Q: Next month, I’m going to an evening wedding. Is it still considered taboo for guests to wear black or white?
A: Both black and white used to be off-limits for female guests at weddings, because black was considered the color of mourning and white was reserved strictly for the bride. But the rules about colors have relaxed considerably. There are still some informal guidelines, however. For instance, sometimes a black outfit can look a little somber, so you might want to perk it up with jewelry or a colorful scarf. As for white, it’s okay to go with it; the key is not to wear any kind of outfit that would resemble the bride’s gown, so you don’t appear to be “competing” with her. In general, you should choose your color based on how formal the wedding is, the season, time of day, and local customs. The bridal couple’s heritage might also be a consideration: In some cultures, black and white have symbolic meanings that you might not want to convey. For example, the Chinese consider white an omen of bad luck or death-so it could pay to do a little research before you don that white silk suit.