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by Abigail Van Buren

Tempers Flare Over Rude Remarks About Wardrobe Choices

DEAR ABBY: I'm someone who's been chronically hot for as long as I can remember. In winter, I usually wear lighter clothes than most people so I can be comfortable. Unfortunately, complete strangers feel compelled to ask several times a day, "Aren't you cold?" or say, "You're crazy for dressing that way!"

I don't feel I should have to justify my wardrobe, and I think calling someone crazy is out of line. I have pointed out to some people that how I dress is none of their business, at which point they take offense. (One guy even told me to "shove it where the sun don't shine.") I don't think my response was inappropriate considering that they were the ones judging me. I'm the one who should have been upset. What can I say to these judgmental people without justifying myself and without evoking an angry response? -- NOT CRAZY, JUST COMFORTABLE

DEAR NOT CRAZY: Most people are curious when they see something "different." Wearing lightweight clothing in the dead of winter qualifies as different. If you are asked, all you need to say is that your body temperature runs hotter than most people's, and you are perfectly comfortable. Period.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Health & Safety