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What to wear for Mother’s Day when you are a daughter in midlife can be a challenge. Read these tips to not upset Mom and to guarantee a pleasant day in every role.

  1. Mother’s Day outfits need jewelry as finishing touch
  2. Best outfits for Mother’s Day according to your role
    • What to wear when it’s your own Mother’s Day
    • Take the generation in mind when dressing for your mom’s Mother’s Day
    • A LBD is a great Mother’s Day dinner or concert outfit
  3. Pastels, friendly colors and prints are great
  4. Mother’s Day Background
  5. Wrap up

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Mother’s Day outfits need jewelry as finishing touch

You may like or dislike Mother’s Day because of the commerce around it. However, the day is important for Mothers, not because of the presents. No, because they are in the center of the holiday. When I was a kid, whenever I asked my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day, she always said “good children.” My siblings and I hated that answer. Especially, when we were teenagers. Once we moved out, it was so much easier to give her what she wanted for Mother’s Day. Just showing up on the day being well dressed and keeping your mouth shut (when you disagreed). You just pretended to pet the dog. Of course, being “well dressed” meant, not to dress against her fashion rules.

Follow your mom's fashion rules when dressing for Mother's Day. #peace #Mothersday Click To Tweet

Of course, we gave her a gift.  Since she loved wearing necklaces and studs, you couldn’t go wrong with giving her a new addition to her jewelry box. AC Silver has beautiful vintage necklaces in the style she loved. Garnets and sapphires were her favorite gemstones. Sure, that we wore a necklace with our outfits. We also wore it her approved way. One at a time. Even tough layering necklaces is the modern way to go. Even for vintage pieces.

AC Silver garnet jewelry set
Beautiful garnet necklace and earring set my late Mom would have loved. Photo from AC Silver

Thus, when your Mom has a strong style preference, make sure not to dress against it. Use the preference to find a great gift and/or outfit she will like.

Best outfits for Mother’s Day according to your role

On Mother’s Day, women are in the center of the holiday. It can be you, your mother, her mother and her, or your mother-in-law – you get the picture. No matter what, Mother’s Day calls for a girlie to lady-like look. It’s all about dressing up. Here are six stylist tips to create awesome outfits. There are inspirations that suit everything from brunch to a family lunch or dinner including a family reunion in Mom’s honor.


ladylike playful vs. tough girl look

over 50 years old woman in tropical print pencil skirt styled for Mother's Day
Outfit details: VS leather bomber, Loft tropical print skirt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, GNW Luxe sweater, Jaeger tote, D&GM sunglasses, Salvatore Ferragamo pumps, and DIY belt (all own)


The above look works in Germany. There leather is considered a luxury, i.e. dressed up. In the US and elsewhere in Europe, wear the look with a matching cashmere cardigan as a real or faux twinset.

What to wear when it’s your own Mother’s Day

When it’s your own Mother’s Day, you are in the center of the celebration. This means you can wear what you want, in principle. You can dress according your own style rules and create a feminine look. When you love mixing feminine prints or pattern by all means, it’s your day (see the two suggestions below).

zoom-in on abtract floral print and and Dagwood floral statement necklace

ankle strap nude shoes

midlife blogger in mixed print and pattern outfit May outfit

fashion blogger over 50 wearing floral print and glen check in one outfit for Mother's Day
Outfit details: Notations floral print cardigan worn as top, Pendleton glen check pleated midi skirt, statement dagwood flower necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Jord bamboo men’s watch, head band, and Ivanka Trump ankle strap pumps (all own)


stylist dressed for a brunch in honor of mothers
GNW floral print cardigan worn as top with Ralph Lauren polka dot skirt, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, DIY sweetwater pearls necklace, and Christian Louboutin pumps (all own)


However, when you are invited out somewhere, you have to dress up for the occasion as courtesy. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your kids who throw a party in your honor, or your mom, mother-in-law or even your grandmother, who planned a family reunion for all the moms in the family.

It’s all about playing dress-up. Go for it!

We loved to play dress-up when we were kids, why should we stop now when we are in midlife? #fashionknowsnoage #dressup Click To Tweet

Take the generation in mind when dressing for your mom’s Mother’s Day

When you are in your 50s or older, your mom is from the WWII or pre-war generation. In this generation, Sunday’s Best is a Must on Mother’s Day. Thus, dress up. Their idea of dressing up is wearing a dress and pearls. Thus, pants or separates are a No-no. When the celebration is at your mother’s house, a floral dress is a good choice. When you (expect to or will) help her in the kitchen, make sure you can wash the dress in case of a spill.

mature woman in floral dress
Self-sewn floral print dress with statement belt, Steve Madden pumps, lapis and malachite necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Chanel bag (all own), and wood watch c/o Jord


When the plan is to celebrate with the family at a brunch place or restaurant. You may stand in line for a while as there are many people who invite their Mom for lunch or dinner. Thus, a floral dress with ballet flats is appropriate. Add a small top handle bag. So feminine. Your best dressing option is a floral dress in the vibe of the dress code of the restaurant. Read more about how to dress for Sunday brunch.

Style blogger in floral fit-and-flare dress
eShakti floral dress with Ray Ban sunglasses, Jaeger Tote, DIY brooch, Michael Kors sandals (all own) and wooden watch c/o Jord


Wearing a floral dress is always a good outfit for meeting mom on Mother's Day. #MothersDay #agelessstyle. Click To Tweet

Pay attention to the heel height. Everything above 3 inch (7.5 cm) may be too sexy – read risky. Try it out in the mirror. If it works for Girl’s Night out, swap into another pair.

Nicole of High Latitude Style in abtract floral print dress, cropped scuba jacket and ankle strap pumps
Banana Republic sleeveless abstract floral print dress, T. Tahari cropped jacket, Covington ankle strap pumps, Modalu Pippa bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, DIY brooch (all own)


A LBD is a great Mother’s Day dinner and concert outfit

Did you, your Dad or siblings arrange a dinner at a fancy restaurant in town and a concert afterwards? Then you can’t go wrong with a LBD. Alternatively, a lace overlay dress can fit the bill. More on wearing a LBD.

Pastels, friendly colors and prints are great

Outfits with fun feminine prints and cute cuts like fit-and-flare dress paired with a playful bag and fashion-forward accessories are always a winner. Blush or muted pink with brown is a nice and friendly color combination. When the weather is still cold – in Alaska we often still have snow here and there – an A-line light wool skirt with muted pink sweater looks feminine and polished (see look below). The shoe embellishment and floral belt buckle up the feminine vibe of the look.


over 50 years old woman looking feminine in brown with light pink
Plaid skirt with GNW Luxe wool cashmere sweater, opaque tights, smoky quartz necklace and bracelet, Collier de chien silver bracelet, leather bracelet, and Clark booties with playful side embellishment (all own)


A floral A-line or flare skirt with matching top and feminine kitten heel sandals also look nice. When you are more a tomboy or your style is gamine, red is a friendly color to try. A floral top with a straight skirt works well when you are not the girly-girl (see example below).

mature daugther in lady-like look
GNW floral cardigan, G-III suede skirt, Seiko watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and Hermes collier de chien belt (all own)


Anything classic, but not screaming work style works regarding patterns. Gingham is an eternal Romantic Style classic and a trend right now. It’s youthful and girly when in pastels, red-white or yellow-white. When you have a gingham dress, add kitten heel pumps, a nice pendant necklace or pearls in a modern way.

Voilà, you are ready for a visit at her house.

When you expect to celebrate in her yard, go for wedges to not ruin your shoes on the lawn. Moreover, they are much easier to walk in on a lawn. The look below works when it is you who throws the party and you are the mom to be honored. However, when you throw the party for both your Mom(-in-law) and you, the look in the photo below won’t work! Recall for the war-generation mixing prints was associated with being poor.


mature stylist in playful casual striped skirt and gingham shirt
Carhartt blue and white gingham shirt, Jäger dirndl worn as skirt, Dr. Scholl wedge sandals, Coach bag (all own), and green wood watch c/o Jord for a casual get-together in the yard

Stylist’s tip: When visiting older mom’s, remember that for their generation mixing prints and pattern was a No-No and associated with poverty. Thus, avoid doing it.

Polka dots are also a great eternal classic and a feminine print that fits the occasion. The same applies to wrap dresses. In both cases, when accessorizing make sure your look is feminine and clearly not an office outfit. In other words, skip the dress pumps go for a playful shoe or sandal or add a cute shoe clip to “dress the pumps” in the right vibe.

Feminine, romantic fabrics work well when going out for brunch or dinner. What about a modest lace dress in a pastel color? More on wearing lace in midlife in this guide.


mature lady in modest pastel lace sheath dress
eShakti lace dress with Dooney and Bourke bag, Michael Kors sandals (all own), and wooden watch c/o Jord

Mother’s Day outfit ideas

Now some outfit ideas for Mother’s Day in case that the weather still hasn’t decided to warm up.

over 50 years old beauty blogger in posh chic Mother's Day outfit for a cold rainy day Karina paisley print long-sleeve fit-and-flare dress, Gucci belt, GNW tight, L.K. Bennett suede leather boots (all own)mature woman in Mother's Day outfit with silk skirt and scarf GNW Luxe sweater, suede pink statement belt, Very Fine Dance Shoes sandals, Yes St. Laurent bag (all own), silk teal skirt c/o Lilysilk, and hand-painted swirl scarf c/o Uno Alla Volta

midlife woman in Mother's Day outfit with zebra coat, golden skirt Max Mara zebra-print goat hair coat, BeBe golden distressed asymmetric leather skirt, Ivanka Trump ankle strap pumps, and Yes St. Laurent bag (all own)

mature woman in print dress for Mother's Day on a wet spring day Side view of Karina paisley print fit-and-flare dress, Gucci belt, GNW tight, L.K. Bennett suede leather boots (all own)midlife woman in teal outfit with pink accents GNW Luxe sweater, pink suede belt, Very Fine Dance Shoes sandals, Yes St. Laurent bag (all own), silk skirt c/o Lilysilk, and hand-painted swirl scarf c/o Uno Alla Volta

health and beauty blogger looking posh in a coat, gold color skirt and knit top Max Mara zebra print coat, Moda International silk knit top, BeBe gold suede skirt, Ivanka Trump nude ankle strap pumps, statement necklace, and Yes St. Laurent bag (all own)

See these awesome Mother's Day outfit ideas. #Mothersday Click To Tweet

Mother’s Day Background

The origin goes back to women’s organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis who held workshops to improve sanitary conditions. One of her goals was to decrease infant mortality. During the U.S. Civil War (1861 to 1865), the groups she had organized, helped wounded soldiers from both the Union and Confederates. After the Civil War, these women and Jarvis held Mother’s Friendship Day picnics to mourn fallen women and men and to work for peace.

Three years after Ann Reeves Jarvis’ death, her daughter Anna Jarvis incarnated Mother’s Day in the U.S. in 1908 to honor motherhood. In 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an official holiday in the U.S. to be observed on the second Sunday in May. The holiday quickly improved the economy – read Mother’s Day gifts and pretty clothes. Thus, because of the economic benefits today many countries observe Mother’s Day, some of them on a different date. Anna Jarvis didn’t jump the bandwagon of commercialization. Instead, she spent the rest of her life fighting it.

Wrapping up

To Dress for Success on Mother’s Day, here is the summary of outfit ideas for women in midlife.

  1. If you are the daughter, don’t dress against her fashion rules. You don’t want to offend her on her honor day Don't dress against your mom's fashion rules when you visit her on Mother's Day. #family #mothersday Click To Tweet
  2. If you are the mother, who is in the center of the party, avoid to dress like a matron
  3. Go for fun prints and cute cuts like fit-and-flare, dresses or blouses with Peter Pan collar
  4. Add a playful bag, feminine jewelry and fashion-forward accessories
  5. Pick friendly bright or pastel colors
  6. Stay away from anything trendy regarding your clothes as most likely photos will end up in a family album. You don’t want to be in the center of your (future) kids, nephews/nieces or grandkids amusement in future decades when they flip thru the folder of the event.

Happy Mother’s Day.

What are you doing on Mother’s Day? Have you already bought a gift for your mom? What about getting your mom the style recipe book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy it now.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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