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

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