! Yes, do get the dress altered. I think a nice pair of nude shoes would look best with the green suite. Please feel free to send us a photo of what you plan to wear if you are in anyway in doubt.

      Good luck and enjoy!!

    1. Hi Mary,
      Yes, we hope she does send me a photo! From what I understand, she is going to get the skirt shortened and wear it with the jacket to the rehearsal dinner and buy something else for the wedding. It seems that she wore it as the mother of the bride to her other daughter’s wedding already!

    1. Hi Mary,
      That might sound like a good idea but then it would also cause a few more issues that she would have to deal with.
      First off, the jacket would have to be left open or you would not see it.
      Then if the top was tucked in she would need a belt.
      If the the top was out, it would look sloppy and anyway the jacket is really ment to be closed.
      Really this outfit is made to be a matched suit with the top closed. Trying to make it something else will probably look like she was trying to too hard to update it.
      Still it would be fun to see what it would look like if she did put a lace top with it since in my experience you never know until you try it on!
      Thanks Mary!

  5. I love this color on you, Karen!!! I vote for shortening the skirt and then rocking it with some killer shoes and a wonderful necklace that hits within the collar of the (newly tailored) jacket.

    I think this would look very modern, and I actually like modern matched suits for a wedding or formal occasion.

    Re the necklace — not just a chain of course, but something cool and perhaps chunky, that wouldn’t overwhelm the neckline but would show off your personality.

    Hope you have fun at the wedding!!

    Nancy from SoCal

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