Can I Wear The Same Dress To Three Weddings?

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Dear Miriam,

I have three weddings coming up this spring/summer. I (a woman) and my partner (a man) will be going to these together. He has one very nice suit that he plans to wear for these occasions (and, if I had to guess, for every other upcoming occasion as well). I would like to buy one nice dress and wear it to all three events. Some of the guests will overlap between two of these weddings, and there will probably not be any overlap at the third. I know that this isn’t typical fashion behavior for women, but do you think I can get away with it?

Buy Once Wear Thrice


Dear Buy,

Might I hear in your question a hint of resentment at the patriarchy and its unfair standards for women’s clothing? Whether it’s there or not, I think, dear reader, that you can almost certainly do whatever you want. As long as you take the stated dress codes into account for each simcha and you make sure the dress is cleaned in between, there’s no reason that you need to purchase (or even rent) multiple fancy outfits for the same season.

You can definitely wear the dress to one of the two weddings that have overlapping guests and to the one with a different crew all together. You can wear the same thing to all three and say an emphatic “whatever” to anyone who questions your choices. You can also say a slightly more polite, “I liked this dress so much I couldn’t wait to wear it again.”

You’re not really asking for alternatives, but I’ll provide a few anyway. You could wear different shoes, or jewelry, or a different wrap/shawl. You could style your hair differently or even consider buying a dress that can itself transform into different styles, or you could carry a different purse.

You might make some of these changes to prevent someone from noticing you’re wearing the same dress. Are you worried someone might think less of you because of that? If they do, do you really care? Would you judge someone for wearing the same dress? Would you judge someone for judging you? You also might not like the idea of wearing the same dress in all of the pictures from all of these occasions. How much time do you spend looking at other people’s wedding pictures? How important is it to you to post on social media in distinct outfits? If you’re concerned about what your partner will think, you can always ask, and if you don’t like his answer, remind him about his one-suit wonder.

If you ask yourself what you’re really concerned about, I think your hesitation will fall away. Confirm that the dress you’re considering is appropriate for each occasion, and decide that you can get over any of your own reservations, and then you’re good to go. Be confident, have fun, and remember that you’re there for the couple, as are the other guests. Whether wearing the same dress is unusual or not, I think it’s also perfectly acceptable. And if you want to conceive of your plan as a pushback against patriarchy, you have my permission.

Be well,