(Closed) White dress symbolizes purity?

posted 12 years ago in Dress
  • poll: Are you following the tradition of "white dress symbolizes purity"?

    Yes - I am a virgin, and am wearing a white dress proudly.

    Yes - I am not a virgin, and so I plan to wear an offwhite/colored/accented/non-white dress.

    I considered it, but decided that I want to wear white anyway - that tradition is dead.

    I'm not wearing white/my dress has colored accents... but the choice is unrelated to this tradition.

    I'm not a virgin, but I'm wearing white, and I've gotten criticism from older relatives for it.

    This is the first time I've heard of this tradition.

    There is no option for me! How dare you forget to allow me to vote for _______________!!!

  • Post # 3
    1363 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I harken to an older white dress tradition: White dresses are a symbol of luxury and extravagance.  After all, white dresses will get dirty, so only the upper class would spend money on a dress you could wear once.

     Also, I really hate the analysis of white dresses as a symbol of purity.  I’m wearing slightly off-white because stark white would look awful on me. 

    Post # 4
    131 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2009

    Though my dress is ivory I don’t feel the need to have to avoid white because I am not "pure". Which in writing that statement made me fee a little bad about my self. Oh well I’m over it.

    Funny story though… about a year before I was engaged I was at a bridal store with my Future Mother-In-Law and Future Sister-In-Law picking up her bridesmaid dress for another wedding and I made the comment that we should try on wedding dress just for fun, while my Future Sister-In-Law laughed and said that it would be fun, my Future Mother-In-Law said that I had to make sure I didnt try on a white one because that would be a lie. Sometimes her filter malfunctions.

    Post # 5
    405 posts
    Helper bee

    My dress is the exact opposite of white! I’m wearing black! haha Whenever people ask why I’m not wearing white I say a) I look HORRIBLE in white, b) it’s too formal for our location/our tastes, and c)I’d be lying! LOL It’s mostly reasons a & b though, and I only throw in c to certain people.

    I think the tradition of white signifying purity is dead, but that white is a tradition because white = bride, not white = virgin. 🙂 I’m not sure that makes any sense!

    Post # 6
    3331 posts
    Sugar bee

    My dress is ivory, but only because it was much more flattering on my skin tone than pure white was.  I’ve heard of this tradition, but I didn’t realize that anyone would still make their decision based on it.  If you wear ivory (or other color accents), I can’t imagine anyone would think poorly about you because of it.  Or the other way around, I wouldn’t expect anyone to assume the reverse about you if you wore white. 

    Post # 7
    133 posts
    Blushing bee

    I’ve never heard of that. According to wikipedia, blue dresses traditionally signified purity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_dress During Victorian times, white dresses were a symbol of wealth because they were too impractical for everyday wear. In other words, if you could afford a dress to wear for one day only in a color easy to stain, you must be rich!

    In any case, I don’t think my guests want to be thinking about my sexual history as I’m walking down the aisle. ICK! I’ve seen reality shows were the pastor makes some sort of public comment about how the couple are virgins or saved themselves for marriage and it strikes me as Too Much Information. To me, a couple’s sexual history is kind of private and doesn’t necessarily need to be broadcast to all of their friends and relatives. In my mind, the couple is abstaining from sex for the benefit of themselves and their relationship and not to get extra brownie points from the pastor.

    Post # 8
    141 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I’m not religious so the concept of "purity" was entirely lost on me. I bought my dress because I liked it and it looked good on me.

    Post # 9
    2725 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    I’m wearing ivory, but only because white makes me look pasty. I personally don’t base a brides "purity" on the color of her dress. It’s none of my business what goes on behind closed doors.

    Post # 10
    2292 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2008

    I wore ivory, and I really didn’t think twice about it.  I’m glad to see the "white=virginity" myth understood as just that by more than a few bees!  The "tradition" of the white wedding dress is really, really new – as recently as the early 1900s women still got married in their best dress, which was generally black, navy, or some other dark color, and white, as pointed out by ErinMarguerite, was an ostentatious show of wealth, not a declaration of your sexual status.  In fact the white wedding dress didn’t become prevalent in middle-class society until after World War II, so this "tradition" is only a little more than half a century old. 

    Post # 11
    752 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    I think it’s very amusing that modern American culture has projected the idea that white = purity onto what started as a fashion trend! Just as above posters have said, white actually signified extravagance, not purity, and the white dress trend started with Queen Victoria’s white dress. It’s nowhere near the ancient tradition that some people tend to think it is.

    As someone who lives in the south and looks awful in white, I’m curious as to whether this "tradition" is more enforced in the South. Seems to be, to me, but I could be wrong! 🙂

    Post # 12
    135 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    I am not wearing white only because I had a quince anos and wore a hugh white ball gown and I just dont want to again. Plus I think that a white dress would stand out like a sore thumb against brown suites and brown dresses. Plus my gown is all lace and looks amazing off white.

    Post # 13
    7052 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I’m a fellow Atlantean like Driftslikesmoke and look awful in white but know of the silly tradition.  Personally, if I wore white, some of my elderly family would fall out since I’m a mom…and divorced…but then again, some have told me that "despite having been previously married, white can symbolize a purity of love". 

    I could personally care less.  And I look awful in white.  Horrid.  Doesn’t do a darned thing for my skin color or hair.     

    Post # 14
    1998 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    Not many people wear white-white dresses these days, anyway. To me, there’s not much to that whole tradition. Honestly, I’m a virgin, and while my Fiance does use the whole "I want to see you in your dress first" excuse to reign me in sometimes, I never think of it having to do with the color of my dress. It’s more about the ceremony to us.

    Post # 15
    251 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    I know my comment is a bit late… well, very late but this thread topic was listed under “related posts” while I read another.

    This is what I have to say:

    The “white dress” tradition started in England in 1840 when Queen Victoria wore a white gown  so she that could show off some white lace that she owned. Because of the pictures published thereafter, brides started adopting the colour and it became popular. Only later people ASSUMED the white was a symbol of virginity when in fact this was never the original intention. 

    In 1559,  Mary Queen of Scots, wore a white gown simply because she liked the colour, yet in that time white was the colour of mourning. Today, some people wear BLACK/PURPLE at funerals or when they are mourning. So you see, the meaning of these colours can change to however you think. And if you think a non-white dress is a good colour to reflect your likes on your wedding day, it’s all good. It’s about how YOU interpret things and what makes you happy!

    The topic ‘White dress symbolizes purity?’ is closed to new replies.

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