Four things to consider for your attire as mother of a to-be-wed

How you look will likely be the last thing on your mind when you see your son or daughter at the altar on his or her wedding day, but choosing the right attire can help you feel comfortable and fabulous from the first wedding photo to the last dance.

“There is no ‘mother-of-the-bride dress' anymore,” says Julie Easterling, wedding stylist at Macy's Easton, adding that fit—and fitting in—are more important. Amid today's wealth of options, Easterling is confident that there's a dress out there for every mother. But how should you go about finding it? Industry experts recommend keeping the following factors in mind.

Formality

Note the time and venue of the wedding, as well as what the bride, bridesmaids and other mother will be wearing, says Joan Madison, owner Joan's Bridal Couture in Reynoldsburg.

For example, a full-length gown with sequined details is well-suited for a formal evening wedding, but “if the bridesmaids are wearing short chiffon dresses with no embellishment, we don't want Mom in a giant evening gown,” Easterling says.

Color Palette

Color is important, and mothers' dresses should coordinate, not compete, with the bridesmaids, Easterling says.

Pastels are trending in weddings across the board, and champagne and almond hues are the top colors for mothers this season, Madison says.

Support System

As a mom of three herself, Easterling is no stranger to concerns about the dreaded tummy bulge. Her best advice? An appropriately fitting bra.

“It makes a huge difference for the middle—if everything's up where it's supposed to be, you have more waist,” she says. Spanx and shapewear are great for addressing problem areas that a good bra can't remedy.

Feel Good, Look Good

The rib cage is often the skinniest part of the body, so try highlighting it with a ribbon, ruching or some sparkle. And for the shorter-statured, a nude pump can give the illusion of longer legs, Easterling says.

If you're worried about your arms, there are many options, including sleeves, pashmina wraps or bolero jackets. Easterling warns against cap sleeves and says three-quarter-length options are currently trending.

Fabric is important, too. Stiff fabrics like satin tend to widen you, so Madison recommends flowy fabrics instead.

“Never do a flat skirt in the front—that doesn't camouflage anything,” she adds. “You want some ruching or spot pleating.”