DEAR MISS MANNERS: Our whole family is traveling to an out-of-town wedding. The invitation requests "Cocktail attire, ties required for men and dresses for women."
My teenage granddaughter doesn't like to wear dresses, and though she has worn them in the past, said she doesn't wear dresses anymore and will wear a suit.
I would understand if she was transgender, bi or a lesbian, but I don't feel it is something I can ask about if she is not ready.
However, if she is not any of these, then I don't think this is a good time to rebel against the dress code when the attention should be on the bride and groom. I should mention that we have friends and relatives who are gay and bi. So is a suit a reasonable alternative for a middle school girl?
GENTLE READER: George Sand may have raised eyebrows when she wore men's clothing in mid-19th-century Paris, but it is Miss Manners' observation that any correlation between sexual orientation and suits for ladies is -- if it ever existed -- long gone. She allows that your granddaughter may wear a dressy suit without violating the spirit of the dress code -- or attracting unwanted speculation as to its purpose.
Fearing undue attention at a wedding is a fruitless pursuit. There will undoubtedly be other guests attracting it away from the bridal couple in the form of unusual dress, alcohol overindulgence or general adorableness, factors that seem to be ubiquitous at any social gathering.