Dressing for a wedding shouldn’t be that hard, but some people still don’t understand that there are things that are not appropriate. Take for instance leggings. Wear them to the store, wear them out to dinner, wear them around the house — but it’s probably a bad idea to wear them to a wedding.
One Dad on Reddit recently told his daughter that her wedding guest outfit consisting of leggings and a halter top was not going to fly.
And if she didn’t change, she would be left at home. However, was he too condescending and impatient with her?
“My wife and I have 3 daughters (19, 24, & 28). Our youngest, Jill, just started community college this year while our 2 oldest have moved away to start their careers. Jill still lives with my wife and I as she is attending college locally and this saves her money. This past weekend we were invited to my niece’s (and goddaughter) wedding a couple hours away. The dress code was semi-formal so men were expected to wear suits and women in dresses.”
“As we were getting ready to leave, Jill was taking her sweet time getting ready and I was kind of nagging at her to get going. She had been out late the night before with friends and I’m sure she was feeling the effects of that. When she was finally ready to go, she was wearing some kind of black, spaghetti strap halter-top thing with leggings.”
The OP told Jill that it was not an appropriate outfit for her cousin’s wedding. Jill responded that she didn’t have anything to wear and that he doesn’t “get to police” what she is wearing.
“I told her that judging by the amount of dirty clothes on her floor and in her closet, she clearly has other options, she just didn’t plan ahead enough to figure something out. I told her it was disrespectful to her cousin, the bride, to wear something too revealing and tacky to their wedding.”
“Jill called me a jerk and said no one is going to care what she’s wearing and if people focus on her clothes more than the bride, that’s their problem, not hers. I told her in that case, how she is getting to the wedding is her problem, not mine,” the OP writes.
“She asked what that meant and I told her that if that’s what she wants to wear, she is going to have to find her own way to the wedding because I am not going to arrive with my daughter looking like she is about to hit a club at 2am instead of attend her cousin’s wedding.”
At this point, the OP says his wife intervened and told them both to relax. She told the OP he was being overbearing and then told Jill that she would help her find a different outfit for the wedding.
When Jill wasn’t ready in 20 minutes, the OP told her and his wife that they could either come now or take an Uber.
“My wife asked what Jill is supposed to do and I said she can take an Uber for all I care at this point. My wife reluctantly left with me and I could tell she felt guilty about the whole thing. Jill ended up not coming to the wedding and both her and my wife blame me for it. I don’t think I was the asshole here though.”
What do Redditors think?
“NTA. You’re exactly right: leggings and a halter top are not appropriate to wear at a wedding that is set to semiformal attire. It shows disrespect to the bride, and its embarrassing for you as well. The people saying that you have no right to say, ‘I’m not taking you unless you change’ have a double standard. They want to say that Jill is an adult and can wear what she wants/make her own choices, but they still don’t believe that Jill should face the consequence of her own choices, and also take on that adult responsibility of having to figure out how to get to an event,” said GothicArmadillo.
“At 19, I fully understood the difference between ‘semi formal’ and not, and there’s no way I’d have showed up in anything other than a decent dress, no matter how crappy I felt. Jill still lives at home, so even as a legal adult, if she’s relying on her parents for a ride, they have every right to say ‘not going in my car dressed like that.’ I’ve heard of friends even doing that if a group is carpooling to an event and someone is dressed way out of line. So yes, technically Jill can wear what she wants, but her ride can also say ‘I’m not showing up with you if you’re dressed like that,'” said TheBearWillBeFine.
“My only thought about this is that it should have been expressed as ‘It’s a dress code” as opposed to “its revealing, tacky, and you look like you’re going clubbing.’ Shaming your child that way is not appropriate, especially because at the core of it, that wasn’t the problem. Explaining, instead, that we need to respect the dress code, and maybe I can help you find something more suited for the event’s requirements. I still think NTA, but it should have been handled differently,” noted Financial_Budget_261.
“Obviously your daughter was dressed inappropriately and behaving childishly, however I just wanted to highlight to OP something a lot of people don’t seem to be noticing: Your wife was in the process of defusing the situation. When she told you both to calm down because the whole thing was getting overblown, she was frankly correct- a shouting match is never productive. She then supported your perspective (reminding your daughter that she agreed with your assessment of her clothing) while also giving a solution (going up to help your daughter quickly grab something more appropriate). I realise people are going to point out your daughter stormed upstairs/ closed her door etc, and maybe she would have just had a tantrum, but you didn’t give your wife’s tactic a chance to work. It seems to me like your long running frustrations with your youngest all got channeled into this situation which meant you jumped to ultimatum level- if you don’t change you can’t come in the car. This is completely understandable but I really would recommend you consider how things possibly could have turned out if you’d let your wife’s idea play out; she would have separated you and your daughter briefly, giving you both time to cool off, she would have had oversight of what your daughter wore, and you all could have gone to the wedding together- probably with a bit of sulking but without the situation reaching the level it now has done,” explained Nootnootvonsnoot.
“In this case I thin ESH except the mom. OP, it’s called CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM: bashing what your kid is wearing is the perfect way to start a fight, especially with a teenager. I get he was mad because he was already running late, but I am pretty sure he *didn’t *say, ‘oh Sweetie, what a cute outfit! Except I think you forgot it’s a formal wedding, so you need to wear something a bit fancier. Maybe mom can help you figure something out? I know how much it means to X that you are there on her big day!'” suggested ReluctantVegetarian.
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