Husband Wants To Know If He’s Wrong To Secretly Tailor Wife’s Clothing To Be More ‘Conservative’

Fashion is personal. It can be a great way to express yourself, show your creativity, and make a statement. A lot of people get joy from making clothing or curating outfits and displaying them on the street. That’s one of the perks of living in New York City—fashion shows are on every sidewalk!

The joy of wearing fun clothing doesn’t just fade as you age. You evolve, grown, shift your style to whatever you feel like. For one Redditor who also happens to design clothing, this seems to be the case—but in a less liberating way.

You see, as his wife gets “older” (she is 27, so I might as well be locked up in an attic somewhere at my age), he made the decision to secretly make her clothing more “conservative” to reflect the fact that his 27-year-old wife is now a haggard crone. He’s now wondering if that makes him an assh*le.

“I’m 33M and my wife is 27F. I’ve been making clothing for about 15 years. My actual profession has absolutely nothing to do with garment creation, but my whole family was super into fine arts + fashion so I learned how to sew with my sisters,” he writes.

“I’ve been married to my wife for 5 years. We only dated for 2 years before marriage. In the years we were dating, I made my wife “young” clothing: shorter dresses, very bright colored clothing – with plunging necklines, etc. My wife and I were both in shape and my designs reflected that. We were also ‘no ones’ in terms of social status. I was only making 50k at the time.”

I’m worried we’re falling into a Bret Easton Ellis novel or a Pretty Woman knock-off. Something feels very ’80s about the whole thing, right?

“I now make over 200k annually and my wife makes around 150k. We have not lost our jobs in the current crisis. We have more conservative friends, we’re a bit older now, and we’re definitely not in our best shape. I’ve replaced my wife’s bodycon designs with more conservative fashion – knee- and ankle-length dresses, bishop + juliet sleeves, higher necklines, etc. I think the clothes I make are still fashionable.”

While there is an actual fashion trend towards “modest” dresses (just scroll around Instagram, everyone looks like Little House on the Praire with their puffy sleeves and ruffly skirts, and it’s actually kind of cute), it doesn’t feel like this guy is getting his wife up to fashion snuff.

It seems like he’s ashamed of her or wants to hide her body. Also, does he make jeans? Enquiring minds want to know!

“My wife noticed these changes recently when looking through old photos. She asked why I don’t make her new clothing like that anymore, as the old pieces don’t fit. When I explained my reasoning she was extremely angry. My perspective is that I make the clothing and she pays nothing. She almost never has to purchase clothing because of my hobby – I pay for the fabric and can make whatever she asks for.”

And that, folks, is control.

Redditors had a lot to say about the situation, with some fun digs at the OP’s apparent withered husk of a 27-year-old wife.

“But seriously at the ancient age of 27 surely she should only need a large black nuns habit to cover her decrepit body?” said user Yeahnofucks.

“The problem she has probably isn’t with the clothes at all: no woman on planet earth wants to hear that their husband noticed they’ve gotten older and fatter. The clothes you make her are an extension of how you view her, at least in her eyes. 27 is definitely still young enough for plunging necklines and short skirts. There are plenty of ways to be flattering to a larger body without covering it up with billowing sleeves and floor length skirts,” said typicalaquarius.

“Y’all are young and you sound controlling for designing clothes for your wife without getting her input. And wtf, since when does higher household income = dressing like a Puritan?” boat_against_current noted.

“You just gave me flashbacks of my narcissistic dressmaker grandmother. No matter what pattern I chose she would tweak it and de-sex it until it was a sack, even my god damned wedding dress! I seriously hope your wife starts buying her own clothes so the poor woman can get things she likes to wear. What you are doing isn’t a gift to her if you are using it as a subtle means to shame and control he,” said alittlegirllost.

“It’s not about the cost of clothes or even you making it. It’s that you basically said she is out of her prime. And btw….she 27. Not old. I mean. I’m 25 and the thought that I only have 2 years left of fun styles and short dresses is ridiculous. And now those styles are only for ‘nobody’s’ you are such a prick. You made a fun bonding hobby into a commentary on how you dislike her aging body,” goodandevy observed.

“You didn’t even bother ASKING if she wanted or was ok with the change. Everything, everything, about your reasoning for the change breaks down to either extreme vanity or extreme shallowness, plus how could she not take this as you not finding her attractive any more,” said whymiheretho. Additionally, it is unbelievable how outdated and stuffy your reasons are, it’s not 1950, my dude. Oh! And lest we forget, the cherry on top!! She shouldn’t even get to have an opinion bc you make more money and you’re the one making the clothes (that she wears). Brilliant! Amazing! YTA!”

What do you think? I think I’m gonna take this 37-year-old body out for a walk in a vintage slip I used to wear as a dress in high school!

Patricia Grisafi

Patricia Grisafi, PhD, is a freelance writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Salon, Vice, Bitch, Bustle, Broadly, The Establishment, and elsewhere. She is passionate about pit bull rescue, cursed objects, and designer sunglasses.