Fall Mother of the Groom Dress Options

Amy Finley
Newlyweds with Parents

As the mother of the groom, you have an important role to play. If your son and future daughter-in-law are having a fall wedding, you can look beautiful and stylish in the perfect mother-of-the-groom outfit.

Autumn Dress Style Ideas for the Mother-of-the-Groom

Look for dresses with skirt lengths that are midi, tea-length, or longer (depending on the formality of the wedding). Depending on the climate, anything from cap sleeves to quarter length to full length sleeves will work well. Off-the-shoulder and illusion necklaces are also styles to consider, and dresses with matching jackets or wraps are also ideal for fall. For an informal or fall beach wedding, something with an unobtrusive print may work, but in most cases you'll want to stick to solid colors. Keep in mind that the formality of the wedding itself is the largest factor in deciding the specific type of dress. Beyond that, keep in mind that you want to look beautiful, but not steal the bride's (and groom's) show.

Full-Length Dress With Flared Hem

A simple dress with short sleeves, a long skirt, and slightly flared skirt looks beautiful and appropriate. A rich fall color, like the maroon shown here, is an elegant seasonal option, and the draping, slight cowl neckline adds visual interest.

Full dress with flared hem

Wrap Style Dress With Ruching

A taupe color works with virtually any autumn wedding scheme, and a v-neckline and ruching details at the bust and bodice help create a flattering look. A style like this can be work short for an informal wedding or full-length for an evening or more formal affair.

Woman in gray evening dress

Asymmetrical Style

Even if you plan on keeping your dress simple, like this short-sleeve grey number, you can add style appeal with small details like an asymmetrical neckline. Choose a fabric like crushed velvet to stay warm as well as looking gorgeous.

Portrait of elegant woman

One Shoulder Evening Gown

For more formal wedding, an evening gown is the perfect choice for the mother of the groom, and an elegant one-shoulder style in a slimming hue like deep or navy blue doesn't disappoint. Choose a dress style with a slightly full skirt for elegance and a forgiving silhouette.

Woman wearing an elegant evening gown

Simple, Sophisticated Sheath

Sheath dresses are always elegant, and soft, nearly neutral shades such as blush, pale pink, lavender, light mauve and more can be lovely for all. This type of dress is versatile in that it works just as well alone as it does with a smart, coordinating jacket.

Mature woman wearing pink dress

Short and Sweet

If the wedding isn't highly formal, a shorter, cocktail, length dress can fit the bill. Shimmery neutral fabric and non-conforming design can make it sophisticated yet phone. A belt in a complementary neutral shade can help provide more shape to ladies with apple or pear-shaped figured, and a wide scoop neck can help balance hips.

Fashionable mature woman in grey dress

Long Dress With Matching Jacket

A long dress with a matching jacket is perfect for the mother of the groom, and a dark grey shade is slimming and appropriate for fall. (If the mother of the groom is wearing a pale or pastel, shade, however, you'll likely want to go with a lighter grey).

Happy woman in long dress

Dress With Illusion Panels

Illusion panels can give an air of sophistication to a dress, like this violet dress with its sweetheart neckline, long skirt, and touch of glittering embellishment. Because the weather isn't likely to be frigid, illusion panels at the bust or sleeves can be beautiful for fall, especially when paired with long dress styles.

Dressed couple drinking champagne

Long-Sleeved Dress

A long-sleeved dress is a great fall option, especially if some of the festivities will take place outdoors or for the woman who tends to get chilled easily. Full sleeves and a full skirt have a slightly bohemian feel, but are also elegant and slimming. A jewel-inspired color, like this emerald green, can work perfectly for fall as long as it doesn't clash with the colors of the bridal party.

Woman Standing By Flowers At Home

Lovely Lace

Many dresses designed for a mother of a groom incorporate lace, and this can be perfectly fitting for a fall wedding since they are most often done as overlays on a thicker base fabric. The lace-detail bodice of this deep blue dress adds interest and a touch of glamour without going overboard. The square neckline and straight skirt will help balance most body shapes (though if you have a more rectangular figure, skip this type of neckline).

Couple drinking champagne

Wide Collar and Three-Quarter Sleeves

If your stuck in deciding what sleeve type to choose, three-quarter make a good option for autumn. A dress with a wide collar helps make the waist appear smaller, a bonus for ladies with plus-size figures, and the design is elegant as well.

Woman buttoning senior man's shirt

Empire Waist V-Neck Dress

An empire waist is another choice that is very flattering for most body shapes, as it draws the eye in to the narrowest part of the body and skims the hips and thighs. A beige gown with a v-neck, medium sleeves, and embroidery on the bodice says style in all the right ways

Woman and child in wedding reception

Autumn Colors for the Mother-of-the-Groom

While you don't want to mimic the colors of the bridal party exactly, choosing a somewhat different color in the same color family or considering something a few shades lighter or darker may work well. Excellent fall colors include natural shades, neutral colors, jewel tones, and even some pastels. One of the most important considerations is to make sure that the chosen color doesn't clash with the mother of the groom, bridal party, and so on will be wearing, so don't skip the step of comparing your potential picks to those dresses or outfits.

Classic Fall Colors

Depending on the wedding colors, you may want to try autumn hues in:

  • Medium to deep blues
  • Dark red or rust shades
  • Marigold or rich yellow tones
  • Orange colors (these can be tricky - make sure they work with your skin tone)
  • Purple or amethyst shades
  • Mauves and deep pinks
  • Neutral brown or tan shades
  • Evergreens or deep green colors

Pastel and Neutral Shades

Mothers of the groom don't necessarily need to rule out pastel colors. There are quite a few colors that can work well for autumn, including:

  • Medium to light pink or purple
  • Light to medium yellow
  • Neutral tans or greys
  • Olive hues
  • Toned-down turquoise or aqua (those that have a hint of grey or ash)

Fall Dress Fabrics

While there's no standard rule when it comes to your dress fabric, the best autumn choices may be a little heavier than the lightweight fabrics often worn for summer weddings. Consider fabrics such as velvet or crushed velvet, jacquard, satin, silk, shantung, or taffeta. Lace overlays can also be a beautiful option for fall dresses, especially paired with a coordinating jacket or wrap.

What to Avoid

For fall, mothers of the groom will likely want to steer clear dresses that show too much skin or dresses that are too short. These will look out of place in a fall wedding. Also avoid anything with too much embellishment or sparkle; similarly, obvious fall patterns are too over the top. Risque or outrageous dresses are taboo. Unless it's a very formal fall, wedding, you'll also want to avoid wearing a black dress - and unless expressly requested by the bride, white dresses are off-limits to the mother of the groom. (Although pale neutral shade like beige and taupe can work beautifully).

Fall Mother-of-the Groom Outfit Considerations

When it comes to what to wear, considering wedding fashion etiquette rules never hurts. According to tradition, the mother of the bride chooses what she'll wear first, and then the mother of the groom chooses something complementary. The mother of the groom also doesn't traditionally wear the same colors as the bridesmaids or bridal party. That said, you can easily wear fall hues that will work with the mother of the bride's attire and look seasonally appropriate with a little forethought. Make sure to think about the autumn shades and dress or outfit styles that will work best for your figure and coloring; it's an important day, and even though the spotlight is of course on the bride and groom, you should look and feel your best!

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Fall Mother of the Groom Dress Options