Hood she?
March 29, 2010 9:52 PM   Subscribe

[DatingWardrobeFilter]: How casual is too casual? Hoodies acceptable on second date?

Am I being a superficial prick for thinking that my date could've made more of an effort? The scene: first date goes really well, we hit it off, continually chat online for the week following. We plan our second date -- dinner, intimate bar, possibly meet up with some other friends (mine) much later in the evening (we eventually didn't). She arrives wearing calf-length tights (that are actually a bit loose) and a hoodie.

1) She is 34 and I am 38. In other words, no, it's not street fashion. We both have careers, we've both traveled the world and stayed in fancy hotels, we both have normal, adult clothes.
2) I never stated this style as a preference, nor did we agree to have a casual night out.
3) I didn't get the sense that this was her style from our first date, though I wasn't extremely impressed then either (but didn't think much of it at the time).

My questions are as follows:
1) Is she "testing" me? And if so, isn't that a little juvenile?
2) Does she not have any fashion sense?
3) Does she not have much sense at all?
4) My original question: am I being a superficial prick?

For the record, I was dressed casual-smart (dark slacks, zip-up turtleneck, light jacket) that did not make me look like a 16-year-old.
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (78 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
oh jesus she was trying to look cool for her second date and failed. Which is a far greater hazard for women. I'm guessing you wear slacks to work, right? Maybe a jacket? She had to start from scratch.
posted by moxiedoll at 9:56 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

Eh, I might have done the same thing and I agree with moxiedoll. Some people wear hoodies.

It's not clear from your post where you live or how you met this woman which might give us an idea of how to set expectations. So I don't think she's testing you [unless for some reason you think she's really that calculating which seems like an incredible long shot] and she may have a different fashion sense from you. If that's a bad thing where you're from then you maybe need to either let her know or just call it quits with the proverbial "bad fit" and find someone who dresses casual-smart like you do.

Really you sound a little judgey about this ["16 year old" "not have much sense at all" "juvenile" "wasn't extremely impressed]. It's not that you're a superficial prick or not, you like what you like. However the woman who went out with you also likes what she likes and if those likes aren't in alignment maybe it's not meant to be. If having strong opinions and drawing conclusions from an outfit are the sort of things that are important to you, that's good to know up front.
posted by jessamyn at 10:01 PM on March 29, 2010 [15 favorites]

Some people have their "personal style" which is often not style at all. She might be oblivious and prefer dressing comfortably without paying attention to it.

Wondering about it doesn't make you superficial. However, if it's your only reason for not continuing dating then that would make you a little prick-y.
posted by thorny at 10:03 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Zip-up turtleneck? If she's testing you, you probably lost.

(See what it feels like?)
posted by neroli at 10:09 PM on March 29, 2010 [68 favorites]

If you're having this strong of a reaction to it, then I'd have to say it's too casual for you. I personally don't think hoodies are relegated to "street fashion" or 16 year old kids, but you are fully within your rights to feel that way.

What would she have been "testing" with this hoodie? Is that a regular dating test? Because I haven't even been aware of it, so I've probably been failing.
posted by grapesaresour at 10:10 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Clothes don't make the man or the woman. If how she's dressing matters to you and she failed your test (you weren't impressed on the first date and were appalled over the hoodie on the second date), then it is time to find someone else. Then again, in the circles I run in, people are pretty casual. She's demonstrating her style. If you want to date someone that dresses to the nines, then you'll need to find someone else. It isn't a test, she's not juvenile. She just appears to place a lower value on clothing than you do.

I've traveled the world and stayed in nice hotels, too. I have "grown up clothes". But I might wear a hoodie on a second date unless the person said we were going someone fancy. Then again, I'd not be too jazzed about that since it may not match my style.
posted by birdherder at 10:19 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

We can't know the answer, buddy. It sounds like you were really put off though - your annoyance comes through in your tone. And it sounds like a certain standard of dress or style is important to you. "Wasn't extremely impressed". Sounds like you all have different standards and expectations, neither of which is necessarily the only way to be. Maybe don't read a whole lot into it and shake it off for now since you don't know the answer. Seems like if you're interested in her, this could be given a lower priority.

I do know what you mean though. I'd be a little put off myself if she showed up dressed like that, or at least puzzled. Maybe even a little offended like it sounds like you were. Maybe some of each. I would guess she didn't think much of me - I mean we all kind of learn that how we dress and spiff up communicates a level of respect or regard in different situations. But I'd try to give myself the same advice I just gave you - stay loose, explore, see where it goes. It kind of doesn't sound good, but for all we know she could be clueless, misinformed, out of practice, have a musty closet, have run out of time or had some other disaster, who knows. Maybe the next date could be deliberately more casual just to make it a non-issue for sure and allow you to focus on getting to know her better without that distraction. You shouldn't necessarily have to do that, but be flexible and do what works. Good luck.
posted by Askr at 10:19 PM on March 29, 2010

She sounds cute, like she actually has a sense of style or was trying to be playful. You're the one who sounds like a square (seriously, zip-up turtleneck? I don't even know what that is).
posted by greta simone at 10:31 PM on March 29, 2010 [9 favorites]

We can't know the answer, pal. There's no consensus, it depends on what sartorial planet you're from. She's from Venus, you're from Mars, neither is "right", and there are a whole bunch of other planets as well. I myself am from a planet where people snicker at hoodies, but turtlenecks- my god!- turtlenecks make us run screaming into the night. You may as well go with your own reaction, it may be more valid than any social prescription.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 10:33 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yes, you are being a superficial prick.

(Mods: he asked.)
posted by callmejay at 10:35 PM on March 29, 2010 [24 favorites]

1) Probably not
2) Maybe
3) This question makes you look like a bit of a jerk. Assigning her a subpar intelligence based on a singular instance of hoody wearing would speak more loudly of you than it does of her to me.
4) More superficial than I'd be in this case, but we all have our dealbreakers. Don't try to pretend it's about her behavior instead of your preferences though.
posted by pseudonick at 10:36 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

No, you're not being a superficial prick
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 10:37 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would have dressed up a bit for the second date. The point is that you expected something and did not get it, i.e, your date a little dressed up. I don't think you are wrong, but I also don't think your date was wrong either. You both have different expectations. This may be a good thing if you are open to different points of view, if not it will probably be a point of contention.
posted by fifilaru at 10:37 PM on March 29, 2010

3) Does she not have much sense at all?

Seriously? You're making judgments about her mind or the way she thinks from her clothes? Yeah, that's kind of prickish.
posted by pecknpah at 10:38 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

pecknpah: 1) He didn't make the judgement, he asked us first 2) clothes reveal a lot
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 10:47 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

I think its odd that you question whether she is testing you, when it is you who seem to be measuring and comparing and setting standards for how things "should be". She sounds like she is just relaxed around you, and chose to be herself, and dress comfortably and casually. You sound like you want someone who will play the game, dress up for dates to impress you and/or others.
posted by Joh at 10:52 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

If you're already annoyed enough with her after the second date to post an anonymous askmefi it's not meant to be.

Don't feel bad about judging her clothes. People do that all the time. Especially with a potential mate. It says something about the way she socialises and it sounds like you are looking for somebody different.
Most people would only phrase it more tactfully; "she wears a hoody so she's not my type".
posted by joost de vries at 10:56 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

none of this really matters, does it? While your feeling very self conscious (is she testing me?), and worried that she will reject you, obviously you have already tested her, and she failed. (Hey, that is what dates are. I wouldn't really use the word 'test', but 'experiments', exploring a relationship, whatever.) She doesn't seem to be what you are really looking for; and you probably aren't what she wants either.

The rest is just internal noise, and the answer to that (which you know, or it wouldn't be so loud) is "be nice."
posted by Some1 at 11:02 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

I have a tendency to date dudes with spectacularly bad fashion sense. My last fellow was physically incapable of dressing up beyond a tshirt and jeans. Ok, he did manage to find a polo shirt when we went to the opera. He did, however, have a million excellent qualities that endeared him to me. It all depends on what's important to you. Men's fashion isn't really important to me. Likewise, dudes into skinny femme chicks shouldn't date me, because I'm very rarely femme and will never be skinny.

Is this woman's fashion sense that important to you?
posted by mollymayhem at 11:12 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

1) Is she "testing" me? And if so, isn't that a little juvenile?

She probably was not "testing" you- she probably was just wearing her clothes. As one does.

In my experience, people do not play those kinds of games with each other as often as many people think they do. Assume the simplest explanation- that you have different fashion senses, and entertained conflicting ideas of what dress was appropriate for the specific setting you chose.

2) Does she not have any fashion sense?

Maybe- but it is much easier for a woman to have a one-off fashion catastrophe than a man; the rules are bendier than for guys (moxiedoll put it nicely) and firm ones often don't really exist at all. It also depends a lot on context. When I lived in Los Angeles, I wouldn't have ever worn a hoodie on a second date. Where I live now, well, a well-cut hoodie at some bars, if it is clean and without holes, makes you one of the ones trying to dress all fancy-like.

Did she know your plans for, specifically, an "intimate bar" in advance? If she did, then perhaps she either hasn't much fashion sense or she went for "cute-but-not-trying-too-hard" and fell short, inadvertently hitting "not-trying-too-hard." You have to decide if either scenario is a dealbreaker for you. It kind of sounds like they both might be and that's okay- you just need to admit it to yourself and end it for reasons of not being very compatible after all.

And if the possible lack of fashion sense isn't a dealbreaker, if her other virtues cancel that out a bit, loosen up and explore a little for date #3. If you have a dress code in your head for a venue or activity, it can't hurt to politely communicate that to her in advance: "Hey, we're going someplace fancy, you'll probably feel weird if you're not wearing [X level of dress]."

3) Does she not have much sense at all?

She might not dress the way you expect. Or, I'm guessing, the way your friends expect. Maybe she got all worked up at the possibility of a herd of your friends judging her that the part of her brain that would normally dress her freaked out and she just went with her comfortable default.

But she probably has sense. Most women, including those who dress funny, including those who might not know exactly how to pick the perfect outfit to impress someone she's met twice, have some sense. This is the part of your question that makes the final part

4) My original question: am I being a superficial prick?

seem pretty easy to answer. It's okay to decide that you're not right for someone, and it's okay to decide you're not right for someone based on the way they dress. You sound genuinely affronted and weirdly self-righteous about all this, however, and the non-superficial-prick way to decide you're not right for someone is to shrug and move on and wish each the other person well, not post prickly anonymous AskMes about it.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:16 PM on March 29, 2010 [13 favorites]

You're being superficial, but people make superficial judgments all the time when it comes to mates. It is what it is, and we all have our deal-breakers. I think you're overreacting, but then again, you probably don't want to hump me.

That said, in all seriousness I really do think that you might enjoy life more if you relax a bit on this issue, but hey, it's your life.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:33 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

You're playing too many games, or assume that other people are. STOP.

You'll drive yourself crazy if you read ulterior motives into wardrobe choices. I'd hate to see what you thought about her food & drink choices. "Medium Rare? Was that some sort of test? And at the bar - a 'house red' - we're adults, we don't order the 'house red'."
posted by MesoFilter at 11:33 PM on March 29, 2010 [14 favorites]

I wear a hoodie all the time. It is kind of casual though, and on a date I would probably be wearing jeans and my vintage air force jacket (this is what I wear to everything that isn't a wedding or a beach). If that really bothered you, I would rather you ditched me straight off before we start dating and you start subtly trying to make me wear nicer clothes and skirts and earrings and crap. Something like "you're nice but I don't think we'll work out" instead of "you're a dumb juvenile slob" would be nice though.
posted by jacalata at 11:35 PM on March 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


We both have careers, we've both traveled the world and stayed in fancy hotels

I insist on an update in which you clarify whether or not your books smell of mahogany.

Not merely idle snark: you were communicating as people do, but in that moment, you were doing so in a very goofy way. If we were dating and I was a prickly sort, then I would write you off for that. Being so written off, would you shrug and say "c'est la vie, guess I made a bad impression," or would you feel that you were being judged unfairly?

Honest question, no single right answer.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:36 PM on March 29, 2010 [8 favorites]

What is going on with you that leads you to assume that her clothes are about you, or even about her being some kind of inferior person? Why would her clothes have anything to do with you, or with her quality as a human being? And why is it your concern and/or beeswax, really? Maybe you need a Barbie doll instead of a third date?
posted by so_gracefully at 12:08 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

I think you're being a superficial prick. (Sorry, you asked.) Be glad she didn't judge you for wearing a zip-up turtleneck. Turtlenecks are about the most dreadful thing I can imagine seeing when I show up for a date; I wear relatively formal clothes and am attracted to the same, but I'd really rather date a guy in a faded metal band t-shirt than a turtleneck: at least he'd seem to have personality.

But I'd give the turtleneck guy a chance; I wouldn't assume he "has no sense" or that he was playing some weird psychological game with me. I would assume that he likes turtlenecks, and that's something I'm willing to overlook.

See how these things are subjective? Trying to infer someone's level of maturity or level of "sense" because they wore a hoodie is really reaching.

Also, I don't know where you met up for the date, by the way, but in LA right now, tights with anything -- including hoodies -- is the height of fashion. Has been for quite a while, even. I'm not crazy about the look myself, but it's textbook fashionable to the point of being parodied. I don't even follow fashion much and I'm aware of that trend, so it makes me wonder if you have an inflated idea of your own fashion sense. I could understand having your own fashion sense and not caring for hers or trendy things in particular, but the way you phrased the question makes it seem like you were really unaware of it. That's fine and all, but consider that she actually has more fashion sense than you do and your assessments of her maturity and common sense are way, way off-base.
posted by Nattie at 12:09 AM on March 30, 2010 [16 favorites]

1. Possibly--maybe she likes casual clothes and wanted to see how comfortable you are with them. But most likely not. Probably that's just her normal style and she didn't think anything of it.
2. Maybe, but having fashion sense and preferring non-casual clothes are not the same thing. Fashion sense is knowing what different kinds of people expect to see in various situations. That's not the same as giving them what they expect to see. Either she misjudged your fashion preferences, or she didn't care about your fashion preferences. She may or may not have fashion sense in either case (misjudging would be easy to do after only one date).
3. Are you serious?
4. Yes, a massive one. This is almost the literal definition of "superficial".
posted by equalpants at 12:16 AM on March 30, 2010

I’m a female who is a couple of years older than anonyposter and I have to admit that I’ve been internet dating a bit recently…and I dress very casually. So I’ll give you my own perspective, because I’ve shown up to date 1,2, 3…wearing jeans, sweater, very casual shoes, etc.

1) Is she “testing” you? I’m looking for a long term relationship, not a Ken doll. For me, a lot of other things are faaaar more important than the clothes. What about the conversation? Does the man have interesting hobbies? Is he intelligent? If I get along with the guy, I’m hoping to do things like hiking/biking, so I don’t anticipate high fashion clothes for those adventures, so even early on I’m not thinking about fashion clothes, but YMMV. I don’t think most people are “playing games” or “testing” the other person – just want to meet and have fun and see how it goes from there.No offence, anonyposter, but from your statements and the way that you seem worked up about the clothes thing....you don't sound like much fun

2) Does she not have any fashion test? If the person is like me – no. I also don’t really know much about actors or the most popular TV shows ….it just isn’t that important to me. I do know that it is important for other people. I still have no fashion sense, though.

3) Does she not have much sense at all? In what way? To me, fashion really isn’t that important.

4) Are you being a superficial prick?


I think it is fine if you have clothing preferences, the same way that you may want the woman to be a certain height, size, whatever. But what is with all the other judgments mingled in there? Travel? Not 16 years old? Careers? Do you really believe clothes are indicative of those things?

You know if this is so important to you can’t you spare your potential date and yourself the drama involved in this?

I did see a man’s profile that stated something along the lines of how he was very embarrassed by the type of shoes (some name brand) he wore during the summer and it was a fashion faux pas. I read that and even though I saw things that I had in common with that guy, there is no way that I would write him on my own (and I would be ambivalent about writing back if he wrote to me). To me, the profile tells me that clothes are really important to him, and because they are not important for me, onwards and upwards to dates with other men…. Can’t you find a nice way to put the clothes thing in your profile if it’s that important?
posted by Dances with sock puppets at 12:21 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

When you make a lot of effort to impress someone you are dating and they aren't making the same sort of effort it can be a little embarrassing or disappointing. The wording of this question makes me think that is what is going on—that you feel put out that she didn't make "more of an effort" like you did, and gave signals that she didn't take dating or you seriously.

If you had discussed it before and she said "I like to be comfortable when I'm having fun so I'm probably going to wear a hoodie next time" and you tailored your own effort to match would you feel the same disappointment? Or would you be okay with it? If so, then just pretend that she said that and move on; it was just an unfortunate miscommunication. If not, then you should date someone else who likes playing dress-up more. I don't think wanting that is superficial or prickish, per se, although making judgments on someone's maturity level based on this scenario is. And the "testing" thing is just nutty. You will be happier if you don't think about people that way.
posted by grouse at 12:28 AM on March 30, 2010 [6 favorites]

Sometimes its nice to go some place pretentious dressed down. It can be a signal that you don't think the game is worth the effort and you don't care to fit in.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 12:39 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

We can't know the answer, buddy.

What color were they? Maybe she had found a stunning color combination that she expected would manifest the requisite taste skills, in a way that only a true aesthete would notice, and you didn't appreciate how special it was.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:03 AM on March 30, 2010

Wow, your post comes off very judgmental and angry. I hope that you let her know your thoughts here, if they are at all typical. You will want to find someone who shares your values and can roll with interactions that have this emotional tenor based on these kind of thought patterns.
posted by salvia at 1:08 AM on March 30, 2010

Maybe she was cold, and her swankier jackets were at the drycleaners / being mended / on loan to friends.

Maybe she had her period or irritable bowel syndrome, and wanted something comfortable to wear (close fitting clothes can aggravate period cramps and stomach cramps.

Maybe she thinks that who a person is is more important that how they dress.

Is she smart? Is she witty? Is she sexy? Is she kind?

Then I'd suggest a third date.

If it turns out you're compatible on other fronts, you can always talk about clothes in a few months, if it bothers you that much...

"Hey, hon, I really love that swish red dress you wore to the theatre the other night. I would love it if you dressed like that more often, it makes me feel so lucky to be out with such an elegantly dressed lady..."

A friend of mine almost ditched a man because he wore a safari suit to their first date (in the 1980s). But she decided that his personality and looks outweighed his dress sense, and there was a second date. They've been happily married for over 20 years, and he dresses wonderfully now (although I think she taught him how to shop for clothes...)
posted by Oceanesque at 1:27 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

You're really coming off like a jerk here.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:13 AM on March 30, 2010

To second what everyone else has said:

You're not being a jerk, IMO, for caring about the style of clothing your date wears. Yes, that is the very definition of superficial, but I think there's nothing jerkish in and of itself about having superficial preferences. If you are superficial about this, it's okay to find someone who meets your preferences.

What it's not okay to do is judge and disparage people for not meeting your superficial preferences. That is what makes you come off as a jerk. IMO, it's fine to say "I don't like her style, so I don't think I want to date her anymore." IMO, it's even fine to wonder if she has any fashion sense, if you recognize that your personal view of fashion sense isn't the final word in the universe. But it's really rather assholish to, solely from a clothing style that falls within the range of normal, draw disparaging ideas about her "not having any sense at all" or being a manipulative person who is testing you(!). That last one really makes you come off as paranoid and having baggage.
posted by Ashley801 at 3:47 AM on March 30, 2010 [10 favorites]

Is there a chance she felt overdressed on the first date? I know you said you weren't overly impressed with her style, but maybe she was dressed up the first time (according to her sense of style, at least) and felt you were more casually dressed in your zip-up turtlenecks etc, so decided to dress down for the second date.

Or, maybe she'd dressed up for the first date and then wanted to let more of her personality come through on the second date.

Or, as charmedimsure said earlier, maybe she was trying for "cute but not trying too hard" and missed the mark slightly.

There are plenty of explanations that don't involve her subjecting you to some sort of bizarre dating test. So yes, I think you're massively overreacting. It's natural to want someone to look well-presented on an early date with you, but caring this much about it and wondering if she has no sense at all because she went for comfortable/fashionable (depending on your outlook) over smart is strange, to say the least. Whether or not you're superficial, I think you don't seem very well matched with this woman. See how it goes, by all means, but you seem to have different outlooks and it may well cause conflict.

On preview: seconding Ashley801.
posted by badmoonrising at 3:49 AM on March 30, 2010

...if it was a test, you failed it. You both win though, for weeding out your date as incompatible.
posted by Omnomnom at 4:00 AM on March 30, 2010

Look, not everyone owns a zip-up turtleneck. Maybe she's not a clothes horse like you. You'll have to decide if you can accept her dressing like a homeless drifter based on her other strengths.
posted by sid at 4:20 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

dinner, intimate bar, possibly meet up with some other friends (mine) much later in the evening (we eventually didn't). She arrives wearing . . . a hoodie.

I agree, this is about effort. She didn't make one. I wouldn't bother going on a third date. There are lots of single, attractive, intelligent women out there who will do better, no need to take risks this early. Of course, based on the level of effort, I also wouldn't expect she'd want to go on a third date with you, so it works out.

Don't take the vicariously offended above too seriously. Being offended is a hobby for some folks around here.
posted by toomuchpete at 4:26 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

Some people are stubbornly not into fashion because they think it makes them shallow. I know such a woman... she is more proud of her intelligence and personality than her looks, and while she dresses nicely if understatedly for going-out dates, she has mentioned that she gets extremely casual at home (as in sweats) very early on in the relationship because dressing sexy/cute/stylish is just "not who I am." Could be that the lady is just doesn't care to emphasize her looks because she wants to be genuine with the guys she dates so she ends up with someone who appreciates the things about her that she feels are important.

Was she familiar with the bar you took her to, or with bars in general? Maybe she was thinking it was going to be much more casual place than it was and didn't want to be overdressed.

Unless she looked like a bag lady, she probably put more effort into her looks than you realize. Even my non-fashionable friend went out and got highlights, manicure, pedicure, etc. right before a date with a new guy. If your date was wearing a cute hoody as opposed to a plain old zip-up sweatshirt and her hair and makeup looked nice, I doubt it was a case of her not making an effort.

Also, re the loose tights? She probably wanted to make sure they wouldn't be unflatteringly tight in the ass.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:45 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

There are a lot of different kinds of hoodies. I wore a cashmere hoodie to a Seder last night. Your explanation of her outfit is sort of truncated, but it sounds like she might be a little more fashion forward and you might be more conservative.

Regardless your paranoid respond ('testing' you? seriously) does, in fact, come off as somewhat prickish and odd. If you like her, date her again. If this is a deal breaker, don't. Speaking of being an adult...
posted by miss tea at 4:47 AM on March 30, 2010

There's a person underneath that hoodie. Did you bother trying to get to know her?

You sound like a mediocre office manager here, tasked with enforcing the office's vaguely worded business-casual dress code. Don't be one of those guys, they're no fun.

I'm actually really curious which one of you wore your respective outfits better. She might have really rocked that hoodie and leggings, and you might have looked stodgy and bland.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:49 AM on March 30, 2010 [6 favorites]

2) I never stated this style as a preference, nor did we agree to have a casual night out.

What the hell? My dates have always been casual--you know, a social situation, rather than a work situation--unless agreed otherwise. In fact, I was out with my husband last Friday on our usual Friday date night. I was in a dress. He was in jeans and a t-shirt. And I commented on how many couples looked similar: women dressed up, men completely dressed down. Not that I dress up for every date--and my husband understands, since he really just wants to be comfortable, too. Unlike you, he seems to understand the unfair pressure placed on women to look like some kind of cute accessory for a (sorry, Pookie!) schlubby man. Sheesh.

4) My original question: am I being a superficial prick?

posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:06 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Also, re the loose tights? She probably wanted to make sure they wouldn't be unflatteringly tight in the ass.

Also, tights are not pants. It sounds like she's more aware of her appearance than you realize.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:08 AM on March 30, 2010

If her apartment was a mess and had a Thomas Kincaid print as its centerpiece, would everyone calling the poster superficial take the same stance? How about her choice of books and DVD's. Or the fact that her dog is a Chinese Crested............ What about her proclivity to use Comic Sans in her Powerpoint presentations? Superficial? Maybe.....but could be very telling.

With that said, give her a chance. She sounds like she has a little flavor. She also seems like she was just trying to say 'This is casual right now, and I am keeping it so'. My wife showed up for our second date in cargo pants and flip-flops, but when she needs to can knock em' dead. I like that.

BTW, tights are called tights because they're supposed to be tight. And that whole thing about the zip-up turtleneck. I know what you were wearing, and it isn't a turtle neck. I have something similar from Banana Republic in black. It looks like something you would see someone wearing around the fire is Aspen. Not sure if that is a good or a bad thing.
posted by jasondigitized at 5:12 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Don't judge a book by its cover unless you are buying it for its cover.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:21 AM on March 30, 2010 [5 favorites]

Wait, was she wearing leggings a la Miss Lindsay Lohan with nothing over them but the hoodie? Ugh. Not okay for dates. I'm sure she's a lovely woman, but no. Unless you plan on becoming comfortable with exercise gear worn all the time, you're not compatible.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:24 AM on March 30, 2010

Yea that's a little strange for a 2nd date. But if you had a good time, hang out again, give her another chance to see what she really wears most days, and then decide whether that's a deal breaker for you.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 5:34 AM on March 30, 2010

I don't think that anyone living in the glass house of zip-up turtlenecks should be throwing stones, for one thing.

For another, yes, you do sound weirdly judgmental about this. It's not superficial to care how your date dresses -- but it is weird to get all up on a high horse about it, and ascribe all kinds of negative motivations to her for it.

I'm not far from your age. Both my wife and I, as you say, "have careers, we've both traveled the world and stayed in fancy hotels, we both have normal, adult clothes." Sometimes when we go out on a date night she dresses up in a fancy hoochie dress; sometimes she wears old Carhartt pants and a t-shirt. Neither reflects negatively on her (much less on me), and both are middle- or upper-class adult options in this day and age.

Having said all that, I'd say that if you can't mellow out, you might want to do her the courtesy of dating someone who is already on the same page with you about this. Because it doesn't end with date clothes -- next comes judgments on her choice of underwear, her discourtesy at having bed-hair in the morning, and why the hell can't she read your mind and understand how you wanted her to dress this afternoon?
posted by Forktine at 5:46 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

(1) It's possible, in the limited sense that it's also possible that she's trying to attract you back to her home so she can kill and eat you, or that it's possible that she's actually got Hitler's transplanted brain in her. But I wouldn't bet on it.

(2) She certainly seems to make wardrobe choices that are unacceptable to you.

(3) Are you fucking kidding me? Yes, because she wears clothes you disapprove of, it clearly means that she needs to be constantly restrained from rushing into traffic after tennis balls.

(4) Yup. You are a superficial prick. Especially for including all that detail about your lives, your plans on the date, and both your dress, unless some of these were intentionally fudged. If it's all true, the whole thing reads to me as more an attempt to shame her for her terrible choices (ie, you know/suspect she's on metafilter and will see this and then will feel bad like she deserves to) than any attempt to get an actual question answered. I mean, it seems to me that this is from planet WHAT AN IMMATURE FUCKHEAD AMIRITE?

But, so you're a superficial prick. What do you do about it?

On the one hand, you are who you are. You don't owe anyone a date, or a second or third date, and you're attracted to what you're attracted to. So it might be reasonable to just set her aside, move on to someone else, and keep on being who you are.

On the other hand, you're 38. Unattached women in your rough age cohort are probably getting a bit thin on the ground in general, so it's less likely that you'll be able to choose intelligent, compassionate, low-baggage, attractive women with great fashion sense out of the pool of people you might reasonably date. And if you keep ruling people out on the basis of what clothes they wear instead of, geez, I dunno, their intelligence or character or other aspects of their personality, you are likely to find exactly what you're asking for: a vapid or unpleasant shell with nice clothes on it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:52 AM on March 30, 2010 [9 favorites]

I disagree with many other posters here-I don't think you are a superficial prick. You kind of sound like one, but I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and choose to believe that's unintentional and that you're just disappointed because you feel that you put more effort into your appearance for her than she did for you. I'd probably be a little non-plussed too if a second date showed up in what sounds like the equivalent of workout wear-maybe people near me just don't wear that, I'm having trouble envisioning a traditonal night time date where I'd feel that outfit was appropriate.

Having said that, I have been married four years and still wear high heels and skirts when out on a date with my husband. So, I do think many other posters are giving good advice when they say she is just not for you. If you want to be with a woman who spends some time fixing herself up to see you, then you should find one, not smack off about the ones who don't. She will make a very casual guy very happy someday, you're just not that guy.
posted by supercapitalist at 6:01 AM on March 30, 2010

Maybe she just felt comfortable enough with you to be herself. Don't go out with her again, you'll be doing both of you a favor.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:11 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

You lost me at zip-up turtleneck. A zip-up turtleneck is also not age appropriate, unless you're 80. Stop wearing zip-up turtlenecks.

If the way people dress is important to you, then it is. No one here can determine what this woman's motives were for dressing the way that she did. One thing is for sure, you don't like her well enough to overlook what she was wearing. If you did, you wouldn't be posting this. So....dtmfa. You're welcome.
posted by iconomy at 6:36 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

I have to second Nattie - in Austin, my pinnacle-of-fashion coworker (who routinely shows up on "Who's Who" blogs around town, God help her) wears tights and hoodies/loose tops all the time. It seems to be what the kids are doing these days.

(Me, I have two modes: jeans and ratty t-shirt, or jeans and slightly-less-ratty button-down. So I'm not making any judgments here, just reporting my observations.)
posted by restless_nomad at 6:53 AM on March 30, 2010

It's all very simple - she is different from you. Her ideas about fashion aren't the same as yours. You have to decide if it's a dealbreaker or not. That's it.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:53 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

I don't think attacks on the OP's choice of clothing are appropriate or fair. The take-away is that judging a date's choice of clothing as an insult rather than as an indicator of poor/different/weird fashion sense is silly, not that "you shouldn't judge her hoodie since you wore a turtleneck." (I like turtlenecks. I dislike polo shirts. Neither of those personal preferences could possibly tell me anything about a person I was talking to other than whether or not we share shirt preferences.)

Someone upthread suggested that you're feeling embarrassed or bewildered because you treated the date as an opportunity to make an effort in how you dressed and she wore something that indicates (to you) zero effort. When you feel embarrassed in this type of situation (you've made yourself vulnerable and the other person seems oblivious), it's natural to want to blame the other person for the discomfort you feel ("she did X to me, and that's why I feel bad"). You don't sound like a superficial prick, you sound like someone whose feelings were hurt.

I think this situation is very much about differences in expectations. Consider that she might be someone who values being comfortable and casual, and she may have read your business casual clothes as stuffy or fake. That doesn't mean you're wrong to have your own sense of style and preferences about others' fashion choices. It's just another way to think about the situation.
posted by Meg_Murry at 6:55 AM on March 30, 2010 [6 favorites]

I'm going to be a little less harsh on you than most of the previous replies. Not because you're not a superficial prick - I strongly suspect that you are - but because I grew up in what might be the Superficial Prick Capital of the USA, and while I hated every minute of it, it did give me some perspective into how a lot of people see the world. If what you wear and how you present yourself is very important to you, if you are the type of person who can tell who made that zip-up turtleneck and how much it cost from across a room, if you know all the cool "intimate bars" and their unspoken dress codes, then you need to date someone who shares those values. If a lack of fashion sense is so foreign to you that you actually think this woman is testing you (!) then the relationship wouldn't get very far anyway. She wouldn't get along with your friends, she'd make some faux-pas at your yacht club, etc. You simply come from, and/or inhabit, different worlds.

(You might be happier getting out of Superficial World - I know I was. Then again, I never belonged there in the first place, and maybe you do. You might like it there. And sadly even when you escape, you can't escape the knowledge that leggings are not pants.)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 7:03 AM on March 30, 2010 [7 favorites]

It is totally okay to think that someone should make a little effort on their appearance for a second date. Of course we use our appearance to communicate, but it's very easy to read the signals wrong. I think meg_murray has a great point -- you sound disappointed that she didn't value the date.

However, as you have learned, it is nearly impossible to nitpick someone's specific outfit without sounding like a fussy jerk.
posted by desuetude at 7:18 AM on March 30, 2010

I never stated this style as a preference

It might make future dates easier for you to know that generally, one does not get to state a preference for the attire of one's date.

She probably wasn't too impressed with your zip-up turtleneck, either.

Are you being a superficial prick? Yes. And you are probably also known as Zip-Up Turtleneck Guy to her friends.
posted by corey flood at 7:33 AM on March 30, 2010 [8 favorites]

It is totally okay to think that someone should make a little effort on their appearance for a second date.

If I know that I look super cute in leggings and a hoodie, much cuter than I would look in what the OP thinks are "adult clothes", then the hoodie ensemble WOULD be effort.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:36 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Being a little superficial (i.e. preferring your dates to dress up to a certain standard) does not make you a prick. Early dates often have an element of superficiality to them. I think that's ok.

I mean, I think on some level, most of us judge people based on their clothing choices now and then, just to different degrees. Whether it's "hoodies are not 2nd date attire" or "tights are not pants" or "if you're awake enough to be at the mall, you're awake enough to not be wearing Spongebob pajama pants" or "who wears sneakers to a wedding?!", I think a vast majority of us have a few standards for what is and isn't appropriate attire for certain situations. I don't think there is anything wrong with that in itself, but it's important to not take it too seriously or to let it make more blanket judgements about what that must mean about a person.

I think a lot of the harshness directed at OP was not so much triggered by his judging his date for being under dressed, but rather at the attitude that she was immature / stupid / inconsiderate for doing so. Listen, she showed up to a 2nd date in a hoodie. Even if the outfit was truly something only suitable for wearing on laundry day, if being under dressed was her worst offense, the classy thing to do is to just let it go. Of all the possible horrible second date scenarios, you got off easy. You learned something useful (you do not share the same style/values), hopefully despite the attire you had a decent time, and you do not have to date her again.

There's nothing wrong with deciding that it's not going to work out with this woman because your style / values / interests are a bit off. That's what dating is FOR, to find out if you mesh with this other person. You don't. And that's ok! But what's less ok is taking personal offense at your date's attire, as if it was meant to shame you or make you look bad, and deciding that she must be immature or stupid or inconsiderate to dare dress down on a date.
posted by tastybrains at 7:45 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

Look, dude, did you enjoy the date? Her clothes aside, did you enjoy the date? Did she enjoy the date? If yes, what's the problem?

My boyfriend asked me out via a text message. Our first date was watching Serenity in his room. Our second date was wandering around a large park in our city. Neither of those I dressed up much for (I am not a dress-up type of girl). Our consecutive "dates" were lunches out as we worked across the street, and my god, I dressed like a slob then (in my defense, I work in a lab, you don't wear nice clothes around chemicals).

He enjoyed my company, found me (my looks, my demeanor, etc) attractive, and yay, we're a sealed deal.

I get that everyone has their preferences and you're absolutely within your right to feel whatever you feel, but I don't get why you're putting her clothes over what I feel is the much more important issue...which is, whether both of you enjoyed your date.
posted by Hakaisha at 7:50 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

OK, so here are two additional possibilities. ( But we don't know this girl; you hardly know this girl, and they are just possibilities with not enough evidence to substantiate or not)

1. She really didn't like you very much after the first date but she's not good at saying no or turning someone down for a (second) date..........she (subconsciously? purposely?) figured her attire would be a turn-off; or it was a passive-aggressive way to tell you she wasn't interested.
2. She is very insecure and after the first date didn't feel you were that into her..........by dressing "down" she was protecting herself from rejection.......If you don't ask her out a third time she can (subconsciously) blame it on the way SHE CHOSE to dress (within her control) rather than blaming it on not being attractive enough for you to want to ask her out a third time (NOT in her control).
posted by Lylo at 8:03 AM on March 30, 2010

Clearly you find this clothing unacceptable, and so the answer is 'no, this is not acceptable', at least for you. What is more curious is the idea that it would somehow become more acceptable as time went on.
posted by robself at 8:24 AM on March 30, 2010

I'm a 28 year old woman with some pretty intense ADHD, inattentive type. If I get to a date on time, I have put in tremendous effort. So let's stop assuming that the woman in question didn't make an effort. Let's instead say that you observed the results of her efforts to be not equal to the results of your efforts.

My current wardrobe is jeans with nicer tee-shirts, button downs from my office days, and cute tank tops, with a few casual knee length skirts thrown in for when I'm feeling frilly. Quality over quantity is something I respect, so I go for clothes that will last, and be easy to match with everything I already own. I haven't figured out how to follow trends. Actually, bear in mind that I haven't bought a new garment since last summer, and that was a brown tee shirt on sale at JCrew. I get fashion wrong. A lot. Not that I would actually wear a hoodie on a second date, but I'm on the record here as a woman who doesn't shave her armpits (which, actually, I've been doing lately. It's a pain in the ass, but my friends are enthusiastic, and razors were on sale).

If I could keep my weight up, I'd get splashy with my old office pants, but they fall down since I've been doing a bit of biking for commuting. Being under-dressed in clothes that fit is more flattering than looking like a fool with my $100 pants on the ground.

I'm quite concious of my weight, so I don't very often wear tank tops, and I'm loathe to wear anything that brings attention to my legs. (I feel I look much better when I weigh more. In high school I dealt with this by hiding in hoodies and oversized tee shirts. Attempts to appear to take up more space were failures, judging by photos.)

I have weird feet (9 very narrow), so shoes that I can walk in are not necessarily cute, and cute shoes that I can walk in are...costly. But falling down in awesome shoes is so unappealing. So I have some cute/trendy sneakers that I wear the hell out of. And a pair of high heels that are strappy and open.

Now, combine those constraints with my ADHD, which makes it hard to even put an outfit together, much less get into it and out the door.

So, basically, I'm your date and I agonize over how people perceive me. Until I get out the door. Then, I'm on my way someplace, and I'm mostly able to focus on having fun where I'm going. And I trust that guys who are more concerned with my ability to dress myself than they are with my personality will move along to the next sharp dresser and leave me to the guys who want to have conversations and relationships with women like me.

Some days I am a veritable fashion disaster. But I am me, every single day. And I like me, even if I wish I had a fairy godmother to dress me. It's not that I don't want to look pretty, I'm working on it, but for all the effort and energy it takes, with little payoff, I'd rather be reading a book, or keeping my house tidy, or a million other things that are more important to me.

Finally. And wow, I've been super long winded here. Finally, if a guy is so concerned with statements made by what I'm wearing that he's not interested in getting me out of my clothes, well, that's his problem. Not that I want a guy who only wants to get in my pants, but nowhere do you mention having beein attracted to her.

So to actually answer your question. I don't think you're any kind of prick for being put off by her clothing choices. You like what you like. But. But. I do think that your world view is a little narrower than your aware of. And I think you definitely shouldn't say, "this could have gone somewhere if only you had left the leggings and hoodie at home and worn something more classy." As someone said above, her clothes are not about you. I hope my long post here has given you some perspective on what it's like to get dressed, as a woman in my particular circumstances.
posted by bilabial at 8:56 AM on March 30, 2010 [9 favorites]

I would wear jeans and a hoodie on a first date. I had no idea some people saw that as a bad thing, but I guess I just wouldn't date those people, because I don't own anything except for jeans (and a suit, and some formal dresses). And I wear a zip up hoodie every day.

It just wouldn't even cross my mind that it's not an appropriate thing to wear on a date. If I wore something else, I wouldn't be comfortable, and I'd spend the whole evening being self conscious about my clothing and unable to enjoy myself.

I'm 25, so more casual clothing is more acceptable, I think - and presumably she was more dressed up for your first date. But it's entirely possible that it just didn't even cross her mind that you would have a problem with her outfit. And given that you had a big enough problem with her outfit that you posted to ask mefi, I think she's probably not the woman for you.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:42 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm going to clue you in to the baggage that comes with dressing for most women. Since you think a turtleneck is "adult" and "smart" (they are usually neither, unless you're in Europe or over age 50, or it's some super amazing non-frumpy turtleneck that I've never seen) you are most likely blissfully unaware of what is cutting edge fashionable, and that's totally fine! Really!

She is probably at least sort of tuned in to fashion, and the messages for women are complicated. She is probably always seeing magazine covers that tell her to buy something new because she's over 30 and she must "dress 10 years younger" or some nonsense, and that can easily be parsed as "dress more casual/sexy/trendy." Wearing a hoodie and leggings might be her way of trying to dress younger, because she feels old in the dating pool and wants to be sure she isn't passed over for a 25 year-old.

Even if she ignores all that, she might not make enough money, or have enough time to shop regularly and keep her entire wardrobe high-quality and age appropriate. She might willfully reject the idea that she should do that, because then it makes her superficial, so she sticks to a very limited rotation of outfits that feel right to her. She might simply have a job with a regimented dress code and so she has a two-faced closet full of work clothes and super casual clothes with little in-between. She might have lost or gained weight recently, but she hasn't bought new clothes yet, and so she was resigned to do her best with the less tailored things in her closet.

You have probably never have most of those problems, certainly not to the extreme that most women experience them. Be aware that by asking for a fashionable woman, you might get alot of the baggage listed above. Do you really want that? Of course there are stylish, confident women who really do have personal style without worrying about looking too old/young/trendy/fat/whatever, but they are incredibly rare. I think the most you can ask of a date is dressing appropriately for the occasion in clothes that are clean and fit well.
posted by slow graffiti at 10:05 AM on March 30, 2010 [9 favorites]

Wow, lots of really defensive projection going on here. I bet that almost everyone here has judged other people based on their clothing, one way or another. Like maybe people who are way overdressed for very casual events seem like they're trying too hard? Or someone trying to dress super-fashionable but age-inappropriate? Possibly we have had an opinion on some sort of fad? (Me, I hate the summer dresses with Uggs look, it just confuses my brain.)

And there's no indication that anonymous spent the entire date staring blankly in horror at her hoodie and leggings, ignoring all conversation, while lovingly and wistfully fingering the zip to his turtleneck. I'm going to assume that the date wasn't so spectacular that he was blinded to details, but that it was good enough that he might want to see her again.

Maybe this girl was going for "cute" and anonymous misread the cues. I think that's actually the most reasonable assumption.

Anonymous, you're not off the hook. The "is she testing you" thing comes off as if you, uh, don't know much about women. Might want to check how and what you're communicating if you seriously thought that someone was going to drop by in this thread to enlighten you as to the meaning of Hoodie-Filter.
posted by desuetude at 10:14 AM on March 30, 2010

maybe you should cut her a little slack.

Oh I think she's cut herself enough slack already. By the way it's "hoody". At least that's how they spelled it when I was traveling in Switzerland.
posted by water bear at 10:19 AM on March 30, 2010

Sorry, this may be a little off topic, but when I read "zip-up turtleneck" I imagined one of these. This doesn't strike me as too old, especially with an oxford underneath and a jacket over top.
posted by splatta at 11:44 AM on March 30, 2010

If you don't want to date her, don't date her. You're not obliged to date anyone you don't like.

But don't talk about what's "acceptable" as if there's some standard rule. It's only about what's acceptable to you, and acting like she is a bad person for not living up to your expectations is not cool.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:45 PM on March 30, 2010

You should likely just be glad that this revelation came to you on the second date.
Sounds like it was you... not her; but maybe you somehow put her off on the first date, and she thought... "I know Ill get him back by dressing wacky next time". But who can really know for sure,

I never stated this style as a preference, nor did we..

^ that's your problem right there... she is a human person, not your doll.

Anyway, all I came to say was, Steven Colbert once had a Sport-Coat-Hoody made up... maybe you should have one tailored, and in fact will become the perfect match with hoody-girl.
Professional? all these words you use to describe her, and claiming that you are all well dressed and not looking like a "sixteen yr old"... however I am thinking that what you described is a lot like a sixteen yr old all dressed up to go to church on a Sunday, wearing the clothes that someone laid out at the food of yr' bed... everything we as human people think only makes up a certain point of view... just remember that next time while on a date. At least you didn't go for the 'professional bowtie'... Remember, "professional" has MANY values and variations... I for one might think a bow-tie looks a little childish... but that doesn't mean I am not secretly waiting for the day they come into style so I can wear one all the time...

I don't mean to be taken as a judge of you, because I definitely don't dress fancy, or, actually, like a young person either.. somewhere in between I suppose (actually more like a hybrid between the two of you, which yes, on reflection of myself, sounds pretty unstyled, and not cool looking... but ey. whatayahgonnahdo. But that's me, and we are talking about you, so just remember, style is an intensely personal thing...
I don't know if you said something like your question abve to her or not... maybe this is all just hand wringing now, because you let her know how you felt, and now she just doesn't like you anymore.

But seriously, it's good this happened before you got the idea that you could marry her or try for a third date...

I am thinking that everyone should at some point have to wear a hooded sweatshirt, and go around the usual public spaces; there is something revelatory about wearing one... it's like a realization that what you wear, and how you appear gets judged from just about every corner of society.

Take that as a cue to let loose. The only way to be sure is to call her up for a third... and dress it down yourself... Maybe this will all be 'one of those stories' that old couples tell the grand-kids... never know.
But yeah, as described, the terms you describe this woman with seem pretty judgmental... so unless you both went in with an expectation that you are supposed to marry each other, and need to begin conforming to the wishes and desires of each other immediately... then you can't fairly make such judgments like "she is juvenile"
so in order;

1) don't worry, she wasn't testing you with her clothing... however the "bigger test" of whether or not her partner will try to control and dominate and dictate how she lives, yes, you failed that one flat out hands down miserably.
2) sounds like she has good enough fashion sense. Plenty of professional Women wear clothes that you might not like... that doesn't make them juvenile, and doesn't give you the right to take away their professionalism; it makes you seem judgmental.
3) Nope, it's not her, it's you. (and honestly, that's fine enough, but please don't hound her, or keep her name on your list of people who have ruined your life or anything... it's a date, hopefully you both had a good time, and enjoyed the company; it's a good thing you discovered that irreconcilable difference on the second date... seems better than after marriage, or a third date.
4) naw, but next time keep it real, and remember that you aren't king of the world, nor of her... and if you were really as upset as you kind of seemed from the question... it's a good thing that you can establish that you don't like her (or her style) which is perfectly fine, and ok, and doesn't make you a bad person... no one would logically try to force you to "be" with someone you actively don't appreciate... just suggests that maybe trying another person might be a good idea...

Remember that the point of dating is one of two things
1)to have fun with a fellow human person; so be honest about how you are with all of your individual quirks.
2) to begin normalization of two individual human persons and the beginning of the courtship dance that will lead to long term commitment, marriage, and either child rearing or childless family time...

Obviously there was some kind of personal connection other wise you wouldn't have gone on a date with a person; so now I guess you have two choices, you can look past her dressing, and start to think about how you like her personality, or you can just accept that you don't like her, and look for someone you do like.
so for crying out loud... please remember that she is as free to wear funny clothes as you are, and remember, you can "judge"/critique your date if the agreed upon reason for the date is (#2 above)... but very much try not to PRE-judge her on appearances rather than substance.
and uh, what DO you mean when you say street like that?
posted by infinite intimation at 9:40 PM on March 30, 2010

^ that's your problem right there... she is a human person, not your doll.

I think the OP was merely preemptively adressing the possibility "maybe you said something that gave her the idea that you might like hoodies?"
And his preemptive reply is "no, I never stated this style as a preference."

I don't think the OP is under the impression that he gets to tell his date what to wear the next time round, though he seems to have very narrow perceptions of what people wear to dates and was thus shocked that she broke some fashion rules he has in his head.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:05 AM on March 31, 2010

You are right, that part should have been more buried in the middle of my thought than right up front and on it's own line.

But the overall tone of the question seems to show a feeling similar to what I was responding to with that part.
(but like I was saying, that's the point of dates right, to figure out which people are not right for you, and why. It is very much ok (and in fact encouraged) to be choosy, and have opinions of what one "likes"... but it's very much not ok to go make her feel bad about the fact that she doesn't 'measure up' to his particular standards.

I would just point out that there are also "professional women" with piercings, and tattoos, and many other things which may not be things that this person likes... that doesn't mean he gets to tell people how they are inferior. Because his own definitions of the words in the question are in fact very limited... to the opinions of one. (as all aesthetic opinions really are)

Which from the question it seems he didn't do to her, and I can understand the idea of feeling down that the 'other person didn't reciprocate the sentiment of enjoying the date by making special fancy dressing time'- and that is really ok... but he seems really angry at the date, and in a way that may be very misplaced feeling... most of the things in the question have nothing to do with the meet of the question (clothing), and suggest that it may be some other issue; but

if a) he wants more dates with this particular person, it might be a good idea to re-think the approach, and then also b)if he just thinks she is so beyond hope that even 'she's all that couldn't save her... just move on. It's not worth the stress of going back and re-analyzing every word she said to figure out her motives... If she's not a good enough match for you, she's not a good enough match for you, leave it at that. If you actually really hit it off, or otherwise had a fun social event... go out again. Let her show you why she dresses differently than you were expecting. (you know the what... now let her show you why.)

Rinse and repeat, but getting angry, or trying to figure out ulterior motives that really don't seem to be there... will only hurt the original asker more... I get that this may just be an awkward wording of a reasonable type question, but addressing how the things he is saying could be perceived may actually help in future situations, or also help in mending this one (not enough details on the content, tone and extent of conversation during the date to make a real assistance here... so the only thing possible is to help with advice to not end up over thinking what may be any number of things [going to the source is always a good bet, if things were nice, then try to see her again.. getting stressed/or worse angry is not going to help him.)
If she isn't interested, that is just a great opportunity to look for someone who better appreciates the aesthetic and social choices that the questioner also likes. Just don't blame her, accept that it is a preference that you have, or a standard that you have... and move on, or learn who she is, and why she likes to dress that way if you are still interested in her.

That said, yeah, tights are not pants.

Good luck with either choice.
posted by infinite intimation at 1:56 AM on March 31, 2010

you are being a superficial prick
posted by 3mendo at 6:12 PM on March 31, 2010

2) I never stated this style as a preference, nor did we agree to have a casual night out.

I say this as a man of approximately your age, who has traveled and stayed in fancy hotels and who works in a "learned" profession (that's the legal definition - not some snooty terminology that I use), goes to swanky functions for work and whatnot on a fairly regular basis, and considers himself fairly style-aware, if not particularly fashionable in his own dress:

What the hell kind of Thurston Howell III, rarified, Thomas Crown Affair, James Bond lifestyle do you lead where you have to "agree to have a casual night out" in order for someone not to wear a hoodie on a date? Maybe I've been in California too long (if such a thing is possible), but I wear jeans and a hoodie as a pretty standard uniform when I'm not at work or going somewhere where it is understood that I need to dress nicer - and I don't look like a bum or an inappropriately-dressed person.

You're not coming across as a superficial jerk. You're coming across as someone who thinks that people over 30 have to shop in the Men's Furnishings section of Nordstrom in order to appropriately participate in all but the most expressly casual segments of adult society. I'm not offended at your attitude. I am, however, sort of reeling at the idea that I might be surrounded by people like you in my daily life as a grown-up. I always assumed that 30-somethings who dress up in zip-up turtlenecks and chinos to go out to dinner are just not very adventurous and are playing it safe. I didn't realize that some of them were silently judging the rest of us. Wow.

So, as many have said, you're apparently not compatible with this woman. There is also another lesson here, though: There is apparently a much larger set of women with whom you are not compatible than you previously realized, and many of them probably assume, based on your own clothing, that you're not particularly thoughtful in your fashion decisions, either.
posted by The World Famous at 11:02 AM on April 1, 2010 [13 favorites]

I hope, I really really hope, that the hoodie is just your way of justifying your gut feeling that she isn't the one. I mean, you flat-out say you weren't impressed on the first date either.

If you meet a good match, what they are wearing should have absolutely no bearing on your judgment of them. On the other hand, based on your current reaction, perhaps "Ms. Right", wherever she is, is going to have the sort of personality where she wouldn't dream of wearing a hoodie on a second date.

When I met my first wife, it was far too warm for hoodies, so she just wore t-shirts. So it wasn't until much later that I was able to see just how fantastic she looked in them. Had it been cold enough to wear a hoodie on our second date, she would have knocked my socks off (I mean, she did anyway, but they would have been knocked off even more than they were).
posted by Deathalicious at 9:41 PM on April 3, 2010

I know several people of similar age and standing to you. They wear all types of clothing, more leaning toward the date's outfit than your own (though 'slacks' might be a very US terminology - I'm picturing something with an elasticated waist). I'm curious as to what you think is 'adult' clothing. It means many things to many people and, while personally I like to wear something nice on dates, I also don't prefer the kind of bars that have dress-codes and my definition of 'something nice' is rarely black-tie.
posted by mippy at 2:51 PM on November 23, 2010

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