MUSE interview with Sarah Stone on dressing as the Mother of The Bride
Weddings are a beautiful excuse to dress up, but for most mothers of the bride, finding the right outfit can be a daunting task. There are a few unspoken rules when it comes to wedding dressing, and it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t show up the bride, but it’s important to maintain your own personal style when you choose your cut and colour.
It may be the bride’s big day, but it’s also one of your biggest days too, and it’s an experience that Sarah Stone, one of my beautiful clients, was happy to share once all the wedding excitement wore off. We worked closely together on an outfit for her daughter’s wedding in December, and when the big day rolled around, Sarah was glad she chose the style she did for the occasion…
How would you define your personal style?
I don’t like to be too ‘run of the mill’. I would like to consider myself someone who follows fashion however I’ve never really had the physique to follow lavish fashion trends, so I’ve always tried to interpret my fashion style within that. I don’t like to be uncomfortable and I’m not very good with dresses, so for me, stylish comfort is key.
What one essential fashion piece should every woman own?
Every woman should own an absolutely stunning pair of trousers that can take her from the office and out into the night with an easy change of a top. I have owned some beautiful trousers in the past, but I don’t currently because last year I had quite a lot of major surgery on my leg. I was a bit taken out of action and my body has changed, but I’m about to chat to Julie about my next pair!
How did you settle on a two-piece ensemble for your daughter’s wedding?
I was very stressed about it in the beginning. My daughter wanted to do black tie as it was a fairy-tale sort of wedding, but I struggled to finding something to suit my body when I went shopping for something in a black-tie style off the racks.
Julie and I have been friends for 20 years and when I caught up with her for dinner, I told her how much I’d been struggling to find the right outfit and she suggested having something made. I didn’t think Julie made fashion for women like me anymore, because she’d become so glamourous with her celebrity status and dressing the stars, and my confidence had dropped a little with the couple of surgeries I’d had, so I wasn’t sure that I could ask her. But, she told me not to be ridiculous and we got to work on it!
I wanted a top and a bottom, because if I was going to invest in having something made, I wanted to be able to wear it again and be flexible as separates. She drew a rough sketch which I thought looked great, then she went off and found an absolutely beautiful fabric and I fell in love with it, it was such an easy process.
I’ve always been a generous 12 to 14, and more on the 14 side really. There was a brief period in my life when I was a size 12, but I’ve basically been a size 14 to 16 for my whole life, but in the last five years due to menopause, and a hip and knee replacement, I’ve crept up size wise and much to my horror, I don’t have the shape that I used to have. I’m now more of a ‘middle-aged squareness’ shape as I like to call it, which is very hard to shop for. But, Julie managed to deal with that perfectly, and she made the process stress-free and exciting.
What style would you recommend for other mothers of the bride?
A two-piece ensemble definitely worked for me, because I’ve never been comfortable in dresses; they’ve only ever made me look square. With the longer top and high-waisted pants, I felt that style provided a contrast that made me look like I had a shape, and it created a different visual. The trousers were a beautiful teal blue so they were very formal, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything different, and it’s something I can wear again separately too.
I think you’ve got to be brave too; it’s very easy to get weighed down and for mothers of the bride to get bullied by their daughters! I think they need to stand firm and stick to what their true style is. You’re never going to have another outfit that you’ll be photographed in as much as this one, so don’t skimp on it. Be brave and invest in something you feel fabulous in, that’s what I would say.
What was it like working with Julie?
She was amazing given the circumstances she had to work in because literally, several weeks beforehand I had a knee replacement and my left leg was swollen. We were lucky I was able to wear high-waisted trousers that were tailored, so she was having to work around that, and she managed it absolutely brilliantly. She’s lovely to work with.
You’ve got to pack a bag and you don’t know where you’re going. What three staple items do you pack?
A pair of Julie’s great trousers! I would also take a great silk shirt in a neutral colour; a lightweight one that you could wear with a pair of linen shorts if it was hot, or trousers if it was cool. I’d also pack a really good linen t-shirt too.
Photography by Kim Cartmell