Woman Debates Skipping Party After Friend Insists She Dress 'Frumpy' So She Doesn't Steal Her Boyfriend's Attention

One woman’s birthday party plans went south after her jealous friend told her to “tone down” her outfit.

A photograph of two women looking into a mirror, with one holding up a blouse to herself with a grin. Dasha Petrenko / Shutterstock.com

“​​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,” wrote one woman in an advice-seeking post on Reddit's “r/AmITheA--hole.”

The thread is a place for users to vent about conflicts and seek advice from the community. After all, most of us have had awkward arguments with friends that felt frustratingly unreasonable, but usually, they will eventually die down, and we can move past them. 


For this user, that was not the case.

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This woman’s friend demanded to approve her outfit for the party after complaining that she would be 'outshone.'

The Reddit user did her best to explain the situation for readers to pick apart. Her friend of almost two decades, Kate, was soon to be hosting a birthday party for her boyfriend, Jamie, whom she had been dating for almost three years.

The writer explained that, although Jamie was her friend’s boyfriend, she did also consider him a friend, since they had relatively gotten to know each other, and had a mutual interest in sports. Then, out of the blue, she received a text from Kate asking her to change her previously planned outfit, and then show the new one to Kate for review.


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What? She had to change her entire outfit? Confused, she asked what the problem was, and Kate explained that she “didn’t want to be outshone at her own boyfriend’s birthday party.” Kate went further, claiming that she wanted Jaime’s full attention at the party, and she wouldn’t be able to get that if her friend dressed appropriately.

Baffled, the writer told Kate that if she was so concerned about being upstaged, then she just wouldn’t come to the party. Kate reacted poorly to this, claiming that her friend was being immature and wanted to hog the spotlight. The friend denied this, explaining: “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 decided to skip the party. However, she wasn’t getting off that easily.

Jamie himself then messaged her to say that he knew she was “booked” the night of the party, but that he would really like it if she could be there, and asked if she could reschedule. She didn’t respond, and then received another message from Kate, asking her to set aside her pride and come.

She held her ground. “I asked if she was going to ditch the outfit policing, but she said no, so I said I would not be coming.”

She then asked Reddit if her decision was rational, and whether or not to attend the party. To her surprise, many users suggested that she should tell Jamie the truth, upfront. Many felt that Kate was being unreasonable and insecure with her request, and the best solution was to turn the situation into an open discussion. Users also felt that there was more happening behind the scenes that the writer didn’t know.

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About a week later, she posted an update on the situation.

The writer had taken the advice to inform Jamie of the truth behind the conflict, after which he called her to explain some background information.

According to him, he and Kate, along with some friends, had gone out drinking one night and then decided to swap stories about meeting their SOs. During the conversation, Kate had asked why Jaime had decided to flirt with her, rather than her friend, and he had told her “it was because he knew he didn't have a shot with "the hot one," meaning Kate’s friend.

He had explained to Kate further that he had made the right choice and loved her very much, but Kate had taken it extremely hard. Jamie confessed to the writer that he had wanted to propose to Kate at the party, which is why he wanted her to be there so badly, but now he wasn’t sure if that was the right choice anymore.

Shocked by the new information, the writer called Kate to talk it out.


“[Kate] 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 wrote. “She apologized 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.”

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The writer was upset by the news, feeling like she had lost a decades-old friendship over a drunkenly awkward conversation, but she understood that Kate couldn’t help how she felt, and was willing to come to terms with it.

After reading and responding to more comments, she also stated that the situation had brought up a few uncomfortable memories from the relationship, and she no longer felt comfortable being involved with the party.


Many commenters expressed their sympathies and hoped that the relationship could eventually be repaired with some time and distance.

Others also felt bad for Kate, pointing out that, although she was wrong to force her insecurity onto her friend, it was super messed up of Jaime to say what he did to her. One user wrote: “I wouldn't like [it if] my partner thought of me as someone who takes the crappy options because she has no better ones.”

In this friendship, it looks like jealousy truly was the thief of joy.


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Hawthorn Martin is a news and entertainment writer living in Texas. They focus on social justice, pop culture, and human interest stories.