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18 People That Accidentally Insulted Others With Their Look

Fashion and etiquette give us rules to follow: when we go to work, we wear clean shirts, ironed pants, and shiny shoes. Nobody goes to the office wearing stained clothes. But even if you follow all the possible social rules, you can accidentally hurt people’s feelings when you wear the most innocuous clothing.

The Bright Side team has found people who were “lucky enough” to be in this situation. We promise: this is fun.

  • Back when I was in college we decided to go to Puducherry on a road trip. We were a group of around 4 girls and 8 guys. I saw one of my neighbors with his family. We smiled and waved at each other. They came and said hi. We talked for a few minutes and went our own ways. I went home after that vacation. A few days later his wife came home. She started talking to my mother and all of a sudden she said: “I didn’t recognize her at all. She was wearing such awkward clothes. She was wearing shorts, you know!”
    My mom: She must be looking really cute, wasn’t she.
    Neighbor: It was way too short.
    Mom: What do you expect her to do? Wear a long skirt?
    Neighbor: Please tell her to dress like a woman should. My son was there with me. He is not a boy anymore. I don’t want him to get distracted.
    Mom: If your son stared at my daughter because she was wearing shorts, there is a problem with him. © Manisha Kanoria / Quora

  • I was 20 years old and I had this job as an office manager/warehouse supervisor. It was the hottest summer of all time, ever in that metal warehouse where I was helping sort inventory. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt (all the guys were also wearing shorts). I was regularly showing up at the office to sign some paperwork. And then my boss pulls me aside. He said that my breasts were visible through my T-shirt and that my shorts were too short... I didn’t really pay attention to this and I spent the next week wearing the same clothes. When I returned to the office and expected praise for a job well done, I found that I was fired. For a T-shirt and shorts! © Tori Walker / Quora

  • I’m a man and I work at a state company and I always dress well for work: shoes, pants, shirt. Now, it’s super-hot in the area, so I bought some leather sandals and I worked in them. Until yesterday. The HR manager saw my shoes and asked me why I wasn’t wearing socks. I asked her the same question — it was the first thing that came to my mind. She hesitated and said, “Are you asking me?” 2 hours later, I get a call from my actual boss who tells me I have to wear socks. I said that socks and sandals are not something I’m going to wear and that all the female workers in our company don’t. My boss sent me a document that says, “Prohibited: beach and sport shoes.” That was it! Sandals are prohibited, but if you are wearing socks, they’re OK. And women don’t have to wear socks. © lovetobreath / Pikabu

  • I worked in a community library in the UK for 10 years. My supervisor began by telling me that I was not allowed to wear trousers and that I should wear a calf-length skirt and a blouse in muted colors and with no patterns! She admitted that this was a dress code from 25 years ago, but she agreed with it and dressed that way herself. She didn’t even like open sandals or pedicures! The funniest episode was when I dyed a streak of my long fair hair, bright pink. She declared that she would need to phone the head office and ask whether I should be sent home. She didn’t get permission to send me home. That same day a group of elderly ladies came up to us and when they saw me, they started praising my hair. And the supervisor was right there, fuming with anger. © Debbie Todd / Quora

  • I worked as a wedding photographer. A magazine asked me to take part in a photo exhibition. It was held at a club. Nobody said a word about a dress code. I invited my friend. We had some makeup and were wearing pretty regular clothes. I was wearing a blouse and pants. My friend was wearing a knee-length skirt and a shirt. The guards wouldn’t let us in. I tried to explain to them that we came for the event, but they just kept saying, “We can’t let you in. No, we’re not going to call the manager. Okay, show us the clothes you are wearing. No, these are not good.” I tried to reach the girl that invited me, but she didn’t pick up. The next day, I called the magazine. “I don’t know why they didn’t let you in. There was no dress code. Yes, the event happened.” She didn’t even apologize. I was really embarrassed, because I invited my friend. © helendubrovina / Pikabu

  • We have a rule book in our office that says that white socks (or any bright colors) are prohibited. Also, there is a bullet point about bright eyeliner. I guess they have a machine that measures how bright your eyeliner is. And the best part: Fridays (you can wear jeans on Fridays). So the HR manager tells me off for wearing shoes without socks. And I don’t even work with clients! © Vinelander / Pikabu

  • I offended my aunt with an inappropriate nail polish color. I used black nail polish for her daughter’s wedding. My aunt saw me, grabbed my hand, and said, “Do you know that black polish at a wedding is bad luck? Remove it now!” Of course, I didn’t remove it, but I did keep my distance from her. © Khushbu Mehta / Quora

  • I’m a kindergarten teacher. And my son is in kindergarten at the same school. Right now it’s August and I’m on vacation until Monday. Yesterday, I went to pick him up and I was wearing jeans with holes, a T-shirt, and sneakers. I met a mother from a group I work with. She didn’t like the way I looked and she said I spoiled the children. Now, she wants to write an official complaint about me. © motherson / Pikabu

  • My cousin is getting married. They have a blue, green, and purple theme for the wedding. People are supposed to wear these colors or security won’t let them in. She also asked all the girls whose hair is longer than waist-length to have it cut. My hair is exactly like that. My cousin told me to either dye my hair dark red (I’m blonde, but all of my relatives are ginger) or buy a wig especially for the celebration. We had a fight. Later her mother (my aunt) called me and apologized. She asked me to come to the wedding, but I still have my doubts: I don’t want to dye my hair, but security might not let me in. © freakingmerida / Reddit

  • We were in Hawaii. One day, I finished up a surf session and found several gorgeous leis (a garland or necklace made of flowers) on the ground. So my brother, my sister, and I each put one on and went to town. Along the way, we passed a church on our left. Dozens of people were standing outside... And I kind of felt like one or 2 of them were glaring at us. Then I felt like they were whispering to their friends about us. Then I felt like several of them were glaring. Finally, one of them stormed out of the yard and across the road, and said to us, “Excuse me. We are having a funeral. As part of our tradition, we throw leis into the ocean to honor the deceased. You need to give those back.” I don’t embarrass easily... but that was really embarrassing. © Eva Glasrud / Quora

  • When I was in college, I was teaching computer science at a different place. In my regular life, I wore revealing clothes, but when I was at work, I was always very careful. Once, my boss asked me to come to his office and he told me there was a complaint about my clothes. I was wearing a turtleneck, boots, and pants. So only my hands and face were revealed. I guess I was supposed to wear a scarf and gloves. © Kosshechka / Pikabu

  • A few months ago, my brother and now sister-in-law announced their intention to marry. The invitation to the wedding stated: “No dress code. Wear whatever is comfortable for you.” I didn’t think much of the disclaimer at the time because it’s a wedding, I should dress respectably for this kind of occasion, and I have a healthy selection of formal wear in my wardrobe. I chose a beautiful blue 3-piece suit. The wedding was yesterday. Many people were wearing shorts, only a few people were wearing slacks and button-downs. I did feel a little out of place. My father was joking that I was dressed more like the groom than my brother. The next day, my sister-in-law calls me and she is pissed with me. She asked me why I was dressed like a pimp. And then, when I saw the photos, I realized what she meant. I was really different from everyone else. I apologized and so did my sister-in-law. © Not_A_P1mp / Reddit

  • When I was 13 years old, quite unexpectedly for me (not for my mom though, as it runs in the family) my breasts grew. I went to school wearing a shirt with a lot of cleavage. None of the teachers or faculty had a problem with this shirt. But at lunchtime, a group of about 3 other girls came up to me to state, rather jealously, that I had clearly stuffed my bra with tissue. I was confused as to why they would bother with this, and also highly amused. Now I try to dress in ways that don’t emphasize my bust in public. © Andy Summers / Quora

  • My husband is a teacher. In the summer, we went to visit his mom. We stayed at her place and left. After that, his mother called us and said that her neighbor was angry that my husband was wearing shorts. I was surprised, because I didn’t understand what was wrong. As it turns out, the man thought that a teacher shouldn’t wear shorts! Even if it’s hot and he has traveled really far from home! © RazNast / Pikabu

  • My husband and I went to the Natural History Museum. They had a reptile exhibition and I love them. So we went in, and I enthusiastically started looking at the exhibits and talking to people. I was surprised that the people I spoke with seemed a little reserved, and I got some odd looks. But it wasn’t until one lady cold-shouldered me and demanded what I was doing there, that I got a clue. I told her I liked reptiles and she asked me if I liked to have them for dinner. My husband started giggling. “It’s your shirt,” he hissed at me. My shirt said, “Gator — the other red meat.” © Karin Cozzolino / Quora

  • I got sent to the principal’s office because I was wearing the wrong kind of socks. The principal told me he thought it was a stupid rule, but he was keeping me in his office for a few minutes for appearances. He was a new principal and the secretaries were all sticklers for the rules. The old principal was a horrible creature that would hit children with rulers. That new principal was a cool dude. © childfree_IPA / Reddit

  • I was interviewed for a company that built nuclear reactors. I was wearing my best pair of jeans and a flannel shirt. I found out that all the men in the company wore suits. Everyone I talked to didn’t like my clothes. 2 of the interviewers addressed it directly, “Why are you dressed like that? Look at everyone — they’re wearing suits!” I replied that I thought I was there to discuss my technical knowledge and the kind of work I might do, not to demonstrate my fashion sense. I guess it went OK, because they offered me a job. But I didn’t take it. © Les Niles / Quora

  • My dad and I went to the beach. I took my outer clothes off and I was wearing a bikini. I had never heard so much loud whispering in my life, and I was not linking it to my choice of swimsuit until a man and his wife approached me and told me that I should be ashamed of my choice of clothing. I was flabbergasted. It was hot as hell and it was the beach. Why could I not wear my bikini on a scorching hot beach? As my father started laughing, the couple got upset and asked what his relationship was with me. He told them he was my father. He laughed a lot more and told them I was not breaking any laws, so they would have to just look away if they were bothered. © Leilane Castro / Quora

Have you ever offended anyone with how you look?