From The Straits Times    |

Leather dress, from What Women Want. PHOTO: Her World Brides June – August 2014.

I attended a friend’s wedding dinner recently and as the banquet hall filled with guest, I realised the venue was getting darker by the minute: more than half the guests were wearing completely black outfits!

Call me old fashioned but of all the happy, vibrant and joyous colours available in fashion, why would anyone want to wear dark, sombre hues for a Chinese wedding celebration? Especially when it’s considered as an unlucky colour according to Chinese tradition!

The younger generation tell me times have changed and that black – being a chic fashion staple shade – is acceptable for weddings these days. But would you wear a bright, printed floral frock to a board meeting at your office? Or a bright red t-shirt and shorts to a formal funeral wake?  I don’t think so. 

What you wear not only defines your personal style and who you are, it’s also a statement about your attitude, values and respect for the appropriateness of the occasion you are attending.  

Show some respect to the couple. Even if the couple doesn’t mind your inappropriate dressing, show some respect to their parents. 

You may love wearing black or shorts or a skimpy dress but remember, the wedding is not about you – it’s about the newlyweds; guests should not behave or dress in a way that would spoil the occasion for them.

So these are my golden dress rules for wedding guests:

You can wear black if it’s matched with another bright, vivid colour (dull grey and dark navy doesn’t count) but all black outfits should be banned from Asian weddings! 

Occasion Dressing
If you can wear the outfit to the beach, shopping along Orchard Road, the supermarket, an office meeting, a disco or bar, or worse, a funeral wake (!), then it’s not suitable for a wedding celebration. 

It’s a fabric, along with chambray, that just spells casual. Unless your denim outfit is reworked into a high fashion couture statement (perhaps dark indigo flare jeans with a sleek sequinned jacket), this ‘cowboy’ material is just not dressy enough for wedding celebrations. 

‘S’ – for fashion items that shouldn’t even be at a wedding
Short-sleeved shirts or tees, shorts, anything sporty, sneakers, strappy flat sandals and anything that bear too much skin (i.e. anything too casual or sexy) are definite no-nos!