(Closed) Not Allowed to Wear Black?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1425 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think as long as the main color is not black you should be fine…. my some off chance are you Asian? My family is Asian and when it comes to birthday celebrations for the elders, the brighter the color the better…. and they usually instruct us to stay away from black and white. If you absolutely can’t find anything without black, then pair it with a pretty and colorful pashmina. ๐Ÿ™‚


Post # 4
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

I think it’s fine- it’s not a black dress, it’s a white dress with black trim.

Post # 5
3470 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

Personally, if I got the same request I would buy something new in a bright color, or at the very least, I’d pair it with some cheerful accessories. 

Post # 7
1728 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

if you do the dress- id do the pashima and some bright jewels

Post # 8
1375 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Well, it isn’t exactly polite of him to put dress requirements on adults, unless it is something specified by the party venue.  I think your dress sounds lovely!

Post # 9
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

This is totally an excuse to go get yourself a new dress. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 10
3089 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

View original reply
@Elvis:  Agree!  Plus it gives you an excuse to wear a bright colorful dress and to celebrate life.  It’s easier said than done though.  I also wear black for eveningwear so I’d probably be quite uncomfortable if that were taken away from me as a directive and not an option.


Post # 11
5949 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

Helloooo!  It’s an excuse to shop!  What are you waiting for?

Post # 12
9947 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Ok, from an Etiquette perspective…

It is true, it isn’t kosher for a Host to dictate specifics on a Dress Code ** (which is WHY you aren’t supposed to write BLACK TIE on a Wedding Invite)…

BUT for practical purposes, and estetics it is something that is still done fequently (as Bees have said often when dealing with their Wedding Invites … some people need specfic info… otherwise they come to a formal-ish Wedding in Shorts, Ts and Ballcaps).  Unfortunate, but the truth.  Which is precisely WHY you see things written out on Invites / Wedding Websites etc… REQUESTED ATTIRE is something that is common place nowadays, because sadly, even grown-ups don’t seem to be “socially mature” enough to realize for themselves what is and isn’t appropriate any more.

*Rolls Eye*

That said, we are not talking about a Wedding here… we are talking about a Birthday Party.

To be exact, an 85th BIRTHDAY PARTY… this is a BIG Celebration of life… and quite an accomplishment (I always say anything over 80 is pure gravey)… and quite honestly as someone who is over 50, I must say sadly, that from my age forward, a lot of great people pass-on way too early (I myself having lost perhaps 10 or so friends in the last 5 years). 

So at 85 your Dear Uncle has probably seen more than his share of that in the last 30+ Years.

Which from his mindset, makes this most definitely a time to Celebrate for sure.

I’m guessing he’s specifying NO BLACK, because it is a colour associated with Funerals… and the last thing he wants for his 85th is to be reminded that the Grim Reaper could be lurking in the shadows on such a joyous day.**

It is a time for Celebration… and wearing colour is one way that folks express joy… so my advice, even though I am sure that the black-trimmed dress is lovely… it is time to BREAK OUT THE RAINBOW… and leave any hint of black behind

** NOTE (linked to 2 references in the above reply) – When it comes to social graces, sometimes AGE can get one a BY from time-to-time… and this is exactly one of those occasions.  So although it isn’t appropriate to push for a dress code with one’s Guests, it certainly is understood WHAT the reasoning might be.  I’d therefore opt to RESPECT the Uncle’s Wishes… and make a point of wearing NO BLACK whatsoever.

Hope this helps,


Post # 13
5426 posts
Bee Keeper

If for an Asian birthday, wearing black is bad luck etc… just don’t wear it, wear another color just for that day.

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