Decode the Dress Code: "Can I Wear a Romper to a Wedding?"

wedding

IT'S WEDDING SEASON, GUYS! & I love it. One question I am OFTEN asked is, "Can I wear a romper to a wedding?" 

Short answer? YES. 

Are you shook?

Surprised?

Grossed out? 

Excited?

Look. I'm Southern AF, which means I BELIEVE in traditions. They exist for a reason, y'all. BUT I don't believe (or practice) them without noting that some do need a little—ahem—updating. 

One of said traditions, IMO, is wedding attire. Before you FTFO, hear me out. Obvi I'm not saying wear a white ball gown to someone else's big day; I'm just saying that there is no need for the stuffy cocktail dress only rule. It's not applicable to all wedding dress codes these days, so let's allow our points of view (and our wardrobes) to be a little less myopic, shall we?

So, how the %^&* do you figure out if you can wear a romper or not? Be smart, and follow my lead:

  1. Don't outshine the bride— Rule One: NEVER outshine the bride. It's her big day to wear a white dress, be a total diva, and spend thousands (millions??) of dollars on things like embroidered napkins and personalized mason jars. Don't ruin this for her. If your romper is extra in any way, save it for another day. DO NOT WEAR WHITE.

  2. Search the invitation for clues— How fun is the wedding invitation? If it's super traditional, then your dress should be super traditional, too. If it's more informal and cashj, then your outfit can be, as well. Does the invitation literally specify the dress? I personally love when they do because it takes out all of the guess work to make the dress work ;)

  3. What's the venue?— Where the bleep is this shindig? If it's a church or a more formal location, then no, alas, a romper might not be your best choice. But if it's a beach wedding, a backyard wedding, or a bar wedding (is that a thing??), then a romper can be totally apropos. 

  4. What do you really know about the couple?— Are they cool? Serious? Laid-back? Rigid? Their personalities will play a huge role in the style and decorum of the wedding, so take that into consideration when planning your look. If the bride is full-on Bridezilla, wearing a romper is prob a no-go. 

  5. Crowdsource— What are Lauren and Lyndsey wearing? What's your mom wearing? What does someone in the wedding party think about your romper? It's always best to ask other wedding-goers what they're considering wearing to ensure you don't stick out like a sore thumb. I personally always like to err on the side of overdressed, but there is such a thing as TOO overdressed, so sometimes a romper really does just work. 

  6. Consider the style of the romper— Did it cost less than three Starbucks venti iced skinny vanilla lattes?  Does the fabric wrinkle easily? Is it too short? Is it made of cotton? Could you wear it to a BBQ? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the romper is probs not going to work. Sorry, Charlie. 

  7. Skip backless and cleavageRompers are generally short, so if you're showing off the gams already, you need to be mindful of your skin coverage elsewhere. Keep it cla$$y, gurrrrl. 

  8. Do a rando Google search— This might not work for every type of wedding, but if it's a popular wedding venue, then you can get a vibe from guests of weddings past and what they wore/what level of "dressy" the venue really is. 

  9. Consider the day and time— Is the wedding on a Friday night? Saturday afternoon? Wednesday evening? (Gross. But it's possible.) The day and time the wedding is scheduled plays a factor into the dress code and how brave you can get with your outfit choice. Overall, I would consider night events more formal and day events more casual. 

  10. Try on your outfit with shoes and other accessories— To really get a vibe for your entire wedding ensemble, you should try on your romper with all of your bells and whistles. Heels have a tendency to make rompers (and dresses) appear shorter, so make sure your romper looks as appropriate in four inch heels as it does barefoot. 

  11. Steer clear of sequins— This is not da club. Sequins give me LIFE, and I have a specific penchant for sequined rompers, but alas, save those for NYE or the Fourth because sequined rompers do not belong at a wedding. See: Rule One. 

  12. Use common sense— If the romper is too short, too sheer, too colorful, or too revealing or eye-catching in any way, it's a no from me, dawg. Use your big ol' girl brain, and consider how you would feel if someone wore the romper in question to YOUR wedding. When in doubt, phone a friend. 

  13. Email me— Email me at cat@forkandfrill.com if you ever have any specific style Q's. I typically check my email at least three times a day, so you will get a response from me within 24 hours, and I can help decode the dress code ;)

Other wedding etiquette Q's I get a lot:

  • Is it ok to wear white? Never. 
  • Are there any other colors you shouldn't wear to a wedding? I would skip any super, duper bright colors, specifically red. It's just a very eye-catching color, and you don't want to overshadow the bride. 
  • Can I bare my midriff as long as my belly button is covered? No. 
  • Can I wear a jumpsuit to a formal wedding? Most likely yes. 
  • Can I wear black? Yes. 
  • Can I wear flats? You can, but I would stick to heels or wedges if possible. 
  • Can I wear a blouse and pants? Again, you can, but I would stick to a dress, jumpsuit, or formal romper. One-pieces ALWAYS look more pulled-together. JUST SAYING. 
  • What if my date wants to wear jeans? Break up with him. 
  • Is it ok to wear a color that is close to what the bridal party is wearing? No. 
  • Can I keep in my nose piercing at a formal wedding? Probably. As long as your nose piercing isn't super distracting, I don't see why not? Just consider that part of your face. 
  • What about tattoos? Should I cover them? If you have a tattoo that could be considered inappropriate, then yes. I wouldn't worry about the butterfly on your ankle, though, Karen. 
  • I have pink hair. Is that ok? I mean, the bride or groom obviously knew you had colored hair when they invited you. Unless you newly dyed your hair, like, the day before the ceremony, I think it's fine. 

SHOP WEDDING-APPROPRIATE ROMPERS

Any more wedding attire related Q's? Email or DM me! I would love to hear 'em! What do you think about wearing rompers to weddings? Into it? Nah? Tell me in the comments!