There are so many different options when ladies come to choosing their dream outfit for their special occasion. So many styles are from fashion designers from Italy, Spain, France and Belgium and other countries and so few are made within the UK itself. The main UK Fashion Houses tend to make their collections for the mother of the bride in factories elsewhere in the world, and yes that does include China. A special mention here is needed. True production from China on behalf of UK companies are of the highest quality using materials of equal quality. However there are sham companies that rip off designs and proclaim themselves to offer genuine outfits and even use the original pictures they have copied. Don’t buy from these companies as you will not be pleased with the goods, if they arrive. So what is a Mother of the Bride outfit and what sort of style is best for you?Personal preference is always important but you need to know a few things. First of all, you need to know your budgetary limits. Remember that for each outfit or dress you buy, there will also more than likely be a hat or fascinator needed, then shoes and bag to match. Often you may be able to hire a hat, but not a fascinator. Hats can be pretty expensive to buy, often into the £200’s and upwards for something quite intricate. Shoes and bag? Well they also don’t come cheap. There are some less expensive options such as those by Rainbow Club, that we offer and do quite well with, but if you want Spanish, if you want leather or patent leather you can say goodbye to another couple of hundred pounds. We have a good selection of them all. We are at this time, the only UK retailer of the lovely Ana Roman collection of shoes and bags which are not as expensive as some others on offer over here. We make a trip to Spain to order them to our own specification, choosing the style, colour height of heel etc so that they will match our outfits as closely as possible. Next and perhaps equally important is to know the shortcomings of most outfits. Most are absolutely superb but are really one-occasion outfits not readily able to be worn for anything else. For many people that’s fine, however it isn’t for some. Some ladies will want dresses or suit style outfits that can be used again for less formal occasions. Quite how you come to terms with that is for you to decide but we will assist you in whatever choice you make. We get a regular stream of requests from people who have used their outfit at their wedding event and want to sell it to us. Can’t do it, I’m afraid to say. We don’t do second-hand goods. The liabilities surrounding second-hand dresses and suits is enormous, not to forget the potential costs of dry cleaning. I would suggest something like Gumtree for that.Style is a major factor. What style would best suit you? I’d bet a week’s takings that whatever you think won’t suit you is exactly the thing you’ll look great in. It’s surprising how many people come into the shop with something set in their mind and go out with an amazing style that is miles away from what they were looking for. Come in with an open mind. However there are some points to take note of. It is common among the specialist mother of the bride retailer to purchase their collections so that they have the best chance of selling in the current season. So with that in mind, most buy in sizes 12 to 16 as their main offerings and then less of the smaller and larger sizes. We try to buy these sizes with the actual customer in mind. There are obviously some styles that look superb on the mainstream 12 or 14 size lady but when made up into the 18,s and 20,s and upwards look horrendous. They just hang poorly as they haven’t been designed specially for those sizes. Something with a nipped in waist will emphasise the problem. Something that is sleeveless or has cap sleeves/short sleeves will highlight the bulge under the arms. Our recommendation is to go for something light and floaty, something that will give you room to move, to sit without straining seams or having to hitch the skirt up. We have a couple of lovely collections that take care of that. Lewis Henry is just one of them.The smaller lady isn’t such a problem.
one o the leading retailers in the UK of this label.
Ispirato Mother of the Bride - Mother of the Groom outfits and dresses are from the same Condici Group and have the same high quality. They tend to be younger, have more dresses than actual outfits, and are equally suitable for less formal events. They are superb for the likes of a day in the presence of the Queen at one of her Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace, or at Royal Ascot. We love these styles.John Charles also make superb mother of the bride and groom outfits and dresses. A John Charles dress is top-notch. The materials are superb and the style is as good as you get. We have a fantastic relationship with John Charles and promote their collection with the utmost of confidence.Veni Infantino. The Mother of the bride outfits and dress from this designer are amazing. We were one of the very first in the UK to stock this wonderful collection. That was when they had just been introduced over here. They have come along way since then with elegant styles and the most sumptuous of materials. They are one of the few companies which designs for the larger ladies and we do buy upwards of size 20 in them quite often.Fely Campo make a superb collection of unusual outfits which are well suited for the mother of the bride or groom. Their dresses and separates are exquisite and will really make you look better than the rest. My son’s mother in law wore one for his wedding. The lovely thing about Fely Campo is that there are loads of choices to make up an outfit to your own preferences. You get to choose the material and colour and even the shape. They do so many options that we cannot really do much more than stock a few styles for appraisal purposes.Mooshki is a company located just along the road from us in the next town. They are already well established with their wedding gowns and have now embarked on outfits and dresses for the mother of the bride and other special occasions. We have a few styles in stock, the ones we thought would be best for you, and can order others as needed. One of the benefits of the styles from House of Mooshki is that they can make to your own measurements if needed, and into more or less whatever size you want. That extends right up into the upper 20’s, and perhaps more. Outfits for larger ladies aren’t all that easy to find so this is one collection that may well suit you.Luis Civit is a renowned Spanish designer. They make some really lovely styles, different from the mainstream offerings of the more recognised designers. We have long been a customer of Luis Civit, it being one of the first collections we went into when we decided to change to mother of the bride and special occasion outfits to get away from the “normal” ladies fashions such as you find in the high street. While you are on Amanda’s website (the UK agent in London) we recommend that look at the lovely floaty styles from Lewis Henry.Lewis Henry is Amanda’s husband and has made a fantastic collection of dresses, suits and outfits which are completely different. In options of silk or polyester (poly is a good bit less expensive - but isn’t quite as nice) they are lovely for any size woman, but especially great for those ladies who need larger sizes. They are free flowing, floaty and wear extremely well. The silk ones don’t crease so can be stuffed into a suitcase for the wedding abroad in Cyprus or wherever else the sun shines. Also, Lewis can make each style shown in any one of a load of the materials you can see on the whole range. As long as he has material left in stock. Oh, mustn’t forget - Lewis Henry make some lovely trouser suits too.Rosa Clara. Mustn’t forget Rosa Clara. This company is really large. Rosa has been involved in wedding gowns for donkey’s years and in the last couple of years has progressed to styles suitable for the mother of the bride & groom, as well as lovely evening and daywear dresses. They have a really large collection and most styles come in at least a couple of colour options and sometimes more. Sizes go from 8’s up into the 20’s. Although we stock a really large number os styles we cannot take everything in all colours and sizes. We can though place in-season reorders for those who have seen something elsewhere but can’t find it in their size or colour. We love the way we can order what you want and when you want it. Perhaps a look at their own website will be useful to you as you can see for yourself how many lovely dresses and outfits they have. Remember, if we don’t have it, we can usually get it…..Gina Bacconi is one of our very earliest ventures into special occasion and really smart ladies-wear. They are are reasonably priced collection in comparison to the mainstream special occasion designers. Although some styles are absolutely fine for mother of the bride or groom dresses and outfits, a good number of them are genuinely better for wedding guests or people attending functions where you don’t want to go over the top. Their summer dresses are great for normal smart day-wear or on holiday. We believe that someone looking for an inexpensive style will be well suited with this collection. I have a lot of pictures of the styles on our Facebook page dated 8/2/19Lizabella is a really decent collection of smart ladies fashions suited for most occasions. Great for guests of a special function, a registry office wedding, second time bride etc, as well as lovely smart daywear. I haver posted a lot of pictures on our own Facebook Page but Lizabella also have more on their own FB page.Carla Ruiz made their venture into the UK at Harrogate Bridal Exhibition, many years ago. Joanna, their UK agent was situated with this collection in the depths of the basement with them hanging on a couple of 6’ rails. They went from an initial “let’s give them a go” with us, to become a favourite over the next few years. They produced some really different styles, some almost too quirky and possibly even outrageous, but their main styles were highly favoured in the UK. We continue with this company but do have some issues. Mostly, they seem to concentrate their photography on styles more suitable for the Spanish customer, ie long evening dresses etc, and miss out a lot of pictures of styles we have bought. It really makes us shudder when we have rails full of their styles with no pictures to post on the website. Our Carla Ruiz page has only 4 styles on it for this season, but we have kept a number of styles from 2018 to show as we still have some left.Linea Raffaelli is another fantastic designer collection. However Linea Raffaelli is yet another company that doesn’t do a full photo-shoot of the styles. Due to that we are stifled in what we can show you. We can say without a shadow of doubt that the colour palettes they use on their styles are in a class of their own. They are mainly pastel colours and with a mix between a dress and matching coat. Although we cannot stock more than a few styles due to the cost of doing so, we hold a decent selection and can place orders in-season for styles we don’t have, or styles we have but not in your size. Of note, is that the company has more than a single collection. There’s another designed more in line with really smart daywear, evening-wear and younger styles. Just let us know if you like any. Gabriela Sanchez from Spain is one more designer that emphaises on a mix of styles from smart dresses to mother of the bride and special occasion outfits. We can generally re-order in-season if you want something we haven’t got in stock. We don’t go into great depth with this as there are so many competing designer colelctions that we feel may be equally suitable but what we do have is always the cream of the crop. The link to their full collection is on the UK agent’s website Personal Choice is our pick for those ladies requiring sizes over 18. They are specially designed for larger ladies so aren’t just a knock-on from a collection of smaller sizes. Such styles generally don’t work as well as those especially made for larger figures. The price range of this collection is really affordable so it’s a good first stop for someone wanting an outfit or dress at a good price. We don’t do the other collections shown on the manufacturer’s website though, just to save you from asking.Olvis Lace from the Maple Group of companies is really different. As the name suggests it is primarily of lace design and features lovely free flowing floaty dresses, trousers and evening-wear. The choices of materials etc are from whatever material they have, such as on other dresses, if it’s possible. These superbly well designed styles are ideal for hot climes. They would be lovely for the likes of Royal Ascot, special functions such as the wedding day afternoon melee around the dance floor etc.Veromia produce 2 collections that we stock. First is the Dress Code which features inexpensive style suitable for most event, then Dressed Up which is for the same sort of use but in larger sizes. Those above are or main suppliers for ladies dress and outfit styles but there are a couple more that we buy a few things from. These are shown on the Others page of the website if we get pictures.Hats, fascinators, shoes and bags. We had a major supplier of our shoes retire last year leaving a huge void in purchases. With very little time to to the start of the new spring 2019 season of mother of the bride outfits., ie the main wedding season, we had to arrange a visit to a factory in Spain that is unrepresented in the UK. Ana Roman based in Elche put together a really good selection of shoes and bags, a number of them being made to our own preferences. You will be hard pushed to find similar quality at this sort of price for real Spanish leather. We know.We also carry the Rainbow Club shoes and bags and a superb selection from Capollini, perhaps the only other shoe company that makes quality shoes at a reasonable priceHats and fascinators are bought in to match as many styles as we have ordered. Mostly from the fashions house or it’s preferred milliner.Whatever your need in Mother of the Bride Outfit, Mother of the Groom dress or designer ladies fashions we carry more stock than most other shops in the region and perhaps as much as most from within the UK. We are always on hand to assist and will not recommend something we think wouldn’t get the praise of others at your up and coming event.
Norma & June Fashions Ltd: Low Row: Easington Village: Co. Durham: SR8 3AUTel 0191 5273945: Opening hours 9.30 to 5.00: Sunday 11am to 4pm : No Appointment needed