Dress For A Funeral (It’s A Frum Wedding)

While my brother and his fiancée (is it frum to say ‘fiancee’?) plan their wedding, I get to sit back and watch so I can learn to plan for my own someday. Sadly for my own laziness, I’ve had to be involved in a small way, coordinating my various relatives expectations of what they can expect and be expected to do at a frum wedding.

My father’s family are not frum at all. Never were, probably never will be. My brother and his betrothed are both recently-flipped-out-in-Israel frum. (Last week he bought a Borsalino. True story.) The only religious functions my dads family has ever had to attend were our bar mitzvas. which compared to a wedding are pretty low scale events. All they had to do was show up in the right section at shul and not wear anything cut too low on top or too high below.

So I was on the phone with my cousin, trying to explain to her what to wear to the wedding, as their idea of traditional wedding outfits wouldn’t quite cut it amongst my brothers new crowd. Until I hit the simplest solution and directed them to onlysimchas.com with the instructions to “just wear what those girls are wearing”. Thousands of frum girls at hundreds of weddings must give them some idea of the expected outfits, right?

They called me back in less than five minutes wanting to know why everyone seems to be wearing black. Cue a montage of the girls outfits at every wedding I’ve ever been to in my mind and I realized the obvious. “Just dress for a funeral”.

Because it’s true, black is not the new black for frum Jews, it’s all there ever was. And not just for the girls, black suits, black shoes, black hat… if not for the white shirts we’d be invisible at night. The most color I ever see on most frum girls is maybe a pink sash or bow, but only over her all black outfit. Maybe that’s why jean girls are the casual standard, because if formal wear limits you to one color, who wants to have to wear it during regular days too? Although that doesn’t explain why the GAP hoodies are always navy or black as well.

I don’t have a closing. I just have a request for the girls. Why the all black and who enforces it? Because someone must be directing this mono-fashion show.

20 Responses to “Dress For A Funeral (It’s A Frum Wedding)”

  1. true words!

  2. because black is slimer and matches almost anything

  3. Black is slimming! And it matches everything. And all the tznius stores tend to favor black. And because of (sorry to say it) peer and shadchun pressure. Plus it can feel kind of awkward to be the only one wearing green or blue or purple in a sea of black.

  4. Hahahaha, I was at a wedding on Weds. and CJ was complaining about just that fact. Though the reasons stated above are good, I’m not sure I agree. It’s possible to look slim in something other than black. And I’m going to have take care of that “informing the relatives” to at some point…should be interesting.

  5. Doesnt the fact that black is the color of sadness and funerals mean anything? It seems the last thing you should wear to a simcha.

    As for black being slimming, it plays tricks on the eye from certain angles to a small extent because it casts no visible shadow from curves, but if you think wearing all black actually makes you look thinner you’re just fooling yourself.

    If not for the smiles, you could be mistaken that a picture of girls at a simcha was a goth convention.

  6. I never wear black to weddings- even those of my bais yaakov friends. Rumor has it that everyone looks good in black, its slimming, and everything matches it. All of the above are taken accepted as reasons for wearing all black, but none are universal and often are absolutely false.

  7. Hey! My GAP hoodie is PURPLE! And that’s only because my sister didn’t let me buy another RED one. Why would anyone voluntarily wear navy or black after all those years in uniform???

    But then again, I don’t wear red to weddings. Guilty as charged, I do own a black dress. But just because that’s what the stores sell now.

  8. The bottom line black is slimming and considered among the neo orthodox ultra frum extremists the only tznius proper color to wear. Have you been to a kosher supermarket lately in the States? The fruits and vegetables are the only thing that still are having colors, including red, G-d forbid.

    Wearing anything else than black to a wedding puts you straight with the outsiders that people should avoid. On the other hand, if people avoid me at the wedding because I wear burgundy colored gown, I better stay away from them too. Sad!

  9. I can understand the groom wearing black. In addition to his own Jewish mama, he’s getting another one, possibly 2.

    My mind’s a total blank about what people wore at weddings that I attend, probably because I’m usually drunk w/in 30 minutes of going through the door. 😀
    Wife wears red and blue and if black then only some parts of the outfit.

  10. i never paid much attention to the everyones wearing black syndrome until a few guys i know pointed it out to me . i always thought tha black is an in color because black is slimming and alot of jews are a little bit plump.

  11. And big boned!

  12. frum ladies wear black because its untznius to standout.

    I also hate all the black at weddings. its awful. plus, there are all those girls who wear black to their vorts… are they depressed?!

  13. I prefer colours and pastels at engagements, weddings, batmitzvahs – pale pinks, light blues, greens and purples, and of course black and white.

    My batmizvah all the guests wore colourful outfits…

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  15. ronbonboo Says:

    This is the deal with black, don’t listen to the excuse its slimming- have u seen those girls? Slimming depends on the cut/shape and meterial of dress not the color, sorry folks some of those woman look bigger than my pregnant cow and they are in all black!!!! Next I was told per tznius we as woman aren’t supposed to stand out so black is a hiding color but have you seen the brooklyn bumps (its a hair style) or the humongous flower pieces the girls wear in baltimore? And on top of it the makeup!!!! Remember when makeup was just to enhance your looks not make you look like a clown?????

    So while I normally wear color to a wedding… Tonight I am wearing black but I don’t mind standing out I don’t mind bragging to the world that I am a beautiful person, I don’t need to hide that Hashem created me betzelem elokim as beautiful as he is!!! So I will be boasting beautiful jewelry and a hair piece that will make me stand out!!!!

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