The annual fight over holiday attire has begun...
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 11/17/2013 by NLGuy in NSBR Board
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NLGuy
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Posted: 11/17/2013 7:50:11 PM
Between the two of us, DH and I have at least 3, possibly 4 (and one year, 7) holiday parties to attend every year. This year is no exception. Some of the parties are on the casual side (e.g. the volunteer fire department guys wear anything from tuxes to jeans) but my job's event is always a cocktail dress and shirt with tie affair. Always. DH knows this and every year we fight about it.

I admit I am into clothes. One of my small pleasures in life is to get dressed up, get my makeup done, etc. I'm this way at work too - I work in a very corporate environment and am always in heels, skirts, blazers, etc. He's a teacher and he lives in jeans and sweats (no chinos, no Dockers, no polos and no button up shirts of any kind unless they're denim or flannel and worn open over a tshirt). I've already started thinking about what I'm going to wear and brought it up this morning to DH:

Me: "So, I'm wearing black to the holiday party this year. What are you wearing?"

Him: "My Christmas sweater and jeans."

Me: "Well, you still have your green button up shirt from last year and I think you have a tie too..."

He went off on how much he hates ties and hates button up shirts because he says they itch. I said what about an undershirt? He claimed that I "only" care about what he wears to these events and last year he threatened to never go to my company's party again because he said he doesn't like the atmosphere (last year, it was on the same night as the fire department party; we had to be at my company's party by a certain time so we left "his" party early and he spent the night irritated that I took him away from it although he had seemed to be having fun at both events).

The sweater he wants to wear is olive green with trees on it and a half zipper in the front. He pairs it with whatever jeans are clean.

One year, I let him wear what he wanted and he wore the sweater and jeans with red Keen sandals. I wore an LBD. The CEO of my company walked past us and gave us a look.

When we were dating, DH had no problem dressing up on occasion. Now, if I ask him to dress up or - God forbid - buy him something, I am trying to "control" him. I just want us to look good! When else do we get an opportunity to go out to dinner and dancing (which we both love) and cocktails?

Ugh. Any ideas?

eebud
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Posted: 11/17/2013 7:55:34 PM
My DH doesn't like to dress up either. I don't fight it anymore. If he doesn't want to dress up for a dress up event and it is something I want to attend, then I go without him. Luckily, this doesn't come up often.





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Woobster
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Posted: 11/17/2013 7:56:20 PM
It sounds like it's not about the clothes at all, but more about him not enjoying the party.

I'd stop making him go.

IPeaFreely
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Posted: 11/17/2013 7:56:50 PM
He could lose the tie and still look nice. Or you could tell him how embarassed you were when he dressed like a hillbilly and you're tired of having the same argument every year and you're going alone.

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AncestralPea

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Posted: 11/17/2013 7:57:03 PM
Go yourself this year and avoid the fight.

Carolina Girl 71
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Posted: 11/17/2013 7:58:08 PM
JMHO, since your office party is a work related event for you, he should be mature enough to realize that and dress for the occasion. For the rest of the parties, I'd let him choose what he wants to wear, and I would do the same.


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Christine58
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:00:05 PM
Let him wear what he wants...or if he doesn't want to go he can stay home. Why force someone to do something he obviously does not want to do.

Oh and leaving his party to go to yours---why?? If I were him, I would have stayed at my party alone.

Christmas/Holiday time is stressful enough....relax and go with the flow...that's my motto. So much else to worry about...stress about...than clothing.



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SMayer
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:03:10 PM
Sorry, but I'm with your DH on this one. If he doesn't want to go why force him. Can't you go by yourself or invite a friend?

My dad hates to go with my Mom to her work Christmas party, so either my sister or I go in his place.

YooHoot

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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:10:25 PM
A jacket thrown over a button up shirt looks nice to me (no tie). Can he do that? Otherwise, why force him to go? I'd rather go solo than drag someone along that really didn't want to be there.



Long ago Barney
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:18:10 PM
Well he should b able to do this for u BUT since he hates it this bad I believe I would go without him and boy howdy would I dress up!!


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cdnstorelady
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:21:28 PM
I often am more dressed up than DH. Even at a Christmas dinner party he'd wear a blazer/pants but no tie and definitely not a suit.

However, his dad used to dress terribly....really really terribly. I'm talking about a burgundy jacket with yellow pants and a white belt kind of terrible. Shirts with collars 15 years out of style, etc. DH was often embarrassed as was his mother. His dad didn't care about clothes. He cared about enjoying a nice dinner and conversation with people. I used to say...no one thinks you chose your dad's clothes. It really has no reflection on you - except in your mind.....so if I'm more dressed up than DH now...well, I can hardly say anything about it..

For things that are important to him, he'll dress nicely for. He just got a promotion at a new firm and he spent a bunch of the signing bonus on new clothes from a high end men's shop..and I was thrilled to see him enjoying looking more stylish (with the help of the store clerk and myself of course!).

Go, look fabulous... how he dresses (as an adult) is really not any reflection on you....

nicolequinn
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:24:50 PM
Personally, I think you dh is being a bit of a brat. (SORRY!)
But it's one night a year. It's important to you!!
I'm pretty sure he understands dress code, impressions, making sacrifices. Good for him that he doesn't give a crap about any of that... but he should for your sake.

It seems ridiculous that a grown man can't suck it up for one night and wear something that will please you... even if he isn't totally into it.

I'm sorry that he's "evolved" from your dating years and expects you to do the same, but I really don't think that is fair.

Now... if you constantly picked out his clothes, commented on his attired, etc., I could see where he'd be frustrated... but one night a year? That isn't the time to draw the line in the sand. It sounds immature. You're work sounds important to you and it's too bad he doesn't get it.

Wish I had ideas for you... but I think I'd be as stubborn about it as he is being.

ETA: And I don't think you should have to go without him because he's having a tantrum. These events can be very important in your career.



BrinaG
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:25:16 PM
your dh needs to grow up. He is acting like a spoiled little brat

NLGuy
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:29:31 PM
Thanks... part of the problem is he gives mixed signals. He will tell me before the party that he wants to go, he's fine with arriving at such and such a time, etc... then, after the fact, he'll complain.


I'd stop making him go.


I don't make him go. I tell him the date and ask if he wants to go.



Can't you go by yourself or invite a friend?




I had an ex-coworker who used to bring her best friend. I'm not sure who I'd bring - or I could go alone. This year is my fifth year attending, so I'm sure there'd be questions about why I'm stag this year. I'll ask him if he REALLY wants to go.


A jacket thrown over a button up shirt looks nice to me (no tie). Can he do that?


I agree, but he says shirts are "itchy". I think a nice, solid color V-neck sweater with a collared underneath would look really good too, but that would also require him wearing a button up shirt.

SmartyPants71
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:31:39 PM

Go yourself this year and avoid the fight.

OR he could suck it up, dress appropriately, and avoid the fight.

cmpeter
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:32:12 PM

Personally, I think you dh is being a bit of a brat. (SORRY!)
But it's one night a year. It's important to you!!
I'm pretty sure he understands dress code, impressions, making sacrifices. Good for him that he doesn't give a crap about any of that... but he should for your sake.

It seems ridiculous that a grown man can't suck it up for one night and wear something that will please you... even if he isn't totally into it.


I agree. He needs to man up, dress up and go without complaining.


Cindi

mikklynn
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:34:39 PM
He's acting like a child. It's a corporate event. In my world, these things are mandatory...unwritten, but understood. It's necessary to attend, it's necessary to dress like a grownup. It's ONE NIGHT.


Lynn



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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:34:48 PM

It sounds like it's not about the clothes at all, but more about him not enjoying the party.

I'd stop making him go.



As a wife who has suffered through numerous DH company parties, where the only people I had met were the people I'd seen the previous year at the company party, I agree with this.

It's a party. It is supposed to be enjoyable. If he is forced to wear clothes that he is uncomfortable in, and schmooze with your coworkers who he would otherwise not socialize with, guess what, that's not enjoyable for him, it's a chore.

Go alone. Wear your LBD. Let your DH have a boys night out, or just order a pizza.

It is not part of the wedding vows to never spend an evening apart.


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NLGuy
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:37:41 PM
Also, I do definitely think it's about more than the clothes.

It could very well be that he would be happy to go to a party with me, but doesn't think he fits into the culture of where I work... or something like that. Wish I could get him to see that, just because we're a corporate environment doesn't mean we're not hella fun to hang out with!

tara6212
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:44:37 PM
I think your DH is acting like a ridiculous child...and, in fact, I'm having flashbacks to my nephew pouting in every Christmas Eve family photo for several years because he wasn't happy about some part of his outfit. I thought it was ridiculous of him as a preteen/teen and I think it's ridiculous of your DH.

Shirts aren't itchy simply because they have buttons up the front. Shirts are itchy when they are made from an itchy fabric.

DH needs to suck it up for your work party and dress appropriately...and, for YOUR work party, YOU get to decide what is appropriate. You should not have to attend a party alone simply because your DH is choosing to act like a brat.

NLGuy
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:45:12 PM

As a wife who has suffered through numerous DH company parties, where the only people I had met were the people I'd seen the previous year at the company party, I agree with this.

It's a party. It is supposed to be enjoyable. If he is forced to wear clothes that he is uncomfortable in, and schmooze with your coworkers who he would otherwise not socialize with, guess what, that's not enjoyable for him, it's a chore.

Go alone. Wear your LBD. Let your DH have a boys night out, or just order a pizza.

It is not part of the wedding vows to never spend an evening apart.


On the one hand, I agree. On the other, I got to all his events, where I barely know anyone, because he wants me there (and I enjoy getting to know new people). I'll ask him. He's already RSVPed for us for the fire department party, I think.

PSILUVU
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:45:17 PM
It's once a year. Tell him to stop being an asswipe, suck it up and dress properly. Like it or not it does reflect on both of you if you are looking awesome in a LBD and he is wearing a Christmas sweater (seriously what grown man even owns on of those).



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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:50:25 PM
I kinda don't get adults who won't dress like grown ups. Nor teachers who don't dress halfway like adults. Nor folks who present one way to court then drop it all when they marry. So I am of no use on this thread.


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AnonPeaName
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:51:52 PM
Is there something else bugging him about your job? I think teaching (and fireman!) is amazing profession, but does he feel those in corporate settings look down?
I have a relative who says he feels that way, and until I saw him mingle with a corporate group I didn't believe him.
We try to remember what benefits one of us at work benefits us both, but it's hard sometimes. I'm. It saying he does, but could your DH resent (or feel smug) about his service oriented career vs your?

Eta I posted before reading all the comments. I see you might be leaning toward a bigger issue. Good luck and hope you can find a compromise.

alisatj
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Posted: 11/17/2013 8:59:33 PM
Why do you REALLY want him to go?
Why do you REALLY want him to dress up more?

For me, I'd say I enjoy being with you and I enjoy attending these events with you. I would like you to dress up more because it shows respect to my company, my employers, and my co-workers. This job provides (at least in part) for our livelihood and I think we should show it the respect it deserves.

Explain whatever your reasons are to him. Ask him to please do it out of respect and as a favor to you.

This is not about control. This is about respect.

Marriage is made of millions of little compromises. We do some things we'd rather not do because we love our spouse more than we don't want to do whatever it is.

BeckyTech
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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:00:46 PM
nicolequinn said it well. 3 or 4 hours out of an entire year? He can manage.

Is he uncomfortable going where he doesn't know too many people? Is he uncomfortable in that formal corporate environment? I would try to find out what the real issue is so that the two of you could strategize on how to make it easier for him.

Promise to make his itchies all better when you get home.

GypsyMama
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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:01:18 PM
his dress style would NOT fly at ANY school i've ever worked at, other than fridays when there are football games, the male teachers had to wear slacks and dress shirts/ties!

i agree with the people who say he's acting like a brat, this is grown up world, sometimes we have to do things we're not crazy about, suck it up and drive on!



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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:02:31 PM
Let him be who he is.

NLGuy
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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:09:52 PM

Is there something else bugging him about your job? I think teaching (and fireman!) is amazing profession, but does he feel those in corporate settings look down?
I have a relative who says he feels that way, and until I saw him mingle with a corporate group I didn't believe him.



Eh... something like that. He actually worked for Apple Computer way back when he was getting his credential (so he's been in corporate environments before), but he's made comments about how he thinks some of my coworkers are "fake". [Edit: Never mind]. I work for a credit union; I think we're pretty real.

Last year, we spent all of "my" party hanging out with my then-new coworker and his wife. Both DH and my coworker are science geeks and have some math and computer science background. They spent some time talking and I thought they hit it off... maybe I was wrong?


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NLGuy
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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:16:37 PM

his dress style would NOT fly at ANY school i've ever worked at, other than fridays when there are football games, the male teachers had to wear slacks and dress shirts/ties!


I can't really remember what my teachers wore when I was in high school, except that it ran the gamut - really depended on the teacher. At his school, I've seen male teachers in jeans or sweats; not sure about the women he works with.

KatieBPea
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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:17:56 PM
This.

It seems ridiculous that a grown man can't suck it up for one night and wear something that will please you... even if he isn't totally into it.

I'm curious as to what environment he teaches in? I haven't ever seen any of the teachers--male or female--in my children's schools (elem, middle & HS) dress the way you're describing.



NLGuy
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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:21:27 PM

I'm curious as to what environment he teaches in? I haven't ever seen any of the teachers--male or female--in my children's schools (elem, middle & HS) dress the way you're describing.


We're in California, and it's a high school.


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*Angela
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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:27:21 PM
I wouldn't argue over it. The holidays, especially the parties, should be fun. If he's unwilling - for whatever reason - to dress in what you deem appropriate for your event, then he should simply skip it. You don't owe your colleagues an explanation beyond "my husband could not be here tonight; he's missing a great party..."

Last year, you should have either attended the two parties separately or you left the fireman's event alone to avoid resentment &/or spoil a fun evening! Scheduling conflicts are common during the holidays.


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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:29:04 PM

I had an ex-coworker who used to bring her best friend. I'm not sure who I'd bring - or I could go alone. This year is my fifth year attending, so I'm sure there'd be questions about why I'm stag this year. I'll ask him if he REALLY wants to go.

I've seen my married co-workers show up alone to the company Christmas party and I had no questions. I figured their spouse is either home with the kids or had no interest in coming.

You can go alone, then you'll be free to chat with your co-workers. One married girl brought her best friend and she was tied to that girl on night, not social with the other co-workers who came alone.





freecharlie
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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:36:26 PM
I show up to tons of things without DH. He works nights. It was two years before some of my co-workers had met DH because he missed most things and a couple of them missed the two he was able to make. They used to call him my pretend husband.

I actually don't mind going to those types of things alone. DH doeesn't feel left out and I don't feel like I have to entertain him. I love for him to come, but if he can't it is okay too.


his dress style would NOT fly at ANY school i've ever worked at, other than fridays when there are football games, the male teachers had to wear slacks and dress shirts/ties!
Sweats wouldn't fly in my program, but jeans are pretty much a staple. My students would rip or ruin my slacks and there might be a chance of them being pulled off.


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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:39:24 PM
FWIW I'm not sure it matters what's "allowed" at any of our schools. There's no indication he dresses inappropriately where he works or socializes with his colleagues.

He sounds like an interesting guy, and maybe I'm projecting but my engineer DH doesn't always like to socialize so I can sympathize. I find logic works with my DH- so what I alluded to before- what benefits me at work benefits him at home via income, perks, not to mention my happiness. I have to remind him more often than I like but he eventually remembers and never let him select a tie.

NLGuy
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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:52:38 PM

He sounds like an interesting guy, and maybe I'm projecting but my engineer DH doesn't always like to socialize so I can sympathize. I find logic works with my DH- so what I alluded to before- what benefits me at work benefits him at home via income, perks, not to mention my happiness. I have to remind him more often than I like but he eventually remembers and never let him select a tie.


I like that advice and might have to take that tack. In many ways, he's similar to your DH, I think: heavy science background, very left-brained kind of guy (genius-level IQ), but he also sees himself as this really blue collar guy and that no one can "make" him do anything. Also, he can go from 0 to 60 when something bothers him - so I have to be super careful how I bring this stuff up.

Thanks!


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NLGuy
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Posted: 11/17/2013 9:55:06 PM

Promise to make his itchies all better when you get home.




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liannallama
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Posted: 11/18/2013 12:36:50 AM
I think he sounds passive aggressive and he's not really being supportive of your job responsibilities. I used to go to corporate events with my ex and I hated them because I was so introverted and I just felt awkward. But I put on my best dress and smiled like I was loving it there because that's what you do. He needs to support you for this once-a-year event. Suck it up, dude!


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myshelly
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Posted: 11/18/2013 12:45:37 AM
I am .

My DH is a teacher and he wears a suit, a tie, and a button up shirt to school every day. He carries a briefcase. Anything less would be completely unacceptable. He teaches third grade. If they are doing a messy science experiment that day, he may remove his suit jacket and wear his lab coat.

When I was in school all male teachers wore suits and ties. Some took their suit jackets off durning the school day. Coaches could wear polo shirts in the gym, but wore suits on game days.

I don't understand adults who can't dress like adults.

Hell, my six year old wears a shirt and tie to most parties.

I think he is being beyond childish and I don't understand it.

And I'm appalled at a school that has a dress code allowing teachers to appear like that.

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Posted: 11/18/2013 12:45:56 AM
I'm squarely on the side of DH is acting like a spoiled brat on this one. He should act like an adult, dress appropriately for the event, and go with a smile on his face (even if he's faking it) in order to support YOU. That's what spouses should do.

You're not whining about going to 'his' parties, right?

With that said, I'd stop fighting with him about it. Hope you enjoy your party, however it works out.




hop2
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Posted: 11/18/2013 4:53:45 AM
Go try on dress shirts until you find on that's not itchy? They do exist.

For a once a year party I can't see why he can't dress respectfully. He needs to grow up. I get that he doesn't like it really I do. My dad was a crane operator so he wore work clothes 98% of the time. But even he could when the event was appropriate dress in slacks, a button shirt and a blazer. It's what grown ups do part of being a grown up person is dressing respectfully and appropriately for an event. How would he feel if you were to wear a full on super fancy ball gown with a train to his firehouse party?

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August 2004
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Loc: Western NY

Posted: 11/18/2013 5:00:18 AM

He's a teacher and he lives in jeans and sweats (no chinos, no Dockers, no polos and no button up shirts of any kind unless they're denim or flannel and worn open over a tshirt)


Yeah that outfit would NEVER fly where I teach. We cannot wear jeans on any day but a Friday and even then we pay to dress down (money raised goes to many charities).



Some people only dream of angels, I have held one in my arms.





SuzastampinCTMH
AncestralPea

PeaNut 157,667
July 2004
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Posted: 11/18/2013 5:16:20 AM
Personally, in my passive aggressive mind, I wouldn't mention the party again. I'd make up my mind that I'm going alone and leave him home dressed however he wanted to dress. If he's in a suit he can go, if not, leave him home. There would be no negotiations or mention of the party from now on. If he's not dressed appropriately, get in the car and leave without him. If he's going to B and moan about his clothes when he gets there, it would spoil my time. Make plans with another coworker who has no one to go with.




eversograceful1
Feeling Spaztastic!

PeaNut 69,237
February 2003
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Posted: 11/18/2013 5:33:42 AM
You know, I'm normally one to say to go alone. But, it's one time a year. I think he should suck it up and go...dressed up.


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melanell
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 26,836
January 2002
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Posted: 11/18/2013 5:35:22 AM
I'd start saying "Such and such Event is on Sat. December 14 at 9pm.

The proper dress for the party is jacket & tie.

Let me know if you'll be coming before Dec. 10th so that I can RSVP.

Then don't bring up the topic again unless he hasn't given you an answer by the 10th.

If he brings it up only to complain, just reiterate that the event calls for a jacket & tie and he can choose not to attend if it's a problem for him.


There's no need for you to explain anything to your co-workers. If anyone asks why you are there alone just say DH couldn't make it. They don't need to know the specifics.



cropduster
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 250,388
February 2006
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Posted: 11/18/2013 5:54:05 AM
[He's a teacher and he lives in jeans and sweats (no chinos, no Dockers, no polos and no button up shirts of any kind unless they're denim or flannel and worn open over a tshirt)


Yeah that outfit would NEVER fly where I teach. We cannot wear jeans on any day but a Friday and even then we pay to dress down (money raised goes to many charities)./quote]

I don't teach but have several friends that are teachers. This is pretty much across the board in the school districts in our county. Your DH should consider himself lucky to be able to dress like he does at his job.

Anyway, I feel your pain. My DH hates to wear a suit and tie. Hates it. Although when he does, he is sooo handsome. If the itchy shirts are the only problem, invest in a high end dress shirt. I bought my DS a dress shirt from Kohls then invested in a nicer dress shirt from Macy's I think. When I was getting his suit ready to wear to a funeral, I realized how much softer the better shirt is. I wound up donating the less expensive shirt.

Other than that, I would have no problem going by myself. I know how awkward those company parties can be when you do not know anyone. Good luck!


cropduster

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UkSue
AncestralPea

PeaNut 428,374
June 2009
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Loc: Greater London

Posted: 11/18/2013 6:03:51 AM
Maybe you should I ask him to listen to the Bruno Mars song 'when I was your man'!

Honestly though I have a foot in both camps here. You say he seems to enjoy the party,it's just the attire he baulks at. I do know from personal experience that there are 'dos' where it just wouldn't be acceptable for the spouse to dress down, and I think for this one night a year it wouldn't kill him to make the effort for you. Tell him it's part of your Christmas or anniversary gift that he 'puts himself out' for you at this one party every year.


It's not the passage of time that heals. It's what you do with that time.

dotingmom
PeaAddict

PeaNut 113,004
October 2003
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Posted: 11/18/2013 6:13:18 AM
I may be moody this morning, but the only answer I can come up with is either tell him you are going by yourself if it's a cocktail party type event or asking a male friend who dresses nicely to accompany you if it's a dinner type thing. He's being childish and selfish. I assume you don't go to his casual events dressed for the red carpet, which would also be inappropriate?!?

Happy Holidays!

Woobster
The Banana Under the Couch Pea

PeaNut 295,941
February 2007
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Loc: Somewhere over the rainbow...

Posted: 11/18/2013 6:25:50 AM

I don't make him go. I tell him the date and ask if he wants to go.

I didn't mean to make it sound like you were dragging him kicking and screaming to the party. I'm sorry if I came off that way. But, he obviously feels obligated to go to the party.

I agree that he should just sick it up once a year and put on his "itchy" shirt and go. However, it sounds like this is a fight every year.

I like the idea of just saying, "My company party is Dec XX. Attire is a suit and tie (or whatever it may be). Let me know if you'll be going with me." Give him the option.
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