Dress codes for weddings are a hot topic online.
Are they acceptable or over the top?
Does it matter how specific they are?
There’s a big difference between “formal attire” and “everyone must dress in French Regency period authentic clothing.”
And what happens when someone doesn’t follow the dress code guidance to a tee?
A woman facing backlash because she wore white—even though the dress code specified no women in white—to her sister’s wedding.
Unsure if her “it wasn’t a dress exemption” was legit, she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for wearing white to my sister’s wedding?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“My sister (32, female) got married a few days ago and I (27, female) wore a white shirt and black pants to her wedding, like most of the men there.”
“The dress code for the wedding was formal and women can’t wear white, but I thought it’d be okay because I wasn’t wearing a dress.”
“My sister got really annoyed at me and she hasn’t spoken to me much since. She said that I stole the attention away from her, but I honestly didn’t because I didn’t stand out at all.”
“I was wearing a plain shirt and black pants. I blended in with other people.”
“I didn’t mean to upset her though. I honestly thought it would be OK.”
“I don’t really want to share pics, but it was just a suit like a regular suit but without the jacket.”
“We aren’t that close and she didn’t ask me what I was going to wear and I didn’t think I had to tell her because I didn’t think it would an issue.”
“I really hope the problem isn’t that I dressed masculine though.”
“I’m a masc lesbian. I’m not about to wear a dress.”
The OP summed up their predicament.
“I wore a white shirt to my sister’s wedding even though my sister said that she doesn’t want women wearing white to her wedding.”
“I could be the a**hole because my sister is really annoyed at me and she accused me of trying to take the attention off her.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors couldn’t decide on a single judgment, with some saying the OP was the a**hole (YTA).
“It depends on the trousers/shirt. Material, buttons, fit/cut, and whether the trousers have been pressed with a crease, belt, etc…, can take a white shirt black trousers combo from meh to dressy.”
“I’m going with YTA. You’re the bride’s sister, so likely to be in many photos and a representative of the family.”
“Your outfit sounds basic and bland, definitely not formal. A tie and jacket would have made your outfit formal.” ~ Sashaslicious
“You could have worn a formal pantsuit or woman’s tuxedo suit. A button down shirt with pants is something you’d wear to an office, not a formal event. YTA.” ~ ilp456
“I would agree that ‘formal’ is a suit with tie or tux, not a white shirt and blacks pants. You’d look like one of the catering staff.”
“You’re NTA for wearing more ‘masculine’ clothing, but YTA for not wearing formal wear.” ~ TiffanyBlue07
“I think being related to the bride, you can’t slack on the dress code. A guest not meeting the formal dress code expectation sucks, but (as long as it’s not like wildly inappropriate) it is what it is.”
“Being the bride’s sibling‽‽ You don’t get to ignore the dress code, you dress the f up!! I don’t care if you’re wearing a dress or suit and tie, you follow the formal dress code or at least discuss/show outfits before the wedding.”
“If OP wore an actual suit and the bride was upset about the white shirt, then it’d be an easy n-t-a. But the whole ‘it should be fine because other guests didn’t dress formally’ excuse makes it a YTA.”
“And justifying not following the dress code by saying it’s what other guests did… you didn’t know what other guests would be wearing—you knew what the dress code was and didn’t prepare for it.” ~ Global_Fig_6385
Others felt the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“NTA, outfit wasn’t all white, just the top. The spirit of the rule would be an over-the-top white gown to try and garner attention away from the bride, and this sounds fairly conservative aside from being ‘slacks on a woman’ (oh god, the world is going to explode because women don’t have to wear dresses anymore).”
“A white dress shirt with black slacks? Sounds typical.” ~ throwaway85939584
“I’m from an area where it would honestly be quite unusual to wear a jacket to a typical wedding, even if the dress code technically says ‘formal’. A nice dress shirt and pants are perfectly common attire.”
“It’s culturally and crowd-dependent. Sounds like OP isn’t totally out of the norm here. NTA but agreed with others that this may not be just about the clothes.” ~ SarcasticMethod
“Forget about it…….. you wore what you thought was formal…! When I got married I was too busy to know or care what anyone else wore. NTA.” ~ Primary-Resolution75
“NTA. It’s a bit unfair that there’s one rule for men and another for women, but she might’ve felt a bit blindsided that you were wearing menswear, but you weren’t wearing a suit.”
“Regardless, it seems odd to me that you wouldn’t discuss what you plan to wear with her prior to her wedding, is there a lack of closeness between you?”
“The fact that she’s your sister and she’s being petty/holding a grudge about this, and that you didn’t discuss or show her what you were gonna wear beforehand, tells me that there’s some deeper issue at root here.”
“It’s possible that whatever you wore she’d have found a reason to justify resentment for it. It seems like the resentment was already there.” ~ GymBloke123
“Yeah, NTA. There’s no way this information about you was news to her on her wedding day. She knows how you dress.”
“A white dress shirt, same as all the men are wearing, is not taking attention away from a bride, and there’s no way your style of dress was surprising to her.”
“Weddings are getting really stupid. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this dumb bullsh*t.” ~ PantsPantsShorts
But the majority voted everyone sucked (ESH).
“Nobody is going to mistake a woman in a white shirt and black pants for the bride. I think the whole ‘you wore white-how dare you’ thing is a red herring.”
“Your sister is upset because the dress code was ‘formal’ and you were dressed like all the men. Your sister obviously expected to see you in a dress, or at least a fancy formal pantsuit, and you didn’t comply.”
“Now, I don’t know if she and you have had discussions about you dressing like a man, or not girly enough to suit your sister, or if you have a dislike for whatever passes as formal clothing for women, (and I don’t care).”
“But you knew the dress code was ‘formal’, and you chose to wear something outside of what is considered the norm for formal for a woman.”
“And your sister is giving you the cold shoulder instead of being glad you showed up to celebrate her marriage. ESH.” ~ YouthNAsia63
“ESH. Why are you even upset about this? From the way you talk about her and your attitude that you’ve written about, it seems you don’t even like her.” ~ HisuianDelphi
“ESH. You deliberately did this. How are you remotely feigning confusion over this situation?”
“The dress code was ‘formal and women can’t wear white’. End of story. You’re female: DON’T WEAR WHITE.”
“‘I thought it would be okay’ That’s the problem, right there: YOU THOUGHT, and you didn’t even bother to check!! She’s your sister! It takes 1 second to pick up the phone you used to write this post, and ask her!”
“Instead of just ASKING, you went ahead with your little plan to annoy her, anyway. You thought it would be no big deal because YOU don’t care at all. Again, that’s the issue: this isn’t about YOU.”
“Your opinion DOES NOT MATTER AT ALL. This is not YOUR event.”
“Furthermore: you’ve undoubtedly got a decent sized wardrobe of acceptable formal shirts you could have chosen from, or at the very least, MORE than enough heads up on the wedding to have purchased one in any other color.”
“That said: you wore a shirt and pants. Your sister crying about you stealing attention is BS. You didn’t steal anything, although I’m sure MANY people made comments about you deliberately breaking the dress code because you needed to think you’re special on someone else’s big day.”
“THAT may be the attention she’s upset about because there shouldn’t have BEEN that conversation happening AT ALL.”
“Your sister is overreacting, but you owe her an apology in a huge way. You were a complete AH and I don’t know why. Go talk to someone. There’s zero reason to have done what you did other than you doing it simply to be petty.”
“You’re old enough to understand why you don’t wear white at a wedding, and even though it was SPECIFICALLY in the dress code, you ignored it because you’re selfish.”
“Your sister is overreacting to a stupid situation that should’ve never been created to begin with. You didn’t wear a huge scene stealing dress, but you absolutely tried to stand out and stand up to her rules at HER wedding, which makes zero sense.” ~ _The_KoJo_
Hopefully these sisters can sit down and hash this out.
While it doesn’t seem like their relationship was great to begin with, a white shirt seems a silly thing to completely end a relationship over.