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Guy Tells Girlfriend She Has No ‘Self-Respect’ After She Wants To Wear Pajamas In Public

woman seated at desk in pajamas
Charday Penn/Getty Images

Certain aspects in life have dress codes, like workplaces or schools.

But in our own free time, usually there isn’t one.

People usually dress for comfort or for the occasion, but what if one partner dresses up while the other dresses down?

A woman in conflict with her partner on the dress code for running errands with her significant other turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Head-Ad-5624 asked:

“AITA for wanting to wear pajamas/baggy clothes while going out in public with my boyfriend?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“So for context, me (20, female) and my boyfriend (20, male) were going out to a shopping center about a week ago. This area is popular and it’s always decorated beautifully festive for the holidays.”

Maybe this is just me acting like a bum, but I thought it would be cute to wear those red flannel/plaid (idk what to call it) pajama pants with a regular black hoodie. Something about it being Christmas made it seem charming.”

“I ask him what he thought of the outfit, and he immediately said ‘no’. I was a bit surprised.”

“This wasn’t a date.”

“We were out running errands and he wasn’t dressed up.”

“He says he believes pajamas are only to be worn in the house, and to wear them in public tells the world ‘I have no self respect’. I was surprised again and told him I’ve got self respect, and just thought it’d look cute.”

“He then says it’d be disrespectful to him if I wore them out while with him, which I tried to understand from his perspective. I ended up switching to a more acceptable option: gray sweatpants.”

“Fast forward to last night. We were already upset sharing our feelings about a different topic, and eventually he brings up the pajamas again.”

“I still cannot believe we’re talking about the pajamas so I am completely stunned and ask something along the lines of ‘are we seriously still talking about that outfit I wanted to wear?’.”

“Then he tells me about how it’s not just that outfit and that many of my clothes are baggy and too big for me and how I look completely dwarfed by my clothes when they don’t fit my form.”

“Lots of my casual clothes are t-shirts that are too big for me—they’re M, I’m XS-S and even the ones in my size look big bc I’m a small girl—and some color of sweatpants.”

“I never thought anything bad about my baggy clothes until this conversation.”

“He says he knows I have better, really cute and well-fitting outfits, so it comes off as lazy and me not caring about what I look like when I leave in bigger clothes.”

“Some quotes from him last night: ‘I want to show you off and be proud to be next to you but it’s hard when you don’t put any effort into your appearance’ and ‘I want you to look good if not for yourself then for me’.”

“I understand why he didn’t want me to wear pjs in public and I respect it, but he also just called out like 50% of my wardrobe. When I don’t wear those clothes, I have dressed in a skirt, jeans, joggers, and some slacks.”

“But like 75% of my regular shirts don’t hug my body at all.”

“We’ve been together over 4 years. I’ve always worn generally looser clothes and he’s never brought this up before.”

“Yes, I am American and he is too, but he lived in Europe/Middle East for a long time as a kid.”

“I love this man. I want for him to feel comfortable being seen with me. It’s just that this hurt my feelings, mostly because I didn’t know he felt this way about my casual wear.”

“Am I just being insensitive or lazy? AITA?”

The OP summed up their predicament.

“I wear casual clothes like sweatpants and t-shirts out with my boyfriend.”

“My boyfriend said it’s disrespectful to him when I go out in public with him without putting any effort into my appearance.”

“Now I’m worried that I’ve been being lazy and disregarding his perspective and feelings.”

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 were all over the place in their responses, with some saying OP was the a**hole (YTA)…

“YTA—wearing pj’s in public is not a good look, and says a lot about a person’s character.”

“The truth is the clothes you wear communicates a lot about you as an individual.”

“A person who spends a lot of time in public in their pyjamas does not paint the picture of someone who has their sh*t together.” ~ Stubborn_Dog

“Personally, I think you are not compatible with your boyfriend. Seems like you both grew up in very different class levels. I’m sure he wasn’t too thrilled that you picked track pants as the alternative either.”

“Where I grew up you literally never wore pajamas or track pants out of the house, not even in school. College kids who lived in dorms were the only ones who would pull that crap and many who saw that didn’t approve of it.”

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if I dressed sloppy. Many opportunities will never present themselves when you tell the world ‘I don’t give a damn about how I look!’.”

“So personally, I think YTA.”

“Also, him saying ‘I want to show you off’ is really more of a desperate attempt to get you to try and see that taking pride in your appearance is a good thing as I don’t think your parents raised you to value such things.” ~ Able_Dream_8125

…and some voting OP was not the a**hole (NTA)…

“NTA. Initially I was going to say N A H, because I know a lot of people who are appalled at the idea of going out in public in loungewear.”

“I WAS one of those people until I stopped caring about my appearance, although even today I would say it’s not cute to wear pjs in public.”

“He’s allowed to say ‘no’ to your idea if he didn’t like it. But everything else…. He wants you to look good for HIM if not for yourself? Gross.” ~ NyxOrTreat

“NTA. My husband has never policed what I wear and neither have I to him. I tend to overdress at times where he’s a minimalist and only puts in the effort for special occasions.”

“We love each other for who we are. You are young so you may not know but this is a 🚩. There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable as long as you know when to dress for the occasion.”

“I believe that you do. His comment of ‘I just want to show you off’ rubs me the wrong way.”

“You’re more than your looks. You are a whole person, not just eye candy for him to show off. Maybe he’s not the one for you if he desires a woman dressed to the nines every time she leaves the house.”

“Leaving the house comfortable is practical in a lot of situations, especially as you get older. There’s also a difference between comfortable and unkempt! And what you suggested isn’t unkempt, lazy, dirty, etc…”

“He’s suggesting that you embarrass him and I don’t like that. He should love you and stand by your side regardless of what you’re wearing.” ~ Desperate_Age6592

“I grew up with the whole ‘pajamas are for inside only’ mentality and it took a long time for me to grow out of it. It’s never been a reason to dictate what my wife wears and I never told her I wanted to show her off so she had to dress up.”

“WTH is that?”

“OP, you’re not being lazy and you don’t have to be ‘on’ all the time either. If it’s something chill then be chill and comfortable.”

“I trust you can dress for the occasion. Totally NTA.” ~ losttempo

…and others deciding everyone sucked (ESH)…

“ESH there’s a stigma where I am attached to wearing pyjamas in public—literally, schools have sent messages to parents asking them to stop walking their kids into school in their pyjamas.”

“So I’d always advise against it.”

“On the other hand he’s definitely being an AH about the rest of your wardrobe.” ~ HollyGoLately


“Him: He wants you looking sexy and on point at all times so he can show you off like a trophy. Misogynistic and objectifying. Dump him.”

“You: Wearing PJs in public when your older than 8 is tacky as hell. Have some self respect.” ~ KronkLaSworda

ESH. I’ll get to the PJs issue later, but regarding his comments on your general clothes.”

“I can see why he might be frustrated if he typically puts in more effort to dress nicely himself. But then, he should just find someone more compatible with him, not try to control what you wear.”

“You, wearing PJs outside as an adult is not cute.” ~ Embarrassed-Panic-37

…while others saw no a**holes (NAH).

“NAH. If he is putting effort into looking good while out and you are not, I can see his frustration.”

“But you of course don’t have to dress for any man. If this is incompatible then that’s the way it is.” ~ zukolover96

“NAH. Wear whatever you want when you go out in public, but keep in mind that not everyone thinks pajamas look cute in public. In fact I bet that most people think they look silly.” ~ New_Sun6390

“NAH. You two just have a fundamental disagreement about public appearances. Neither of you is completely wrong; the next step is deciding how and if you can compromise on it.”

“Also, tightness of clothing is not indicative of class or expense. PJs aside, I’m wondering why he’s so focused on clothes being form-fitting, especially if that’s just not how you prefer to dress.” ~ peachpinkjedi

It seems pajamas in public is a hot button issue for people.

Who knew?

With Reddit so divided, it’s hard to know if the OP really got a clear answer. They’ll just have to use their own best judgment.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.