"I just learned an important dress code and friendship rule... three months too late."

When my beloved colleague and fellow weekend editor Clare Stephens pitched a story earlier this week, I quietly scoffed under my breath.

“Can you wear white to an engagement party?” Clare asked our team of editors. “I’ve got one on Saturday and ordered a white dress and now I feel like a dick. We should write about it.”

I said nothing, assuming the rest of the team would shoot lovely Clare and her uncharacteristically silly question down. How ridiculous, I thought to myself. Of course you can wear white to an engagement party, Clare. Stop being so SILLY.

But the editors didn’t shoot Clare down. They gave the story a green light instead, genuinely interested to see what you, the reader people, thought of the dress code dilemma.

The article was written. The people were tasked with deciding the answer. And that answer was this:

“I wouldn’t! Let her have her time in the sun and it’ll just be awkward for you,” one reader wrote on our Mamamia Outlouders Facebook group.

Should you send a singles list out with a wedding invitation? The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss whether or not it’s a good idea.

Another added: “I personally wouldn’t wear white as brides to be can get a bit funny about it.”

And another: “Nope, don’t wear white – to the engagement party or the wedding.”

Then there was this: “Don’t wear white. It seems silly but it can seriously offend some so I would steer clear altogether. I wouldn’t even ask her because she’s probably got a lot on her plate right now and the last thing she’ll want is to begrudgingly give you permission to wear white. Just, no.”


There was the odd comment about “throwing out the rule book!” and “who cares!” but ultimately, the answer was clear: white dress + a friend’s engagement party = NOT OKAY.

Which is ever so slightly awkward for me. You know… considering this is the outfit I wore to my great friends Emma and Luke’s engagement party last November.

Luke & Emma’s engagement ????

A post shared by Michelle Andrews (@michelleandrews1) on


Ah, yes. That would be a floor-length white jumpsuit that I wore to the engagement party of one of my best friends. Wonderful! Amazing! How great!

What makes this worse is that not for even a millisecond did I stop to think, “Is this not cool? Am I doing something wrong?” I JUST WORE THE BLOODY THING and it took me THREE MONTHS to learn that I made a serious mistake.

I know you never wear white to a wedding; that’s obvious. But the engagement party? The only dress codes I knew existed were “wear a bra” and “don’t look like you’ve spent the day in bed watching reruns of The Inbetweeners.”

In my defence (there is no defence – I am a bad person) Emma did wear a gorgeous floor-length gown covered in sequins.

… it was white. Emma’s dress was white.

Before you start stretching your thumbs, you don’t need to send me messages of hate. I hate myself.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be under my desk for the foreseeable future.

And Emma, if you’re reading this, I am so, so sorry.