Styles of Mother of the Bride Dresses

When shopping for a dress to wear on the most important day of your daughter’s life, you’ll want to ensure the dress you choose will be a memorable addition to the memories that will be formed of the occasion. Fortunately, there are styles of mother of the bride dresses to match the personality of every proud mom.


The A-Line dress style is named for the overall “A” shape of the dress, where the lines of the dress flare out from the hips to meet a straight hemline. They come in a variety of lengths from a short party dress style to a floor-length gown. And the style lends itself to a range of looks: simple straight gowns, pleated skirts, and old-fashioned flourishes. The great thing about the A-Line is that women of all body types can wear it comfortably and attractively.

Ball Gown

Ball gown mother of the bride dresses tend towards more extravagant styling and using some flaring along the length of the dress. The flaring can resemble the Cinderella ball gown that resembles a bell, it can flare out from the hips as a more exaggerated A-Line style, or the flaring can be subtle to just a bit more than the Sheath style we will come to below. The ball gown often features a decorative top with a related motif running down the length of the dress, stylish prints throughout the fabric, or lacy patterned chiffon accents.


Mermaid dresses are form fitting dresses that flare out from the knees to create a shape not unlike the fish tail of their namesake. The mermaid style is perfect for the mother of the bride who is comfortable with showing her figure as these mother of the bride dresses are designed to do exactly that. The evening gown is the most popular form of this dress style, and they come in an exquisite range of form factors. There are closed necks, v-neck, string top and trendy fashion tops. The flare can range from a more close-to-the-ankles all in one, to a widely flared chiffon-laced hemline.


The sheath is a closely fitting straight dress. Like mermaid mother of the bride dresses, the lines of the dress hug closely to the figure. However, the hemline in a sheath does not flair, but rather follows the natural line of the figure.  Also like the mermaid, sheath dresses tend towards evening gown styling, but is available in a greater variety of lengths and form factors.