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wedding guest issues ...
Q: Dear Etiquette Counselor:
Help. My husband
gave me a gorgeous formal white suit he wants me to wear to a client’s
June wedding? Is that taboo?
Also, since the wedding is at 7, does that mean long gown?
basically three colors that get the traditionalists up in a
tizzy when guests show up in said hues: black (equals mourning),
red (screams slut), and white (because it’s the color that the
bride wears). Thus the reasoning goes. Now, I’m not a
traditionalist, and am generally of the opinion that in an ideal
world, style of dress should be more important than color when
it comes to determining what’s appropriate. As long as the
black, red or white outfits in question don’t make the guest
look like they’re planning to attend a funeral, walk the
streets, or say I do, respectively, I wouldn’t blink an eye at
I, however, am apparently not
representative of People. And as long as you’re breaking popularly
accepted social rules – no matter how silly – somebody, somewhere,
is going to disapprove. If you can live with that, and wear your
gorgeous suit with pride, knowing in your heart that the outfit in no
way competes with the bride, then by all means, don the suit. You can
try to lessen the potential bridal-ness of the outfit by pairing it with
a colored blouse, silver (not white) sandals, or colorful accessories.
If there’s any doubt in your mind that you can deal with potentially
having some of the more conservative folks looking at you aghast,
however – or worse yet, the bride herself – it’s always safer to
choose an ensemble of a different color. Given the fact that this is a
client’s wedding and not a close friend’s or relative’s, I’d
tend to err on the conservative side, and save the white suit for
for the question of whether a suit in general would be
appropriate to wear to an evening wedding, it’s difficult to
say without actually knowing what the suit looks like. Evening
weddings are generally more formal affairs, but assuming that
the invitation doesn’t explicitly state black tie, a long
formal gown is probably not required. As long as the suit is
quite formal, and you’re clearly much more dressed-up than
you’d be for a day at the office, you’ll probably be all
you may have
social faux pas?
want to avoid
doing so in the future?
Ask Etiquette Schmetiquette.
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