Is it ok to wear dark jeans to an outdoor wedding if it is paired with a nice shirt, blazer, and dress shoes?
June 24, 2011 11:41 AM   Subscribe

Is it ok to wear dark jeans to an outdoor wedding if it is paired with a nice shirt, blazer, and dress shoes?
posted by *lostatsea* to Society & Culture (67 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Unless you are camping, no.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:42 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not unless the dress code specified casual wear. Sorry.
posted by ms.v. at 11:43 AM on June 24, 2011


I agree with everyone so far. No.
posted by goggie at 11:45 AM on June 24, 2011


Only if the dress code is explicitly casual.
posted by brainmouse at 11:46 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, you do not wear jeans to a wedding.
posted by tel3path at 11:47 AM on June 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Depends on the wedding doesn't it?
posted by humboldt32 at 11:48 AM on June 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Short answer: no.

Long answer: is this an incredibly casual backyard wedding in an area with extreme casualness? Then maybe, but that depends on how the bride feels about it.
posted by griphus at 11:51 AM on June 24, 2011


No, not OK.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:51 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's the dress code? Unless it's casual, I would give it a pass. I'm not a big dress code stickler, but if it were my wedding I'd probably be a little annoyed.
posted by crowyhead at 11:52 AM on June 24, 2011


No.
posted by questionsandanchors at 11:53 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe. The phrase "outdoor wedding" is not enough to license this judgment, though. Find out what other people are doing; ask someone closer to the couple, etc. You should probably wear a suit.

Weddings are wonderful, special, personal events that seem to bring out the bullying control freaks in their organizers.
posted by grobstein at 11:54 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't automatically think no - I went to an outdoor wedding earlier this year and saw a couple of guys decked out exactly as you described - they looked sharp. Bottom line: just ask.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 11:58 AM on June 24, 2011


Weddings are wonderful, special, personal events that seem to bring out the bullying control freaks in their organizers.

While I agree complete, please don't make someone else's wedding the hill on which you stand up to the Man of formal wear. Your own -- where the person who ends up throttling you might get off a little lighter -- is closer to fair game.

(Whether you are doing/implying it or not, I am not assuming either you or grobstein will/are.)
posted by griphus at 11:59 AM on June 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Depends entirely on the dress code. (If the bride and groom are wearing jeans too, it's fine.) If there's no dress code on the invitation, ask. If you can't ask for some reason, post the location, time, and anything else you know about what type of wedding it is here. That might help us to answer.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 11:59 AM on June 24, 2011


Depends on the wedding, but here in the South it would be just fine. Everybody has their dark 'dress' jeans
posted by Frosted Cactus at 12:07 PM on June 24, 2011


I know people who would totally have a jeans wedding. But they're in the minority. Either err on the side of formal wear or ask them specifically.
posted by anaelith at 12:08 PM on June 24, 2011


I don't think you need to wear a suit for an outdoor wedding, unless you are a member of the wedding party.

But I do think you should exchange the jeans for a different pair of pants.
posted by zizzle at 12:09 PM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's the thing about weddings:

What you wear should not be memorable for any reason. Unless you are the bride (which I find sort of funny, since I can't tell the difference between many of the froufy white dresses out there!).

This means no boobs hanging out, no sparkly red dresses, and no jeans, unless there will be other people in jeans at this wedding as well. That's right. Not just you and one other person in jeans, but you and at least two other people.

If you have any doubt that wearing jeans to a wedding, you can safely bet that it would be edgy or frowned upon.
posted by bilabial at 12:12 PM on June 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Only if the bride and groom are also wearing jeans.
posted by Elly Vortex at 12:24 PM on June 24, 2011


I like that it's risky, but at something like this, it's probably better to observe norms. You can look sharp as hell and still be inappropriate.
posted by amodelcitizen at 12:24 PM on June 24, 2011


I think the only right answer is "it depends" - it depends on the wedding, on the region, on the social norms and customs of the (majority) of guests invited, and so on. Strangers on the internet are the wrong people to ask. I mean, I wouldn't sneer if this guy turned up dressed like this at my wedding. But it depends.
posted by rtha at 12:30 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


What does the invitation look like?

If it's engraved, no way.

If it's nicely designed and uses a fancy font, no.

If it's an evite, probably not.

If the bride or groom called you up and said "Hey, we're getting married in the back yard next week, come on by!" then you're probably in the clear.

Seriously, though, assuming this is the wedding of a friend and you really think it won't mind (and it's not this afternoon), this is something you can ask them directly.
posted by Mchelly at 12:33 PM on June 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Totally depends. I know people who have "dress jeans" that they dry clean. Is this a laid back, casual, backyard BBQ affair? Will the bride and groom themselves be wearing non-formal clothes? If so, I say go for it. If you can't answer both of those questions with a solid, unhesitating yes, then I'd say skip the jeans and go with dress pants, slacks, or a nice, non-denim skirt.
posted by pecanpies at 12:35 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you wear jeans, you're going to be, at best, "getting away with wearing jeans."

If you wear more formal pants, you won't raise an eyebrow. It's better to not raise that eyebrow, even if your more formal pants are not that stylish anymore and your jeans are the most wonderful jeans on the market.
posted by oreofuchi at 12:36 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Weddings are wonderful, special, personal events that seem to bring out the bullying control freaks in their organizers.

That may be true in some regards (usually for close family members or those in the wedding party more than the guests who generally just have to show up, sit through the service, give a decent gift, and eat and drink), but not so much, regarding the topic in question, in my opinion. Seems to me a sign of disrespect or arrogance to deliberately dress down compared to everyone else at a friend or loved one's life-milestone event.
posted by aught at 12:38 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


What you wear should not be memorable for any reason. Unless you are the bride

This. Exactly this.

Unless the bride and groom explicitly invited guests to dress casually, your proposed ensemble would either stand out as inappropriately casual or ostentatiously stylish.
posted by Meg_Murry at 12:41 PM on June 24, 2011


I agree with the no jean almost-consensus, but need to add that I disagree with the folks telling you to ask. The bride and groom (or y'know, bride and bride or groom and groom...) have enough to worry about and enough people asking them stuff without having to deal with your outfit questions.

I guess you could ask someone less involved who still knows more than you do about the tone of the wedding, but you still put someone in the awkward position of having to tell another adult how to dress themselves, especially if the answer is no.
posted by crabintheocean at 12:42 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was going to say, "If those are the only halfway decent pants you've got, sure, go ahead. You're just another guest in the crowd. Who gives a crap what you're wearing?"

But now I'm starting to think that I just shouldn't give clothing-related advice, ever.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:44 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I did this (at an outdoor wedding held at a scout camp in northern Georgia) and it was fine.
posted by pullayup at 12:47 PM on June 24, 2011


Based just on the fact that it's an outdoor wedding? No. I've been to outdoor weddings before and you would have looked completely out of place at those gatherings had you showed up in the outfit you describe. Switch out the jeans for some other pair of pants.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:52 PM on June 24, 2011


I guess you could ask someone less involved who still knows more than you do about the tone of the wedding, but you still put someone in the awkward position of having to tell another adult how to dress themselves, especially if the answer is no.

The "someone less involved" is the best man (if you're on the groom's side) or maid of honor (if you're on the bride's side.) Without question you should ask them. This is what they're for.
posted by escabeche at 12:55 PM on June 24, 2011


When in doubt for weddings be more boring and more formal. I recently went to a wedding and the one or two people wearing jeans definitely stood out even though it was quite casual and they were nice jeans.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:57 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had a blue jeans wedding; both I and the groom wore jeans and we explicitly requested that our guests dress absolutely casual. There was some resistance to our request; the consensus was that jeans are too casual for a wedding even if they are requested by the bride and groom.

So unless casual wear is explicitly welcome, no, don't wear jeans.
posted by workerant at 1:03 PM on June 24, 2011


Always seek to be overdressed for an occasion, rather than risk being underdressed.

So, no.
posted by Citrus at 1:03 PM on June 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm having a very laid-back outdoor wedding, and I would be mildly annoyed if someone showed up in jeans. This despite the fact that I don't plan to dictate dress and wouldn't tell someone what to wear unless they ask, AND that I would never say anything to anyone who shows up in jeans.

So ask yourself if you want to be the guy who annoys the bride at her wedding. No? Then don't wear jeans.
posted by mchorn at 1:15 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


We still make fun of my cowboy ex-uncle for wearing black jeans to his daughter's (my cousin) wedding. Said wedding was 16 years ago.
posted by mollymayhem at 1:18 PM on June 24, 2011


I agree with the no jean almost-consensus, but need to add that I disagree with the folks telling you to ask. The bride and groom (or y'know, bride and bride or groom and groom...) have enough to worry about and enough people asking them stuff without having to deal with your outfit questions.

I totally agree! Don't put your friends in the tough spot of having to tell you not to wear jeans to their wedding.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:18 PM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't guess. Don't ask us to guess. Just ask.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:27 PM on June 24, 2011


If you don't know them well enough to know whether they are having a very informal wedding, you shouldn't point that out to them.
posted by smackfu at 1:38 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I had an outdoor wedding and one person came with an untucked collared shirt and blue jeans. They did stick out, and it made me feel like our special day didn't mean enough to them to put some effort into looking nice.
posted by Ostara at 1:49 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


No jeans. Sorry. You don't want to be "That Guy who showed up to a wedding in jeans. What was he raised by wolves or something?"
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 2:36 PM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you're going to do it, go full bore and wear a western cut jacket. a great pair of boots, and a hand-tooled belt spelling out your name with a huge buckle you won for bull-riding. Leave the Copenhagen in your truck.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:41 PM on June 24, 2011


Even here in informal Alaska, showing up in jeans would not be the norm but the exception. If you are already dressing the rest of you nicely, you should do the pants as well.
posted by Foam Pants at 2:49 PM on June 24, 2011


I think this one falls under the rubric of "If you have to ask..."

If you don't already explicitly know that it IS ok, by virtue of specific instructions or great familiarity with the bride and groom, you should err on the side of "no, no jeans at weddings".
posted by ootandaboot at 2:50 PM on June 24, 2011


I say sure! What you described sounds like it would be just fine to me. I can't believe anyone would notice, comment, or care. Obviously I am in the minority. (...and admittedly, I've never been a bride. mostly because i can't be bothered to give a shit about planning an event where this kind of thing matters).
posted by lilnublet at 3:00 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


You may or may not offend the bride and groom, but if this thread is any indication, you will almost certainly offend some of the other guests.

How much you care is up to you.

I've been to a wedding on a farm. We sat on bales of hay for the ceremony. There was a petting zoo. A cow stole part of my desert. I wore a suit. No tie though! I didn't notice at the time, but looking back on the pictures, there were dudes in jeans. But it was made explicit on the invitation (website) that the couple was happy with casual dress. One of the best, and least traditional weddings I've been to.
posted by danny the boy at 3:28 PM on June 24, 2011


I actually showed up for a wedding at a nice (and remote) location and realized, when I got there, that I didn't have my dress pants. I was good with the tie, shirt, and jacket. Shoes? Shiny and present (both of them). I even had dark socks. Pants? Nope. I briefly considered wearing shorts and hiking boots with the jacket and tie and claiming that I was "Outdoor formal", but wiser heads prevailed. I borrowed a friend's black jeans. By a miracle they fit. It was not as horrible as you might imagine.

These were super good friends and they all thought it was hilarious (so much so that, before my wedding, I got phone calls reminding me to bring pants. Ha ha. He he), but I do not recommend it.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:28 PM on June 24, 2011


Outdoor weddings are often just as fancy as indoor weddings.

No.
posted by Kololo at 3:30 PM on June 24, 2011


I have some family members who tend to show up to somewhat formal "major milestone' family events in extremely casual clothes. It's always a little... weird.

Especially since these sorts of events typically = photos, which means that this branch of the family always shows up in family pictures in rumpled yoga pants and crocs to everyone else's little black dresses and blazers.

My main thought about this is, "why?"
posted by Sara C. at 5:13 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Of course
posted by stubby phillips at 5:32 PM on June 24, 2011


If I invited you to my wedding, or if Xanthippe did, it's because we wanted you there. It was a pretty important event for us and we hoped you could make it. We wanted YOU to be there for this event, your clothes were never ever a consideration when we filled out the invitation.

If you showed up in a clown suit or Carhartts, it didn't matter to us.

That was over 25 years ago. Apparently times have changed. Maybe you should send a nice pair of trousers and stay home. Hans Xian Andersen would be proud.
posted by stubby phillips at 5:43 PM on June 24, 2011


No.

Buy some decent pants to go with the nice shirt, blazer and dress shoes.

An invitation to a wedding is a sign that you've joined grown-up society.

Look the part.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:44 PM on June 24, 2011


I agree with all the people who say you shouldn't call someone up and ask "can I wear dark jeans?" What I would do in your shoes is call a bunch of other guests and find out what they're wearing and then match them in terms of formality, but then my sartorial problem-solving hasn't advanced since my junior-high days.

Or, you know, you could just wear something that isn't jeans and avoid the issue. Stylish non-jeans pants will be appropriate even if there's a significant jeans contingent.
posted by solipsism at 7:03 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Um, you don't specify a location, but on the off-chance that you're in New Mexico, you're totally in the clear.
posted by NoraReed at 7:11 PM on June 24, 2011


Absolutely not (and I disagree with the answer that it's ok in the South - my mama would be scandalized).
posted by naoko at 7:11 PM on June 24, 2011


depends on the dress code listed on the wedding.

(and just FYI in the Australian weddings I've been to, it's suits for all gents. We have more than just beach/outback.)
posted by titanium_geek at 7:32 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think unless you've explicitly been told it's casual wear, you should err on the side of more formal. My dad wore cargo shorts to my sister's wedding and two years later they're still not speaking. Don't risk giving the impression of disrespect for a very important occasion in someone's life.
posted by lwb at 8:05 PM on June 24, 2011


Well then, looks like you can't.

This thread makes me want to get married just so I can officially not give a fuck about this, or anything like this.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 10:51 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It may be the 21st century, but people are still pretty shallow. Some will judge you (especially if there are generational or microcultural differences) by what you wear at the wedding, and how well you are able to conform. Because their impressions of you will last well after the event, you probably don't want to risk burning your bridges in this way.

It may be a little uncomfortable for you, but focus on that fact that you do this for the bride and groom.
posted by polymodus at 11:24 PM on June 24, 2011


Wear the damn jeans. World doesn't need more suburban conformity. Jesus.

We still make fun of my cowboy ex-uncle for wearing black jeans to his daughter's (my cousin) wedding. Said wedding was 16 years ago.

That says a whole bunch more about you than it does about your uncle.
posted by dontjumplarry at 11:51 PM on June 24, 2011


Wear the damn jeans. World doesn't need more suburban conformity.

This is absolutely terrible advice. Just terrible.

You should your non-conformity by wearing jeans to your own wedding. You don't use someone else's wedding as an opportunity to show that you won't be oppressed by the pants-wearing man.

OP: It's a wedding. Put on some pants. Why is this even an issue?
posted by Justinian at 1:30 AM on June 25, 2011 [10 favorites]


Uh, "You should show", above.
posted by Justinian at 1:30 AM on June 25, 2011


Man, MeFi, you are strict. And I'm usually one who gets uptight about things others don't care about. IMO, if the whole outfit makes clear that you've spiffed yourself up for the occasion, and you have reason to believe it's going to be on the relaxed side as weddings go, it could be fine. I wouldn't have wanted anyone going out and buying new pants just to go to my wedding.
posted by lakeroon at 2:14 AM on June 25, 2011


If you want to be respectful, show up dressed according to the level of formality of the (once-in-a-lifetime, life-changing) event (of someone else's). Unless this has been made very very clear to you, jeans will not be up to that level.

If you want to prove that you are not shallow, do not go to the wedding, which is an external, ceremonial formalization of a deep and meaningful matter of the heart.

If you want to stick it to the pants-wearing man, show up in your spiffy blazer and shirt and tie and Oxfords and sock-suspenders with polka-dot boxer shorts. White dots on a red background sound good to me. But for heaven's sake, have the courage of your convictions and don't turn up wearing mere jeans.
posted by tel3path at 6:41 AM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


What bilabial said.

It's not just that you don't want to be 'that person at the wedding who gets noticed for what he/she is wearing', because even if you don't care about what other people think, you're still imposing on the happy couple the need to account for your choices whenever the photos come out for however many years afterwards. The art of being a wedding guest is not being an imposition.
posted by holgate at 7:44 AM on June 25, 2011


If I were the bride at this wedding, I'd care more that you're there to share it with me than that you are wearing denim. In fact, whether what you are wearing is appropriate to the occasion or not probably wouldn't register.

But...that's how my brain works. It shouldn't be assumed of everyone. I don't think you should ask if it's OK, I think you should use your knowledge of the personalities of the persons involved to decide.
posted by houndsoflove at 11:43 AM on June 25, 2011


If I were the bride, I'd probably assume you had a last-minute pants disaster that left you with a choice of either jeans or indecent exposure.

If I were you, I'd find some loose change under the sofa cushions and go to a thrift store to buy pants. There comes a time in every man's life when he must wear pants. If that time were not now, then surely it must strike in the dark of night and in an hour when he does not know.
posted by tel3path at 6:19 PM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


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