When the Original Poster’s (OP) preference for formal clothing clashes with his wife’s preference for casual attire, their contrasting styles spark a conflict that goes beyond mere fashion.
The Dapper Dad
OP, a corporate employee, cultivates an uncharacteristically formal style, donning suits and ties. He doesn’t mind this style, and it has begun bleeding into his everyday life.
On The Go
Even for mundane tasks such as picking up his kids from their sports events or shopping, OP prefers to dress formally. This stylistic preference shapes his identity.
While he enjoys his image of elegance, his wife doesn’t share his enthusiasm for fashion. He actually finds formal wear to be comfortable enough to lounge in, while his wife prefers a more traditional view of loungewear.
OP’s wife, preferring comfortable attire like sweatpants and hoodies, finds herself in stark contrast with her husband’s style. Because of her predominantly at-home lifestyle, these clothes match what she needs a majority of the time. However, she even prefers these clothes when she goes out.
Embarrassed By Association
Although the stark contrast doesn’t bother OP, his wife begins to feel self-conscious about her appearance. The subtle tension begins to bubble to the surface. He insists that he doesn’t care what she wears as long as he can be comfortable too.
A Family Affair
During a visit to OP’s in-laws, the gap in the couple’s attire choices becomes a point of contention. OP’s mother-in-law jokes about his overdressing, suggesting that it overshadows his wife’s casual clothing.
This seemingly innocent comment plants a seed of conflict that soon begins to sprout. OP’s wife really takes it to heart.
Once they return home, OP’s wife confronts him about his formal attire, calling him pretentious. She urges him to dress more casually to avoid making her look like a slob in comparison.
OP defends his choice, stating that he doesn’t dictate her fashion, and she shouldn’t control his. He has never asked her to dress nicer to match his style. He is shocked that she is asking him to do the same.
A Small Squabble Grows
What starts as a casual conversation escalates into a petty argument about dressing norms. OP and his wife engage in a heated discussion, revealing the underlying tension that has been simmering beneath the surface.
The argument causes OP to question his fashion choices for the first time. Is his preference for formality worth causing discomfort to his wife? Yet, he feels strongly about his autonomy in his choices.
OP decides to go to the internet for feedback on this situation. Was he in the wrong here? Most agree that he is not. That, in fact, he is being too kind towards his wife that she needs to step up her choices in attire and care more during outings.
This leaves OP to feel justified in his choice to continue wearing what he feels comfortable in. Now, he just wonders how to best approach this with his wife so that he won’t hurt her feelings.
Was Refusing To Not Dress Up Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “If the roles were reversed and you had initiated this conversation, she would be absolutely livid at the request.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “If she wants to be comfy, be comfy. If you like being dressed up, be dressed up. If she’s insecure about you being dressed up while she’s comfy, that’s on her. She can choose to wear comfy clothes that look a little dressier. That’s on her.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “She’s not even dressing in “normal” clothing. She is wearing loungewear, by the sounds of it. Even if you did wear jeans and a T-shirt, you’d still look smarter than her.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “I would guess a lot of your wife’s feelings are coming from the criticism from her mom based on the interaction described in this post, and that saying she likes being comfortable probably didn’t help, but that doesn’t make you the problem for wanting to dress nicely.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.