Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

Need Response For Unwanted Gifts

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I hope this is in the right folder, I'm still new to navigating here.

Background: My boyfriend's coworkers and stepdad keep giving him "old man" shirts. I think they're hideous and the shirts paired with his receding hair line make him look 40 instead of 26. The problem? He can't think of a polite way to say no, so I'm hoping you guys and girls can help come up with a line like "I'm afraid that won't be possible." Any suggestions? Oh, and he won't donate or throw them out, tried that. Thanks!

I don't think there's any polite way of refusing gifts that aren't inappropriate or toxic, sorry.

shhh its me:
  coworkers plural? and are these hand me downs or gifts (like secret Santa's) Hand me downs are easier to deal  with " thanks Bob but I still have the 5 shirts you gave me last month my closet if full, you should pass these on to someone who needs them"  IF they are actual gifts then there is nothing you can say except " thank you" , he can try to hint before the gift occasion. 

Does he wear the ones he has already been given?  He might have become "old man shirt" guy.  If you wear a sparkly unicorn sweater to work twice a week , you may get sparkle unicorns for EVER from coworkers for EVERY occasion........Mary, I went to Hawaii I got everyone a lei  except you sparkly unicorn for you , Hi all I'm back from Sweden chocolates for all Mary I had to look in 301 stores but here is a Swedish unicorn for you , have a baby Unicorn oneies ,  have surgery unicorn flower arrangement.  If he has become "old man shirt "guy then he best thing to do is never were a "old man " shirt to work again, it will take time for people to stop but they will eventually (especially if he replaces old man shirts with some other distinctive thing) 

Oh , you are not clear does he like the shirts? then it's likely a bad idea to try to change what he wears day to day.

Weird question: Why are his co-workers buying him shirts ?  ???

As for the stepdad, the best bet is probably tap dancing around it with "Oh, Wayne, btw, thanks for the shirt you gave me for my birthday. And guess what my girlfriend bought me ? A ton of new shirts! lol I won't be needing new shirts for quite a while, I'll tell you that. Now our dresser and closet are packed, between the shirts you gave me and the ones she gave me  :D I told her 'honey, I love you, but no more shirts' "

Another weird question: What's an "old man" shirt?

Possibility 1: I have to say that if his coworkers keep giving him shirts of a certain type then my suspicion is that they don't feel that he is dressing appropriately for work and are trying to give him a hint. If that is the case he needs to find a look that combines his preferences with what work considers appropriate and then the gifts should dry up.

Possibility 2: Perhaps he is wearing previously given old man shirts to work and so they think that is his preference. If that's the case then he needs to stop wearing them to work and then their gifts may fall in line with his preferences.

Possibility 3: Your boyfriend actually likes these kinds of shirts and is trying to be 'cool' to impress you. Then there's nothing to be done.

In any case MariaE was right, there is no polite way to refuse a gift directly, all you can do is hint as suggested above.


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