Looking for a Mother of the Bride or Groom dress for an autumn or winter wedding? Check out my pick of affordable Phase Eight outfits ideal for cooler days and evenings.
Phase Eight is a British designer who ships across the world to most countries including USA and Australia. Find your currency in the top right corner of their international site. All links here (apart from one to Debenhams UK) lead to the international site in English where you can see reviews, sizes and prices as well as lots more images.
Green Marietta Guipure Lace dress
The new deep rich jade colour for 2019/2020 looks stunning in this lace covered knee-length dress. It’s polyester so will resist creasing which is great news for a wedding as there is so much sitting then standing which can play havoc with a fitted dress over the waist and hips.
The decorative fabric with satin highlighted neck and waist should not be camouflaged with jewellery. So spend an afternoon wearing the dress and go shopping for large and beautiful earrings. Think gemstones – real or repro – or gold.
This sweet collar demands to be seen circling your neck all the way round. So if possible get your hair swept up in an elegant twist. Fix with a diamond or gemstone clasp. Just don’t clash with your earrings. In fact, if you are wearing a clasp you can definitely reduce the size of your earrings. Best to avoid the Christmas tree look before 25th December don’t you think?
If you have short hair make sure it is tucked behind one or both ears to make the most of this youthful neckline.
You’ll need a fine wrap or short jacket to wear for outdoor photos and waving goodbye outside as the apple of your eye departs on honeymoon.
Multi-coloured Stella Bow detail dress
With a nod to the pinks we mothers often wear to weddings this plum dress has a modern peplum hem which finishes just over the knee. It is in viscose and polyester with 5% elastane to ensure a smooth close fit.
A low chignon or a bob hairstyle would look good. Earrings can be quite conservative as the frilled sleeves will focus eyes on your face. But invest in some heeled or platform shoes that either tone beautifully with the dress colours or for a more dramatic effect choose gold.
The sleeves may make it more difficult to get a close fitting jacket to fit well so be sure to wear the dress when you shop if you need a cover up for cooler evenings.
For the ivory and latte colour scheme here’s the link to Phase Eight international site
Navy Alice Lace Bodice Dress
If you’d like to cover your arms without looking too wintery this is a great dress for you. In sizes up to 20 it hangs well and the boxy effect of the lace bodice defines your waist. There’s a touch of stretch in the fabric that will make the skirt sit well too.
The intricate leaf pattern of the lace introduces greens and grey- blue to the dress so perhaps pick out one of these colours in a short jacket if you will be outside for some of the event.
The lace sleeves make this dress perfect for warm through to quite cold weather. On a really cold day I would take along a tartan wrap to use when things get nippy. Even quite a thick woollen tartan will complement this dress especially if you can find one with plenty of blue in it.
With a simple neckline you can wear your hair up or down. It it’s up choose some silver or gold earrings that catch the light as you walk. If your hair is down put the emphasis on a mid-weight necklace – nothing too delicate or it will disappear against the lace.
Gia Frill Dress
This classic ruffle dress works so well for women of all figure types. The large ripple of fabric breaks up the width and draws the eye up and down the silhouette making you look taller and slimmer.
The twist of fabric at the waist disguises its exact size whilst marking it out clearly. And best of all, you get all this design help without having to wear a wrap skirt (which you may know from my other posts I consider to be wedding hell for ladies with anything less than perfect legs!).
There’s a lot going on here so don’t detract from it by cluttering the dress with too much jewellery. Go conservative but bright on earrings – let the ruffle do the rest. And go as bright or sparkly as you like with your shoes.
You’ll need good upper arms to wear this dress without a wrap or small jacket when you make your entrance but once the formal part of the wedding is over get ready for the dancing by removing the jacket. You’ll look so feminine in this classic neckline.
Benita Tapework dress
In black with green this dress will make a beautiful contrast against your skin. So make sure your make-up is perfection on the day. If your use eyeliner, or shadow, wearing a colour that reflects the dress will make your eyes look larger and more attractive. But don’t go disco and wear masses of it. Just a thin dark green line or a smudge of green shadow will do the trick.
The three-quarter sleeve covers any imperfections on your upper arms (hurrah!) whilst allowing enough bare skin to show. Areas of uncovered skin tend to make you look taller, slimmer and younger so we don’t want to bundle up even if the weather is cold.
Wear nude tights and unobtrusive or nude shoes to continue that bare skin look. Beware of black shoes as these will make the outfit look too evening – unless of course the wedding is an indoor evening black tie do.
I’ve done a real life try-on of the Benita dress. You can read the notes about fabric and fit in this post.
You can watch the video of the Benita dress try-on here
Catheleen Tapework Dress
This dress comes in navy and cream or pale coffee and cream. It will become your go-to number for all occasions, day and evening and for many seasons to come.
Wear it with the matching jacket, dark heels and conservative earrings and you have a super smart outfit. Wear it with red block heeled shoes, a bright wrap and your hair piled up on top of your head above dangly earrings and you’ll look zesty, fun and brimming with confidence.
The cap sleeves broaden your shoulders and balance out larger hips so that your waist looks good. And the cheeky silhouette created by the contrasting colours will have you loving your sexy shape. This dress is a winner whichever way you look at it. It comes in sizes up to 20 but may well sell out fast so worth trying on without too much delay.
My pick here is the navy but the paler coffee colourway can look superb with gold accessories even on a cold day. And of course little fur jackets are very fashionable right now. Mink (please not real!) will look gorgeous over the coffee and cream dress and turn it into a winter stunner.
As with all tapework dresses – which are very much Phase Eight’s signature – I would steer clear of hats or choose one that is simple. Let the intricate fabric take centre stage.
I’ve done a real life try-on of the Catheleen dress and you can read notes on how it fit, length, what it looked like on me at age 70 and so on.
Make up your own mind whether this style of dress from Phase Eight might suit you by looking at a frank video of the try-on here.
All of these dresses will look great for a day or evening wedding but more that that, I’ve chosen them because they are very wearable for summer occasions through to evening dos at any time of the year. And be sure to check out the offers and sales on your local Phase Eight website. Many frocks are already slashed in price on the UK site making them a fabulous buy.