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MOB Special-Occasion Style from T. Carolyn Fashions’ Terrie Tibbetts Martin

Today we feature the second installment in our style-advice series just for mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom, from MOB/MOG-style expert Terrie Tibbetts Martin of Houston’s incomparable T. Carolyn Fashions. Today’s post looks at how to dress and accessorize to best effect for all those pre-wedding special occasions that fill your—and your mom’s—calendar during the months leading up to the big day. Our suggestion? Taking mom out for coffee (or cabernet, if that’s how you gals roll), pulling up this post on your tablet or mobile, and enjoying every little bit of it together. Cheers!

Ladies Pantsuit and Earrings

From Terrie Tibbetts Martin:

“With all of those pre-wedding parties and events coming up you’ll want to look your best. Remember, as a mother, you’re an integral part of the celebrations. By putting thought early on into what you will wear to the engagement party, bridal showers and rehearsal dinner, you won’t find yourself grabbing something out of your closet at the last minute.

When deciding on the outfits you will be wearing, consider the locations of the events and the time of day each event takes place. Evening gowns and cocktail attire reign supreme for engagement parties, but if a more casual venue has been decided upon for either the engagement party or the rehearsal dinner, you might consider a contemporary short dress.

Another superbly stylish choice? The elegant pantsuit—currently a major fashion trend. The beauty of the pantsuit is that it affords great comfort and mobility (qualities highly appreciated by moms) as well as styles that flatter many different body types. These pieces also transition beautifully from day to night with the proper accessories.

What’s great about a short dress or pantsuit, is that it can later be worn to a cocktail party, business dinner, or perhaps on a well-deserved cruise after the nuptials are over and you desperately need to relax and unwind.

On to accessories: One of the biggest mistakes mothers make is in breathing a sigh of relief over finding the right dress for the wedding and outfits for the pre-wedding events—only to completely overlook the accessories.

Which is a shame, since accessories are to a mother’s dress what a frame is to a painting: They complete the picture and draw they eye in.

JEWELRY: Necklaces and earrings add sparkle and illumination around the face as you walk down the aisle or are viewed from across the room. The proper earring can bring out cheekbones and showcase bone structure, actually giving a lift to the face. The perfect necklace can frame the face and even elongate the upper torso. If you are wearing an asymmetrical neckline, great earrings paired with an oversize bracelet will truly make a statement. And, of course, there’s nothing like the sparkle of crystals to bring out and enhance hand-beading and sewn crystals in dresses and gowns.

PURSE: Be sure to include a purse in your ensemble–especially for the wedding. You will definitely want a handkerchief, compact and lipstick, for drying tears and touching up after the ceremony, before additional photos are shot. A chic clutch, especially, will look smart walking down the aisle and has the added bonus of keeping your arm in check as you are escorted.

SHOES: Whether it’s for a pre-wedding party or the wedding itself, be sure to choose comfortable shoes. For those with serious foot problems, it is perfectly acceptable to slip into a second, more comfortable pair at the reception, but, if you are wearing a gown, do check beforehand to make sure your hem will still be the proper length if you change into comfy flats. This will avoid possible tripping and damage to the gown itself. Speaking of damage, if you choose a shoe with rhinestones on it, make sure to check and see if the stones are set in prongs. These prongs will snag and tear the hemline of your gown. If this occurs, the only way to salvage the gown is to convert it into a short dress.

With a bit of planning you can look beautiful and put-together for all of your upcoming festivities. And feeling really good about yourself will make all of your events far more enjoyable and will create a radiance all of your guests will notice—and your photos will capture for all time.”

mother-of-the-bride purses

For more on T. Carolyn Fashions, click here. Ready to visit the salon? No appointments are necessary…just pop in and shop happy!

Photos: Courtesy of T. Carolyn Fashions

Rebekah Gullo on Flats v Heels For Your Wedding Day

For her super-chic Hotel Derek wedding, Houston style blogger Rebekah Gullo of Fashion And A Fellow fame opted for flats over traditional heels. Should you follow in her fashionable footsteps? Here’s her take on low vs. high, along with some of her favorite shoe picks for style-minded brides.

Rebekah's Wedding Flats

Photo: Alyse French Photography

“Wedding shoes are the next most important item to pick out after you have chosen your wedding dress. I knew right away I wanted to wear flats even though I am an avid wearer of pumps! I had two reasons: 1.) I wanted to be comfortable all night, and 2.) I’m taller then my fellow in heels, and I wanted to be able to look right into his eyes for our vows. When I decided to wear flats it was not even up for discussion that I would wear Tory Burch ‘Eddies.’ I own them in multiple colors. They are THE most comfortable flats I’ve ever worn. Luckily for me the flats were available in white, but I’m always a fan of sneaking in a little color! Something blue perhaps?

Wedding Flats

For those of you who do want to wear pumps, I’ve got you covered too! These Badgley Mischka heels came in about every color imaginable, making it easy to match a sash on your dress, or for your bridesmaids to wear to match their dresses. And can we please talk about these Stuart Weitzman pumps with the bow? A splurge on these would be well worth it, since you could wear them after your wedding, too, for all kinds of special occasions.

Wedding Pumps

Whatever you choose to wear to walk down the aisle to your future husband, remember, you’re going to be walking, standing and dancing, and the last thing you need on your special day is to be in pain. You can always stash a pair of flats close by just in case!”

Shoe Photos: Courtesy of Polyvore

2012 Holiday Season Party Dress Up and Makeup

’Tis the season, darlings: holiday shindigs, cocktail parties, evenings out with old friends who are back in town, family gatherings, perhaps an engagement party or two…

If you’re looking for special-occasion dress-up ideas, get inspired by our recent guest post on pre-wedding-party style. Also a great fashion/makeup/accessories resource: PrettyShinySparkly—a delish lil’ style blog by recent Houston bride (and medical resident!) Kristina Braly.

Oh—and don’t forget flawless makeup to go with your fabulous outfit. Check out this little party-night makeup tutorial by our favorite beauty-blogging Brit Tanya Burr, demonstrating step by step her OWN birthday-night-out look. A little smoky, a little sparkly and just the right mix of sexy and sweet—perfect for holiday-season nighttime socializing. DO try this at home, ladies!!

MOB Fashion Rules from T. Carolyn Fashions’ Terrie Tibbetts Martin

One HUGE advantage Houston brides and their mothers have over to-be-weds in other major U.S. cities is T. Carolyn Fashions. Stunning gowns, suits and separates for the style-seeking mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom and other female guests—T. Carolyn’s got it all…and wedding-style-seekers travel to the salon from all over Texas and the United States to get in on it.

Mother of the bride - Short dresses - cream, black, brown

Today, we’re turning things over to your mom, Houston bride, and turning HWB over to T. Carolyn co-owner Terrie Tibbetts Martin, for the inside scoop for MOBs and MOGs on WHEN to shop (hint: it’s WAY earlier than you think), HOW to choose, and HOW to look gorgeous for the (second) most important celebration of your life. Brides, do NOT let your mom shop without first checking out Martin’s must-read post!

Terrie Martin - T. Carolyn Fashions

“Mothers often feel a great deal of pressure to look their best at their child’s wedding—and rightfully so! After her own wedding gown, this dress is the most important dress a mother will ever buy. And next to her own wedding, it’s the event where she’ll be photographed most. The importance of a mother’s dress cannot be overstated.

Here, to help mothers look magnificent on the big day, are my top FIVE insider tips for how and when to shop for that all-important dress.

1. Start shopping early. Mothers typically put themselves last, making sure everyone else is taken care of first. Most women don’t realize how long it can take to order a dress if a specific size or color is needed. When shopping in the fall (when the following spring season styles first arrive) or early spring (when the following fall season styles arrive), you should allow up to four and a half months for delivery.  The rest of the year allow up to three and a half months for your dress to ship.

2. Don’t become visually addicted to the Internet. Surfing the Web can be a good way to get ideas and have pictures to show consultants; but do remember that more often than not dresses look very different in person than in a picture.

Also, don’t become fixated by styles you’ve only seen in pictures on the Internet.  If you can’t find a dress with retailers who carry the line, there’s probably a reason.

The real advantage to using the Internet is in finding out which stores carry specific designers and how much inventory they stock. Use that information to locate and target those retailers that carry a large inventory of dresses so you can try on many different styles and several different colors to find out what best suits you.

3. Don’t judge a book by its cover…and never judge a dress on its hanger. Many dresses look entirely different on the body. This is especially true of soft fabrics such as chiffon, crepe, net and jersey. These fabrics can appear shapeless and matronly on the hanger, which is quite deceiving considering how shapely and fashion-forward they look on the body.

4. Don’t be tempted to buy a dress that is too small, thinking you’re going to lose weight. The vast majority of special-occasion dresses can be made smaller, but very few of them can be let out. Don’t put yourself under additional pressure by emotionally blackmailing yourself into a smaller size.

5. Don’t be too quick to say, ‘That’s not me.’ This is the perfect opportunity to experiment and perhaps even reinvent yourself. New beginnings just might call for a new you. There are so many exciting fabrics, silhouettes, treatments and colors out there—it’s like being a kid in a candy store! There has never been a better selection of wedding attire for mothers, and as a mother, you deserve to look and feel beautiful too.

One of my favorite sayings is ‘Knowledge is power.’ Hopefully these tips will empower you to seek out options, experiment, have fun, and, in the end, find the dress that’s absolutely perfect for you!”

For more on T. Carolyn Fashions, click here. Ready to visit the salon? No appointments are necessary…just pop in and shop happy!

Photos: Courtesy of T. Carolyn Fashions

Winnie Couture WOWS at NY Bridal Market…and Causes an Instagram Frenzy!

Glamour’s Instagram feed of 2013 gowns making their debut at the recent New York Bridal Market garnered lots and lots of attention from couture-obsessed brides-to-be. But no gown got more love in less time than Winnie Couture’s stunning “Esme” mermaid gown, which tallied up a whopping 10,000 ♥’s in just three hours.

Behold that amazing gown, along with a few more of our newly unveiled 2013 favorites from the exceptionally talented Winnie Chlomin, whose internationally beloved-by-brides design house is now based in Beverly Hills—but got its start right here in Houston, with the Winnie Couture Houston Flagship Salon.

See a Winnie Couture gown that drives you wild with wanting? Hold tight, lovelies. The new dresses will hit Winnie’s Houston salon right around December. We can’t think of a better gift for the holidays!

Winnie Couture - Esme (front) Winnie Couture - Esme (back) Winnie Couture - Kazane Winnie Couture - Gittel Winnie Couture - Jeannette & Pierretta Winnie Couture - Danessa Winnie Couture - Giulia Winnie Couture - Ambrea

Photos: Courtesy of Winnie Couture

Dresses (top to bottom, left to right): Esme (front, back)~Kazane (front, back)~Gittel~Jeanette~Pierretta~Danessa~Giulia~Ambrea