Two of the basic rules of adulthood are that you shouldn't try t control your partner's clothing choices, and that you should make an effort to dress up for formal events. So what happens when these two rules collide?
A man is asking for advice because his girlfriend is refusing to wear anything but menswear shoes to a formal event for his work. He posted on Reddit's 'Am I the a-hole?' forum to find out who's the bad guy in this situation.
So my gf is very unconsumerist, it’s not a political thing, she doesn’t mention it- though I don’t think she likes consumerism cause who does- but it’s not the driving force behind why she’s like this. She just, doesn’t want things. Makes it kinda difficult to buy her things- she has everything she wants and she just doesn’t , care , about things.
Everything she has she has the bare minimum of and she uses it until it breaks. She also buys things for pure practicality- her outfits are often a little strange because of this.
(Yesterday she went out in a holey Orange T-shirt and bright purple cargo shorts) [...] she just doesn’t ‘understand’, for want of a better word the appeal of things. I’ve asked her about it and she just says she doesn’t see the point of makeup or jewellery, or clothes that aren’t comfortable.
It’s not even money, because she buys often expensive things when she does buy them, but she doesn’t really treat them any different nor does she want any more. She just,, has absolutely no interest in most things in that regard.
However a result of this is she always wears men’s formal shoes. Her regular shoes are cheap sneakers she wears until the sole is worn through completely, and then replaces them, but for events those aren’t appropriate she wears men’s shoes.
She says she doesn’t like women’s shoes- pumps are impractical and heels hurt her feet and make walking more different- I explained she could learn to walk in heels but she said she didn’t see the point, the men’s shoes were far more practical as shoes.
However I have a fancy event for work and I don’t want to take her if she wears a nice evening dress (she can dress up nicely if it’s appropriate so I don’t see the big deal around the shoes) and then men’s shoes. I’ve told her she will look silly and I’ll look bad, and she tells me too bad, these are her shoes and they are formal- if not she just won’t come.
I will look bad if she doesn’t come so I don’t see why she just can’t wear nice heels like any other woman
I don’t mind if she wears flats!! I’d prefer heels but a nice pair of flats is ok too! But she hates women’s flats too, she says they’re impractical compared to men’s which actually cover the foot. I guess she likes laces and a covered foot- like men’s suit shoes
She says she feels trapped in shoes that if she wanted to move quickly she’d have to take them off. She says why on earth would she buy shoes that don’t even fit the minimum need for shoes? I can’t even cope with her
Doublethebubble says it's fine for her to wear laced shoes:
There is nothing wrong with a woman wearing a pair of oxfords. I happen to have a nice black pair myself which I wear to business meetings from time to time, especially if I know I'll be doing a lot of walking/standing. And I'm certainly not the only woman I've met professionally who does. As long as your gf is wearing formal attire, suited to the occasion, she had no obligation to wear heels specifically.
But yumyumnom disagrees:
You would never wear those with an evening gown though. A smart business suit sure (and there is nothing wrong with women wearing a business suit) but you have to admit that said pair would look bizarre paired with an evening dress.
TryUsingScience says the boyfriend's point of view is understandable:
If he showed up at a formal event with his girlfriend and she were wearing neon orange snow boots, her shoes would indeed make him look bad. People judge others for not wearing appropriate attire for events and if you bring someone to an event, their behavior reflects on you.
But adds that these shoes wouldn't actually be appropriate:
He's not incorrect that people will judge him for his girlfriend's footwear if she wears something wildly inappropriate. He's just wrong about what constitutes wildly inappropriate.. and pretty much everything else.
And thisnogirl5678 points out that plenty of women don't wear heels:
I don't understand the point of makeup, jewelry and dressing in clothes that are uncomfortable either. I'd wear men's dress shoes for formal wear if I liked closed toed shoes. Instead I typically wear flipflops. Not everyone has to agree with you and your standards for women.
Anchovie_macncheese points out how uncomfortable flats are:
I know everybody is digging into you about how impractical heels actually are, but in my experience flats also hurt. Often times they will dig into the back of your heel, and every time I've worn flats I get cuts near the back of my ankles from the shoes. There's no substitute for comfort.
Katfoodbreath really summed it up:
It sounds like you want a different girlfriend. Feeling publicly embarrassed by your girlfriend’s shoes is a You problem. Let her be herself in peace. She’s harming no one.