When It Comes to Clothes Is It Rude or Not to Ask “Where’d you get that?”

Kim White
Kim White
Jun 8, 2018 · 3 min read
Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

I believe everyone has been out and someone has paid you a compliment on your outfit. Possibly you’re the one that spotted someone in a cute outfit and complimented “Cute outfit.” And then you ask the question “Where’d you get it?” Suddenly, there’s a moment of silence. Even awkwardness 🤦‍♀️. The fashionista doesn’t want to tell you where they bought the item.

How Should You Respond?

Should you become confrontational? “I really didn’t like the outfit anyway. I was just being courteous.”

Do you simply smile and explain? “ It’s fine. I understand why you don’t want to share.” Completely lying. You don’t understand.

Perhaps, you feel offended that this individual flat out refused to tell you the name of the store.

Why Don’t People Disclose?

Who knows the true reason why some people chose to disclose or not. But I would like to give you food for thought.

  • Could they feel it is an invasion of their privacy for someone to ask where they bought something. Why do you want to know?
  • Maybe they feel you’re attempting to impose on how much they paid for something. Or you are trying to figure out their money. “How did she afford that store?”
  • Then, others have this notion you just want to copy them. Get your own fashion. Could it be they think you’re always trying to copy their style? Like the double-mint twins.

Now, granted your mindset may not be there and that’s not your MO. Your thought process is I thought it was cute, so I asked.

However, the other person’s mind is truly on another level; otherwise, they would have simply given you the name of the store. But they didn’t thought.😏

The Time I Didn’t Disclose

I will admit there have been times I didn’t want to disclose. Can’t you think of a time you didn’t want to, too?

Look, I love thrift stores but I’m aware others despise secondhand stores. One day I was rocking my thrift store find and this young lady complimented me and immediately asked “where’d you get it?”

I laughed and whispered a thrift store. Truthfully, on the inside, I didn’t want to tell her because of the negative condemnation associated with thrift stores. I didn’t know her. Anyway, I felt like I should have given her the faithful phrase “Girl, I don’t even remember.”

Yep, I know you’ve heard that response before.

That statement means they didn’t want to tell you.


Yes, it is okay for you to ask, but it’s also okay for the other person not to respond.

There is no written rule of thumb or fashion etiquette suggesting you should or shouldn’t ask where someone bought something. You will not get a fashion ticket.

However, there does appear to be an unwritten rule suggesting you should mind your manners.

Basically, mind your own business.

Case in point. If you’ve heard one of the following statements, it’s obvious this person didn’t wish to disclose.

  • “Oh someone bought this for me, so I’m not really sure where it came from.”
  • “You know this is too old and I can’t remember the name of the store.”
  • If you are in a loud room or environment, and strangely they can’t hear you when it comes to that question. Yes, they don’t want you to know.

Through various situations in my life, I have found it better simply not to ask. And the fact you searched this article, it was probably best you didn’t ask too.

Give me your thoughts!!!

Kim White

Written by

Kim White

I consider myself to be a professional student, an avid learner, & innovator.

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