If Allison Kaplan had a rallying cry, it would be “Down with the sequin jacket!”
Last October Kaplan and business partner Betsey Kershaw, both of whom are from the Minneapolis area, founded Mother Of, an online resource designed to help mothers or mother figures find the perfect look for their children’s weddings.
“The mother of the bride dress is so tired and matronly” that “for so many women, it’s a very intimidating purchase,” Kaplan, who is known as Ali, said. “There tends to be this outdated assumption that if you’re the mother, you want to wear a little jacket with sequins on it.”
The website doesn’t sell dresses directly but displays a curated collection of dresses, jumpsuits and suits from various online retailers chosen by Kaplan, with her appraisal of each item. For the modern mother of the bride or groom, she suggests fancy jumpsuits, dresses and tops with “flutter sleeves,” and even wearing black.
There are categories for daytime, black tie, cocktail, destination and suits, with featured outfits ranging in price from around $100 to more than $1,000.
There are also photos and stories from real women and the dresses they chose.
“Baby Boomer and Gen X women just don’t relate to this matronly, fade-into-the-background archetype of the mother of the bride, and they’ve raised evolved children who don’t see them that way either,” Kaplan said. “But the fashion industry hasn’t caught up.”
Kaplan, 50, is also editor-in-chief of Twin Cities Business, as well as the former style editor for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. She is the public face of Mother Of, describing aspects of dresses in short videos on Instagram and TikTok. Kershaw, 58, who handles the back-end maintenance of the website and maintains their social media accounts, is the founder of her own…