What is “Something Blue?”

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As I was looking through dresses that came into the shop for preservation, I noticed that a lot of them had blue incorporated into their attire. 

I asked my friend why this was, and she explained, “Oh, that is their something blue...it's literally something blue that brides incorporate into their outfit. But there is so much more to it than that!" 

I still didn’t get it though. So, I knew immediately  then that I was about to go down a rabbit hole, and I am here today to share with you what I discovered! 


The Meaning Behind Something Blue

When I first googled “something blue” the first things that popped up were “Something Blue Bridal,” a blog from Vogue talking about how to incorporate something blue into your wedding, a book "Something Blue by Emily Griffin, and the list goes on! How have I never heard of this phenomenon until now? 

This is obviously something that everyone but me has heard about, but I still didn’t know the meaning behind this ‘something blue.’ 

Not only did I find out about something blue, but now I unraveled a whole slew of somethings!  According to an article, “Something Old” from Wikipedia, the original rhyme that started this tradition  went like, 

“Something old, 

something new,

something borrowed,

something blue,

and a [silver] sixpence in her shoe.”

All of these pieces apparently had some sort of “charm” attached to them. Wikipedia  further explains that “The old item provides protection for the baby to come. The new item offers optimism for the future. The item borrowed from another happily married couple provides good luck. The colour blue is a sign of purity and fidelity. The sixpence — a British silver coin — is a symbol of prosperity or acts as a ward against evil done by frustrated suitors.”

The poem and “tradition is based on an Old English rhyme that dates back to 19th-century Lancashire…The color blue was meant to ward off the evil eye, and it also stood for love, purity, and fidelity…” (Pioneer Woman)  But, what is this evil eye? 

A Brief History of Something Blue 

The notion of the evil eye dates back all the way to 5000 b.c. According to Wikipedia, “is a supernatural belief in a curse[1] brought about by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when one is unaware.” Apparently there would be chalices with eyes engraved on them to ward off these evil spirits.

Ironically enough, the color blue was seen as something in which possessed the ‘evil eye.’ “In the Aegean Region and other areas where light-colored eyes are relatively rare, people with green eyes, and especially blue eyes, are thought to bestow the curse, intentionally or unintentionally.” (wikipedia

The first example of the color blue being used to ward off the evil eye comes from “Disks or balls, consisting of concentric blue and white circles (usually, from inside to outside, dark blue, light blue, white, and dark blue) representing an evil eye are common apotropaic talismans in West Asia and the Balkans…”

The Assyrians also used pendants, with two blue gems to ward off evil, in Senegal they use shells to dispel the negative energy, in Turkey they use Nazars or ornaments with predominantly blue pendants. 

Needless to say, before the trend of “something blue” became tradition, it was originally rooted in the supernatural and still is to this day. 

These days for modern brides, the color blue is incorporated into their attire without entirely understanding the history behind it. For the sake of tradition, brides choose to follow the rhyme. More often than not, the garter belt will have a blue ribbon, or blue fabric will be sewn into the interior of the gown close to the heart. 

I always like to take a look at the history behind certain traditions, because I would like to know why I am doing something. Not just because everyone else is doing it. I hope that after reading this you now have a broad understanding of what “something blue” means! 

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