‘Tis wedding season again! Today’s Commandress post answers a reader question about black tie dress codes and features ten lovely dresses in styles to suit any best-dressed wedding guest.
A concerned reader recently asked me a question that comes up every year: Can you wear a cocktail dress to a black tie wedding, or do you need to wear a floor length gown?
You see, Reader L was in the middle of buying a sparkly black cocktail dress for a black tie wedding when her salesperson told her that a black, knee-length dress was not an appropriate choice. According to the salesperson, Reader L should wear a floor length gown – preferably in a color other than black.
And, of course, it troubled Reader L to imagine looking inappropriate – and perhaps even disrespectful – at her friend’s wedding.
(Shown below: “Hey, wedding guests: Get it (etiquette) together, OK?” Image courtesy of the Denver Post.)
I’m sure the salesperson wanted to be helpful, but her advice about black tie weddings is outdated and incorrect. Unfortunately, you can find plenty of misinformed guidance on this topic.
A cocktail dress is perfectly appropriate for a black tie wedding. Moreover, the dress does not need to be colorful. A dressy Little Black Dress is another appropriate option.
Says who? Emily Post. According to Emily Post, floor length gowns are only required for white tie events – and I see no reason to disagree with her. The Emily Post website also has a very helpful chart about dress codes. Here’s a link to the Attire Guide: Dress Codes from Casual to White Tie.
Returning to Reader L’s dilemma, it’s irksome to think that if Reader L had not been short on time, the salesperson might have convinced her to buy a floor length gown that she really doesn’t want – and certainly doesn’t need.
But let’s move on before I start to get huffy.
It’s time for the fun stuff: pretty wedding guest dresses! Not surprisingly, I favor color, color and more color for wedding guest dresses, but I want to reiterate that a dressy LBD is also appropriate for all but the most formal weddings.
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Looking for more amazing dresses for a best-dressed wedding guest? Please visit the Commandress Pinterest board Love Your Dressed Up Style.
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