When it comes to fashion rules, there aren’t a lot we’re prepared to advocate. In fact, we’ve spent a lot of time in recent months encouraging stylish young women to break these so-called style mandates that, frankly, just aren’t that relevant anymore. Such as? The “can you wear wear black to a wedding” debate. Despite what you may have heard from your (great) grandmother, we’re here to tell you that it’s perfectly acceptable.
So, why was it ever unacceptable that such a versatile, chic, and—let’s be real—slimming hue be worn to weddings? Back the old days, if a guest wore black to nuptials, it was considered a passive-aggressive protest to the marriage about to take place. Obviously, things have evolved massively, with black emerging as women’s go-to dress shade, both as a guest and, often, as a bridesmaid.
As with all colors, appropriateness has more to do with the actual cut, fit, and material of the dress, as opposed to it’s color (white not withstanding, of course.)
“When you’re a guest at a wedding, the most important thing to keep in mind is not to upstage or upset the bride. Stay away from whites, creams and ivories. For the love of God, do not wear flowers in your hair,” said Molly Guy, the founder and creative director of hip New York-based bridal boutique Stone Fox Bride.
When asked what guests can wear, Guy was quick to highlight—you guessed it—black.
“The goal [of a wedding guest] is to look sleek and appropriate, not over-the-top or high-drama. Black is always a safe option. It’s good for cocktail attire, black tie or even a mid-afternoon garden soiree. Black reads festive and fancy, without an outward cry to ‘have all eyes on me.’ Plus, there’s no chance anyone will mistake you for the lady saying her vows. A simple black slip dress or chic jumpsuit can be dressed up or down depending on your choice of shoes, earrings and clutch.”
So, think of it this way: black isn’t acceptable for a wedding if the dress is skin-tight, insanely short, wildly low-cut, or appropriate for a night out in Vegas. But then again, neither is any other color.