There's already a question about whether wearing white at a wedding is only taboo in the US, that is not closed, but is this true generally?

  • Great question! I'm interested to see what the other users here think. That question certainly has a lot of votes and got a lot of attention but I'm not really sure it fits here, either. It's important for us to really delve into our scope and think about what is a good fit and close questions that aren't, even if they're potentially popular questions or subjects. I look forward to more posts from you on meta in the future!
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 0:01
  • @Catija thank you. I personally think this site is overly focused on conversation, but body cues, dress, etc, all contribute to interpersonal interaction.
    – auden
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 0:03
  • 2
    @heather Well technically, body language is a form of communication, no? ;)
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 0:08
  • If you have coherent thoughts about this, please feel free to post an answer!
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 0:09
  • @Catija just did =) Hopefully it puts my point across alright.
    – auden
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 0:21

2 Answers 2


Fashion choices are not on topic, but established etiquette is…

Remember that the genesis of this site was a series of failed social proposals with topics as diverse as dating, conflict resolution, and (yes) social etiquette.

This site was the resolution of that shortfall.

So while a question like "is it acceptable to wear white at a wedding" would be on topic (citing well-established conventions of social etiquette), asking how to better match your clothes… is not.

So far "Interpersonal Skills" has generated a lot of questions about being polite, but in my view that only scratches the surface of what this site was meant to be. Where fashion is concerned, if you can carefully navigate that line between establishing social conventions/etiquette versus stuff you just happen to be doing in a social setting, such questions can be acceptable. I know that's not a rock-solid guide to live by, but maybe if I dig up a list of the failed proposal that built this site, it would help enumerate what fields of study may be on and off topic for this site.

  • I completely understand, and I thank you for explaining your reasoning - however, I would argue that my question was talking about well established social conventions. That aside, I agree with your distinction.
    – auden
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:15
  • @heather I'm curious - you seemed to disagree with my comment above about wearing socks and sandals... but that's not a "well-established social convention"... I'd be interested to hear where you draw the line. This is why I asked you to expand on your answer more, though I may not have done it in the best way.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 18:44
  • @Catija In my response, I wrote an example question title about whether socks and sandals were appropriate in a certain situation - I think the more I think about it, I agree with Robert that it must be in a context, not just general advice.
    – auden
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 20:04
  • Out of curiosity, Robert, were you ever able to dig up that list? I was considering referencing it for a scope issue.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 22:07

Yes, these sorts of questions should be on-topic.

Here's the thing. The first thing that comes to mind when we think about interpersonal skills is talking, but really, there's much more to it than that. Perhaps an example will illustrate.

Imagine you had to interview a job applicant. If he/she comes in dressed in holey jeans and a ratty t-shirt, slouches into the seat, avoids eye-contact, and mumbles something, you already know quite a bit about this person - and they haven't said anything (discernible, anyway).

It's all part of it, from how to dress to make a good impression, to noticing body cues, to actually opening your mouth and talking. If this site covers all interpersonal skills, this site should include all those other things besides just talking - including dress.

  • Take a shameless +1 for me. You hit it right on the spot.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 0:22
  • A bit of reigning in might be recommended... "...provided the decision relates to interpersonal relationships." I'd be concerned that we'd end up with questions like "can you wear socks with sandals?"
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 1:16
  • 1
    @Catija and once you get those questions, you can bring the issue to meta and make an informed decision. At the moment, you don't even know if these questions will be bad questions, how people would vote on those questions, etc. There's no reason to preemptively make a decision about questions that don't even exist yet.
    – user288
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 4:15
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    @Catija: Even a question like "can you wear socks with sandals?" might be appropriate in the right context. These things need to be judged on a case by case basis.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 5:43
  • 1
    @Catija "Can wearing socks with sandals make you look "normal" when talking to teenagers?" - a on-topic question, I would think (just an example). I personally think that any sort of premature reigning in is unnecessary.
    – auden
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 15:04

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