Why You Might Want To Rethink Wearing All-Over Sparkles To A Wedding

We all love a little shimmer and shine — and it might even work well for some wedding dress codes. But if you decide to wear head-to-toe sparkles and everyone (including the wedding couple) is staring at you, you may have a problem. To understand why that might be, we can turn to what psychologists call role theory. The theory proposes that we have norms or a set of expectations for how we are supposed to behave in certain social situations, and some of those expectations involve dress. 


More specifically, as stated in Fashion and Textiles, we assume "roles" during interactions with others that are constantly changing based upon expectations for our own behaviors and others. Within the context of a wedding, guests are there to celebrate the union of a couple on their special day. Therefore, any dress or other behavior that detracts from that would be considered inappropriate given the type of gathering. With that in mind, here are some alternatives to sparkles that won't make you look like the star of the show but might secretly make you feel you are.

Florals that say celebratory not celebrate me hit the right tone

So, you've been invited to a wedding, and unless the invite suggests it's not a traditional affair, you've probably already ruled out some obvious options — like a white dress or casual jeans. After that, the rules might be a little more nebulous. But even in 2023, there are still some "do's" and "don'ts" to follow. Like "do" dress for the occasion but "don't" be too garish. While florals may not be "groundbreaking" for spring, they belong firmly on the "do" list. They evoke a sense of celebration and festivity at a wedding — which explains all the hoopla around the floral arrangements


There is a number of different ways to do florals. You can go with a more traditional floral print, or you could opt for a lace floral. You might even choose abstract or 3D florals as long as it doesn't detract from the wedding event. Challenge yourself to keep the outfit monochromatic with varied textures. It can be a fun way to make the outfit both interesting and minimal. 

Rich colors give personality yet still allow a white bridal gown to shine

Rich colors are vivid and have depth. If you are attending a traditional ceremony and the couple is wearing white, rich shades look dramatic and sultry, yet manage not to compete with the white ensemble. White reflects all of the colors of the spectrum equally and is the most reflective color. Thus, it outshines all the colors within its vicinity. So if you want to go with a rich color, you'll likely not be competing with the wedding couple — although you may blend in with the wedding party if you're wearing the same color as them so you'll want to avoid that by asking ahead. 


However, there is one vivid color you may want to think twice about for a wedding — red, or at least a pure red ensemble. Red has the longest wavelength, requires the most adjustment of all the colors to look at, and appears closer than it is. Its intensity may at least partly explain why it is associated with aggression — at least in Western culture. In her book, Big Dress Energy, Shakaila Forbes-Bell suggests you wear red if you want to be assertive — not quite the right approach for a wedding.

You can be unique in more subtle ways

So you've decided to put the sparkles back in the closet, but you still want to make a statement? There are a few ways to go about this. You can focus on details that are important to you like a fun collar, a pair of gloves you adore, or a shoe you really love. When you take the opportunity to express yourself in meaningful, not-so-obvious ways through dress, you can feel and appear confident without looking like you need all the attention.


Along with a focus on the details, you can focus on form, like a pant, skirt, or dress. Try to choose interesting, appealing shapes that give the energy you're looking for.  All in all, a wedding is an opportunity to dress up and wear what you normally don't get to wear. So while you don't want your wedding outfit to have too much shock value, it's perfectly okay — and emotionally satisfying — to step it up a notch and give them a little bit of your je ne sais quoi.