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How to select the best mother of the bride dress...

And where to get it altered in Toronto!

As a mother of the bride you deserve to look the best at your daughter's wedding. You stand out among the guests due to the important role you played in your daughter's life. It was not easy to raise such a beautiful and intelligent daughter and you have every reason to be proud of yourself. This is a day when emotions run high, and, no doubt, the eyes of the party will be on you many times during this event. That's why you want to look and feel great.

In my 20 years in the dressmaking and wedding business, I have worked with many brides' mothers. Some were petite, some had substantial curves. All of them wanted to look their best. All of them came out of my shop elated and excited, oftentimes hugged me and confessed that they had never felt better in their clothes.

Do I have secrets that help them feel that way? In fact, I do. And I am happy to share them with you. These ten guidelines summarize my decades of experience of working with women to create that special look and feel.

1. All women are unique and they need a personalized approach. Dresses they wear should highlight their best features, and distract the attention from imperfections that they may have.

2. All women have those one or two favorite dresses in their closet that fit them so well and that they love so much. As a dressmaker, I want you to show them to me to get an idea of the clothes you feel comfortable in and the styles you love.

3. To help you pick the style, I determine your body type. I never break the rules. If you want something that is not recommended for your body type, I turn on my imagination and find substitutions that would fit. Based on the body type, I can advise the best approach to your mother of the bride outfit.

4. Some mothers of brides like to focus on their back, such as a royal train or a low open back. They forget that it is the front of the dress that will show up on the picture and their neckline that will define the whole look. If you can afford a low neckline, a V- or oval shape, it will look the best and make your neck look longer. If you think you cannot, don't worry - there are dozens of other designs that a professional dressmaker will use to cover imperfections.

5. You don't have to BE perfect, but you can create that visual illusion. Wear shapes that complement each other. For example, ladies in plus size generally are not recommended to wear two-piece outfits, especially a skirt and a top made of different colors. Yet this is the most common mistake I see women make.

6. Mothers of brides are mature women and they generally know what color is best for their skin and eyes. Color makes all the difference in your outfit. Choose the color that suits you best. For the wedding consider getting a more festive shade of this color or a more expensive fabric with exquisite texture.

7. Forget 'Sex and the city' when you choose the shoes and purse. Any shoes don't just go with any purse no matter how expensive they are. Matching shoes and purses is the collective wisdom of generations of women with good artistic flare. Try to select ones that are made in the same color and material. The shoes and purse can be black and can be reused for many more occasions to come. There may be options that match your dress better than the traditional black. If you find them – go for it. Don't forget to try your shoes on at home several times before the wedding.

8. Sleeveless dresses call for a scarf, shawl or shrug. Not only will it cover your shoulders from the chill, but also provide a decent look for the church.

9. Lipstick, nails and hair are the last touches in the gorgeous look of the mother of the bride. Match the color, preferably selecting the same color for both nails and lips. Don't forget to match the color to the dress itself. Have a good hair day with your regular hairdresser; don't experiment with your hair at this important time!

10. All of the above is very important, but how you feel at the day of the wedding will define your looks even more. Get a good sleep the night before and some relaxation as well. Do whatever suits you – from meditation to a bubble bath. As the mother of the bride you have a responsibility to feel and look great!

I hope I persuaded you by now to be very selective with the shape, color and style of your outfit. Your dress, accessories, nails, hair and shoes should come together in one perfect combination.

Mothers of brides are busy with the wedding preparation, and don't always have time to pay attention to little details in their looks. That's when a professional dressmaker like myself can consult you and take the burden off your shoulders. I can make your dress fit perfectly and advise on other details and styles that fit you. It makes a whole world of difference on the wedding picture or video shoots. Stay gorgeous and stylish in the family albums and memories of your guests.

The wedding will be over soon, but the memories will stay.

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