Dear Abby
June 15, 2007

Day to day, I get a lot of questions that don't necessarily fall into one category or another. So, I am going to make a new category called Q & A...basically just questions that I get from readers! Since most of you are in the trenches of wedding planning or simply read this blog, as a way to stay connected to such a fun time in your life, I really encourage everyone to comment on the Q & A's.

Q. I am currently planning my May '08 wedding in California and my Midwestern Mom is having a meltdown. My fiance works in the fashion business and Mi Madre is well aware that there will be quite a fashionable crowd. I'm having a difficult time helping her find a classic, yet fashionable Mother of the Bride any suggestions?

A. My mom had a heck of a time trying to choose the perfect outfit. And to be honest, when you look at what mothers are "supposed" to wear, there just isn't a lot to choose from. Throw in a fashion forward crowd, and it is no wonder she is having a meltdown!

The good news is that more and more stores are starting to catch on to the problematic "mother of the bride outfit dilemma." Many of the major department stores, like Neiman and Nordstrom, now have sections on their websites devoted completely to the mothers. How great is that! And, the dresses are by well known designers like Carmen Marc Valvo, Vera Wang, Elie Tahari and so many others.

Bottom line...when you are the mother, aim for spectacular. But understated. You cannot go wrong with a well-made gown in a soft hue like champagne (not beige), black or pale pink. Go for something that flatters your figure and that is made with a beautiful, luxurious fabric. I love these gowns from Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom...they are so simple, but so chic.