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'AITA for refusing to go to my friend's BF's party after she demanded to approve my outfit?' UPDATED

'AITA for refusing to go to my friend's BF's party after she demanded to approve my outfit?' UPDATED


"AITA for refusing to go to my friend's bf's party after she demanded to approve my outfit?"

My (29F) friend Kate (28) has a boyfriend, Jamie (29), whom she has been with for nearly 3 years. We met Jamie on a night out, and I would say that although he's Kate's bf I consider him a friend. We share an interest in a particular sport that we text about sometimes and if I have a spare hospitality ticket to one of the sporting fixtures, I will sometimes invite Jamie to go.

Jamie's 30th is coming up and Jamie and Kate planned a big party, and I peripherally helped out with logistics when asked. A few days ago, Kate texted me. She asked if I wouldn't mind "toning down" my look for the party, and if I could send her a picture of what I was planning to wear.

I asked her what this meant and after asking several times if she "really had to say it" she asked if I could dress (verbatim) "basically what [I] would consider frumpy" because she really didn't want to be outshone at her own boyfriend's birthday party. When I didn't reply right away she went on to say that she wanted Jamie's full attention that night, which she wouldn't get if I showed up dressed properly.

I was a bit annoyed by what she was implying so I said if I was going to be so much of a concern for her, I'd rather just politely decline the invitation. Kate freaked out saying I was being immature by not coming just because I couldn't steal the spotlight. I said it wasn't about that, it was about her making me responsible for whether or not I draw her boyfriend's attention,

which is something I've never tried to do nor done as far as I'm aware. She then said it was really important to Jamie that she stand out because his friends and colleagues would be there. I just told her that again, if she was so worried I was going to be distracting everyone, I'd rather not come than feel humiliated from now until the event.

I said I would send her Jamie's gift and she could tell him why I wasn't coming. I guess she didn't tell him the reason because Jamie messaged me saying he knows I'm "booked" the night of the party but he'd really like it if I could be there, and asked if I could reorganise so I could come. I hadn't replied, but I got a message from Kate saying she knows Jamie is trying to get me to come,

and please could I just put my pride aside and come to the party. I asked if she was going to ditch the outfit policing, but she said no, so I said I would not be coming. She didn't reply, but I've since received a couple of texts from mutual friends saying that while her request is ridiculous, Kate is aware of that,

she's just desperate to be seen a certain way and even if it's pathetic I would probably feel the same way in her shoes. Other friends I've told (who don't know Kate) say I should not bow to the pressure and that she's nuts for even asking, and I don't disagree, but also I feel bad skipping the party when it's Jamie's birthday and he asked specifically that I come. So, should I be going?

What do you think? This is what top commenters had to say:

Livid-Flan said:

Nta. Tell Jamie the truth. Just say "sorry but when the choices are giving up my bodily autonomy or giving up the party, the choice is simple".

TheRadiumGirl said:

NTA. A friend that demands you look bad just to make themselves look good isn't a great friend. You aren't responsible for her self esteem. She needs to find ways to feel better about herself that doesn't involve dictating what others wear. She's too old for this middle school bs.

[deleted] said:

NTA but wooooow I had to check everyone’s ages. Kate sounds exhausting to be friends with. Does she think you’re going to Don a low cut floozy dress like Scarlett O’Hara at Ashley’s birthday party? I find it so strange that at nearly 30 all of your friends circle seems to have the bandwidth to care about such a non issue.

What I think is really happening is that Kate can sense Jamie probably has more than platonic feelings for you and she’s spiraling. To be honest, i would probably cool it on the one on one time with Jamie and the texting. Is he such a good friend dealing with Kate’s drama is worth it?

aussie_girl0418 said:

NTA. She’s jealous of you and/ or your relationship with Jamie. Never make yourself less for someone else. I’d go to the party, but look amazing, forget Kate and enjoy yourself with your other friends 👌👌

Verdict: Unsurprisingly, NTA!


First of all, thank to everyone for the advice. Most responses were not what I was expecting and really gave me a lot to think about. As surprised as I was that so many people said to tell Jamie, I did realise it was the right thing to do. So, I texted him and told him that Kate was insisting I dressed a certain way. Jamie called and explained.

A couple of months ago, Jamie and Kate were out with a few of his friends (these same friends that I mentioned in my comments are not fond of Kate), and everyone had had a lot to drink. They were talking about how they met their SOs, and the story of Jamie and Kate meeting came up.

Apparently during the telling of the story Kate asked Jamie why he had decided to hit on her rather than me, and one of his friends joked that it was because he knew he didn't have a shot with "the hot one" - me. Kate asked if this was true, and Jamie having had WAY too much to drink, explained in a way that made it sound kind of true.

He said he did notice me that night and thought I was attractive, just seeing me. He said he would never have approached me because he knew he would never have a chance with someone like me, so in that way, his friend was right. He said that speaking to Kate was the absolute best outcome because he loves her and plans on spending the rest of his life with her, but even knowing this,

Kate has taken this extremely hard, and even though she says she is over it, he's noticed changes in her behaviour that seem to be related to that. He also admitted that he'd been planning to propose to Kate at the party and that is why he'd wanted me to be there, but after hearing this on top of the way she has been handling the situation previously, he won't be doing that anymore.

After speaking to Jamie, I called Kate. She admitted that she had tied a lot of her self worth in the fact that she'd finally been picked over me and now it felt like that wasn't true. She apologised for trying to solve her insecurities through me, but also said she wasn't sure she would be able to have me in her life as much as I had been with the way she's been feeling.

As hurt as I was, I said I understood. She said she still wanted me to come to the party, since I'd helped organise it and she obviously dropped the absurd dress code, so I will be going to the party. I trust that Kate will communicate her boundaries to Jamie but I don't plan on inviting him to any more events for the foreseeable future.

I'm really sad that I've probably lost a longtime friend over the drunken awkwardness of other people, but I also get that Kate can't help how she feels, and frankly it's for the best not to be in a secret competition. So, yeah, I'm hurt, but I'm going to the party. Not a satisfying update, but an honest one.

2nd UPDATE: going through these comments has actually brought up a couple of memories that have, in hindsight, made me a bit uncomfortable, and I actually don’t think I will end up going to this party. As much as the mutual friends will have questions and I don’t know how much of the truth I will end up telling, I feel too weird right now to continue to be involved in this situation.

Sources: Reddit
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