Requesting: tales of people being inappropriately dressed

One of my quirks is - double and triple checking to make very sure I don’t show up at an event in the wrong type of clothes - underdressed, overdressed or just plain weirdly dressed compared to everyone else.

Please help feed my paranoia and share any horror stories of people being dressed “wrong”!

I’ve witnessed: someone wearing clear “barefoot sneakers” to a semi-formal cocktail reception, and (in college) someone wearing a Kung Fu headband emblazoned with Asian characters to meet an international shipping company doing recruiting on campus. I still cringe remembering that guy.

saw a guy at a job fair with a t-shirt that said, “I Love My Job, It’s The Work I Hate.”

A guy was interviewing to be one of our OTR drivers while wearing a hat, “If you find me asleep wake me and give me a beer.” I think he preferred unemployment.

When I got married, my mom gave her credit card to my younger brother and told him to buy a suit for the occasion.

He showed up at my wedding in a peach suit, wearing sandals. I don’t even know where on earth he found a suit that color. We still laugh about it. He definitely stood out from every other man there, but I don’t think it bothered him at all.

I’ve worked at a number of hotels, mostly as a front desk clerk or front desk/guest services manager. At some locations, a zillion people per day would walk up to the desk to ask whether we were hiring, or for an application. At least half a zillion of those were dressed so inappropriately that I wouldn’t have hired them to clean bathrooms, much less for front desk work…

Memorable for all of the wrong reasons:

Girlfriend and boyfriend - both with multiple facial piercings, he had enormous ear gauges (ew, ew, ew,) prison-quality tattoos on their faces, necks, and hands. His hair was green, hers was purple. Both were wearing ripped baggy black cargo pants and dirty t-shirts. I gave them both applications. Both wanted front desk work at a hotel where the front desk uniform was a suit and tie.

Same hotel: Fifty-ish lady, quite bosomy and a bit stout. Wearing a micro-mini skirt and a peasant blouse that had formerly had elastic around the neckline. The elastic had long-since surrendered, and the lady was very, very obviously not wearing a bra. She was also interested in working at the front desk. (That day, the food and beverage director happened to be on hand for the encounter. He had previously pooh-poohed my stories about the numbskulls who came in looking for job applications, thinking I was exaggerating. After witnessing that? He decided that he’d never invite me to poker night, because if I could keep a straight face during that conversation, that I must have a fantastic poker face!)

I also have a horror about being dressed inappropriately, so maybe I notice it more, but my daughter and I have bitchy, bitchy fun talking about people behind their backs - why don’t people recognize their actual clothing size, their actual ages (hint: if you’re fifty, step away from the juniors department,) the need for undergarments, etc. And let’s don’t even get started on hair and makeup choices!

I was at this beer festival that was held kind of close to Halloween. It was a real beer geek kind of event where you used these tokens to get a very small beer and talk to the people from the brewery about how
they make it, etc. It was held in a parking lot in the middle of the day.

Two women showed up in costume, one as a sexy cat, the other as Natalie Portman in Black Swan. We were in line behind them, they got to the front, got their little beer, drank it like a shot and said, “hit me again,” like they were at a bar. Then they asked me what kind of ‘games’ there were here and I told them about an upcoming lecture on Belgian brewing methods. I asked them if they were going to a Halloween party later and they told me they had dressed up for the beer festival.

I’m a painting contractor, so it’s not like there’s a strict dress code for work. Painter’s whites, t-shirt, closed-toe shoes, reasonably well-groomed and clean.

Had a guy show up for his first day wearing a t-shirt that had a saying including the word FUCK emblazoned on the front. Who* does* that? We were painting at an assisted-living facility that day Told him to go home and come back wearing something more appropriate. Never saw him again. :stuck_out_tongue:

Second-hand story:

I interviewed at an Orthodox Jewish private school. As I’m not Jewish, let alone Orthodox, I did a little reading beforehand about proper attire. The interviewer was impressed that I’d worn a dress with a skirt past my knees and sleeves past my elbows and mentioned that she’d had several female applicants who’d shown up in pant suits or short skirts and bare arms.

Minor example, I’ve told this before: We had a temp receptionist, mid-30s, at a small tech company in the early 1990s. She was one of these “always on the hunt” types, nice-enough looking but the basis for the bitchy nymphomaniac stereotype. As the office manager put it to me later, she showed up, put out her candy jar and waited for the traffic to come to her (from the 20+ youngish men in the company). One casual Friday, she showed up in what can only be described as a denim teddy - a one-piece bodysuit in pale denim, cut low in the front, high across the thighs, tight all over… and with a large heart-shaped cutout on the back paneled in lace and showing quite clearly there was nothing under the thing. The office manager sent her home to change.

Once I forgot my socks before a concert. I’m very white so between my tux pants and shoes were my glowing ankles. No idea if anyone noticed.
Another time I wore tails and white tie instead of short jacket and black tie. I didn’t know matinees had different dress.

I recently attended a wedding reception wearing a lime green shirt, a pink tie, and a houndstooth jacket.

I was at a gallery opening and the artist (a friend) gave me a shirt he had designed. I put it on and wore it all evening. It riffed on pink elephants and being drunk.

On my drive home I had to go through a sobriety checkpoint. The cops laughed at my nervousness and kept me there long enough to get someone with a camera to get a pic.

My story is from ninth-grade Solo and Ensemble competition, and it is a story of someone choosing to dress inappropriately on purpose. Our ensemble had been singing together for quite a while…nine girls in all, SSA. As was the custom then, most ensemble groups dressed alike or in a themed manner. Our group chose a pattern and a rainbow of coordinated fabrics…I remember I had to wear the yellow colorway of the at-the-time trendy leno fabric…it was all very sweet and pastelly and ginghamy and we looked adorable (it was the early early 70’s) all in the same style, same fabric, different colors. I hated yellow, but it was a uniform, not a fashion choice. Jane was supposed to wear the purple. Jane shows up for the performance in purple. Not the pastelly purple fabric she’d been given, not the cute puffed sleeved, scoop-necked, Empire-waisted maxi-dress we had all diligently sewed ourselves. Nope, not dramatic Jane. She appeared in a deep purple knit dress, slinky and extremely form-fitting, that was sleeveless and had a series of satiny spaghetti straps connecting the bodice to a turtleneck-type band at her throat…pure adult, pure pageant queen. We were 13 and 14 year-old girls in a time when 13-year-old girls didn’t dress that way at all. Over the years I’ve forgotten the reasons she gave for refusing to be a team player and coordinate with us, but I can tell you that our director was not at all happy to have her sticking out like a huge sore thumb in our sea of sweetness and light. Not much she could do at the last minute like that, so we performed anyhow, and got a good score, but the group was never the same after that.

Jane went on to later become one of the wives of a much-married and divorced and much older weathercaster on local TV and has never come to a class reunion. Someday I’d like to ask her if the statement she made was worth it, and if it was her choice or her mother’s.

Once I wore black shoes with a navy suit, when oxblood would have worked better with my tie and pocket square. I am certain everyone was snickering behind my back.

I’m sure you were the talk of cocktail hour that evening. :smiley:

About a year ago someone came in to ask about applying for a training position. She was wearing a shirt with the saying “Same Shit Different Day” written on it. I told her I would not talk with her that day, and to call for another appointment later in the week, and show up dressed appropriately. Never heard from her again.

Back when we were dating, my wife invited me to her friend’s wedding. The night before, I had drank way too much at another party compelling her to drive me home, which pissed her off because she was supposed to be up very early the following morning to help the bride with her makeup, and driving me home meant my wife got home much later than she originally planned (we lived in opposite directions).

I arranged with a friend to give me a ride back to my car the following morning, so I was in a hurry to get ready. In my haste I ended up wearing a black suit jacket but navy slacks, which to my now-wife’s keen eyes stuck out like a sore thumb. She insisted I go back home and change pants :rolleyes: .

Normally I would have stuck to my guns and refused, reasoning that we’d be sitting most of the time and that during the reception my jacket would spend most of the evening hanging on a chair so nobody is going to notice I don’t match (except my wife). But I felt guilty for drinking too much at her other friend’s house the night before, and since my apartment was very close to the location of the wedding anyway, I agreed and went home to change.

These days I like to teasingly get back at her for stuff like that; when she gets ready and I see that she isn’t dressed provocatively enough, I’ll say stuff like, “Oh you’re not going out to the party dressed like that are you honey?” which pisses her off to no end. :smiley:

Do historical cases count? I have one from the late 1800s that’s little-known and shaped the person involved.

You just know these people went off and gave their friends an earful about what an unreasonable asshole *you *were.

I work at a medical lab. Mostly everyone here wears office attire or scrubs, some even wear suit and tie. We had one lady that wore jeans and raggedy T-shirts with bleach stains and holes! Rather than be direct with her, management tried to put us all in khakis and polos, which did not go over well.

Great stories, I’m feeling good and paranoid now as I hoped!

Yes, go for it.

When my mother died about 10 years ago, my oldest cousin was selected to do one of the readings at her funeral (Catholic). The church was packed, and my 50+ year old cousin walks up to the lectern in front of everyone my family knew wearing a tight white leather miniskirt, a tight, sheer black top, and way too much makeup. She looked like a middle aged drunken hooker working the back alleys of Vegas. My father was shaking with anger, and AFAIK has barely spoken to her since.

At a company I worked for as a manager we were doing a whole day of college hiring.

The management group was about ten people and we had about twenty college students to interview for about five positions. We gave presentations about the company and the positions, had discussions as a group and then broke up into interviews. Two college kids per each manager.

After a half day of this the college group left and the managers discussed as a group the candidates to rank them. During the discussion of one young woman one of the female managers timidly brought up the way she was dressed.

“I’m sorry, but I just don’t think she was dressed appropriately. Call me old fashioned.”

This led to an avalanche of discussion from the female managers of how appalled they all were with the dress of this interviewee. They all thought it was over the top provocative with way too much showing.

Obviously she didn’t make the cut.

Afterwards I asked the male managers on either side of me what they thought since they had been quiet.

Just like me, they hadn’t noticed anything at all about how she was dressed and couldn’t remember what she was wearing.