When Original Poster (OP) gets invited to a work dinner by his girlfriend, Lauren, he chooses attire based on her unique style and their mutual understanding. The evening seems to proceed without a hitch until a confrontation after dinner reveals underlying tensions. As Lauren’s laughter echoes and her car drives away, OP grapples with unexpected emotions.
A Friendly Bond
OP’s girlfriend, Lauren, has a close relationship with her boss, Chelsea. They often share lunch at various restaurants and chat about both work and personal matters. This bond extends beyond their professional life.
Lauren’s Unique Style
Despite looking neat, Lauren’s office attire isn’t what OP would consider typical. She sports short hair, rarely uses makeup, and wears pants, button-down shirts, and blazers. OP cherishes this individuality in Lauren.
The Subtle Art of Makeup
Lauren enjoys wearing makeup on occasion. She either leans towards dramatic looks with graphic winged eyeliner, unsuitable for work or goes completely barefaced. Occasionally, she’d wear simple makeup like lipstick, mascara, and concealer.
The Unexpected Dinner Invite
OP gets invited to join Lauren for a work dinner one evening. Given Lauren’s close bond with Chelsea and her usual attire, OP assumes it’s a casual affair. The assumption is further cemented when Lauren video calls with bold makeup, suggesting this is not a professional occasion.
OP’s Choice of Outfit
Seeking advice on what to wear, Lauren suggests an outfit similar to her own. Seeing her in metallic eyeshadow and white eyeliner, OP opts for blue jeans and a plaid flannel shirt, thinking they are equally casual.
Walking into the dinner, OP quickly realizes it’s not just a meal with Chelsea. There are several other employees and their significant others present. Moreover, he stands out as the only individual in jeans.
Trying to gauge the formality, OP spots a co-worker in a polo and khakis. This outfit seems to be on par with his, providing some reassurance. The evening flows smoothly without any issues regarding attire.
The Conversation After Dinner
Lauren and OP had plans for her to stay over after dinner, but as they reach their cars, she expresses her disappointment about his attire for the dinner. OP defends his clothing choice, comparing it to Lauren’s own outfit.
A Point of Contention
OP points out the lack of professionalism in her dramatic white eyeliner. To him, this suggested a non-professional evening where guests were encouraged to be comfortable. This comment creates tension between them.
Their discussion escalates, with Lauren laughing at OP’s defense. Her parting words are sharp, telling him to go away and she won’t be staying over any time soon. The mood drastically changes from a pleasant evening.
Attempts at Reconciliation
Stunned, OP tries reaching out to Lauren through texts and calls that evening and the next day. He wants to mend fences and discuss their disagreement so they can move on. However, Lauren isn’t ready to engage.
The Silence Barrier
Lauren’s response to OP’s outreach is cold and curt. She simply asks for space, leaving OP feeling rejected. It becomes clear she isn’t open to a conversation yet. The disagreement over clothing choice has deeper implications.
Though OP thought he understood the situation, the dinner proves otherwise. Lauren had certain expectations that weren’t communicated clearly. This mismatch becomes the crux of their argument.
The evening showcases the difference in OP and Lauren’s perception of events. While one saw it as a casual gathering, the other had higher expectations. OP is left waiting, hoping Lauren will eventually discuss the matter.
Was The Boyfriend’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts his story online, hoping for validation and constructive comments from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “She wore nice slacks, a button-down, and a blazer. How does that translate to you wearing jeans and flannel?”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “What part of that made you think jeans and a flannel would be appropriate? Not only are you gross for criticizing her work appropriate work clothes choices, but you were intentionally underdressing for her work-related dinner.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Have you never worked in an office before? Slacks, button-down shirts, blazers, and loafers are all staples for both men and women working in a professional setting. Makeup has nothing to do with working in an office or a bar!”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “Women aren’t required to wear makeup, have intricate hairdos, and wear skirts or dresses to be dressed professionally. If she dresses neatly in dress pants and a button-down (sometimes with a blazer), that’s the definition of business casual.”