Can a Woman Wear Pants to a Wedding?

Can a Woman Wear Pants to a Wedding?

Duh. Now that’s out of the way, let’s get into why.

Personally, I will be a bridesmaid in a wedding this October, and our bride specifically gave us the option to wear a jumpsuit in her chosen color if we so pleased. If that’s not enough evidence that women can wear pants to weddings – and wherever else they wish – I don’t know what is.

Historical Context

However, some of you may be wondering where all this to-pants-or-not-to-pants business comes from. Ironically, we see evidence of both men and women wearing skirts and dresses throughout history. In ancient China, the male emperor traditionally wore a floor-length embroidered skirt made of yellow silk. The Egyptians of old all wore skirts, regardless of class or title (or gender).

It wasn’t until the New Testament of the Bible that men’s and women’s clothing became divided. Under the Old Testament, both men and women went to war. The New Testament brought a saving grace to women, allowing them to stay home while the men were away on the battlefield.

Around this time, men began wearing pants, and women would wear dresses and skirts. Naturally, it became a trend for men to try to get out of going to fight by wearing women’s garments. For this reason, the Bible stated that no warrior could wear women’s clothing. Eventually, as the Bible was translated to modern English, the word “warrior” became the word “men,” and so began our tradition of pants-only men in the Western world.

Now, why does this matter? Well, men were wearing skirts way back before the Bible, and it was seen as the proper way to dress. Nowadays, we have plenty of options for women who find skirts and dresses to be less comfortable or secure. I think just the sheer fact that fashion can change so much over the course of history is a clear sign that a woman can wear pants to a wedding if she so chooses.

The Opposing Argument

On the other hand, many sects of Christianity believe that women should never wear pants due to the previously explained Old vs. New Testament differences. You may choose to wear a dress simply because of this fact. It really should come down to personal preference, with the bride in mind. It is definitely appropriate to ask the bride herself.

I would also recommend finding out in what sort of venue the wedding will be held. If the wedding in question is to be in a church, find out what kind. Pentecostal churches, for example, expect women to wear floor-length dresses and skirts at all times.

Modern Day Examples

Women across the internet have blog posts and YouTube videos dedicated to the topic of stylish trouser outfits to wear to weddings. A quick Google search of “can a woman wear pants to a wedding” will give you plenty of results, but here are some of my favorites:

  • Cosmopolitan’s article targets both men and women, dresses and pants.
  • Stylish at 50 has an informative video with options and style advice specifically for women who want to wear pants to a wedding.