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Indian-American Mom Insists ‘Tomboy’ Daughter Wear Formal Clothes To Traditional Wedding

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As children grow older, they begin to form their own sense of style and preferences regarding clothing.

Preferences their parents don’t always share.

Many parents are accepting of whatever their children choose to wear while out and about, providing it’s decent and doesn’t offend others.

But every now and then, parents might find themselves forced to prevent their child from wearing a certain outfit, or even forcing them to wear another one.

Redditor amiwrong6321 was accepting of her teenage daughter’s personal style choice, even if it didn’t align with her own.

However, upon learning her daughter planned to wear one of her everyday outfits to an upcoming formal gathering, the original poster (OP) felt they had no choice but to intervene.

Much to the annoyance of her daughter.

Worried that she may have overstepped, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole, (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for forcing my tomboy daughter to wear formal clothing?”

The OP shared how she had to reject their daughter’s choice of clothes for an upcoming formal event when they didn’t meet the dress code standards.

“Hi all.”

“My family is Indian-American, but I like to think I am pretty progressive.”

“I (40 F[emale]) have a son (16 M[ale]) and a daughter (15F).”

“My daughter has started to become a tomboy over the last 2 years, despises feminine clothing and style.”

“While it has definitely been an adjustment in my perception, I have always tried to be as supportive as possible, and have let her pick her own clothings, only eliminating anything that was graphic or inappropriate.”

“However, my niece was getting married in a traditional, big Indian wedding.”

“While generally all the girls would be wearing formal lehangas (Indian traditional dresses), I dropped it after asking my daughter if she wanted to wear that and she said no.”

“Only mentioned it once because she really looks up to my niece and I did not want her to feel left out.”

“When I asked her what she wanted to wear, she said that should wear a t-shirt and slacks.”

“But, I insisted that she wear a formal clothing of her choice, whether it was a suit, a dress or traditional Indian clothing.”

“This was black tie event.”

“I was making my son wear a formal suit.”

“Everyone was going to be dressed to the nines.”

“I was going to get my son a new suit tailored for the event, and I insisted that she come with and pick a fabric and suit style as well.”

“It could be to her desire, as long as it was appropriate.”

“Like a very typical men’s suit or feminine twist like what Zendaya wears.”

“She got angry and said I was constricting her expression.”

“I think she will have to wear formal clothing in other points in her life, whether for work or other formal events.”

“She can express herself however she wants but dressing appropriately for the occasion is a necessary skill.”

“The wedding has been postponed for now, but I still want her to wear a formal outfit and she is still mad at me about this.”


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
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for demanding that her daughter wear formal clothes to her niece’s wedding.

Everyone agreed that the OP had every right to ensure that her daughter wore an appropriate outfit to her niece’s wedding, with many applauding her support of her tomboy clothes and personality.

“NTA this is a perfect way of handling it.”

“Tshirt and slacks are not appropriate for a formal wedding AND you gave her the choice between male and female clothing.”

“This is not about her being a tomboy, because you gave her the male options too, but about her being a teenager and not realizing that formal events require formal attire and she needs to suck it up, like everyone else.”

“Teenagers sometimes will be mad at you when you set good rules, I think that’s just a normal part of the teenager-parent interaction.”

“I even think teenagers need to be angry at their parents sometimes because they’re in a rebellious phase of trying out where their anger leads to something and where they need to let go of an idea.”

“If a teenager wouldn’t ever be angry they wouldn’t be a healthy teenager.”- darya42


“And honestly, I admire your willingness to get her the formal attire of her choice.”

“It’s important to learn that when you’re in certain circumstances, somebody’s guest, a job interview, you need to present yourself in a way respectful of the environment.”

“I know people who would take it as a direct insult if I wore a t-shirt to their wedding.”

“The only way that’s ‘expressing’ oneself is expressing your lack of regard for your host.”

“Maybe you can explain to your daughter that expressing yourself with clothing isn’t just expressing your own personality, but also expressing how you regard your environment.”

“If she looks up to your niece, she shouldn’t want to express to your niece that she doesn’t care about or value this wedding, even if it’s more aligned with her personality.”

“Even if she personally wouldn’t care what people wear at her own wedding, it’s important to consider the perspectives of those hosting her.- littlefiddle05


“You even gave her the choice of what type of formal wear to wear.’

“It’s extremely disrespectful to show up to a wedding in a t-shirt.”- SonicPetrichor

“You’re actually being awesome.”

“I kind of wish you’d been my mum.”

“100% NTA.”

“Not many parents out there will let their daughter wear a suit to a wedding.”

“You’re being beyond what would usually be seen as reasonable and I applaud you for it.”

“Your daughter is going to look fantastic in her very own style of formal wear.”- the_splatt


“I was ready to rip into this at first, but I think it sounds like you’re trying to compromise with a nice suit for her.”

“I applaud your adapting!”- LAKingsofMetal


“Cheers to you.”

“Far from ‘constricting her expression’.”

“You are encouraging her to express herself in a manner that befits the occasion.”

“That’s great parenting, rather than authoritarianism, showing understanding and flexibility.”

“She’s a teenager, so to some extent, she’s going to whine about not getting her way.”

“She must learn that she can be unique but formal at the same time.”

“If daughter ends up reading this, my cousin was the exact same way.”

“Refused to wear dresses.”

“But she dressed sharply and appropriately.”

“You have to match the occasion.”

“It’s just the polite thing to do.”

“No one is asking you to wear hosiery and stilettos!”- Decent_Ad6389

The OP later returned with an update, thanking all those that took the time to comment, while also making it clear that her daughter is, most of the time, as ideal a child as one could hope for.

“Thank you for the comments and messages! “

“But, I want to stress that I don’t think my daughter is really the a**hole, a little right now, but she is the sweetest little girl in the world.”

“I might be biased haha.”

“She is usually very respectful, gets excellent grades and works really hard.”

‘I am very proud of her.”

“I think she is at the stage in life where she knows everything, and I, her mom, knows nothing.”

“She wants to rebel for something, but isn’t really the type to rebel with something really bad, thank god, so she decided this is a justified area to rebel.”

“She is also at home, and I haven’t really allowed her to go out because of the current circumstances; so think she feels cooped up and now everything about me is annoying her.”

“That being said, a lot of you said to tell her she can’t go to the wedding if she doesn’t wear formal clothing, and I may be the a-hole here, but SHE IS GOING.”

“That is a thing I have decided to take a hard stance on.”

“My daughter really, really wants to go!”

“She loves her cousin and my family, and she is a really social person who would love weddings.”

“Telling her not to go would hurt her I think and would be counterproductive in the long term.”

“This is the first wedding in our family and the first time my kids will see a traditional Indian wedding.”

“They have never seen one before, so I think it’s important that they learn and feel connected to our culture.”

“If she decides not to go as an act of rebellion, I know my daughter, and I know she will feel really, really sad afterward.”

“Parenting is hard, and I was always a girly-girl and so were all the people around me, so this uncharted territory for me.”

“Thank you to all of you for your kind words and encouragement.”

Every now and then, everyone might find themselves forced to wear something they don’t love.

Even grown-ups.

With that in mind, the OP’s daughter should consider herself lucky that she was given free rein of outfits, and not forced into wearing a frilly dress, like some parents might have done.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.