What's the Deal With This Controversial Wedding-Guest Outfit?

Kristen Nichols

With wedding season come weekend trips and late-night dancing with friends, but also the issue of finding an outfit to wear to the celebration. Unlike other events, weddings come with a specific set of guidelines and traditions, but a lot of these have changed and evolved over time. Like many etiquette rules surrounding others' "I dos," appropriate wedding-guest attire can often fall into a gray area. Among them is the much-debated question: Can you wear black to a wedding?

There are no clear-cut answers on this. If often varies based on the specific event and people getting married (and it never hurts to consult the couple if you’re really stumped). But to help us cut through all of the opinions out there, we asked fashion girls about their thoughts on the matter. What to hear where they stand on the issue?

Keep reading to find out how fashion girls weigh in on the tricky topic.

"Anything but white is fair game, and black, in my book, is always chic and practical. I've lightened up a black cocktail dress for a summer wedding with colored shoes, statement jewelry, or red...

"Anything but white is fair game, and black, in my book, is always chic and practical. I've lightened up a black cocktail dress for a summer wedding with colored shoes, statement jewelry, or red lipstick." — Rachael Wang, Creative Consultant and Stylist

"I think it's OK to wear black to a wedding if it's a wedding where other people will be wearing black. I went to a wedding in Nantucket last weekend and planned to wear a black dress. I walked out of my hotel room to meet my friends before heading to the venue and they were horrified I was in black. I changed and thank god I did. Everyone was in vibrant colors and florals. If this was a fall wedding in New York then yes, black would have been appropriate. But at a summer beach wedding you just kind of look like an asshole." —Pia Arrobio, LPA Creative Director

"I definitely think it's appropriate to wear black to a wedding, especially if the attire is black tie. I also think it depends on the location/aesthetic of the wedding. For example, I recently...

"I definitely think it's appropriate to wear black to a wedding, especially if the attire is black tie. I also think it depends on the location/aesthetic of the wedding. For example, I recently attended a black-tie wedding where the reception took place in a gorgeous ballroom, so a black dress seemed more than appropriate. If I was attending a summertime outdoor wedding, black might seem out of place." — Lauren Eggertsen, Associate Editor at Who What Wear

"I definitely don't think it's a universal 'rule' anymore, but I personally prefer to skip black dresses for weddings. Since every wedding I've been to has been in the summer, it just feels right...

"I definitely don't think it's a universal 'rule' anymore, but I personally prefer to skip black dresses for weddings. Since every wedding I've been to has been in the summer, it just feels right to choose something fun and colorful, which suits my style better anyway. Plus, for some reason, I still associate black with funerals rather than weddings, so I tend to steer clear of it." — Erin Fitzgerald, News Editor at Who What Wear

Go on to shop our picks for black wedding-guest dresses.

Add a Comment

More Stories
1