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Overdressed Redditor Criticized After MIL Slams Wife For Always Looking Like A ‘Slob’ In Comparison

Angry woman wearing a hoodie
Todor Tsvetkov/Getty Images

Each of us has our own independent style in regard to fashion, and we each have our own priorities when it comes to what we keep in our closet, whether it’s looking good, being comfortable, or practicing sustainability.

Having a partner with different fashion priorities also shouldn’t really be a problem, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Because of their dress code at work, Redditor Apprehensive_Term165 had developed a habit and a liking for business casual wear on every occasion.

But when their wife began to demand they “dress down” when at home to not make her feel so bad about herself, the Original Poster (OP) realized their fashion differences might be becoming a problem.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for always being overdressed and making my wife look ‘bad’ because she doesn’t dress up?”

The OP was in the habit of dressing well at all times.

“I work in a corporate setting which requires me to always be in formal apparel. I have gotten used to wearing formal clothing to the point that I pretty much prefer to wear it most of the time.”

“Whether I’m picking my kids up from practice, visiting family, or going shopping, except for when I go to the gym, I wear tailored pants with a button-up of some sort.”

“I know that I’m overdressed most of the time, but I just enjoy being dressed well, and it has become my style.”

The OP’s wife did not have the same approach to fashion.

“My wife, on the other hand, is completely opposite of me. She likes wearing casual and comfortable clothes, like sweatpants and hoodies, which is completely fine.”

“But my wife says that when we go out together that I make her look like a slob because I’m overdressed, making her look like she doesn’t take care of herself.”

The OP’s appearance led to their mother-in-law (MIL) slighting their wife.

“We visited my in-laws a couple of days ago. I was wearing my usual style of clothing while my wife was just wearing a hoody and some sweatpants.”

“My wife’s mother made a joke about me looking nice in my clothes and then jokingly said that people would never assume that my wife and I are married.”

“She added that I should encourage her to not dress like a slob.”

“I just laughed it off and told her that my wife just likes being comfortable.”

The OP’s wife was furious about this exchange.

“This didn’t go over well with my wife, who told me when we got back home that I should stop dressing like a pretentious person and wear ‘normal clothing’ like everybody else and stop making her look bad.”

“I told her that nobody cares what she wears and that I don’t tell her how to dress, so she can’t tell me how to dress.”

“This turned into a petty argument that shouldn’t have even taken place at all.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some wondered if the wife had some self-limiting beliefs she needed to work through.

“OK, pants with a button-down shirt is not ‘formal wear,’ it’s closer to ‘Casual Friday.'”

“NTA, and if your wife thinks she looks like a slob in comparison, then that says something. It’s not as if you’re in a top hat and tails.” – RB1327

“I own my very casual style. My SO (my significant other) likes slacks and button-downs. He looks hawt! I just don’t love spending a ton of time on my appearance, and that’s ok. I’m cute in my own way.”

“I’d rather be in something comfortable than something matching my partner’s energy most of the time. I’d tell my mother she was being rude or ‘didn’t ask.'”

“MIL’s comment wasn’t great, and the wife is reacting to it by putting the onus on OP rather than herself.” – Strong_Lurking_Game

“My guess is that the mother’s out-of-line comment is the crux of the issue here. The wife isn’t actually mad at OP but is lashing out because her mom-shamed her.” – My_Poor_Nerves

“I don’t know, but when I visit my in-laws, I tend to dress nicer, casual, but definitely not in sweatpants and hoodie.”

“The thing is, it’s up to OP’s wife to dress however she wants. But she shouldn’t shame OP for dressing the way he wants, especially when it’s inoffensive in the first place. She’s letting her insecurities take hold of her.” – goldenislandsenorita

“NTA… you wear what you are comfortable with, and she does the same. It’s her issue that people ‘think’ she’s a slob.” – AlwaysandForeverRed

“I think that’s a her problem for sure. He shouldn’t have to dress down to placate her, plus they make tons of comfy clothes that also look more ‘presentable’ if she’s so worried about it. Trying to make him feel like s**t because of how he chooses to dress is super uncool. NTA, OP.” – mufasamufasamufasaaa

“When I’m going to my parents is when I’m at my most casual if I’m not going anywhere else that day. They get me a step above pajamas when I’m just coming over to hang out and do a puzzle while my husband knows their lawn.”

“Why would I dress up to hang out in the house I grew up in, with the people that should be the least judgmental (since you know, they’re the ones that raised me)?”

“Seems like OP has a mom issue more than anything.” – DisturbedPenguin

“My boyfriend works from home and is sometimes still asleep or on a call when I leave for work, so he has no idea how I’m dressed for the day. There have been many times when we’re planning on going out later, and I’m a bit more dressed up than usual, so when I get home, and he sees my outfit, he says something like, ‘Oh d**n, you look too cute, I gotta step it up.'”

“And it’s not in a self-conscious sort of way, more like he saw I put in extra effort to look nice for our night and he wanted to do the same for me. I can’t imagine feeling really good in an outfit and having my SO (significant other) ask me to wear ‘normal clothing,’ so I don’t make them look bad.” – im_sorry_rumham

Others encouraged the OP to wear what made them comfortable and what made them happy.

“So I tend to look ‘professional’ pretty much all the time.”

“But I have a huge secret: All my ‘professional work attire’ is essentially PJs (pajamas).”

“Drapey, soft flowy pants with a set-in elastic (flat) waistband are PJ bottoms.”

“Drapey, soft ‘tunics’ with various sleeve styles and necklines and patterns are PJ tops.”

“My husband grumbles a little about me always being ‘dressed up,’ but I have simply refused to buy uncomfortable clothes for the last decade or so, so all my ‘nice’ clothes are also extremely comfy!” – Lady_de_Katzen

“I can’t even tell you the last time my mom wore pants for that very reason. She also ALWAYS wears a pair of earrings too because earrings and a dress make it look like you really put an effort in.”

“There are petty people that have tried to ‘catch her out’ by showing up at the crack of dawn unannounced to prove that she’s not always as put together as she looks. They’ve failed, lol (laughing out loud).” – hjo1210

“I wear dresses ALL THE TIME because they’re easy and comfy. In the winter, I’ll wear them with leggings and a cardigan, but I don’t wear pants and shirts at all anymore unless I’m going to the gym or maybe doing yard work (and even then, I usually just wear an old dress).” – Equivalent-Can1674

“I wear sneaker flats, a comfy knit dress, leggings, and a cardigan when I go on long flights because it’s as comfy as traveling in sleepwear. I have several long and short sleeve knit dresses for travel because they don’t wrinkle and take up almost no space in my luggage. I can also dress them up or down depending on what I’m doing and add or remove clothing depending on the weather.” – username-generica

“When my husband has meetings with clients, ‘formal’ means suit and tie. Otherwise, he’s dressing like OP, which is casual.”

“If his wife wants to be a slob in sweatpants everywhere, that’s her right. But she doesn’t get to police her husband’s wardrobe.”

“NTA.” – Much_Class_828

“OP, ask your wife if she would be okay with you asking her to change her style so that she doesn’t reflect poorly on you.”

“If not, she is a hypocrite.”

“And NTA.” – Silent_Coffee_7292

“My boyfriend usually looks pretty put-together when we go out. We make jokes that I go out looking like a homeless 15-year-old boy (I am in fact a very homed 33-year-old woman).”

“I couldn’t imagine feeling self-conscious by the difference in how ‘put-together’ we look. I wear what I like. He wears what he likes. If I am the one with the problem with it, it would be my responsibility to change my attire to meet his level. Not the other way around.” – ProfessorShameless

The subReddit was all for the OP dressing in whatever way made them feel comfortable and confident in their own skin, and they believed that the OP’s wife should be able to do the same.

If her comfort and confidence were impacted by how her partner dressed, she either needed to do some inner work to process those feelings or adapt her wardrobe to make herself comfortable again. After all, there are whole clothing lines that are made to appear business casual while being as comfortable as wearing pajamas, which might be the perfect solution for the OP’s wife if she found pieces that suited her style.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.