Quinceañera Dress Code


Rylie Rice (9th), Reporter

As a freshman or high school student of any age, it’s prime quinceañera time! As our female peers begin to turn 15 and plan out their traditional birthday celebrations, they also have to keep in mind their guest list. Quinceañeras are celebrated for cultural reasons dating back for centuries in Hispanic history, which means much of the guest list is made up of family and family friends. Not only is it close family, but the invite is extended to those family members you’ve always heard about through Facebook or family drama, but never even met! Family friends are also essential as they’ve been by the girl’s side probably since she was born and have watched her grow to be the young lady that she is now. 


After invites have been sent to all the family, there’s a bit of wiggle room left for the birthday girls’ friends to celebrate their beloved amiga’s special day. With this invite, however, comes the shopping journey of looking for the perfect outfit to wear. As fashion has evolved, obviously so have dress codes. Nevertheless, it’s always important to respect the quince colors and aesthetics! 


I’ve gone to 5 quinceañeras and I’ve taken notes on the most appropriate and inappropriate attire. On the top of the list for worst wardrobe options is of course THE SAME COLORED DRESS AS THE QUINCEAÑERA!! 


I had a recent conversation with Pitman High Freshman, Mia Gonzalez, when she shared with me that the last quinceañera she went to she saw one of the birthday girl’s close friends in a dress not only the same color as her but the same shade!! She expressed that nobody quite mentioned it to the girl, but that it would have been a little bit more respectful to choose another color especially since she knew the birthday girl very well. 


As you can tell this happens way too often, but it should be avoided at all costs to save you from as much embarrassment and judgment as possible. Say the birthday girl’s dress is dark emerald green, and you saw a light sage green dress that you love; I would still suggest choosing a different color. It is solely out of respect for her and her family since one of the biggest symbols of her special day is her big poofy dress and you do not want to take the spotlight from her special day. 


Other than colors and shades, it’s always nice to ask the quinceañera or her family for their opinion on what to wear or what they’re expecting as far as the dress code goes. The most common dress styles for formal events are tighter and shorter dresses, sometimes with holes or even strapless. In some cases, these styles are just for fighting for the event, since it’s an event targeted toward more of the traditional and stricter family members. To decide whether or not your dress is appropriate I’d suggest asking friends and the quinceañera whether a summery flowy dress is more the vibe she’s looking for. Quinces that are more traditional and rancho-themed are those that expect flowy type dresses, especially with boots so it’s easy to dance and move around with. Parties that are more princess and “boujee” are the place for heels and a homecoming dance type of dress. 


This past weekend, I went to my close friend’s Quinceañera, Pitman High School Freshman Vianka Del Real, when one of our other friends asked her what she should wear. Miss Del Real politely asked for her to wear a dress since most of the girls attending said they would be wearing a dress, and it just matches the aesthetic of the party more than jeans and boots. 


However, for girls dresses aren’t always the right choice, even so, that boots, jeans and a cute top is more expected. This could also be way more comfortable as you dance all night and fits a more Hispanic and rancho aesthetic. The location also has a lot to do with it, since half of the quinces take place in barns or outside on the dirt. Boots help in the zapateado dances as well, as men mainly wear them for their quince outfits. 


Speaking of men, what do’s and don’ts pertain to them? Generally, the same rule of thumb goes for them too; if it’s a rancho theme they wear jeans with a button-up and if it’s fancy formal they wear slacks with a button-up. Cowboy boots are usually the best option for either outfit, but young men usually wear vans or blazers while older men sometimes wear dress shoes. Ties are usually never necessary, and cowboy hats might get you some bonus points! 


To figure out what your outfit should look like, it’s as simple as reaching out to others that are going or the party hosts themselves! Oftentimes the dress style or color is also on the quinceañera invite, so that should help a lot too. After all, your clothing won’t make or break the night, it’s just more out of respect and so that you don’t feel embarrassed all night long. Have fun at your upcoming quinces, and don’t be afraid to dance!