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When you're shopping for the best mother of the groom outfit, sifting through the endless number of options online can feel overwhelming. A good rule of thumb is to stick to tried and true silhouettes like the tea-length dress. This ankle-baring silhouette is not only timeless and flattering, but it also comes in a whole host of styles to suit any occasion and aesthetic.
In general, the hem of a tea-length dress typically stops right above the ankle, making it ideal for formal and black-tie optional events. However, some silhouettes may stop 2 to 3 inches above the ankle, which is more appropriate for a casual dress code.
When picking the best tea-length mother of the groom's dress, you should consider the silhouette, color, fabric, and embellishments. Your outfit should reflect your own personal style and make you feel comfortable and confident while still matching the wedding's theme, formality, and season. For example, classic fabrics like crepe and silk are suitable for any weather and used in striking and minimalist silhouettes. For semi-formal spring and summer ceremonies, you might opt for lighter materials and brighter colors for your wedding day frock.
To help you find the best outfit for your son's big day, we researched various options from trusted brands with these features in mind. Some of our favorites are the Markarian Yvette Floral Brocade Off-The-Shoulder Midi Dress, ML Monique Lhuillier Lace Midi Dress, and Tadashi Shoji Orinda V-Neck Dress.
Read on for the best tea-length mother of the groom dresses for every style, body type, and budget.
Best for a Daytime Wedding: Markarian Yvette Floral Brocade Off-The-Shoulder Midi Dress
Leave it to Markarian to deliver the perfect floral dress for a formal daytime wedding. With a split-corset bodice, off-the-shoulder neckline, puff sleeves, and a column skirt all finished in a beautiful yellow and pink floral pattern, this dress is ideal for semi-formal and casual spring or summer weddings. Made of polyester, acetate, polyamide, and silk, it has a lightweight and comfortable fit. Follow the styling lead and pair this frock with a bright clutch and classic strappy sandals.
Best for a Spring Wedding: ML Monique Lhuillier Lace Midi Dress
Spring weddings call for pastel dresses crafted from light and airy fabrics, like this dress from ML Monique Lhuillier. Crafted from 100 percent cotton, this powder blue number is soft, lightweight, and breathable—ideal for a warm-weather, laid-back wedding. The lace detailing and cap sleeves provide a touch of whimsy, while the waist tie adds some structure to the overall silhouette. We also love that this is something you'll wear again and again long after the couple says "I do."
Best Little Black Dress: Tadashi Shoji Orinda V-Neck Dress
You can never go wrong with a little black dress, and this lace style from Tadashi Shoji feels especially striking. The short sleeves and V-neckline on the front and back are elegant and timeless, making this an ideal pick for an array of wedding formalities. Made of breathable polyester, you won't overheat wearing this during the warmer seasons. Wear yours with delicate personal jewelry and metallic sandals for an utterly classic look.
Best Neckline: Amsale Sibyl Midi Dress
There is perhaps nothing more flattering than a dress with a beautifully draped neckline like this one. Crafted from lustrous satin and designed with a bias-cut skirt, this tea-length frock is at once timeless and flattering. While we're partial to this stunning burgundy color, this dress is also available in a neutral champagne shade. It's formal enough for fancier events and can easily be donned at summer and winter weddings alike.
Best Sheer Sleeves: Alex Evenings Women's Tea Length Embroidered Dress
For the mother of the groom looking for a little extra coverage, opt for a tea-length dress with sheer sleeves like this one from Alex Evenings. The delicate illusion sleeves provide coverage without making you feel too covered up, and the floral detailing matches well with the spring season. The full skirt adds some movement to the overall silhouette, and it's crafted from high-quality and breathable polyester. The navy color of this dress makes it appropriate for formal and casual weddings alike. Pair it with ankle-strapped heels for a chic finish.
Best for the Classic MOG: Roksanda Brigitte Dress
For the mother of the groom who is drawn to classic silhouettes with unexpected details, this draped midi dress is the ideal blend of traditional and modern. The bow detailing on the top is bold and fun, while the ruched detailing and fitted waist complement the flattering silhouette. It's made of classic crepe fabric, so it's durable and lightweight for any season. In a soft blush hue, this dress is flattering on every skin tone and pairs beautifully with barely-there strappy sandals.
Best for Cocktail Attire: Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman A-Line Midi Dress
If you're not sure where to start when it comes to shopping for the best mother-of-the-groom dress, start with this royal blue pick from Teri Jon. Designed with an A-line silhouette, this dress is universally flattering and a timeless choice for any type of wedding. Since it's crafted from lustrous polyester fabric, we think this dress is ideal for a cocktail attire wedding. The lace detailing and bow sleeves are elegant, and you can style the dress with matching heels for a monochromatic look.
Most Unique: Tadashi Shoji Adriane Floral Embroidered Tea-Length Dress
We love this slightly off-the-shoulder style for the mother of the groom who seeks out designs with unique details. The floral lace embellishments and tulle fabric are whimsical and elegant, while the pleated detailing and bands give some textural contrast. The best part? This Tadashi Shoji tea-length dress is super versatile and could easily be worn to a winter or spring wedding.
Best for a New Year's Eve Wedding: Show Me Your Mumu X REVOLVE Kimora Dress
A wedding around the holidays or New Year's nuptials call for a festive mother-of-the-groom dress like this one from Show Me Your Mumu. Give them glitz and glam in this statement-making number in all-over shimmering sequins. The plunging neckline is universally flattering, and the wrap detailing makes for a great side slit. Made of poly blend fabric, this dress is lightweight and comfortable. Keep accessories simple—this dress does all the talking.
Best for an Outdoor Wedding: Mac Duggal Angelica Midi Dress
Ideal for an outdoor wedding, this floral dress with illusion sleeves feels light, airy, and feminine. There are also sparkling beads and sequins for some extra glamour. It's crafted of breathable polyester for a soft and comfortable fit, and the pink, green, and cream color palette fits right in with spring. Whether you're attending a casual backyard party or a destination event, this dreamy style is sure to photograph beautifully.
What to Look for in a Tea-Length Dress
Striking the perfect balance between retro charm and timeless elegance, tea-length dresses are a stylish option for many wedding dress codes. Often referred to as a “midi dress,” this tried-and-true silhouette typically hits below the knee, making it a smart choice for petite body types. Plus, this leg-baring hemline gives you the perfect excuse to show off a pair of wedding-worthy shoes.
When it comes to shopping for tea-length mother of the groom dresses, it's important to pick a style that reflects the theme of the wedding (think dress code and color palette) and fits you perfectly. Many tea-length wedding guest dresses are crafted with an A-line silhouette for a tailored and flattering look, while other midi styles come in comfortable sheath silhouettes or more form-fitting designs. And when it comes to expressing your unique personal style, there are scores of tea-length dresses to discover with eye-catching details like embellished necklines, embroidered skirts, and dazzling allover beadwork for an unforgettable mother of the groom look.
Can I wear a tea-length mother of the groom dress to a formal wedding?
A mother of the groom (and mother of the bride) dress should follow the formality of the wedding. While there are many tea-length styles out there that would be suited to a formal wedding, it's best to run your outfit choice by the couple first.
What color tea-length mother of the groom dress should I avoid wearing?
It's a basic rule of thumb to avoid wearing all white on the wedding day, as that's most likely what the bride will be donning down the aisle. Tea-length dresses come in a wide range of stunning colors and styles to choose from, but it's generally a good idea to stick to the wedding aesthetic. Again, if you're unsure about your decision, it's best to run your color choice by the couple first to ensure it's appropriate for their wedding day.
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, wedding parties, and more.