It’s fair enough to say that not all clothes are appropriate for every occasion.
One might want to think twice before showing up to a wedding wearing ripped jeans and a T-shirt with an inappropriate logo.
And going to a funeral all in white or neon pink will likely draw some unwanted attention.
However, when there is no official or suggested dress code, people have every right to dress exactly as they like, and no one else should pass judgment as to what they are wearing.
Redditor CoffeeAdventurous263 was growing increasingly frustrated by the fashion choices of his stepson.
Primarily owing to the fact that he feared he would be a bad influence on his own children.
When his wife didn’t seem to think this was any sort of issue, the original poster (OP) was disappointed, to say the least.
Feeling that his concerns were justified, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors;
“AITA for calling out my wife’s adult son to stop wearing crazy ‘revealing’ clothes in front of my family?”
The OP explained how his concerns over his stepson’s attire were largely met by deaf ears from his wife.
“I’m writing this for me and my family.”
“Me (38 M[ale]) and my wife Alice (37 F[emale]) have been together for 7 years.”
“We have a couple of twins (both 6M), and we’re a very happy family.”
“My wife also has a son, Luke (19 M).”
‘He got an athletic college scholarship, but he dropped out and he’s currently pursuing a ‘career’ as a musician in another city.”
“He stays in our home whenever he visits for holidays or vacations.”
“Luke’s very tall, so it is difficult for him to go unnoticed.”
“When I say revealing clothes I mean that he wears thigh shorts, so tight you can see his boxers, crop tops, women’s blouses.”
“I mean, it is very distracting as his pubes and trail are very visible.”
‘One time I caught him wearing a skirt while watching TV in our living room.”
“I gave him a disapproving look, and all he said to me was ‘man you know we’re Irish, don’t you?'”
“Which is a crazy thing to say, and I think kilts are from Scotland anyway, but that’s not the point.”
“In another instance, he would sit for dinner with a pearl necklace, eyeshadow, and a fur coat.”
“For example, my mother and sisters and their kids visited us for Christmas and they agreed that it was odd to have a guy dressing like that around the house.”
“Especially in front of so many women.”
“A few weeks ago after Christmas’ dinner, I talked to Luke and voiced my concerns, and he was like ‘okay cap’ no problem’ and ‘Okay sir! Yes sir! copy that sir’ ‘ clearly mocking me.”
“I must admit I got angry and I yelled at him, I went to vent out my frustration with my wife.”
“However, she didn’t back me up or take me seriously, even when I raised my concerns about our boys seeing his older brother acting a fool.”
“I checked her phone, and she was texting with Luke, again just joking and making fun of me.”
“Luke texted her something like ‘Not your husband body shaming me LOL I didn’t get the Hugo-boss dress code memo,’ and my wife replied ‘Follow the dress code young man or you’ll be executed at midnight. I don’t make the rules babe I’m sorry xx’.”
“I got so mad I gave both of them the silent treatment for the rest of the holidays.”
“Alice tried to talk me down by saying that he’s not wearing anything around the house he wouldn’t be wearing in public, so our boys would be seeing that ‘style’ sooner or later whether we liked it or not.”
“She was condescending like she was talking to an angry old man from another century.”
“I don’t know.”
“I don’t feel like I was asking something unreasonable and I felt they were bullying me for expressing a reasonable concern about what my twins and my family are seeing in their own home.”
“And at the end of the day, it is my house, my rules too.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The OP received little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who largely agreed that he was indeed the a**hole for telling his stepson to rethink his wardrobe.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s views on his stepson’s choice of clothing bordered on bigoted, with others’ pointing out how his reading his wife’s phone without her consent was invasive, and giving her the silent treatment is childish.
“It’s always funny when a**holes act like they’re punishing someone by giving them the silent treatment.”
“Something you’re already way too old to be doing BTW.”
“But I’m sure they enjoyed a bit of time away from your constant complaining.”
“Aren’t you exhausted from trying to control people?”
“How about you accept them for who they are and let them manage the consequences on their own?”
“All you need to do is not impose your values on someone else who grew up in a completely different way than you did and is living his life in a completely different way than you ever would.”
“That does not mean your way is superior.”
“YTA, and I wonder why on Earth your wife puts up with you.”
“Try listening someday.”
“You might actually become happier.”- sucksatchess666
“Your wife was indeed trying to talk to an angry old man from another century.”
“He’s 19 and figuring out his style.”
“Leave him be.”- RelevantMammoth84
“You looked at your wife’s private messages to her son.”
“That’s a disgusting violation.”
“This is very obviously about control.”
“You need to stop trying to bend your family to your will.”
“It’s wildly unreasonable.”- brigiliz
“You are an angry old man.”
“Luckily Luke sounds like he has a great relationship with his Mom.”
“Plus your ‘my house my rules’ is BS, it’s also your wife’s house so why doesn’t she have a say in the rules?”- SadFlatworm1436
“Man, if his pubes are sticking out then he needs to adjust the wardrobe a bit.”
“But if he wants to dress in traditionally feminine clothing, I don’t see the problem, so long as all the bits are tucked in, ya know.”- nightglitter89x
“Unclutch your pearls just because he is wearing his.”
“The pubes shouldn’t be on display to 6-year-olds.”
“Apart from that, he’s free to dress up in anything that lets him express himself.”
“If he doesn’t care who’s looking, neither should you YTA.”- Bodginggardener
“It sounds like you have more issues with the fact he’s wearing traditionally female clothing than anything else.”
“If he was walking around shirtless with low-slung basketball shorts, I doubt you would think twice because that’s society accepted traditional male clothing.”
“There is nothing wrong with him wearing pearls, a fur coat, crop tops, or eyeshadow.”
“Now if you said he came to family Christmas dinner in nothing but underwear different story.”
“That does cross a line.”
“Him being around your kids also isn’t an issue.”
“If anything, it will make them more empathic to those who are different than them, and that’s a good thing.”
“It will teach them clothing doesn’t matter and doesn’t dictate who a person truly is.”
“All great lessons for young kids.”- Rumpelteazer45
“Was 38 a typo for 83?”
“In all seriousness, you’re an asshole.”
“Of course, pubes shouldn’t be on display, but given the rest of your diatribe I get the feeling you’re an unreliable narrator.”
“You also have some not-at-all-veiled homophobia and similar going on.”
“As long as all his bits and pieces are under clothing, you need to sort yourself out and stop worrying about someone else’s body.”- ThreeDogs2022
“You sound exactly like the definition of toxic masculinity.”- Extraordi-Mary
“Agreed that behavior, especially around women and children is completely inappropriate.”
“I am talking about your intolerance, OP.”
“Luke is perfectly fine.”
“We know because you said this was about him dressing ‘revealingly’, but you still had a problem when he was covered up at Christmas dinner (when a pearl necklace is totally appropriate, I might add).”
“Your problem is not that it’s ‘revealing’, but that it’s gender non-conforming.”- BringMeInfo
“Do you want your wife telling you how to dress?”
“Or would that not be ok because it’s your house your rules.”
“Luke is expressing himself.”
“Clothing has no gender.”
“Stop gendering clothing it’s weird.”- Wickedlove7
Perhaps one reason the OP’s wife didn’t “take him seriously” was that he was making a big deal over a total non-issue.
It’s also hard to think that his discomfort with his stepson’s clothing doesn’t stem from some much bigger issues he might have.
Issues that could prove very problematic raising two young boys.
Much more problematic than having an older step-brother with a unique wardrobe who’s unafraid to embrace who he truly is.