DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: One of my closest friends is also probably my richest. She comes from money and inherited the add-to-it gene. Still, she dresses like she just refreshed her wardrobe at a thrift store bag-of-clothes-for-$2 bin. I have nothing against shopping smart and buying secondhand stuff, but I sometimes wonder if she’s being super cheap, or she just doesn’t care.
Normally, I don’t care either, but she was my plus-one at a formal wedding, and she showed up at the church looking like she was ready for a quick trip out for fast food. When I said something, she didn’t get upset or anything. She just shrugged it off and refused to change before the reception, where she was a real standout, and not in the best way.
I understand she doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes, but shouldn’t she have some sense when it comes to special events requiring special effort? In this case, the bride is someone who, like me, has known my friend for a long time, and said she’d expected nothing else from my friend, but still. --- FRIEND OF A FRUMP
DEAR FRIEND OF A FRUMP: That the bride didn’t mind is a good thing, but I can understand your feelings as well. Even before recent events, dressing down was becoming the widely accepted daily standard for businesses, schools, and simply being out in public, and that seems to be spilling over into social events, regardless of their more traditional dress requirements.
It sounds like your friend is following the perpetually casual trend, while saving herself some money. Next time you invite her to a special occasion that calls for a fancier than normal outfit, perhaps you could offer to go shopping with her, or at least suggest she consider something more in keeping with the nature of the event. If you’re close to the same size, you might even offer to lend her something from your own wardrobe, which should appeal to her frugal side.