Getting to that point in your life when all your friends start getting married and you’re attending multiple weddings a season can leave you in a tricky spot wardrobe-wise. You can’t repeat outfits among the same group of friends, but you also don’t have an unlimited budget to buy a new outfit for each wedding. So you look beyond your dress collection and wonder if other items like skirts are also appropriate?
In general, skirts are acceptable attire to wear to weddings if they are not too casual. Choosing a skirt that is the correct length and style is critical to determining whether it will be appropriate for a wedding.
This is not a clear-cut line, though, so we’ll guide you through picking out a skirt that will leave other wedding guests talking about your outfit in all the right ways.
Are skirts appropriate for wedding guests?
Skirts open up more possibilities in your wardrobes when considering wedding outfits. Pairing a top with a skirt allows you to mix and match, to dress a skirt up or down – therefore also making them a great option for a smart-casual dress code where you need to dress your outfit down a little.
If you’re considering wearing a skirt to a wedding, a good rule of thumb is that it shouldn’t be shorter than any dress you would wear to the wedding.
The length is the most important aspect of the skirt that you are considering for a wedding—both out of respect and for practical reasons. Regardless of whether the wedding is held at a church or not, make that your point of reference – if you wouldn’t wear the skirt to church, then don’t wear it to the wedding!
This aside, a wedding is a couple’s special celebration and not the time to parade the latest little party dress you’ve bought, no matter how cute you look in it or how good your legs may be. You’ll likely be with parents, grandparents, and other relatives of all ages, and dressing with more modesty is generally advisable.
If the wedding follows the standard format, you’re also sure to be dancing by the end of the evening. In addition to this, you’ll be getting up and sitting down for the ceremony, at dinner, and most likely throughout the wedding.
Wearing something so short that you need to be constantly pulling it down to cover up is like watching someone constantly pulling up a strapless top or dress on the dancefloor – equally frustrating for the wearer and those around them. Do yourself a favor and don’t even make this something you need to worry about during the wedding.
Aside from the length, there are some other factors to consider, such as the fabric and the style.” As long as it’s not white!” is not the only thing you need to remember when it comes to the fabric that you wear to weddings, particularly for your skirt. It goes without saying that sheer fabric is not acceptable at a wedding, on either your top or bottom half.
Similarly, very casual fabrics such as denim should be avoided, so denim skirts are a no-go, no matter the style or length. Stick to styles such as pencil or A-line and avoid more casual floaty styles.
Which type of skirt you wear and how appropriate it is depends on the dress code for the wedding. Weddings that have a more casual or smart casual dress code will allow for more pattern, color, and embellishment on the skirt than a stricter, more formal dress code. This is not to say that a black-tie or formal wedding cannot have skirts attending it – only that your options for what is considered appropriate at such events are more limited.
Different skirts for different seasons?
Does the season make a difference to what kind of skirt you can wear to a wedding? Absolutely! During a summer wedding, you will likely be able to get away with a far more casual style of skirt than in winter. You will likely have a wider selection of colors to choose from, and patterns, such as floral prints, will be acceptable. Winter tends to call for bolder, block colors in a heavier fabric.
Wearing stockings under a skirt during winter is also acceptable for a wedding outfit. Either paired with heels, boots, or ballerinas, a skirt is a great option for winter as it gives you more versatility in terms of using some existing tops with sleeves for a little bit of extra warmth too.
What colors are okay to wear to weddings?
With occasions such as weddings steeped in tradition, there are certain unwritten rules when it comes to dress codes in particular. Obviously, this will vary according to the type of wedding, the individual couples, and their family and friends, but in general, there are some hard passes when it comes to your wedding wardrobe as a guest. Colors are an easy starting point to include or exclude from your outfit. These are some colors to avoid:
- Top to toe black: While a LBD accessorized with a little color or sparkle is perfectly acceptable for a wedding these days; you want to avoid looking like you’re going to a funeral.
- White: This goes without saying. You can’t steal the bride’s thunder. This is her day, and she’s the only one allowed to wear white—ditto for off-white, ivory, or cream.
- All red: Red is a very attention-grabbing color, and the aim as a wedding guest is not to have the attention on you, but just to look nice.
- Gold, silver, or overly sparkly: While metallics have made a comeback and can be perfectly acceptable for a wedding outfit, for the same reason as above, you don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself. A sequin dress is probably best left for parties.
- The same color as bridesmaids’ dresses or the mother of the bride’s dress: While you may not know this color in advance, and it won’t be a train smash if you are matching if you do know the color or want to check in beforehand, try not to wear the same color.
This shouldn’t feel limiting; there are so many colors out there to choose from, so use this as a rough guide.
Can I wear a skirt with white in it to a wedding?
While in general, not upstaging the bride by wearing white is the golden rule at any wedding, if you’d like to wear a skirt that has some white in it, that is generally acceptable. Particularly if the skirt has a white stripe or a white background to a floral pattern, and the overall color is not white, then the skirt is appropriate color-wise. Similarly, if there is another color underneath and a white or off-white lace overlay, for example, then the skirt will probably be acceptable.
Though these are some general rules, you will need to use your own judgment when it comes to deciding what is appropriate. If you’re looking for guidance, ask the bride herself or just look at images online or on social media to see what other people in the same age group or area are wearing to weddings this season.
Alternatives to wearing a skirt to a wedding
While skirts are a versatile option, easily dressed up or down, and suitable for weddings at all times of the year, they aren’t your only option. Dresses are a good substitute if you’d like something feminine and classy; otherwise, you have some other options if you generally prefer pants.
Pantsuits, either with shorts for a summer wedding or long, cropped, or culotte-length legs for any season, are trending again for women, either with or without a coordinated jacket. Jumpsuits are another option that has gained popularity and, similar to dresses, allow for a one-piece, no-coordination-necessary outfit. There’ll be more emphasis on accessories with one-piece options, but if skirts aren’t your thing, you still have choices!
General wedding wardrobe rules
- Don’t wear white, off-white, cream, or ivory
- Keep away from sheer, sequins, or anything too attention-grabbing
- Keep it classy – avoid low necklines or high hemlines
- If you think it might be too casual, it probably is. Err on the side of formal.
- Wear color in summer, and accessorize well
In general, just don’t upstage the bride! This is her day, not yours. Look good, but not too good.