A woman has sparked a debate over appropriate wedding guest attire after revealing the different shirts she was thinking of wearing.
Olivia Sutherland, @oliviaandliving, shared a recent video on TikTok to discuss her potential outfits for a wedding that day. Sutherland, who is based in Australia, explained why she was picking her outfit last minute, since one look she wanted to wear hadn’t arrived and a second one had sleeves, so she’d be too hot outside.
She went on to showcase a long brown, ruffled skirt that she bought, before noting that it came with a “matching top”. However, she said that would have been “a little bit too much for a wedding”, so she tried on other shirts instead.
For her first outfit option, she paired her skirt with a black cropped tank top. She noted that the look would then be completed with a black clutch and black heels.
Sutherland, who is the co-founder of Australian skincare brand My Glow 2, then described her “light, neutrals look”. For the second outfit, she paired her brown skirt with a light beige tube top, cream-coloured stilettos, and a white bag.
She confessed that she had some concerns about this outfit, explaining: “I’m just a little bit nervous, I’m scared people are going to think it’s too crystal white. It’s definitely beige, but I just don’t want to be that person.”
However, she still noted that she preferred this look over the first one, since it’s a lot more “summery” and “suited the wedding vibe more”.
As of 21 March, the video has more than 242,600 views, with TikTok users in the commenting that both of her tops were not fit for a wedding.
“None! Tops kinda look like under garments,” one wrote, while another added: “Tops are bad...sorry. Skirt is stunning.”
A third added: “Skirt is gorgeous, don’t think the tops are appropriate for a wedding sorry!”
I leave in a few hours! Which outfit for a wedding? 💍 #fashion #grwm #letsgetdressed #weddingguest #weddingguestdress #style #ootd #outfitideas #outfitinspo #zimmermann #zimmermannskirt #oliviaandliving #oliviaburrows #oliviasutherland #wedding #weddingtiktok #fashiontiktok
♬ Vlog - Soft boy
As one viewer also agreed that the tops were “disappointing,” Sutherland explained why she chose these shirts, writing: “The tops are supposed to be really plain and simple so they don’t compete with the skirt.”
When another viewer asked Sutherland why she didn’t opt for the matching top, she went to share why the item wouldn’t have worked for the wedding. “It’s Cocktail Attire and so I feel the matching top would be suitable for a more formal dress code.”
However, many other TikTok users approved of her wedding looks and encouraged her to wear the beige top with her skirt.
In a follow-up video, Sutherland revealed that she opted for the neutral-coloured outfit and addressed some of the backlash over it in the caption. “A controversial wedding guest look apparently.”
When speaking to news.com.au about her outfit choice and noted that she “loved the overall balance of the summer look”. She also shared that she was a bit surprised about the backlash.
Replying to @Kitana Lee A controversial wedding guest look apparently. I should mention it was Cocktail Attire. 💍 #weddingguest #fashion #weddingguestdress #style #ootd #outfitideas #outfitinspo #zimmermann #zimmermannskirt #oliviaandliving #oliviaburrows #oliviasutherland #oliviaburrowssutherland
♬ ceilings - Sped Up Version - Lizzy McAlpine
“I didn’t expect the outfit to be so controversial, but I do know when it comes to weddings and wedding guest attire, everyone has an opinion,” Sutherland added.
The Independent has contacted Sutherland for comment.
According to wedding website The Knot, cocktail wedding attire is a lot less formal than formal wedding attire, which usually consists of evening gowns and tuxedos.
Speaking to the publication last year, Greg Shugar, CEO and Creative Director of Beau Ties Ltd, noted that women have different kinds of dresses or skirts that they could choose from for a cocktail attire wedding. “Cocktail attire challenges you to be creative,” he said. “No colour is off limits. No pattern is off-limits. And no specific mix or colour or pattern is off limits.”
However, some experts have said that certain types of clothing should be off limits, regardless of what the dress code at a wedding may be. Julie Sabatino, a wedding fashion stylist at The Stylish Bride, previously told Martha Stewart that guests should “never wear something with a lot of exposed skin,” as it will attract attention away from the bride.
Over the years, wedding guest etiquette has been an ongoing debate. In July 2022, Dua Lipa sparked mixed responses over her lace wedding guest look, with many claiming it is too close to white, and as such, should have been worn to the nuptials in the first place.