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SOURCE:  Audrey’s Mother of the Bride – http://www.audreysmotherofthebride.com

1.  SHOP SALES RACKS.  This is a no-brainer.  Retail stores will discount up to 70% of the original price of the mother of the bride dress, depending on how desperately they want to clear the racks of the current season’s clothing to make way for the new season.  Spring/summer lines start showing up on the racks from January through April, while fall/winter dresses are introduced between June and September.  Therefore, you will get bargains around these times as well for the last season’s mother of the bride apparel. 

2.  SHOP EARLY.  The mother of the bride should start shopping for her mother of the bride outfit as soon as she knows the colors of the wedding.  All too often she takes care of all the details that go into the wedding, while forgetting her own needs.  She should spend this time with the bride going over styles, fabrics, accents, accessories, etc.  Late shopping only brings on more stress and possibly more money spent on things that were purchased in haste and then returned with “buyer’s remorse”.  Quite a few bridal shops do not take back returns or offer refunds once the mother of the bride walks out of the store with her dress. 

3.  SHOP ONLINE STORES.  There are tons of reputable and traditional bridal boutiques out there that have an online store on the immense “world wide web” nowadays.  The costs of running and upkeeping a brick-and-mortar store are escalating and definitely cut into profits.  Any savvy shop owner knows full well that they will have to own a “web store” to fully maximize their sales and therefore, profits.  Check their Better Business Bureau record or see if the site has a BBB online reliability logo, if you are still not comfortable shopping online.  Once you start using your fingers to do the shopping, you will never stop! 

4.  SHOP BRIDESMAID DRESSES.  The “youthful” mother of the bride can opt for a bridesmaid dress which are normally priced less expensively than a mother of the bride gown.  Seek the tailoring expertise of a bridal dress seamstress to add on beads, sequins, and other exotic trimmings to create a uniquely appealing look. 

5. SEARCH FOR “DISCOUNT” DRESSES ONLINE.  The mother of the bride can open up more options for herself if she is computer literate and able to do a search using the keywords “discount” or “cheap”.   Example, search for “discount mother of the bride dresses”.  These words can conjure up an image of herself in a cheesy, polyester dress but you will be surprised what will show up online that are not quite cheesy despite being made of polyester.  By the way, there are 40 blends of polyester and almost all synthetic fabrics for special occasion wear are made of some type of polyester. 

6.  SHOP REGULAR EVENING WEAR.  Add on a shawl or jacket or buy fabric to make a unique, one-of-a-kind jacket to cover the shoulders and arms for modesty or for providing warmth. 

7.  WEAR A TEALENGTH OR COCKTAIL DRESS.  These are priced less than the floor-length gowns and are more versatile, as you can surely wear them again at another special occasion.  

Source:  Audrey Cheong of AudreysMotheroftheBride.com, a webstore, where “we make mothers look beautiful”.   Visit her store http://www.audreysmotherofthebride.com for mother of the bride dresses and formal evening wear, especially in plus sizes.

Plus Size Mother of the Bride DressesIt could be a known fact that more than 66% of women in the USA today wear a size 12 or larger. It is terribly frustrating to have an idea of what you would like to wear to that office or holiday function, or any special occasion for the matter, and not be able to find the dress that you truly want in the local stores or boutiques. When you do set your eyes on that special dress, you cannot find your size as all the dresses are either a size 6, 8, or 10 and you are definitely NOT one of those.

Well, have you ever thought about the ease and convenience of online shopping? Certainly, you have bought gift baskets or a set of dishes on the internet but a formal occasion dress? That must be truly beyond your comprehension and a new frontier for you but stress no longer, as you can successfully purchase a plus size special occasion dress or formal gown online.

These are the rules:

1. Have an idea about fabrics, their textures, and quality. Every good clothing website will state the type of fabric used on the description summary of the dress. Special occasion dresses are usually made of synthetic fabrics nowadays, due to lower costs and their ability to be wrinkle-free. Visit stores and boutiques in your area and very soon, you will be a fabric expert!

2. Also visit physical stores to see what colors and styles fit your shape and figure and have an idea what you would like or not like on you. Are the styles on the racks too dowdy or are they just plain revealing? Are the colors too loud and bold or are they just plain boring? You will choose the style and color basing on what is socially acceptable for that special event and what will look great on you.

3. Basing on previous shopping experiences and yes, mistakes of the past, you will also have a clear idea of what is becoming on you and to you.

4. Buy or borrow a tape measure (the vinyl or cloth type), if you do not have one already. This is the best tool to obtain your body measurements accurately. Measure over your undergarments, your chest, waist, and hips. Place the tape measure snugly and firmly over your body and not too tightly. Write these numbers down in inches.

5. Now for the best shopping online experience ever, ensure that you select a dress size basing on these body measurements of yours. Remember that every manufacturer size their dresses differently, especially special occasion dresses. There is no standard American size chart for women’s clothing. What is normally a size 16 to you, is probably not the same when it comes to formal wear.

6. When selecting a size, please choose the size that corresponds to your widest body part, if your body measurements are not ideally proportionate. Social occasion dresses are not everyday clothing and are highly tailored and constructed. You may have to follow the rule—“easier to take it in, than to let it out”.

7. Visit the various online boutiques out there. If you do not have a website name in mind, do a “search” in Yahoo!, Google, MSN, or AOL for “special occasion dresses”, “formal dresses”, or “evening gowns”, to give you a few examples. All the specialty stores selling these dresses will be in the search results. It is now up to you to visit them and see what they have to offer. Online stores usually have great prices and selections.

8. Remember to allow ample time between the time you shop and the special event because oftentimes, plus size social occasion dresses are special ordered and require a waiting period.

9. If you follow the above rules, your online shopping experience for your plus size formal occasion dress, will be a pleasant one and you will definitely do it again the next time around. Happy Shopping!!

Author: Audrey Cheong is the owner of an online bridal store specializing in plus size mother of the bride dresses and mother of the groom gowns. Visit her store AudreysMotheroftheBride.com for great prices and wide selections.

Every new season brings in different styles and in exciting colors to the mother of the bride dresses.  The special occasion dress manufacturers will be introducing their spring/summer lines from January through April.  The spring and summer season are when mothers of the bride and groom begin to look for a special gown to wear to their daughter or son’s wedding.  They are in a “panic” mode as in the hustle and bustle of the wedding preparation, they tend to overlook searching for their own formal gowns. Mother of the bride gowns this spring 2008 will still feature rich fabrics with names like shantique, hammered shimmer, brocade, hi twist crepe, satin, etc.  Lace is still available but mostly as accents or forming one part of the gown for interest.  Beads, rhinestones, and embroidery are always a must for formal gowns as these add the sparkle and uniqueness to the outfit, separating a regular dress from a special occasion gown.  These fabrics are made of polyester blends which will retain their shape and are generally wrinkle-free.  Mothers of the bride and groom surely do not want their dresses to pull and crinkle while performing their individual duties. For spring of 2008, the mother of the bride and gown manufacturers are introducing interesting colors like glacier, aqua, sea breeze, and cinnamon.  Sage and dust rose are always popular from one year to the next and these are the staple colors for this spring as well.  Tried and true colors of champagne, burgundy, silver, gold, navy, and black, are still very much in style as these are the basic colors that will look good not only for the wedding but can be worn to any other social occasion. The mother of the bride is definitely an integral part of the wedding, as she is the most important person next to the bride and groom.  She has numerous duties in helping her daughter prepare for the wedding and the mother of the bride dress is often the last thing on her list.  Mother of the bride dresses shown online, are very competitively priced with the traditional bridal stores and many gowns are priced for very much less.  Additionally for internet bridal stores, you can shop for the color that you wish to wear by typing in the color or its variation, in the “search box” of the website.  Every good website should have this feature which shows a blank box for you to type in the keyword you desire.  Online stores usually carry the current season’s styles as they have the real-time capability to post the latest mother of the bride dress styles and delete the ones that are no longer in stock or sold out. This spring 2008, mother of the bride and groom dresses are offered in “youthful” styles.  Long gone is the dowdy looking mother of the bride.  Check out the 2008 styles by Karen Miller, Scala, Cachet, and Ursula as they pave the way for trendier and upbeat styles.   

AUDREYSMOTHEROFTHEBRIDE.COM. CLICK ON LINK BELOW.

www.audreysmotherofthebride.com