Advice for the Stepmom: Channel Cate Blanchett

January 24, 2023
Wedding attire for a stepmom

Question | My stepson is getting married this summer. His parents divorced some 15 years ago, and both are remarried. I’m at a complete loss as to how to dress for this occasion. I draw attention by existing as I’m 6 feet tall, and his dad, my husband, will be playing an important role in the day. I feel like I need to blend into the background, and not stand out as much as I can, leaving the birth parents to be the parents. I have a good relationship with this stepson, and want to do whatever I can to help make this day successful for them! But this will most likely be the first time I actually meet his mother and her husband, too. There’s room for awkward, and I want to be gracious and comfortable, and not appear to be upstaging anyone. What do I wear? — Signed, Aspiring Wallflower

Answer | Well, we already think you're the most thoughtful stepmom ever for knowing you have the power to turn heads but deferring to the biologicals. Here's what you do. Channel Cate Blanchett on the Red Carpet at the 2023 Critic's Choice Awards.  

She defied the more-is-more award show theatrics in favor of understated cool— an oat colored linen button down and full length skirt from Max Mara (spring 2023 collection). The message: I'm confident, evolved, and I don't need to draw attention to myself with sparkles and glitz. (But I still look fantastic.)

The takeaway: keep it neutral—a soft shade of gray or cream. And look for something a bit more tailored that will be respectful and send a message that yeah, you're hot, but you're not trying to grab the spotlight.

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