Age is beauty: busting grandmother of the bride dress myths

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Dressing as the grandmother of a bride is a balancing act: you don’t want to draw attention away from your beautiful granddaughter, but you want to feel comfortable and beautiful as you celebrate her special day. There are plenty of “rules” about how women above a certain age should dress for weddings, but most of them are just myths:

1. Older women should cover their arms

If you prefer to keep your arms covered then wear something with sleeves, but don’t rule out short-sleeved and sleeveless styles just because you think you have to. Thin spaghetti straps aren’t friendly to most women out of their 20s, but dolman and cap sleeves are flattering at any age. An elegant wrap or structured jacket will protect you against the cold for an outdoor wedding without ruling out a wide range of sleeve options.

2. High necklines are essential

Modesty is a good idea for a grandmother of the bride, but it doesn’t have to mean being matronly. In fact, if you have a large bust then a high neckline can draw attention to your chest and make it seem even bigger, which is the last thing you want! The important thing is to choose a bodice with plenty of support in the waist and bust. If it fits perfectly and has some structure to it, then a wide V or elegant scoop neck can look just as respectable as a boat neck, and might be more flattering to your figure.

3. Stick to single, block colors

The Queen of England might be known for wearing just one bright color at a time, but she doesn’t have to be your style icon. For a casual wedding, a delicate print or chevron stripe can give your dress a youthful look without being ostentatious. For a more formal affair try a jacket, wrap or even shoes in a complementary color.

4. Stiff satins are the way to go

Grandmother of the bride dresses are often rendered in stiff, shiny satins or dupioni silks, which look very respectable but don’t move or breathe very well. A better idea is to wear good support garments underneath your dress; then you can choose a dress in a jersey or crepe, which is much more comfortable and forgiving, and won’t show creases in photographs.

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