These 21 People Didn’t Get the Dress Code Memo

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Have you ever showed up to a party completely overdressed? Or underdressed? Why didn’t Aunt Gina tell you what the dress code was for the Christmas Party that year? No you and your boyfriend look like a**holes showing up with matching Christmas sweaters when everyone else is decked out in fancy formal wear.

There are plenty of situations where a wrong wardrobe choice can go awry – birthday parties, networking events, weddings, funerals, and especially meeting the parents of your significant other. It’s always a good idea to double check the dress code in these events or else you’ll risk being the main subject of gossip in the office for the next month.

How does one navigate a fashion faux pas like that? You put on a brave face and hope that no one will comment on your outfit, knowing damn well that there’ll be others snickering at your choices. It’d be a lot easier if you were to grin and bear it but if you were on the receiving end, you’d probably do the same as you judged from afar, too.

These 21 people regretfully didn’t get the dress code memo:


A slightly more distant relative of mine wore jean shorts, a button down Hawaiian floral print t-shirt, and walking around sandals to HIS OWN MOTHER’S funeral.


In college my boyfriend invited me to a holiday party at his mom’s house. I asked him ahead of time what I should wear, and he responded, “I don’t know. I usually just wear jeans and a shirt.” I wore blue jeans and a striped sweater I liked, with boots. My first warning sign was that when my boyfriend came to get me he was wearing his nicest dark jeans and a button down. When we got to the party, it turned out to be quite swanky. The men were all in slacks and collared shirts. The women were all in nice evening dresses. I was the only woman at the party in jeans and stuck out like a sore thumb.


My aunt got re-married in September, and one of my other aunts wore a white lace dress. Didn’t seem to faze said aunt who was getting married, but my sister and I thought it was pretty cringe worthy (we were my cousins Bar Mitzvah the following week and she wore the same dress but in black, why not switch the dresses?!)


I’m a middle school teacher and all of us had been planning 8th grade graduation for a while. At the last meeting before graduation, one person said (to the adults) “I really don’t think I should have to say this, but dress appropriately.” She showed up in a tight, short dress, and her boobs were OUT and squished together. It was uncomfortable for any of us to look at her. Let alone a group of 8th graders. I was even more taken aback at the fact that SHE was the one who told everyone else to dress appropriately.


My 40 yo cousin showed up at my grandfather’s funeral wearing cargo shorts and ratty running shoes. My grandfather had been the mayor of his town for 35 years and everyone in town showed up at the funeral. We were all a little embarrassed and avoided him.


A friend showed up to my wedding in a black sweatsuit and sneakers.


I had an adult (like 40 year old) cousin who wore a Mickey Mouse tshirt and cutoffs to my grandma’s funeral.


My cousin’s husband showed up to my grandfather’s funeral/service in jeans. Not even black jeans, blue jeans and a black puffer jacket.


A friend of mine showed up to my wedding in a solid white sheath dress. Knowing her, I’m almost positive that she didn’t do it for attention etc, and I wasn’t upset about it, although I do still remember


The first year I worked in corporate, my hubby and I went to my company’s holiday party. I had asked someone at work how dressy it was and she essentially said “some do some don’t, whatever you feel comfortable in!” So I told hubby, who was very concerned about it, and so he ended up wearing khaki slacks and a nice button down. Cut to the evening of the party and there’s not a single man in the room NOT wearing a fancy suit of some sort. Hubby was so mad at me and I felt terrible for leading him astray.


A college student came in to my office to do some job shadowing and she was wearing a pair of sky-high heels and a very tight skirt that was very short. I took her aside and told her very point-blank that her skirt was too short and her heels were too high.


I was a maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding this past December. One of the bridesmaid’s best friends also came. (This particular bridesmaid was the groom’s sister, actually.) The friend is a really nice person, but she wore a super short dress (like clubbing short) with FISHNETS and a bunch of chokers…to a fancy church wedding.


I’ve picked up a friend to head out to my BF’s aunt’s farm or something for the day and she was wearing heels and a way too nice blouse and I sent her inside to change into sturdier clothes.


At a funeral, a friend of a relative showed up in a spaghetti strap tank and super short denim shorts. But it was totally fine – they were black so obviously appropriate!


My grandma wore a red suit to my mum’s wedding. Which sounds fine until you realise that my mum (the bride) also wore a red suit.


My ex husband wore a t-shirt that said “analc*nt” to a family-oriented beach.


Now-husband wanted to meet up with some friends and friends-of-friends for dinner in DC. I made him call his friend and ask specifically what the women were wearing. I was told we were doing the fancy dress up thing. So I made husband dress nicely, and I pulled out my favorite black cocktail dress and heels, and off we went. Somewhere between that phone call and arriving, they’d all changed their minds and were in jeans and t-shirts, and we ended up going to a dive bar. I got wolf-whistled any time I stepped 2 feet away from my husband. So annoying.


Saw pics of another friend’s wedding pop up and her mother in law wore a freaking wedding dress to her wedding. She claimed it was light pink. Another friend was there and said it was definitely white and definitely a wedding dress.


There was a girlfriend of a step cousin of mine who showed up to my grandparents’ funeral (they died within a day of each other) in a pink poncho that was to short to be a top, with no top underneath, and leggings, with stiletto heeled boots.


I went to a Christmas Eve church service with my parents and there were a handful of women wearing club dresses with their bra straps visible.


At my brother’s wedding apparently my entire family AND my sister-in-law’s entire family had decided to wear navy blue and gold. And I mean they had all decided this months in advance, from my grandma all the way down to my niece and nephew, who were the ringbearer and flower girl. Nobody told me, so I showed up in a super cute black and white A-line dress with a bright yellow cardigan. Surrounded by all those neutrals, I really stand out in the photos.

Written by Irvi Torremoro

Irvi Torremoro is an Austinite by way of Las Vegas. She's worked in various outlets in food & beverage and is now focused on writing, eating all the things, talking about Beyonce, and petting all the puppies. She runs, a lifestyle blog about people in the service industry.