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Mother of the bride's perfect wedding outfit

PUBLISHED: 08:24 15 March 2011

Life Matters makeover, June Ayres.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Life Matters makeover, June Ayres.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

Finding the perfect outfit for your daughter's wedding day is a dilemma some of us women may have to face, so how do you look and feel great while still looking suitable for the occasion? Emma Harrowing takes soon-
to-be mother of the bride June Ayers on a quest to find the perfect look.

June Ayers before her makeover.; Photo: Bill Smith

Other than the bride, there’s one person everyone has got their eye on at a wedding; the mother of the bride.

You’ll be on show on your daughter’s wedding day, from walking down the aisle to meeting, greeting and mingling at the reception. No wonder choosing your outfit is so important.

Then there is wedding etiquette. Do you co-ordinate with the colour theme of the wedding or do you choose a different colour?

Should you go for a short or long dress or forget the dress altogether and go for a trouser suit?

June Ayres after her Life Matters makeover. Photo: Antony Kelly

For June Ayers, from Hellesdon, the challenge of finding the perfect outfit is twofold as both her daughters plan to get married this year.

“I don’t normally wear a dress so it would be lovely to find one that suits me,” says 53-year-old June.

“My daughters are happy for me to wear the same outfit for both weddings as buying an outfit can work out to be expensive, but the theme of each wedding is different so it’s a struggle to know what to wear.”

One of June’s daughters is having a vintage inspired wedding, whereas the other is having a more contemporary theme. Therefore June needs an outfit that can be worn for both.

June has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for 25 years. The condition prevents her from wearing heels and June feels that she is not so glamorous in flat shoes, especially when she dresses up for special occasions.

However, flat shoes can be stylish. Some high street stores have reported that flat shoes are outselling high heels and celebrities such as Victoria Beckham has ditched her high heels in favour of a pair of flat pumps.

As mother of the bride, June will be on her feet for most of the day, so it is important that as well as looking good she needs to feel good. Showing her that a pair of flat shoes can still look glamorous will be key to her new look. After all if they are good enough for Victoria Beckham...

The clothes

With such a specific criteria June went to see Julia Kaluska, the fashion advisor at John Lewis, who helped in her search for the perfect outfit.

Says Julia: “For any outfit to make you look and feel great you need to find clothes that suit your body shape and colouring. For June’s warm skin tone warm tones suit her best so she should look for warm greens, teal, salmon pinks and creams, instead of dull greens, royal blue, fuchsia pink and white.

“As she has a bigger bottom half than top half an empire line dress will be the most flattering as this will fit her top half and skim her hips. The addition of some frills or ruffles on the top half of the dress will help balance out her shape.

“Most women do not like their upper arms so wearing the dress with a cropped jacket will cover up this area.

“Going for metallic flat shoes or ones with jewels on will add a sense of occasion to your footwear. As June is five feet four inches wearing a fascinator can add a bit of height and will also make her feel glamorous.”

The cream and beige in the dress also complements June’s warm complexion. The neutral colours are also perfect for coordinating with her daughter’s vintage wedding, and can be mixed with a bright coloured clutch and fascinator for her other daughter’s contemporary wedding.

The hair

June likes her hair to have a lot of volume around the crown to give her a big hair look. She is also happy with her blonde colour but she wants some styling tips for the big day.

Stylist Danielle Howes from Saks on Orford Hill gave her hair a wedding revamp.

Says Danielle: “As June likes a lot of volume in her hair I’m going to add some layers to the crown to give her fine hair more lift. Adding layers around her face will soften her look.

“For the colour I’m going to add different shades of blonde to her hair to make it look natural. Blending different blondes through her hair will also make it appear thicker.

“When styling her hair I’m going to use a big round brush when blow drying to add volume and height. Using hairspray to set the hair will also help her maintain the style throughout the day.”

The makeup

Creating a look that will last from day to night is crucial when you are going to a wedding. Sarah Gibson from Lancome in John Lewis showed June how to create a contemporary look that can be taken from day to night.

Says Sarah: “There are many things you can do to that will improve the longevity of your makeup. Preparing the skin by cleansing and moisturising before you apply a foundation will make your base look flawless on your skin.

“Before you apply your foundation use a foundation primer all over the face as this provides a barrier between your skin and the makeup, helping your foundation stay in place.

“Putting concealer over your eye lids and lips will help your eye makeup and lipstick stay in place. It will also make it easier to apply and the colour will be more prominent as your skin and lips were a neutral colour to start with.”

June’s makeup was kept quite natural with a little bronzer to bring some colour into her face. For the eyes gold and brown were used to create a soft take on the classic smoky eye look. The look would be suitable for both wedding styles.

The verdict

Says June: “I love the dress, it’s amazing and I’m sure my daughters will like it too. The shoes are similar to the style I usually wear but as they are metallic they look a bit more glamorous than ordinary flat shoes.

“My hair colour is lovely and the style is different to what I usually have at the hairdressers but it looks great with the fascinator.

“I love my makeup, it really makes me look different. I certainly feel like a glamorous mother of the bride!”

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