What to Wear to a Quinceañera

What to Wear to a Quinceañera

Have you been invited to a quinceañera? Lucky you! Not only will you get to celebrate the coming of age of la quinceañera with family and friends, but you are also in for a great party. Let’s look at some outfits to wear to a quinceañera.

A Bit of Background

A quinceanera is like a “mini wedding” in its importance and formality within many Latino families. This coming-of-age celebration typically includes the 15-year-old birthday girl wearing a ball gown and tiara and the changing of shoes, in which a family member (often the father wearing a men’s suit and tie) presents la quinceañera with her first pair of high heels. Just like at a wedding, there are a few rules about what to wear and what not to wear.

La quinceañera is typically the only person who wears white. There are usually theme colors to the quinceanera (similar to the colors that bridesmaids and groomsmen wear at weddings) that only her family and court will wear. Find out what these are in advance so you can avoid them in your outfit, including your accessories. The colors used in the invitation to the quinceañera will often give you this information, but it is a great idea to double-check if you are unsure.

Captivating Cocktail Dresses

A cocktail dress is a great choice to wear to a quinceañera. Cocktail dresses are reserved for special occasions. By wearing one, you will be signaling to the family that you appreciate the importance of this event and that you are looking forward to celebrating it with them. Cocktail dresses are often knee-length or lower, which can also make them great for dancing.

When choosing a dress, keep in mind not just how it will look from the front and back but also how you will be able to move in it for everything from getting in and out of cars to bending over and giving someone a hug when they are sitting down to cutting a rug on the dancefloor. If you opt for a “non-stretchy” fabric like silk, satin, organza, or chiffon, think about how the skirt is cut. If the skirt is straight or pencil-shaped, does it have a kick-pleat that will help you to move comfortably while staying as covered as you prefer? Is the color flattering to your skin tone, eyes, and hair? Is this dress versatile enough that you could wear it to a wedding or formal party later on to get more mileage out of it?

Luscious Little Black Dresses

Little black dresses are a version of cocktail dresses in a category like no other. Women have been looking fabulous in little black dresses ever since Coco Chanel “invented” it in the 1920s. From Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" to Zendaya stepping out in New York City in one, the little black dress is iconic.

Not only is it okay to wear a black dress to a quinceañera, but you might already have the perfect one in your closet. If not, perhaps it’s time to add this wardrobe staple. Little black dresses can be dressed up or down depending upon the formality and festivity of the event. You can do this with the shoes and jewelry that you choose. For a quinceañera, perhaps you would want to choose a pair of black heels with embellishments like sparkles, fun straps, or bows. For a more subdued dressy occasion, perhaps a pair of classic black pumps or a cute pair of black women’s flats would be in order.

Marvelous Maxi Dresses

A quinceañera is a perfect time to break out your best maxi dress A maxi dress makes a statement by virtue of the long column of color that it contains. It’s a form of visual communication that says, “Look at me. I’m beautiful.” Chances are la quinceañera will be so dressed up that you won’t be in any danger of upstaging her by wearing a lovely maxi dress.

A maxi dress is also a great choice for a summer quinceañera if it is held outdoors. The right dress will be a special occasion dress that is still easy, breezy, and perfect for dancing under the stars.

Fabulous Footwear

You’ll want to wear your dancing shoes to the quinceañera! The occasion is bound to include good food, good company, good music, and dancing. Similar to wedding receptions where all ages are likely to get out on the dance floor, a quinceañera is a joyful, multi-generation festivity. You’ll probably want to wear heels with your dress or pantsuit but choose them for both walking and dancing. A mid-heel pump or wedge can be a good choice. If you wear sandals, make sure that all the straps will be comfortable for walking and dancing.

It is an honor to be invited to a quinceañera. Have a wonderful time celebrating!


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