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occ's avatar

Is it appropriate to wear a black dress to a summer wedding?

Asked by occ (4173points) July 18th, 2007

the wedding is in August, outdoors. It's not a black-tie affair, but dressy. The fanciest dress I own is black. If I wear a colorful shawl, is it okay to wear a black dress? Or is that too somber?

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22 Answers

xgunther's avatar

it may give off the wrong message. Try calling other attendees and see what they're wearing.

sjg102379's avatar

I absolutely think it's OK--black has become acceptable wedding attire.

osakarob's avatar

Of course it is OK. Just remember, in the grand scheme of things, no one will remember what you wore, just what the bride and groom did. (And even that memory will fade).

The notion that you should "call up other guests to see what they are wearing" is both absurd and lacking in self esteem. You were invited to this wedding presumably not because of your connection to the fashion world, but because the couple appreciates you -- unless you show up in a furry animal costume or decked out as a pirate, your sharing in their special day will be the point that is noted, not your apparel. Put on the black dress, don that colorful shaw,l and have a wonderful time!

colin's avatar

I think the question is really about what you are comfortable with...will you be uncomfortable if you are the only woman wearing a black dress at this wedding? I'm also sure that you were invited to the wedding because the couple appreciates you, and I think that the bride and groom will certainly be too occupied to notice/remember what anyone else is wearing.

mdy's avatar

One possible way to think through this question is --- would the bride or the groom have worn black to *your* wedding? Meaning, based on your knowledge of them, would they have thought that it's alright to wear black to someone else's wedding? If yes, then by all means wear black with confidence.

Using a colorful shawl will definitely lighten the 'somber' effect, so I think that's a great idea.

One final consideration -- black means different things in different cultures. If either the bride or the groom comes from a culture where black is bad (e.g., reserved for funerals or mourning), then personally I would consider it a sign of respect to avoid wearing black.

figbash's avatar

I wouldn't do it, unless it's an evening wedding in NYC.

It has too many opportunities for misinterpreted messages and I wouldn't risk it- even with a colorful shawl. It's less about how good *you* look, and more about your being there to support them in their union. Plus, if they have old-school parents or family members, they may not get it and you might offend them. Nice, inexpensive dresses have flooded the stores right now and it wouldn't be hard to find a suitable replacement that you can punch up with interesting jewelry.

Psychoticpanda's avatar

as long as it is not a white wedding dress, the bride will not care. LOL

gailcalled's avatar

In my experience, it''s fine. The last wedding I went to was outside, Seattle, in the fall, and many women wore black, but w. a little something like a scarf and pretty shoes and jewelry. I was one of them. In Indian (Sikh) cultures, the bride wears red.

nomtastic's avatar

i say, wear a furry animal suit (per oskarob's answer.) :)

[no need to buy more clothes. go and look yer best.]

travistotz's avatar

I think we can all see from this discussion that some people may think it is ok to wear a black dress to a wedding, while other may not. Me, myself, and I think it is acceptable, but the dress should be classy and not frumpy or too loose. It is also my opinion that you should wear it if you'll feel comfortable wearing it, blacks nice, sexy, classy - but I would spice it up with some color, shawl (possibly), eye shadow, blush, make-up in general would be a nice colorful addition to a black dress - shoes too! Wear it if you feel right wearing it!

zina's avatar

I agree with the point above - some find it acceptable now (anything goes (almost), and don't worry about fashion/consumerism too much when that's not the point), and others don't (a possible sign of disrespect or just not appropriate for the occasion - especially in the summer, outdoors, daytime, etc).

I had the same question for a wedding last month, and realized that since I was asking the question I did feel a bit uncomfortable about it personally. In the end I got a new dress (for pretty cheap!) because I realized that even something a little less fancy (which, like the black can be accessorized....) but that felt appropriate to a wedding was more comfortable. AND, perhaps most importantly, I knew that this would come up again and I could use the outfit for many future occasions. [I felt and feel good about that decision.]

That said, loads of women were there in their little sexy black cocktails dresses and there was no behind-the-back whispering that I heard. =)

slickrick's avatar

depends what you look like.

maggiesmom1's avatar

Yup - black is now absolutely appropriate to wear to a wedding. And if you want to "festive" it up by wearing a colorful shawl or wrap, that's cool, too!

punkrockworld's avatar

Black is totally cool to wear to a wedding.

Cool idea, to make it a bit funner is to wear a cool belt on it .. a red one or something that matches the shape of the dress.
And wear a colorful high heel and purse.

You will look amazinggg

occ's avatar

update – i went out of my way to find a colorful dress – and then there were at least four other women wearing black at the wedding! They all looked fine and no one seemed to care or notice. The only person who got disapproving looks was a guest who actually wore white to the wedding!

notabridesmaid's avatar

I think this one really has to be taken on a case by case basis. Traditionally a black dress at a wedding is a no no. However in more recent years it has become much more common and acceptable. I would suggest this article to you.

evil2's avatar

as long as your not in mourning i think its cool , stay away from sack cloth and ashes and you’ ll be fine…

ilovedressing's avatar

maybe you can choose another color to attend the wedding , because of the sunshine during the summer the sunshine is strong ,the black can absorb more heat .it maybe hot for you to wear the black one

greenbread's avatar

Yes, you can. these days, many people go to summer weddings in black dresses.

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