Can You Wear Black to a Wedding?

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Can You Wear Black to a Wedding?

When it comes to dealing with life’s inevitable obstacles, for me, getting dressed for weddings is right up there next to death and taxes. The problem? Navigating the nebulous wedding dress code. Cocktail attire, don’t wear white, no bare shoulders if the wedding is in a church, the differences between black tie and black tie optional…. I could go on.

Some directives are clearly still applicable – like giving the bride the monopoly on shades of blanc – whereas others are a littler harder for me to reconcile. The whole not wearing black thing being first on my list.

Presumably, it was once considered inappropriate to wear a color traditionally reserved for mourning because nuptials are, in most cases, a happy occasion, so wearing a color reserved for widows and funerals was what my grandmother might call “wildly inappropriate.” And I get that. But here’s my issue. It’s not 1945 and black is not so much a color as it is a theory upon which my entire wardrobe is based. You want to throw out black and white for every wedding I attend? I’ll likely be wearing the same Carven dress to every wedding on my calendar.

The way I saw it, I had two choices (three if you count just writing off weddings altogether): (1) Piss off my grandmother and, or (2) invest in a new wardrobe based on primary colors.  Neither seemed like an acceptable option.  So before I headed to Vail for last week’s wedding, I took a poll. What’s the 411 on wearing black to a wedding in 2015?

Answers received depended largely on the age and location of the individual polled. Suffice it to say, I was satisfied enough with the results (or just saw enough dissonance to run with it) to take my new little black dress on a trip to Colorado.

 

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Some directives are clearly still applicable – like giving the bride the monopoly on shades of blanc – whereas others are a littler harder for me to reconcile.

In the post:

dress: c/o French Connection  |  jacket: Veda (less expensive option here)  |  sandals: Camilla Skovgaard (old; similar here)  |  clutch: DVF  |  earrings: Kenneth Jay Lane  |  cuff: Quarry

  • I think that the rules for wedding wear have changed significantly since our grandmothers and mothers. I love a good LBD for a wedding and I love how you styled this. Perfect to dance the night away in!

    Chelsea
    Haute Child in the City

  • Heather Massey

    I’m a wedding photographer, so I always wear black to weddings (though I’m mostly trying to blend into the background with my wardrobe for those occasions). Guests wear black ALL the time now, and they always look great. I think traditions have changed quite a bit (though my grandmother will still swear up and down it’s offensive).

    I’ve also been seeing a lot of guests wearing white — still awkward and uncomfortable for everyone >.>

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