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Non-Girly Plus Size Mother of the Groom Fashion for a Summer Outdoor Wedding

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I will be attending my son's beach (formal) wedding in September. I am a plus size (18 ish), 65-year-old and have no idea what to wear. I am not a girly girl and don't usually wear dresses. But my son wants me to dress up. Any suggestions for a beach formal, mother-of-the-groom?

Traditionally, Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom fashion has been lots of chiffon, lots of beading, lots of ruffles, and from what it sounds like, lots of what you aren't comfortable in. However, times have changed. Also, with the event being on the beach, you can be a bit more relaxed in your attire while still remaining formal. I'll share some suggestions of mother of the groom fashion for a summer outdoor wedding that is formal.

Looking for an outfit this early is smart; it gives you time to try multiple Mother of the Groom fashion looks to find the right one, to secure accessories and shoes, and have time for tailoring.

One of my favorite formal looks is the Le Smoking. A feminine alternative to a gentleman's tux, the Le Smoking is a bit more tailored, often in a more feminine fabric, but just as easy to throw on and look utterly chic as a traditional tuxedo. It proves women don't have to wear a dress to look dressed up. While a Le Smoking in crepe, silk, satin, or another formal fabric would be perfect for a formal wedding at an historic mansion or ballroom, such an outfit would prove uncomfortable for an outdoor wedding.

A great alternative to the Le Smoking is formal separates. A dressy top, blazer, or twinset paired with formal pants (usually made of crepe, chiffon-overlay, or beading). The use of formal fabrics is what elevates separates into After Five territory. The beauty of separates is you can get a more custom fit with fewer alterations. Often just a hemming of pants is all you need to be wedding ready.  For a summer outdoor wedding, you want to have some flow, clothing that works with a breeze, and is less tailored.

Sure, there's some super embellished girly separates out there, but I went through major retailers to find plus size mother of the groom fashion for a summer outdoor wedding that are high on elegance and formality without being too frou-frou.

Since the event is on the beach, you will be barefoot for at least the ceremony. Look for a pair of satin or metallic flat sandals to wear with your look that can easily be slipped on and off.  Such shoes are also great for any sort of summer outdoor wedding. Take these shoes to the tailor to ensure the pants are the perfect length. For a bag, continue the formal feel with a clutch purse instead of a shoulder bag. Look for one with a matching or complementary color, and similar fabric and embellishment. A safe bet is a sparkly bag in the same metallic as your shoes and/or jewelry.

Shop Formal Flat Sandals and Low Wedges for an Outdoor Wedding:

With such a dressy top, accessories are not necessary unless you are comfortable with them. If you do like to accessorize, don't go overboard. A stud or small dangle earring, a tennis bracelet or formal watch… anything more and it will not only compete with your outfit but cheapen it.

Shop Formal Clutch Purses:

As for undergarments, you want ones that are virtually invisible under your clothes. If you're not one to wear control garments, do not start on this day or you'll have stomach pain all evening. However, a pair of smoothing high-waisted panties can do a lot for making clothing lie better. When trying on outfits, try them on with the undergarments you plan to wear for the wedding. The same goes for when you go to the tailor – wear the undergarments when getting measured.

I can't stress tailoring enough. When a formal look fits, it looks dressier, you are more comfortable, you look slimmer, and everything looks more expensive. When it comes to shortening pants, even ones with a chiffon overlay, a dry cleaner can usually do it. However, consider going to a proper tailor or seamstress who deals with formal fabrics to prevent obvious seams or fabric damage. Even if you didn't buy your look at the local bridal salon, they likely have a seamstress who can help or can recommend one not associated with the shop. I don't wish to stress you out, but you will be in dozens of photos that will reside in albums for decades, be on the living room walls of loved ones, and in several different Facebook albums. This is an event when it's worth it to take your style up a notch with tailoring. But with all this, the most important accessory you wear to a wedding is a smile. Your son wants you to have a great time and your joy is more stylish than any possible outfit. Have a wonderful time at the wedding and best wishes to the couple!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Somehow I don’t get how “beach” and “formal” end up in the same wedding!

    I’d find out what the colors of the wedding are, and what the MOB is wearing and go from there. A flowy pants outfit would work. If the reception is indoors, say the wedding is on the beach and the reception is at the Rusty Rudder, then you might be moving between outdoors and A/C, and want a top under the jacket so you can be comfortable where ever you are.

    One thing I found was that in addition to the clutch bag to house my tissues and camera, I needed a tote bag to stash under the table at the reception. We stayed to the end and hauled stuff home and it was a lifesver to have a different pair of shoes. It will also give you a place to stash the hat you may want to wear if it’s windy on the beach and your hairbrush as you won’t want to look windswept in the photos of the even that will be hanging on the walls at home for years afterwards.

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