Dear Abby and Elle: I have a country-chic wedding to go to, and I found what I consider the perfect dress but I’m not sure if I should wear it because it’s white. (Off-white, actually.) I’m going to this wedding as a “plus one;” I don’t know the bride or the groom, so I can’t simply call the bride to inquire. In my defense, the dress comes with a brown braided belt, and I was thinking of wearing a jean jacket with it. My question is: is it still considered bad taste to wear white to someone else’s wedding? –Itchin’ to Wear White
Dear Itchin’: What an excellent question this is, because fashion and etiquette rules evolve. What was once considered an absolute no-no years ago can be quite acceptable in 2014. Here’s what we can tell you…
You can wear the dress you bought because:
- it sounds like it’s much more casual than a wedding dress
- it’s off-white vs. white-white
- the brown belt helps distinguish it as something other than a wedding dress
In fact, enhancing a white dress with accessories that aren’t “bride-like” will go a long way to making a white dress acceptable at someone else’s wedding. In other words, keep your tiara at home.
That said, it’s still good manners to not “upstage” the bride on her magical day, whether she’s getting married in a country club or a country barn!