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chelle21689's avatar

Is it ever ok to wear another culture’s wedding dress?

Asked by chelle21689 (7139points) December 24th, 2019 from iPhone

How do you feel about another culture wearing your cultural wedding dress?

I am not sure why but some Lao people I know will have a Lao wedding dress and also a Thai one just because they think it’s pretty. The Lao seamstress even told me this. Granted, they’re both similar cultures and neighboring countries, they’re still different. The pattern, the scarf going diagonally is different. Lao traditional hair is in a bun cone shape. In my opinion, I feel like you shouldn’t wear another cultures just because is pretty. They’re both pretty so why not stick to your own cultural wear? Thoughts? See below for the images.

Lao: Thai:

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12 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Is it ever ok to exclude others from one’s culture which is the essence of tribalism?
Wear what you want.
Live and let live.

rebbel's avatar

“They’re both pretty”
This is debatable.
Very personal observation, that one cannot state as a fact.
I think it is perfectly fine if one wears the costume of a different culture than their owns.
Imagine me, a Dutch, marrying a Greek, both on our own cultural wedding dress…
I think I would opt for the Greek dress (suit) then.

chelle21689's avatar

When does it become cultural appropriation? So if a white person or Chinese wears an Indian wedding dress at a wedding, that is fine? I’m just trying to understand here.

chelle21689's avatar

@rebbel but that’s different. I could wear a Cambodian dress because my fiancé is Cambodian. In my opinion, I think it wouldn’t be right to wear an Indian wedding dress although historically India has heavy influence on Southeast Asia, that’s where the inspiration of the traditional wear comes from.

chelle21689's avatar

Also, I think another appropriate time to wear a wedding dress that is not culturally to you is if you’re in that country. “When in Rome, do as Romana do”.
Or if marrying into that culture it’s ok.

zenvelo's avatar

When I was in college in the 1970s in southern California, college girls would go to Mexico on spring break, and always seem to come back with a Mexican peasant wedding dress.

They were pretty, casual, perfect for warm weather, a bit of dressing up. And it was done in respect to the source. No one (least of all we Latinos) thought anything wrong with it.

josie's avatar


By your logic, if somebody from a different culture wore Western style clothing in a wedding, or anywhere for that matter, I might be permitted to use that as a reason to be upset.
I am totally unaware of Westerners taking issue with others adopting their garb.

ucme's avatar

I’m not going to lie, I think I could pull it off!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, the Laotian and Vietnamese dresses are SO beautiful and intricate. It puts our drab western white to shame.
I guess people can take how they want. They can be offended, or they can take it as a compliment.

cookieman's avatar

I look at cultural appropriation much like copyright infringement. If you’re not making or potentially making money or publicly furthering your brand or reputation, its likely not copyright infringement. Like in a single-use case for a class or private party.

I you’re wearing a dress from another culture other than your own at your wedding, I think that falls in the okay zone.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The only people making a profit are those who you buy the dress from.

Seriously. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?

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