Co-worker keeps commenting on new clothes

Help! Lately whenever I wear something new to the office my co-worker always has to comment on the fact that I am wearing something new and make a big deal about it. And she is loud and draws a lot of attention from the rest of the office to the fact that I am wearing something new. I’m not someone who likes attention and I know she doesn’t mean anything bad by it. She doesn’t strike me as conniving, just simple. It’s spring and I will be wearing many new items over the coming weeks but do not want to have to deal with this every morning. What should I do? How should I handle this?

“Thanks for noticing. It’s spring and I will be wearing many new items over the coming weeks.”

You could try the, “What? This old thing? You just haven’t seen it before” route, but she might be the type to argue.

I think I’d say, “Yup, another new shirt. Now you know what I’m doing with my lottery jackpot,” or something else to blow her off in a light-hearted way, then go on about my business.

Say, “yes it is” and change the subject. Immediately. Have a topic ready when you know she’s going to pounce. Or just say, “thank you and I love that blouse you’re wearing, where did you get it?” Asking someone a question who’s just asked a question of you, I’ve found, is a sure-fire way to get the attention off yourself.

You can do all this politely and hope she gets the message. I’m in a situation slightly akin to this, and this is what I always do.

Aw, I might be that coworker. I complimented a woman I work with on a new dress. She told me that she has recently bought a bunch of new dresses in order to “professionalize” her work wardrobe. So when I see one of the new ones, I’ve been making a point to point it out and say they look nice.

I hope I’m not making her secretly uncomfortable.

This made me chuckle

You could ask her to stop doing that. I’m sure she doesn’t understand how you feel.

Just say ,“Thanks, I really appreciate it, but could we not make a big deal of it, I find all of the attention embarrassing. And, by the way, you really look nice today, is that new?”

Or you could forward her this thread. . .

You could just put on a concerned facial expression and say, “It’s the same thing I wear every Tuesday. Are you feeling okay? Is everything all right at home?”

Or you could just mention that it bothers you, whichever fits your personal style.

“I really appreciate the compliments, but the attention is making me a bit uncomfortable.” See if she figures it out from that. :slight_smile:

“ZOMG a new dress !!!eleventy!! A new dress, look everyone, a dress, a new dress!! I loooooourve the color. Yay, new dresses! Kittens and sprinkles and unic-”

“Yes. It is. Thank you for pointing it out.” Say it quietly, with a bored expression. The exact. same. response. every time.

I have said, with a smile on my face, the equivalant of “Boy, you sure keep track of my wardrobe! Better than me in fact! Would you like to come home and help me sort it?”

People usually realize they’re being a little too nosy at this juncture. Usually.

If she volunteered that she’s trying to improve her wardrobe, I doubt a quiet compliment would be unwelcome. Plus there’s a big difference between a private ‘Hey, that looks really nice’ and ‘HEY, JANE, IS THAT NEW?!?!’ in front of the entire office, which is what the OP seems to be dealing with. :slight_smile:

I’d just smile at her and say “Thanks. Glad you like it” and carry on immediately with whatever I was doing.

If she’s making a song and dance about it and you are polite and pleasant back, but don’t engage her in any further conversation, she’ll either stop doing it because she’s not getting a reaction or she’ll keep doing it, in which case your reaction will become automatic and you won’t even notice she’s still doing it after a while.

No point in being shouty with her or nasty to her or coming up wth some sort of a bitchy comeback, because then you’ll be the one everyone thinks is a ratbag. And she’ll be able to tell everyone how meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeean you were when she was only being nice about your new dress.

I’ve run into similar situations but not clothing. I’ve never had kids and was married only briefly so I’ve been able to buy nice things for myself that people doing the same job but with 2-3 kids, don’t have the extra money for. Usually something like “Wowww…must be nice to be rich, Mr. Moneybags.” Sometimes it’s a slightly over interested inquiry about the price.

Do you (OP) think it has to do with commenting on you having nicer things, more spending money?

It’s better than, “Dude, you look like refried ass.”

This is my suggestion too, only with an extra sentence.

“Yes it is.” with a tone of voice that sounds as uninterested in anything she’s saying as possible.

Coworker: “nixgirl1 What a wonderfull dress you are wearing!!”

nixgirl: [puts index finger over lips] “Shhh…”

Cowrker: [whispers] “why? what’s wrong?”

nixgirl: “My coworkers think I have a shopping addiction” (thanks to you)

Is she saying you look nice or is she just commenting on the new outfit? If she is being genuinely complimentary I’d let it go, but if it is only about the newness and seems to be a money related comment I’d simply respond to every inquiry with, “Yeah, gotta love that clearance rack” and just ignore any additional comments she might make.

“Is that new?”

“Not really. I got it from a friend, who was clearing out some things. Great, right? Still had the tags on it!”

“Is that new?”

“My boyfriend/father saw me try it on and then bought it for me. I tried to stop him, but he insisted. Isn’t that the sweetest thing?”

“Is that new?”

“Bought it on sale, got it for a song. Don’t ya love it?”