Groom Duties

What She Means When She Says “Are You Wearing THAT?”

As regular readers now know, from time to time, we turn to one of the less-crazy bridal sites, OneWed, for “her perspective.”

As an engaged man there’s a question you may be hearing a lot from your fiancée, “Is that what you’re wearing?” You may wonder why your fondness for holey t-shirts, black socks and acid-wash jeans is suddenly an issue. After all, she met you dressed like a grunge-era reject why is it now a problem?

There are three interconnected reasons, first, now that you’re engaged, you and your fiancée are probably going to a lot of different kinds of events, work parties, friends’ weddings, family events. Your lack of fashion sense may be showing up in ways it never has before. Second, you and your fiancée are now connected. What she does reflects on you and vice versa. As silly as it sounds, if being fashionable is important to your fiancée, she may need you to step it up a notch to make her look good. Third, the ability to dress appropriately for an occasion is part of being an adult.

I knew a couple that was very close to marriage and broke up because of the way he dressed. It wasn’t the quality or cost of his clothes, she didn’t care that he wasn’t fashionable, it was that he refused to change what he wore to match the occasion. He didn’t understand that going out to dinner with her boss required him to dress like a grown-up.

See also: Formalwear and Tuxes – 20 Rules

When you’re young your desire to make a political statement against “The Man” by wearing nothing but ten-year-old concert shirts may be seen as admirable, but when you’re an adult, sometimes you actually have to go out to dinner with “The Man,” so railing against him is a little less charming.

Ironically, my friend is now married to a man who has a bizarre sense of fashion, but when it comes to events like business dinners, job interviews, or parent-teacher conferences, he puts on a clean shirt and pants and changes his dangling earrings to small studs. He’s still him, but because he’s an adult he’s comfortable enough with himself to not feel the need to advertise how “different” he is at all occasions.

For most of us, if we love you we don’t need you to be Beau Brummell (think Justin Timberlake of the 1800s, or Google him), but we do need to know that you’re capable of putting together a decent outfit, on your own. We put enough thought into our own clothing, we don’t really have time to dress you as well.

Figuring out what to wear is not that difficult. It may not matter to you, but if it matters to your fiancée, then it’s worth the effort.

Marta Segal Block writes the Ask the Wedding Maven advice column for, home to the Savvy Scoop, a daily source of wedding inspiration and ideas that actually make sense. She had always hoped to marry a fashionable man, but married a professor instead.

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