Where to wear or not to wear sequins? That is the question--though probably not one Hamlet grappled with on a daily basis. Sequins, once relegated to the night, where they shimmered on stages, starlets, divas and the opera-going one percent, have seen the light of day. Think of any piece of apparel, and you’ll find a sequined version. The same goes for homeware. Sequin blankets, bedspreads, cushions, table runners, table cloths, curtains, lampshades--even the family dog’s collar and coat--have all succumbed to the allure of those tiny pieces of shiny metal (or rather, shiny plastic).
Now that you can surround, and drape, yourself in sequins, should you? Where is it okay to wear that cherished glittery garment? Anywhere? Well, almost. But there are several places wearing sequins would be a social faux pas on the same scale as wearing nothing at all.
There are times when wearing sequin clothing is not only okay, but also de rigueur--think parties, nightclubs and competing on anything with ‘RuPaul’ in the title. And, while tee shirts or jeans or skirts or jackets with a little highlight bling might be perfectly fine to wear while running errands, shopping or eating out, there are some places you most definitely should not wear anything with any amount of sequining on it.
Weddings & Funerals
Weddings and funerals are the two most glaring examples--because you don’t want to upstage either the bride or the corpse, as the saying goes. Not that the person laid out will care, but the mourners might. And you always want to avoid the wrath of a bridezilla and her pack of slightly less well-coiffed but possibly equally as savage maids. If the bride herself is in sequins, and plenty are, you’ll be mince-meat in seconds should you turn up in some yourself.
Sequins are perfect on the bride...
but not on the guests
Image via Etsy. From a page by PolinaIvanova
The courtroom is another prime place to not wear sequins, beads or crystals. It doesn’t matter if you’re judge, jury, defendant, bailiff, prosecutor or Judy. The only person allowed to get away with bling in a legal setting is Ruth Bader Ginsburg--and that’s because she’s smarter than everybody else. Think about what goes on in a courtroom. The trajectory of people’s lives is often being decided. Sometimes life itself is in jeopardy. Serious stuff. Well, either serious or deadly-dull, eyes-crossed boring, as anyone who has ever tried to study a legal text will attest. But either way, not the place for frivolity and fun and a touch of whimsy, which is what sequins bring to this sometimes tired and cynical world. (RBG excepted.)
The Notorious RBG in her many blinged-out collars
Tempted to make an impression at your next job interview to set yourself apart from the 500 other applicants? Sequins are not the way to do it. Your can-do attitude and smarts will do that. Yes, it is acceptable to wear sequins in most workplaces where uniforms are not mandatory. But there are types of sequins and cuts of fashion that are better on the job than others. It seems almost a contradiction in terms, but sequins can be understated. Those are the kind for the office. But wait till you get the job and get the lay of the fashion landscape in your new place of employment before you take the plunge and bling up, in a subtle way, for your 9 to 5. Don’t risk wearing sequins at the job interview.
Matt sequins in neutral
colors work at work
Image via Pinterest/Style du Monde
Sequins are not dirty per se but they do have a lot of surface area and/or tiny nooks and crannies, depending on the type of sequining. So another venue to avoid wearing sequin clothing, or other items like sequin hats, is a hospital. Think about it like this. Your own hair also has a lot of surface area and therefore gets coated with a lot more bacteria on each strand than just the surface of your scalp alone does. That’s one reason hairnets and caps are worn by doctors and food service workers (to prevent hair dropping into your Happy Meal or heart transplant is another). So, wearing sequins into a hospital means you’re going to carry more bacteria in and out than you would on regular clothing. If you’re a germ freak, don’t light up the flame-thrower just yet though. In case you’re wearing sequins and have just returned from a hospital, fired up this blog and can feel the blood draining from your face in terror, a lot of modern sequin clothing, especially on everyday items like tee-shirts, can be machine washed--or at least hand-washed.
Nooks. Crannies. Surface Area.
Playing sport is dirty per se. When done right you should be working up a sweat. If outdoors you won’t avoid grass, mud, dust and dirt. All of that means your sequin workout attire needs more washing--and the more you wash, the longer it won’t last. Human sweat, being moderately acidic, is particularly bad for sequins. You don’t need to be RBG to figure out that sweat will be tough on the sequins. If swimming, you’ll likely be in chlorinated water. Not many people swim their exercise laps in a sequin bikini--but just in case you’re tempted to liven up the pool, don’t. Chlorine will react with the coating on the sequins, causing it to either flake off or dull, depending on the sequin type (metallic-look sequins will dull, transparent sequins will lose their coating). So skip the sequins when you're getting in your minimum half hour of exercise per day--which you are doing, right?
Just don't do it.
Image via Nike.com
In Royal Company
To a palace. To meet a queen. Don’t wear sequins. Just like brides and corpses, the idea is to not upstage the queen. Technically you’re not even supposed to sit, eat, touch, talk or leave before a queen does. Without fail, your royal invitation will precede a major wardrobe crisis. What does one wear? If you’re off to meet the Queen, for, say, a garden party at Buck Pal, the invitations are vague and unhelpful, typically reading, “The dress code is recommended as day dress/lounge suit. However, this is for guidance only and is not intended to preclude other smart dress. Hats and gloves are not required.” Breath a sigh of relief at the hats and gloves part at least. Dive in and find something at the back of your closet in muted shades with no adornments on it. Pray it still fits. Yes, you will be tempted by something flashier, but ask yourself how often you’ve seen the queen in sequins in the daylight. The answer will always be, never. But should you be going to a formal dinner at the palace, a few sequins and a couple of beads are fine. The Queen herself throws on some blinged-out frocks for those events. And if you’re tempted to wear that ultimate piece of bling, the tiara, just remember those are for married ladies only. But if you’re married and have a tiara lying around, go for it--they are a sign that you’re firmly off the market.
Lots of upstaging going on here. But to be fair,
the Queen does look like she's in an old
hessian sack. Anything will upstage that...
Image via Instgram. From a post by ctilburymakeup
Harder to upstage. And definitely off the market.
They save sequins for evenings, at the palace.