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Black Wedding Attire

Ima Teacher

Senior Member
DH and I will be attending a wedding in September. Guests are asked to wear all black. I have two solid black knit dresses, but they’re really casual. My dressiest ones are not solid black. One has small pink flowers on a black background. The other has colorful embroidery on the yoke.

Does all black mean solid black? I’ve never been to a wedding with that specific of a dress code. It’s at 5:00 in the afternoon. It’s at a vineyard.


Senior Member
Here's what brides.com says:
"What should a woman wear to a black tie preferred wedding?
Although evening gowns are standard fare for black tie weddings, you can get away with a formal cocktail dress (of the longer variety) or even an elegant suit. You can wear a gown in any silhouette you like. Go all out with a trumpet or ball gown or keep it simple with a dressy sheath."

Here are some examples of dress styles you could wear: https://www.brides.com/gallery/black-tie-wedding-guest-dresses

I would say either one of the dresses you have would be fine!


Senior Member
I’ve been to one ‘black dress’ wedding (bride asked guests to wear black). There was a variety of lengths. Most wore cocktail length dresses. Many had embellishments similar to your embroidered yoke.


Senior Member
To me there is a difference between wearing all black and a black tie affair. Are they going for fancy or edgy?

Wear what you feel good in.

Teach 5

Senior Member
Sassy Teach

I think Ima is saying that they were asked to wear the color black not black tie apparel.

Ima, I think either dress would be fine. I’m sure you will see variations on black among the guests.


Senior Member
Since it says "all black" I would be afraid to wear something that has other colors on it. You can find an inexpensive black dress on Amazon or probably your local stores.


Senior Member

I’m thinking the one with the colorful yoke would work, because that would be like wearing colorful jewelry with solid black. I’m visual, though, so a picture of the dresses would help me! :)


Senior Member
I find that to be an odd request IMHO. Black tie affair is a bit different.

Wear whichever you like best unless you feel like buying something else.

I will say I was the dressiest at DDs wedding in April which surprised me. I wore a navy a line mid calf sleeveless dress with a jacket with champagne pink pattern and glitter ( which left a trail everywhere, haha!). Other women my age wore dresses with a crop sweater or scarf, something I might wear to school or someone might wear to church. It was an afternoon ( 3pm) wedding, however.

I donated my dress to an Oxfam shop in London that week because I knew I would never wear it again and didn't need it taking up space in my carryon bag ;)


Senior Member
Huh. It's news to me that brides can tell their guests what color to wear. Black would be easy for me; I'm a musician so my closet is full of black, dressy attire. But, heck if I'd go buy something new for a wedding unless I was, in some way, part of the wedding party. I'd wear whichever of those options you feel the most comfortable in. What are they going to do? Throw you out of the wedding because you didn't follow the dress code?


Senior Member
black dress

My 2 cents worth...I think the black dress with colorful embroidery would be a sensible choice. When I think vineyard it reminds me of Spain and they do have colorful needlework.
Just a thought...what is the venue like? indoors-outside. If your September evenings cool as the sun goes down would a black shawl keep you comfortable?

Ima Teacher

Senior Member
My guess is they’re going for edgy. I’ll have to research the venue to see if it is inside or outside. I’m thinking outside. September will still be quite warm here.

Just to add to the “what to wear” issue, we are attending the wedding at 5, then a concert at 7 in another town. No time to go home and change.

I love clothes, so I would totally buy a new dress if needed. <!--giggle-->

The dressiest shirt DH owns is a black golfing polo. I’ve seen him in a button down shirt twice: our wedding & DSS’s college graduation. Dressing him will be more of a challenge since I’ll need to match shades of black and talk him into buying black shoes so my eye doesn’t twitch.

The sister’s wedding a few years ago was outdoor casual.


Senior Member
I think either of the dressier dresses would be fine. You’re basically black. And I’m guessing the bride wants everyone to appear mostly black in photos, and you will.


Senior Member
Black wedding attire

The one with the colorful yoke would be choice #1, then the patterned one.

Actually, because I love clothes, I would consider shopping for a new one…just because…you know…shopping!


Senior Member
I love clothes, so I would totally buy a new dress if needed.

Then there's really no question, is there? If you're going to be uncomfortable not following the dress code to a T and you want to shop for a new dress that will work for both wedding and concert, there's your answer.

As for your hubby's need for dress shoes that he may never wear again, Poshmark is a great resource. You can either purchase like-new men's dress shoes for a reasonable price or you can buy brand-new dress shoes and sell them later on Poshmark. They're my go-to for keeping DGS in concert shoes without spending a fortune on shoes he'll only wear a few times.


Senior Member
Guests are asked to wear all black.
IMO, if the wording on the invitation states all black, then I would wear solid black. My only color would come from the jewlery that I wear. This would not be the time to pull out colofull beads or bright stones. If I wore a scarf or sweater, it would be black or a very, very dark gray. For DH I would get him black pants and a very, very dark charcoal gray shirt to help prevent the clash of two different colors of black. Black can be hard to match, just like navy blue.

Have fun shopping! :)

Ima Teacher

Senior Member
These are my current mostly black versions.

Left to right.

Knit. It’s my airplane travel dress.

Dressiest looking on on, but least black.

3/4 sleeves and it’s a thicker fabric that would be uncomfortably warm unless it was a cool day.

My favorite, which means I’ve also worn it a lot.

I’m thinking shopping is in order. Everyone needs a little black dress anyway.
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