You’ve got the exciting news from your daughter or son that they are engaged and have found the one.
There is so much excitement and a long list of to do’s prior to the wedding. Whether you are mother of the bride or mother of the groom, one of the biggest dilemmas is what to wear to your daughter or son’s wedding. That’s where Helen Ainson, 1078 Post Road, Darien, comes in.
Erica Jensen, owner of Helen Ainson, has been outfitting mothers of the bride/groom (MOB and MOG) along with her trained stylists for 38 years now. For the past 11 years, Helen Ainson has been voted Best Of Cocktail Attire, Formal Wear and Gala Wear in Moffly Media’s Annual Best of the Gold Coast list, where readers and editors choose favorites in every category. Jensen is also very proud to have won Best Eveningwear in the state of Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine for the past nine years. We caught up with Erica for a Q and A regarding MOB and MOG most frequent questions and concerns.
Q. You’ve been dressing mother of the bride and mother of the groom for years now and are consistently voted No. 1 for your beautiful gowns and dresses. What sets you apart from any other store that sells gowns and dresses?
A. We are different in so many ways. First and foremost, our goal is to make mom feel special and attended to. My stylists and I really listen to the customers and help them achieve the kind of look they are going for. We are never pushy and customers appreciate honest opinions. We would never tell you something looks great if it doesn’t! Nobody is on commission, and I specifically wanted it that way, so that our customer can trust us and know we truly care about making the most of all your assets.
Q. Who chooses the gown or dress first? Is it the mother of the bride or mother of the groom?
A. Typically it is the mother of the bride who chooses first and sets the tone. Once the MOB has chosen her dress then the MOG follows.
Q. When does the MOB or MOG start shopping for their gowns/dresses?
A. They can start anytime but need to keep in mind that we offer so many customizable options that they should allow six to eight weeks once ordered and then allow for alterations for the perfect fit. We do have some designers that can turn around a gown in a week or so but the customer should leave some leeway if they need an alteration.
Q. You spoke about customization and different options for gowns. What are some of the things a MOB or MOG can change, add, etc.?
A. I think we have become the go to store for formal attire, gowns and dresses because women get so many different options here. We have gowns that come in 1 color, 10 colors, 40 colors and 300 colors. We can take a long gown and shorten it to cocktail length, add sleeves, take off sleeves, or add a custom stole to name a few options. With all this customization available, our MOB or MOG will truly have a one of a kind gown to wear to their daughter or son’s wedding.
Q. How do you help the nervous mother of the bride or groom navigate through all the options and color choices?
A. We know it’s a big day for mom and some sense of trepidation does exist in choosing the dress. We take into account her body type when choosing a dress or gown for her. We want to play up all her assets and downplay body parts she is self conscious about. We also consider her hair color and skin tone to find the perfect color to light up her face. We never want any of our customers to feel rushed or pushed into a direction she is uncomfortable with.
Q. What other services or accessories do you offer the mother of the bride or groom?
A. We believe that we are one-stop shopping. Our moms don’t just get a dress here, they get much more and we always go the extra mile. The right bra can make or break the look and we’ve got gorgeous bras to enhance how mom looks from the waist up (all of our stylists are trained to fit you for the perfect bra). We also offer shape enhancers to flatten a tummy and make the rear view as great as the front view.
We offer jewelry, evening bags and dressy shoes to complete the look. Our customer doesn’t have to go to a bunch of different stores, but instead she can head over to our store and know when the big day comes she knows she looks amazing from head to toe! If it’s a destination wedding, mom may have to pull together some looks that are more casual for the days before and after the wedding. We offer in-home wardrobe consultations ($175 the first hour and $75 for each hour thereafter) where we go through your wardrobe with you and help you put fabulous outfits together. Our customer can also bring in those lonely shorts, tops, pants, etc. and we will pull together looks she will feel confident and beautiful in! Let’s not forget the rehearsal dinner, we can outfit you for that too!
Q. So many women are comfortable wearing black but it’s not a color choice for most weddings. What other color do you suggest to give a slimming effect?
A. Deep colors like dark charcoal, navy, deep plum and other dark, rich colors are good choices.
Q. Thank you for your time and if you have one final thought what would it be?
A. We here at Helen Ainson have dressed so many mother of the brides and mother of the grooms, and it has been an honor to help them shine on the big day. We’ve accomplished our goal when you look into the mirror the day of the wedding and feel confident, elegant and beautiful.
We are also humbled and grateful for all the photos we get from our mothers of the bride and grooms showing us how fabulous they looked on their daughter or son’s special day.
Jensen said that her customers are very special people, as many have been loyal shoppers for years and feel like family. She added “we dress women for some of life’s most important events and each customer, whether a long time shopper with us, or a first time customer, anyone who walks through our door is greeted with a smile and many a hug!”
Information: HelenAinson.com or 203-655-9841.