My favorite part of attending a wedding is finding a dress to wear. It's fine if you don't share the same excitement, but it's still important to make sure you don't dress in a way that might offend the people who are getting married; it's their wedding, after all. Beyond the obvious "rule" of not wearing white, what is and isn't appropriate at weddings has become somewhat of a grey area, much like workplace fashion guidelines. So what should you never wear as a wedding guest?
As more and more dresses in stores have cutouts, sparkles, and crazy prints, it can be hard to know what works at a wedding and what doesn't. And when you throw in the struggle of trying to find something that you actually like, will want to wear again, and is appropriate per the wedding's dress code — it seems like the options are few and far between. But don't worry, as long as you remember some simple guidelines, it'll make your shopping quest a whole lot easier.
Remember, weddings have dress codes for a reason. If you're unsure of what "country club chic" or "black tie" really means, ask a bridesmaid or a family member of the bride to help you clarify. Better safe than sorry!
1. Anything White (Or Blush, Champagne, Ivory, Etc.) — Well, For The Most Part
I said this list wouldn't include anything obvious, but hear me out. As wedding dresses start trending towards colors, it's more important than ever to avoid colors even remotely similar to white. Blush gowns in particular pose a problem. Exceptions include some printed dresses, such as a blush dress with a black print paired with the right accessories. If you're not sure, just wear something else. Generally speaking, always err on the side of caution with this one. If the bride is a trendsetter and wearing red or blue, obviously avoid those colors, too. Of course, there are major exceptions to every rule, and every bride is going to have different taste. For example, perhaps you are a member of Solange's wedding party. That changes everything.
2. Anything That Is Over-The-Top Revealing
Even if this is an 8 p.m. wedding on a hotel rooftop, your friends' wedding is not an opportunity to wear your favorite backless, sequin dress. No matter how hot some of the bridal party members may be, don't try to attract attention with an inappropriate dress. Anything too short, too tight, too loud, it may be a safer bet to save it for another weekend. There's nothing wrong with dressing your sexiest, but if what you're wearing may take attention away from the bride even for a bit — it may not be the best choice.
3. All Black
Some consider wearing black to a wedding to be a bad omen. I'm not sure about that, but black just isn't a happy color. This kills me, because 90 percent of my own wardrobe is black. If you just aren't into bright colors, try a cranberry or eggplant dress. Some dark reds and purples can be stunning! Although, personally speaking, I think that if this is your ex's wedding and you're attending for some reason (why, though?), you have my full permission to wear as much black as you want. Channel your inner Jenny Humphrey/Taylor Momsen and just go for it.
4. The Same Color As The Bridal Party
This isn't something I thought about until I attended a wedding and saw a guest in the same color as the bridal party — the dress was even a similar style as the bridesmaids' dresses. It made me think that she wanted to be a bridesmaid and was making a statement, but it was also confusing because it seemed like she was in the group at times, which was a bit awkward. If you're not sure what the wedding colors are, just ask. If they're going with a cornflower blue, stick with navy. You don't want to match the centerpieces.
5. Office Attire
There's nothing wrong with wearing a nice suit or a pair of wide-legged trousers to a wedding (both looks can be super fierce), but you don't want to wear the same thing you might wear to a corporate office. A wedding is supposed to be a happy, joyous event, not necessarily something that evokes feelings of Excel spreadsheets. Feel free to get creative, but keep it more formal and less professional.
6. Inappropriate Undergarments
Clear bra straps: We can all see them. They are not invisible. Ever. Beyond that, I found some excellent advice from SkinnyMom: Don't wear new Spanx! So true. Wear your tried and true shapewear to avoid any bathroom mishaps or painful wardrobe malfunctions.
7. An Apple Watch
What? An Apple Watch? Yes, you heard me. I'm sorry, but wearing an Apple Watch to a wedding is like having your phone out constantly (which is rude, in case you didn't get the memo). Don't try to convince me that you won't be distracted by all those Candy Crush notifications! Leave your high-tech gear at home, and enjoy a fun night with your date.
Images: Halfpoint/Fotolia; Giphy (6)