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Wedding Woes

She is not a project. Leave her alone.

Dear Prudence,

My cousin recently married a lovely girl. My whole family loves her, and she’s always been very sweet to us. She’s intelligent and kind, but the issue is her wardrobe. She’s very pretty but refuses to wear nice clothes, instead wearing baggy, boring clothes. My whole family is fashion-conscious, and I know my cousin has suggested to her several times that she buy new clothing—to no avail. He thinks she’s self-conscious about her size. Her birthday is coming up, and my sister and I would like to take her shopping as a birthday gift to buy her some nicer clothes. My cousin thinks she might not appreciate it, but he agrees that she needs new clothes. He also suggested buying her a gift card to somewhere, although that wouldn’t solve the problem of which clothes she buys with it. We’re all eager for her to dress more nicely. Do you think that taking her clothes shopping for her birthday would still be appropriate?

—Out of Step

Re: She is not a project. Leave her alone.

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    There’s no good way to do this. And it will make LW seem like a jerk. More than the letter already makes them sound. 

    Funny enough, this is how I feel about FI’s older sister, although her issue is that she’s uber cheap. I think I mentioned she “voluntold” us to come over and help her move by hanging up her clothes? Well, literally 97% of her clothing was stuff other FSIL had thrown away, or stuff that I had even given her. All of this stuff is 7-20 years old. She has a high level job and I could not believe her set of work clothes. They are honestly embarrassing and I could see them hindering her in work meetings and networking. I want so badly to say something to her but there’s no way I can do it without being an asshole. So I’m not saying anything. She’s a grown adult and she can buy her own clothes. If she values saving a buck over how people perceive her at work, that’s up to her. 

  • LW could ask her what she wants for her bday and if they say something along the lines of clothes, they could offer going shopping or gift card.

    There's no real good way to say it, but if LW really really really wants to try - above might be best. Even then, I wouldn't. Leave her be.
  • What a great message, "We think that you look bad so as a PRESENT we will take you away from the comfort of your home and force you to try on new items of clothing that you didn't want to make us feel better about looking at you." 

    Yeah - don't do this. 
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    How is this remotely your business?
  • This is so judgmental. LW needs more to think about if they thought this was worth writing a letter to Prudie.

    If cousin think that his wife would be better and more confident if she dressed better, then maybe he can address that with her from a place of concern and love. But nobody else should be in on that conversation unless cousin's wife asks for their fashion advice. LW and their family should all just enjoy her company, appreciate that their cousin married such a nice person, and mind their own business. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Holy overstepping boundaries! Why do these people care how their cousin's wife dresses!?

  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ew Ew ew!!  How on earth do you go from like 5 positive adjectives in the first 1.5 lines to caring about how she dresses?!? The H isn't helping.  You decided to propose to and marry her, please be on her side.
  • Who ARE these people?!?!

    Yes, LW, it's inappropriate.  It's incredibly insulting and way beyond inappropriate.

    Not everyone wants to dress like a fashion plate.  Stop making this new member of your family feel uncomfortable in her own skin by trying to push your sense of style onto her.

    I'm picturing this LW being the kind of person the other LW is complaining about, lol.  The stranger/acquaintance that goes up to them and asks, "Wow, so many kids!  IVF?  Trying to set a world's record, (haha)?"
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • kerbohlkerbohl member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    I can sort of see this being what my ILs think.  I don't like shopping or spending money on clothes, so the majority of mine are thrift store or hand-me-down.  But the thing is, some people just don't make clothes a priority.  LW says that the clothes are baggy but also that they are "boring".  What does that mean?  I can get if this cousin is always wearing baggy clothes that they want to get her into something that fits properly.  But what they might see as boring, she might see as functional.  I like funky necklines and backless tops, but if I can't wear a bra with in, I'm not wearing it, which means some of my clothes might be classed as boring.  And I don't care about brand names, but my ILs sure do!  This might just be a clashing taste thing.
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