Mother-of-the-bride dresses can be sexy! Just ask these hot moms

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And the bride wore … who cares — is that her mother?

When Ilene heard that her daughter was getting married, her first call was to the Vivaldi boutique on the Upper East Side, where the 50-something mom had outfitted herself for all four of her kids’ mitzvahs for years.

“I knew right away I wasn’t going to do a typical mother-of-the-bride dress,” says Ilene, an attorney who asked not to use her last name for professional reasons. “I wear really short skirts, and I don’t care. I feel good about myself — I do what I want.”

She decided on a $5,000 slinky, hot-pink gown from Ysa Makino with side cutouts and a plunging low back.

“This is me — this is how I’ve always been,” she says of her daring and risqué look. “The reaction I got from most people initially was, ‘Your daughter let you wear that?’ ”

The answer is yes.

Sexy mother-of-the-bride dresses are forgoing stereotypical, dowdy duds and matronly gowns that mask their figures in favor of bombshell pieces that might look more at home painted on a red carpet-ready Kardashian than at a church wedding.

Last month, an eye-popping black evening gown, complete with revealing sheer paneling along the hips and bum, went viral, because it was characterized as a “mother-of-the-bride dress.”

The viral "mother-of-the-bride" dress by Bulgarian designer Tonena.
The viral “mother-of-the-bride” dress by Bulgarian designer TonenaTonena

“We never expect[ed] such attention,” Tonena, the Bulgarian designer behind the look, told The Post via email. Perhaps Americans are just too puritanical for the sultry look: “This dress is more popular in Europe as a mother-of-the-bride dress.”

When her future daughter-in-law told her to “wear something you really like,” Long Island mom Kathi Livornese, 62, opted for a pearlized leather piece from Runway Couture in Bellmore, LI, for her son’s 400-person wedding at Chelsea Piers over the summer. “I don’t dress frumpy,” she says. “I wanted a dress that was me.”

The $5,000 skintight dress had cap sleeves and a sexy, sheer-mesh panel to show off her legs.

“People kind of know my style, but I took it one step farther with this dress. I tried on dresses all over the place. They just weren’t doing anything for me — they were too traditional,” Livornese says. “I work hard to stay in shape, but I also wanted to look elegant.”

Not everyone’s on board with such show-stopping dresses, because they divert attention from the bride.
Wedding stylist Diane Lloyde Roth says that when she dresses moms who want to be super sexy, “I try to talk [them] out of it — that it’s the bride’s day,” the Connecticut-based consultant says.

Ilene (far left) wore a plunging hot-pink gown for her daughter’s wedding.Courtesy of

They don’t always heed her advice.

“I had one client who wore a strapless runway piece remade and molded to her exact figure. She was 60 but looked about 25. She looked fabulous — it was killer. At the wedding, people asked if she was the bride’s sister,” Roth says. “She’s a Broadway producer, and it would have looked perfect for the Tonys, but she totally outshone the bride, who looked mousy in an ill-fitting gown.”

Event planner Samantha Goldberg has also tried to tame white-hot moms on their kids’ big day.

“It’s not about elegance anymore, it’s about looking hot — and outdoing the other mother, who looks matronly,” Goldberg says, adding that she’s seen moms go “surprisingly very low cut in the front, with no back and a [visible] tush crack. You almost have to ask if it’s appropriate to wear at a church or temple.”

Goldberg also sees moms commit another cardinal aisle-style sin:

“They wear cream or white, which is in competition with their daughter or daughter-in-law to be.” Or, “I hear brides complain, ‘She’s trying to outdo me!’ of the groom’s mother,” she says. “It puts the groom between his mother and the bride.”

Bela, 47, says her daughter-in-law was "very happy" with her nude-paneled gown.
Bela, 47, says her daughter-in-law was “very happy” with her nude-paneled gown.

But for some, there’s no friction when it comes to the frock.

Bela, a 47-year-old grandmother of five, says her daughter-in-law was “very happy” with the $10,000 silk mermaid dress with nude peek-a-boo panels she chose for her son’s wedding last summer.

“I wanted to look young and sexy — and I felt amazing,” she says.

Bela’s dress designer Karen Sabag is even re-branding some of her creations because of an onslaught of hot moms. “I don’t even call it ‘mother of the bride,’ ” she says. “A lot of mothers of the bride … want to feel young.”

That was the case for Michelle Schuman, a 57-year-old mom who insists that her slinky gunmetal get-up was all her daughter’s idea.

“My daughter said, ‘You need to be smoking hot,’” she recalls. “If it was up to my daughter, I would be half naked.”



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