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Guy Worried About His ‘Image’ After Wife Tells His Coworkers Her Dress Is From Goodwill

A woman in a cocktail dress with a glass of wine

The clothes… they make the person.

That is a life mantra.

So what everyone puts on their back matters.

And that is an important asset.

Case in point…

Redditor chairono wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my boyfriend’s coworkers that all my clothes were thrifted and hand tailored?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I’m really big on sustainability, I don’t buy anything new if I can help it.”

“I love mending and fixing stuff when I can.”

“I like to dress well, but what I usually do is go to the thrift shop, and buy things that are made with high quality materials.”

“Then I tailor and alter the clothes to fit me perfectly, and to to be more on trend.”

“And honestly, when it comes to looking nice or classy, proper fit and materials, and knowing what silhouettes are in fashion and complement your body, goes 100x further than buying designer brands.”

“Especially if the designer clothes are mass produced, not made to fit.”

“My boyfriend works at a corporate office, and this week he invited me to his company holiday party.”

“I went to the thrift and bought a green dress, which I tailored to hem it to my knee, take in the waist to cut in at my natural waist, removed the dated ‘bubble’ sleeve shoulders, and made fitted sleeves, and changed the neckline from a cowl neck to a little V.”

“We went to the company party, and I felt like I’d fit the (unspoken) dresscode really well, and I was getting a lot of compliments.”

“A few people at the dinner asked where my dress was from and I said ‘Just goodwill’ and people thought I was joking.”

“I said ‘No literally, I bought this on Monday and altered it just for this party.'”

“My boyfriend’s coworkers wife was like ‘no way’ and I took out my phone to show them the before and after.”

“Which was honestly a transformation I was proud of, since it went from like a 2007 tacky bridesmaids dress that fit me like a trash bag, to a really cute perfectly fitted modern cocktail dress.”

“Everyone seemed really interested and was complementing me or asking genuine questions.”

“I mentioned during the conversation (it came up naturally but I forgot exactly how) that most of my outfits cost under $10 or $20 excluding shoes.”

“And I feel like I’m still getting better quality than anything retail because there often isn’t the same effort put into workmanship nowadays.”

“Overall I felt like the party went well, I made interesting polite small talk, didn’t talk for too long.”

“But when we left the party, my boyfriend was upset with me.”

“He chewed me out the whole car ride for saying my dress was from the goodwill bins.”

“And all my outfits were under like $20.”

“I got frustrated and asked him what he wanted to say, people were asking who made my dress and it’s not like I could throw out some designer’s name when it was custom.”

“He got upset I ‘just kept talking’ about it and I said I was just making small talk, does he think Mike’s wife is getting chewed out in the car for ‘just keeping talking’ about gardening?”

“He was really frustrated and told me that what I said was different, he had an image to maintain.”

“I was like ‘I’m not gonna be looking any better if you try to put me in mass manufactured s**t, even if it is expensive’ and he got really frustrated.”

“AITA for telling people who asked, that my dress was from Goodwill?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“Pockets are important.”

“I do comic-cons a lot, and always in costume.”

“My husband laughs because women always ask where did I get my ‘custom’ costume at.”

“I own a booth at a Renfaire, and thus have to dress the part 8 weeks a year.”

“Everything I buy, I can wear socially.”

“For cons I just add the right accessories to suit what ever character I want to play… (jewelry and accessory maker so I do have an edge).”

“My thought is, why would I spend upwards of 500.00 for a costume that can only be worn a few days a year?”

“NTA OP Your BF has no reason to be upset.”

“Tell him you’ll say it’s ‘bespoke’ next time people ask where you got your dress.” ~ Remarkable_Winner_91

“There’s a vlog by a popular, real crazy rich Asian (she’s an actress, a painter, and heir to a chain or restaurants) where she went to a thrift store and showed off her finds (and they were really good pieces).”

“She looked good in all of them.”

“Most of her finds were less than $5.00.”

“OP, NTA. In fact, you rock!”  ~ SnooGeekgoddess

“NTA. I have this funny feeling if OP had an expensive designer dress on and bragged about it.”

“The BF would have been fine with it, even though in my opinion that would have been rude.”

“BF seems to think it reflects badly on him that OP shops at goodwill.”

“Like he’s not providing or that she’s forced to shop there.”

“Rather than it being a socially conscious way of shopping and recycling, as well as a showcase for OP’s sewing skills.”

“Honestly, I’d be really impressed with OP.”

“I’d have questions too, and having the photos to show the work would be really neat.”

“It probably kept the conversation going for awhile, and was interesting for those involved.”

“Which as a date to a corporate event would be amazing!”

“Anyone who doesn’t understand the importance of the pocket conversation clearly has never had to worry about having pockets.”

“Or has never had the bane of my (pant shopping) existence, the fake super shallow pocket.”  ~ Shibaspots

“NTA. One of the best dressed women in my office is like this – all thrift or from someone else.”

“She looks classy and amazing.”

“I bet the women at the party envied you for your abilities!”

“Your BF needs to grow up.”  ~ Informal_Finger_3925

“NTA. Anyway. The dress wasn’t really cheap when you consider…”

“A) the time that went into altering it and more importantly…”

“B) the time that went into becoming skilled at tailoring clothes.”

“Not everyone could do what OP did.”

“I’d like to, but I don’t have the skill and I suspect it would take many years of learning to get any good at it.”

“So really, OP was talking about her craft.”

“Which is really incredibly cool and which her BF clearly has little regard for.”

“Ugh. It makes me not like him very much.”  ~ Hoistedonyrownpetard

“Sounds like it all went over fine at the party.”

“Self-tailoring/designing is usually looked at positively in my experience (maybe not at like, a Hollywood party… but that’s outside the scope of this) isn’t ’embarrassing.'”

“I’m confused unless coworkers talked to him after.”

“But that doesn’t sound like the case, either way NTA (just processing who all might be the AH).”  ~ Doormatjones

“I don’t mind admitting this on Reddit since it’s anonymous, my husband and I are pretty wealthy and we have wealthy friends and acquaintances.”

“OP’s boyfriend’s behavior screams new-money insecurity and inexperience.”

“Even wealthy people think it’s cool to have hobbies.”

“And in fact, many wealthy people are quite thrifty, which is part of how they made and kept their money.”

“So they are even more likely to appreciate a hobby like this.”

“So if the boyfriend is trying to climb the ladder, he should probably focus less on what he imagines to be an impressive clothing budget and more on being, just, a quality coworker. (NTA).”  ~ artichoke313

“NTA… I understand why you would feel uncomfortable just saying the name brand.”

“Your BF sounds insecure.”

“What does he want you to say when people ask?”

“’Oh this? I have a passion for rescuing vintage fashion and then tailoring them to be more modern! This is one of my latest works!'”  ~ watchmanlurker

“First you’re NTA.”

“If anything, as a compromise, you can word it differently.”

“You can say it’s an older dress that you tailored.”

“Without specifically saying goodwill, triggering your boyfriend’s insecurity or whatever.”

“I agree with everybody here that you are totally in the right.”

“And that talking about the price is a socially acceptable display of a skill.”

“But if it means enough to your boyfriend that you’re willing to compromise about it that’s my best advice.”  ~ Cassilac_

“NTA… I think that it’s awesome when people use thrifted clothing and even more awesome when they mod it to suit the occasion.”

“Your boyfriend is acting pretentious.”

“F?$! his ‘image’. If he continues this ridiculous attitude, maybe his image would look better single.”

“You deserve someone who will celebrate your creativity.” ~ akaredshasta

“NTA. It’s your hobby and people were interested enough to want to ask questions about it.”

“That’s how small talk works at one of these functions, you either end up talking about the weather, your work, or a hobby you engage in.”

“And everyone forgets about it as soon as the event is over.”

“I tend to throw on one of my knitted shawls because wearing them means I can almost always find someone who wants to talk knitting.”

“Which is better than talking about my job, because once people find out I’m a woman in tech, I generally get glommed onto by some mansplaining male a**hole.”  ~ PurpleMarsAlien

Well OP. Reddit is with you.

It sounds like you have an eye for fashion.

And affordable fashion is hard to come by.

Maybe you should start posting your fashion choices and alterations.

There is an audience out there.