Can You Wear White to a Wedding?

By Amalah

I have a wedding to attend in July, and after much purchasing and returning and gnashing of teeth, I think I have my outfit picked out. Because, you know, the focus is totally going to be on ME, a random guest, and not that bride-type person. So, anyway, I’m thinking I’m good to go, right? But maybe not. Because I apparently hate myself, I have come up with a problem with my chosen outfit. It’s a white skirt with a black swirly pattern that I have paired with a black twinset, and black peep-toe high heels. So here is my dilemma. What is your opinion on a guest at a wedding wearing something white? Please keep in mind it is NOT a totally white outfit, just a white skirt with a black pattern. Please help, I’m driving myself crazy.

Oh, I think that’s totally fine. Wearing an all-white outfit is one thing, but a black-and-white patterned skirt? Soooo not a big deal. Unless it’s big and poofy and floor-length and possibly tulle. Then I might suggest that you reconsider.
My only concern with your outfit (which could be moot, depending on where you live) would be the twinset. Is it…a sweater? Like a long-sleeve sweater? In July? I only bring this up because it’s barely June here in DC and already getting up in the 90s, temperature-wise, and I am DYING at the thought of anything other than short sleeves and I fully believe if you put a twinset on me right now I would melt. Oh, what a world!
Of course, if the twinset is sheer or short-sleeved or you intend on taking the outer sweater off inside, you will be fine and seasonally appropriate and everthing. Or the wedding could be in Alaska, for all I know. And I’ve gone and relieved your one worry about your outfit and replaced it with another for no good reason, because I am awesome and helpful like that.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • qwyneth

    June 8, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    You might want to be careful if you were going the other way around–if you were pairing a black skirt with a white shirt. I went to a wedding the other day wearing a black skirt with some thin, white embroidery. Since it was supposed to be a beach wedding (even though it ended up storming) I thought I’d lighten it up with a lacy white top. Mistake. When sitting down I definitely got some evil eyes from people who couldn’t see my very black skirt. Sigh.

  • katishere

    June 8, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    i think you’re totally fine – just as long as the white isn’t glaringly white. but black on top and bottom and you’re set! i’d maybe offset with a bold piece of jewelry to make it clear that you’re not the bride. but then again, who’d make that mistake!


    June 8, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    I just wore something very similar to a wedding only I wore a sleeveless cami-style sweater on top and some killer Calvin Klein platform heels. I can see not wearing all white but black and white is perfectly fine IMO.

  • Valette

    June 8, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Even July in Alaska isn’t sweater weather, Amalah. Unless the wedding is on the beach and very windy, in which case wear a shawl. Not a sweater.

  • tarheelbaby

    June 8, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Oh, my God, that’s my question! Thanks so much for answering! To answer your question, it is a short-sleeved, lightweight cashmere sweater with a shell underneath. Although the wedding’s going to be in North Carolina (heat! humidity! y’all come back now, y’hear?), it’s in a church where there will be much air-conditioning. I’m glad this met with your approval, because I think I’m driving the salesperson at Nordstrom and my husband to drink. Thanks again for answering my question!

  • blurb

    June 20, 2007 at 12:40 pm