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Mother of the bride dresses

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number4 posted 4/2/2021 18:50 PM

With all 17 people in attendance due to get their vaccines by late June, D1 has scheduled her wedding.

I started some preliminary looking online for MOB dresses, and am getting very frustrated. I've spent around 2-3 hours online. I got my MOB dress for D2 at BHLDN, and LOVED it! It was long, formal and perfect!

D has not given me any instructions on what she wants me in (she lives on the other coast, so no opportunity for her to go shopping with me before the wedding) - she said it doesn't matter if it's long or short; obviously the only caveat is that it's not white. She is wearing a casual white wedding dress. D2 and I will both be vaccinated fully in two weeks, so we figured sometime in early May, we'd hit some stores, including BHLDN. I happened to be near a Nordstrom (my always go-to store) earlier this week, and just decided to do a quick walk-through, to see what their inventory of special occasion dresses is. UGH... since the pandemic, and there not being many special occasions, they basically got rid of that department. They do have a lot online, and just a few in the store, so I have ruled out Nordstroms as a place for D2 and I to look next month. I'm starting to wonder if all the high-end department stores are going to be like Nordstroms when we get there. I'm thinking, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, etc. Will they also have just a few dresses in the store for me to try on?

I don't know where to turn at this point. I stopped at a couple of small boutiques this week, and was told they're really not getting in any dresses, that the ones they have, aren't selling. I don't want to go to any place like a David's Bridal, but may have to consider a boutique bridal shop perhaps.

I'm willing to spend several hundred dollars because I won't need any shoes; I've still got a pair of gorgeous nude, wedge sandals from D2's wedding, and because I already have shoes, I am willing to spend more on the dress than I did for D2.

I have no idea where in LA are the special occasion dress stores, other than Rodeo Drive, and I just don't see myself going down there (but if I'm desperate, I will). I keep thinking there must be some alternatives that I haven't thought of.

Oh, I did order one dress online from Nordstrom - funny thing is I saw it, and really liked, it, but they didn't have it in my size - not even close; then I was looking a few days later to send to a friend (so she could see what kind of dress I was looking for), and lo and behold, it was available in a size larger than I usually wear, so I ordered it (it must have been a return since it wasn't available a few days earlier). If I like it, and it can be altered, I may not need to look around.

Any ideas?

Carissima posted 4/2/2021 20:17 PM

I'm in the UK so can't help with suggestions for shops I'm afraid but for style I'd take your clues from your daughter's dress.
The fact she's wearing a casual wedding dress which suggests it's going to be a relaxed wedding so you may not need a truly formal mother of the bride outfit.
I'd ask to see the bride's dress and take it from there.
Whatever you wear I'm sure you'll have a great time.

number4 posted 4/2/2021 22:35 PM

I've seen her bride's dress (well, at least in pictures), and it is going to be a relaxed wedding. Guys will be wearing suits, though. It will be small, but very upscale.

I've opened up my search to include cocktail dresses and evening dresses. I've considered long dresses that could be hemmed up to a short dress.

@carissima - if you're in the UK, you'll appreciate that I even looked at the Boden website, where I've purchased a couple of things before to wear as a wedding guest! But there's nothing on their site now that would be appropriate - they have some lovely velvet dresses, but this will be a summertime wedding!

AnnieOakley posted 4/2/2021 23:20 PM

You are absolutely right about stores not carrying anything in stock, I was just having this conversation with someone that retired out of high end retail just prior to CV19.

Maybe a nice satin two piece suit type outfit? I’ve got one that has gotten lots of wear out of it, dressy weddings included.

I think the bigger department stores you mention would be the best bet. Especially if you need it hemmed if it is full length.

[This message edited by AnnieOakley at 11:27 PM, April 2nd (Friday)]

Lionne posted 4/3/2021 07:36 AM

I just navigated this. The wedding is in May, in Dallas, we are driving from NJ. I am a complicated fit, 5' 110 lbs, very curvy. It's hard to find something that doesn't look matronly with my big boobs. If you are more proportional than I am, you'll have better luck.

I ordered a lot of dresses. It was helpful to try them on in my own home, with different bras. Macys, Nordstrom, Saks off Broadway all had free returns. I wound up at a small boutique, spending WAY more than I wanted, and now I'm second guessing it. But it's only one day...

Order. Don't skip Amazon, they have a surprisingly large inventory. One thing, though. Formal dresses seem to run smaller than other things. I generally wear a 4 off the rack, the 6 fit in most cases and my chosen dress is an 8. And none too loose. If I gain an ounce it will be uncomfortable.

Happy hunting.

The1stWife posted 4/3/2021 17:22 PM

What about a seamstress who could sew something for you?

Custom could be a better way to go if you cannot find what you want in the stores.

What about renting a dress - that could be an option too.

number4 posted 4/3/2021 19:32 PM

@the1stwife -

I thought about having someone custom make something for me, but I get overwhelmed by TOO many choices. I wouldn't know where to begin. I've never had anything custom made, other than when I was a kid and my mom used to make stuff for me. I think the last thing she made for me was maternity clothes!

I also looked at Rent The Runway already; they used to have stores you could actually go to, to try stuff on, then reserve it, but I can't find one here in LA. So I'd have to go through massive amounts of pages, looking at dresses online and it would cost to rent to try on, then I'd have to send it back, then rent it again for the event. D1 has used them many times. I'm not as brave without having tried it on first.

I don't know of any place that does rentals other than RTR.

number4 posted 4/3/2021 19:33 PM

I wound up at a small boutique

I'm guessing it was a boutique you were already familiar with? I have no idea where those small boutiques are around here. I guess I could post on Nextdoor and see if people have suggestions.

AnnieOakley posted 4/3/2021 21:06 PM

Since you are open to rent the runway, what about consignment or gently used? If they managed to stay open this past year you may find some good stores in the LA area.

Yelp and ND may be a place to start looking for recommendations. Even IG.

Lionne posted 4/3/2021 21:14 PM

I had never been to this place, but had driven past forever. I tried another one earlier in the process but wasn't happy.
Because I had tried on SO many at home I had a much better idea when I browsed their rack. They didn't have a huge inventory but the dress I picked was different and really suits me.

If I gain a pound, I'm in trouble...

Carissima posted 4/4/2021 08:54 AM

Do you know what style you want to wear? What design and colour looks good on you?
Do an internet search with those parameters and see what comes up.
Think about separates, there may be more choice available.

The1stWife posted 4/4/2021 11:57 AM

If it’s a good seamstress you should be able to take a picture of a dress you like and have it re-created.

My good friend made my wedding dress - she was an amazing seamstress though not professional. It cost me $500 for a dress that would have cost thousands. The stores at the time I married (think Dynasty TV show) were too much.

Too much beading. Too much lace and appliqué. I was a tiny girl of 100 lbs and the dresses overwhelmed me. So I took a ball gown I loved and she re-created it.

Just a suggestion that might work for you. With online fabric places you can get samples of materials before you buy. And customize it to your exact style or specifications.

I hope this helps you.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 11:58 AM, April 4th (Sunday)]

number4 posted 4/4/2021 17:19 PM

I wish there was a way to share links so you all could see the dresses I like; honestly, they're all pretty different from each other.

Did I mention that I'm a redhead? So that limits the colors I can look good in.

So... D has given me no parameters for color, long/short, etc. I found a really stunning, simple black dress that just speaks to me, but well, it's black. And this is a summer wedding in the Berkshires. D didn't tell me not to wear black, but would it be totally inappropriate? She knows I've ordered the black one, and didn't say anything to me (she would if she didn't want me to wear black).

If you google Kay Unger dresses, the style is called Tatum; you will see it comes in four colors (they don't have my size on their website, and even if they did, it's final sale). I love its simplicity, yet it has unique features. You have to look at the detail close up.

Anyway, a dress like that, and a couple of the others would be incredibly hard to make because the fabrics have cut outs in them in the overlay of two layers.

Lionne posted 4/4/2021 18:08 PM

Stunning! I see it comes in Navy..I think the issue of black is up to DD. It's formal, not mourning.

But I see navy and teal. I suspect you would look great in either.

The1stWife posted 4/4/2021 21:22 PM

I think the dress is stunning snd black should be fine.

zebra25 posted 4/4/2021 21:27 PM

Love the dress!!!

hopefull77 posted 4/6/2021 05:04 AM

That dress is lovely! Simple and elegant.
A pair of fun shoes with a pop of color.
Enjoy the day...such a special time 💟

number4 posted 4/7/2021 15:42 PM

So I've now tried on four dresses at home, and of all four, the Kay Unger dress is by far my favorite! Accept it's only available in black now, in my size anywhere. So if I go with it, I'll have to wear black. I asked my daughter about wearing black, and her response was, "Whatever." There is one other Tadashi Shoji dress that works, but it sort of reminds me too much of the dress I wore to D2's wedding.

I have two more Tadashi Shoji dresses coming in the mail, so will wait and try those on before I make a final decision. In the meantime, I will also continue to hunt for the Kay Unger dress in another color.

ZenMumWalking posted 4/7/2021 16:29 PM

Have you tried Phase Eight?

number4 posted 4/7/2021 18:28 PM

@ZenMumWalking - I took a peek; had never heard of it. Found one dress that I really liked, and sent a link to D. Her response was it had too much white in it. It's the Claudine Floral Lace dress.

Yea, it was white, but it had a lot of color in it, too. Oh, well. But thanks for telling me about the site; I will keep it mind for future uses.

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