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Mother of the Bride
Making it easy to shop for that ever-important dress.

Beverly Siri-Borelli's Mother of the Bride designs.
Hey it’s just about June – the most popular month for weddings. And though I certainly don’t want to point out a fly in the ointment lubricating these oh-so-happy events, it seems to me as brides get busy chasing down dream gowns, their mom’s are left with a wee bit of tension when it comes to deciding what to wear. Whether it’s due to the drama of the day, says something about the female psyche or just represents a splash of social anxiety, who knows? But the reality is moms do tend to get a bit frantic when it comes to picking out that all-important outfit. Often it’s a style issue, like a laid-back mom uncomfortable flaunting fashion finery, or sometimes it has more to do with ego and a need to trump the dress the groom’s mom (or an ex-husband’s new younger wife) is going to wear. Heck, I’ve even witnessed a cougar fashionista mommy dearest who (seriously) tried to competitively upstage her lovely daughter’s walk down the aisle by arriving at the ceremony NOT in the tasteful suit she said she’d be wearing but (SURPRISE, SURPRISE!) in an uber expensive, shockingly short, sexy slip of a cocktail dress. (OK Mrs. D., we all get that you’re not ready to be put on the shelf just because you’re bound to be a grandma in the next couple of years, now can just we get on with the ceremony please?) All I’m saying is that this seems to be one shopping expedition that’s never quite as easy as it should be and only gets more tense given today’s staging of mammoth wedding productions.

Siri designs.
So let’s break the problem down, shall we? The task is really nothing more than finding something perfect to wear that not only fits the celebratory occasion but also your personality. There’s no need to feel pressured into going fancier than you feel comfortable with. You should look stylish and, more importantly, feel every inch the proud mama you are. While in the past there was no dearth of etiquette to further complicate the situation, as rules relax, modern moms have it a little easier. In the end, whether you choose to discuss your fashion options with your daughter, soon to be son-in-law’s mom or whomever, it’s really up to you. Just remember, when taking your pick from the season’s popular Mother of the Bride dresses, featuring knee-length skirts, three-quarter-length sleeves, sophisticated suits and sleeveless dresses finished off with shrugs or jackets, what remains rather essential is that the color you choose blends harmoniously with the dresses of the bridal party.

So now that you’re all geared up to shop, I’d suggest a great place to start is Miss Ruby during the dress boutique’s Siri Mother of the Bride Trunk Show May 28-June 5. Simply make an appointment (quick, they fill up fast) to try on and order from scads of chic, affordable dresses and separates by designer Beverley Siri-Borelli, all of them available for summer and fall weddings. 522 N. Water St., Suite 203, 414-755-2900, missrubyboutique.com.

Siri designs.
P.S. On a somewhat personal note, some years ago, it fell to me (of course it did) to shop for a mother of the bride dress suitable for my own mother to wear to my sister’s wedding. I say suitable because at the time she was sadly emaciated and in the last stages of the cancer, which would take her life mere weeks later. But bless her, she was bound and determined to see her beloved youngest daughter walk down the aisle, and I was going to do whatever it took to help make that happen. Let me just say this. If you think finding a tiny dress with a 32-inch waist to accommodate her abdominal swelling was easy, think again. Thank God for the help and kindness of one sales person who refused to give up, the French for inventing the forgiving ‘blouson’ style and the neighbor who taught me guerrilla sewing tactics as a child because, in the end, my mom really did look lovely. And the next morning, she told us she’d had the best time of her life surrounded by loving friends and family.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Bartz.
I’m sensing the need to lighten this up. So speaking of mom’s, earlier this month I suggested taking the kids to Juxt for the store’s Mother’s Day event with photographer Stephanie Bartz. Thought you’d enjoy seeing some of the fun shots of the day. For more information, visit sbartzphotography.com.

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