Wedding dress codes can be difficult to interpret at the best of times. But there are definitely some do’s and don’ts you should always stick to. So, can you wear black jeans to a wedding?
Black jeans should not be worn to a wedding. Even the more “casual” weddings would still expect slacks or chinos to be worn as a minimum. Black jeans will always look too casual, potentially disrespecting the wedding couple and also ruining wedding photographs.
Although that’s the gist, let’s go into it in more detail. Here are some great reasons why you should avoid wearing black jeans to a wedding at all costs.
7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wear Black Jeans To A Wedding
After reading this, there should really be no doubt left in your mind.
1. Denim Is Always Too Casual
Black jeans will be made from denim, a classically rugged and casual fabric.
The reason some people may feel as though black jeans are appropriate wedding attire is due to the color.
Black is a traditionally formal color. There’s a reason why “black-tie” is the pinnacle of formal attire as opposed to anything else.
But black jeans will always come across as a casual item of clothing, despite their color. They may look more formal than blue jeans, but they’ll still look casual.
Again, this is due to how heavy and rugged denim really is. It instantly looks and feels casual – this is why jeans have become a staple of casual wear around the globe.
It’s just such a noticeable characteristic of denim and it’s obvious even when the color of the fabric happens to be black.
2. Even “Casual” Weddings Are Formal
Weddings that claim to be “casual” are never actually casual.
If they were, T-shirts, a hooded sweatshirt, and flip-flops would be entirely appropriate. But in reality, we know that they never are.
A “casual” wedding will still lean toward the more formal end of the spectrum. You’d still be expected to make some sort of effort, even if they haven’t really specified what that effort should really be.
If you aren’t sure, there’s no harm in asking the couple what they really want their guests to wear.
Ultimately, smart-casual or business-casual items would usually be a much safer play.
Slacks, chinos, OCBD shirts, sports coats – they’d work so much better and wouldn’t be anywhere near as risky as wearing black jeans.
They’re not too casual, but not too formal either.
3. It’s Disrespectful To The Couple
Weddings aren’t easy to plan. They’re also not cheap. Being invited to one shouldn’t be taken lightly.
It’s a pretty big day.
The reason why all of this matters is that what you wear should in some way demonstrate that you appreciate all this.
It should show that you appreciate the invitation and you’re honored to be a part of it all.
Wearing black jeans to the wedding may not be the worst thing you could potentially wear. Shorts and flip-flops would probably have it beat in that respect.
But it’s still bad enough to potentially be disrespectful to the couple, if only because it could come across as though you haven’t made an effort.
4. You Can Wear It Literally Any Other Day
Black jeans can literally be worn anywhere. Whether it’s to the mall, the local bar, a budget restaurant, or your neighbor’s BBQ.
Weddings should be treated as a golden opportunity to dress up – even if it’s just a little.
While a charcoal grey suit is usually a fantastic option for attending a wedding, it isn’t always necessary.
Don’t get me wrong – if a wedding invitation clearly says “formal”, you shouldn’t be wearing anything less than a full suit.
That is, a matching pair of pants and a jacket made from the same roll of fabric. A real suit.
But for a so-called “casual” wedding, you do have a little more freedom.
You could go for a smart-casual or business-casual ensemble instead if the wedding is truly casual.
Going to a wedding in the same clothes you could wear anywhere else is never a good idea.
Black jeans fall firmly within this category.
Sure, they’ll look out of place. But they’ll also be robbing you of the opportunity to dress up.
While it may seem like an inconvenience in the short term, you’ll look back on the memory fondly in the years to come.
5. It Doesn’t Pair Well With Other Formal Items
Black jeans don’t combine well with other items that many people want to wear to a wedding.
In other words, it’s too casual to pair well with formal items.
Let’s say you do choose to wear black jeans to the wedding. You’ll most likely want to wear a few “formal” items to compensate for how casual it looks.
To balance things out, so to speak.
You may go for a woolen dress shirt, a knit tie, and a blazer. You may go for a pair of dark brown dress shoes.
While this combination can work with black jeans, it doesn’t work very well.
The casual aesthetic of denim is just too overbearing. Trying to combine denim jeans with traditionally more formal items looks off-balance.
It’ll look like a rushed mishmash of casual and formal items without much thought put into the outfit.
6. It’ll Ruin Wedding Photos
There’s nothing worse than being that guy. The one in the wedding photographs standing out from the rest.
Everyone around you is in worsted wool suits with pocket squares to boot, but your black jeans are what draws the attention.
The main problem with this is that the attention is drawn for the wrong reasons.
Couples pay a lot of money for wedding photographs.
Even the ones that aren’t that prissy about their photographs wouldn’t be happy if there’s someone in their photographs that hasn’t made an effort.
Those photographs are going to be with them for years to come. The disappointment would be pretty reasonable.
They may not make a big deal out of it. They probably won’t even comment on it to your face.
But it’s not a great way to say “thanks for the invitation and the free food”.
When attending a wedding as a guest, do your best not to stand out.
Don’t try to outdress the couple, but definitely don’t underdress either.
The best advice would be to draw as little attention as possible. Be as plain and simple with your choice of wedding attire as possible.
While a formal suit in a solid, neutral color would be the best way of achieving this, there are a few alternatives worth knowing about as well.
Let’s talk through them in a little more detail.
7. There Are Plenty Of Alternatives
There are plenty of alternatives to black jeans you should definitely consider before diving headfirst into this fashion faux pas. Slacks and chinos are the main ones.
Sure, a suit would be the safe way to go. But there’s a pretty good chance you aren’t too big on suits if you’re reading this.
Once again, if the wedding dress code is clearly “formal”, you really don’t have much of a choice. But a “casual” wedding (which we now know is still kinda formal) does give you a few more options.
Slacks, also known as “dress pants” are a great alternative to wearing a full suit.
Unlike suit pants, dress pants are usually made of a heavier and more rugged fabric. They look more casual than suit pants and so you don’t have to wear a matching jacket with them.
You could wear a blazer or a sports coat up top. It’s a formal look, but not too formal.
Top things off with a woolen dress shirt or an Oxford shirt as a minimum and always go for a necktie if you can, even if it’s a knit tie.
If you want to take things a notch more casual yet without needing to wear black jeans, go for chinos.
Chinos are widely known for their versatility. They sync well with both casual and formal items of clothing and rarely look out of place.
They wouldn’t be appropriate for a “formal” wedding, but they’d be perfectly fine for a “casual” one.
So, there you have it.
There are plenty of reasons why you should avoid black jeans when attending a wedding as a guest. It’s simply not worth the risk.