Custom often dictates the flow of the wedding ceremony; you sit on an assigned side, listen to time-honored vows, dance traditional dances and eat customary food. Curiously, very few entrenched traditions affect the mother of the groom's ensemble. As the lucky man's mom, you should aim for stately and subtle, but when it comes to colors, you have an absolute rainbow of options.
Traditionally, the mother of the bride chooses her ensemble first and then shares her plans with the mother of the groom, who wears something complementary. Discuss your outfit with the mother of the bride to find our her preference as a courtesy. If she takes the traditional route, choose clothes with a complementary color, cut and style. Otherwise, your color choices are a lot more open.
Complement the Party
Complementing the mother of the bride isn't just custom, it makes good sense; you're bound to share many photo-ops with the whole wedding party, so it pays to look good together. Rather than outright matching, choose complementary colors, such as taupe for orange or gray for navy. Wearing a different shade of the wedding party or bride's color choice – mint for green or baby blue for deep blue, for example – is also a safe bet.
Spring is the season for blush, nude or pastel hues, all of which lend the groom's mom a timeless sense of simplicity. Subtle floral or nature prints soar at warm weddings, and summer events offer a choice opportunity for slightly bolder colors. You can pull off solid, primary colors during this season, especially at outdoor affairs, but put the brakes on if it feels too garish.
In autumn, tan, tradition-tested beige, emerald and nude shades look just right for the season. Basic red is a risk, but burgundy is your friend, especially if you have an olive complexion. To play it safe at a winter wedding, navy is perennially in style. In fact, this classic color works for any season.
No So Black and White
Black is no longer the exclusive domain of funerals; as long as your ensemble doesn't look mournful and the bride doesn't mind, black is OK for weddings, provided it doesn't totally clash with the wedding's color scheme. Although the rules on white continue to relax, steering clear of wearing white keeps you far away from any faux pas. Most importantly, you don't want your outfit to draw attention from the bride's.
- The Knot: Mother of the Groom -- Finding Your Dress Q and A
- Emily Post: Tips for Mom -- What's a Mother to Wear? (Almost) Anything!
- Glamour: “Can the Mother of the Groom Wear Black to the Wedding?” (I Say: Sure!)
- Harper's Bazaar: What to Wear to a Summer Wedding
- Elle: 28 Dresses to Wear to a Fall Wedding
- CBS News: Wedding Guest Etiquette -- What in the World Do I Wear?