Gift Guide #3: The Hip And Subversive Wife

The official reclaiming wife gift guide


Wifey sweatshirt ($55)

Our first year of marriage, I ended up supporting us both as a (very fancy) secretary at an investment bank. I once told someone that our office was like Mad Men but… and they confidently offered, “Without all women being secretaries.” After which I finished my sentence, “Without the drinking in the afternoon.” Because yes, of course, all the women were secretaries. I was brilliantly good at my job that year, steeled by a need to support my family and get out, mixed with an icy cold rage. The way I exacted my revenge, however, was the complicated part. I bought a shit-ton of pencil skirts (which I love, and look hot in), and then dressed like Joan from Mad Men every single day. I knew what I was saying with my outfit, even if they didn’t.

This gift guide is for that newly married friend (or possibly you, and you’re going to send this to your partner right now). It’s for the one with the subversive sense of humor, the femme taste, and the white hot rage. It’s for the girl who really loves a good pencil skirt and a drunken dinner party, but has complicated, complicated feelings about all of it.

And how about that Wifey sweatshirt? I love/hate it so hard, I kind of want to buy it. It’s a work expense for me, right? Obviously.

TOP PHOTO The APW staff has gone back and forth and back on forth on whether we love or hate this. Perfect for your articulate and wry newly married friend. Wifey sweatshirt ($55) Note: it runs small!


ONE Diamond Decorative Object/Planter made from recycled glass. What is it? Something Meg wants, apparently. ($90)

TWO Major Scale Musical Wine Glasses, for a tipsy glass harmonica dinner party. ($65 for set of two)

THREE A Tiny Celebration Glitter Confetti, to celebrate her excellent year. ($6.50)

FOUR Cross-stitch, the perfect new wife hobby. Bitch, Please Deluxe Kit ($20)

FIVE An ironic wife must-have: Diamond Temporary Tattoos ($5 for set of two)

SIX A must-read: Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture ($13.49)

SEVEN Royal Cocktail Coaster Set, for the drunken dinner parties that you obviously have to throw now because you’re MARRIED. ($16)

EIGHT Accordion, for entertaining at said parties. Naturally. ($409, on sale!)

NINE Because your wedding present is late, here’s a $700 apology. (Someone want to mail me $700? PLEASE?)

 (Thanks and credit to the always kickass Rachel, for sourcing and resourcing half this gift guide.)

Featured Sponsored Content

  • Amy

    Excuse me while I go add Radical Homemakers to my wedding registry. Have to give the relatives something to twitter over once they recover from the shock of my announcement that we’re having a mismatched, uneven wedding party.

    • Emmers


    • Casey

      Uneven wedding parties FTW! I had three bridesmaids, my husband had seven groomsmen (he didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings). It was very us and our families were a little confused but we actually had some people tell us they thought it was cool, so there!

      • Amy

        Thank you! I need to hear more things like this, instead of my mom laughing and telling people how “untraditional’ this wedding is going to be. The thing is, I know she supports our bridal party position (the mister doesn’t have a lot of close friends, so he’s only having a best man, and I have asked only our sisters (two for him, two for me) to be our bridesmaids) because she understands the importance to me of not including people in the wedding “just because” or out of some sort of obligation, but it’s still disheartening when people make it out to be the weirdest thing in the world.

        • Casey

          It sounds like it will be perfect! Totally not the weirdest thing in the world.

        • Maddie Eisenhart

          The even wedding party pressure straight up baffles me. I photograph a ton of weddings each year. The uneven numbers making things weird is just…not reality. Unless symmetry is REALLY your thing, you notice it maybe…12% of the time? (Only in photos, honestly. You don’t notice it the day of.) The rest of the time you’re too busy partying your face off to care.

        • Row

          We had an uneven wedding party too! I had 3 women and my husband had 5 – four men and a woman. No one said anything except my MIL really wanted the groomslady to stand on my side since it would then be symmetrical. I said, nope, fine as is. It worked out just fine.

    • Bee

      I also recommend “Homeward Bound: Why women are embracing the new domesticity” for an interesting feminist perspective/counterpoint to radical domesticity. I’d love to explore this topic more in-depth on this blog! I’m as domesticity-loving as the next urban homesteader, and it was very helpful for me to look at the issues a different way.

      • Amy

        Thank you so much! Also added to my list!

    • Kelly

      We had 5 standing on each side but they were all women and 2 were wearing pants. And technically they are all friends with both of us so they weren’t really on one side or the other. My mom almost had a heart attack but we all survived!

  • I am the person who wants the wifey sweatshirt. Unapologetically. I have torn feelings about the whole “being married, being feminist, subverting societal expectations about the whole thing and still wanting to bake cookies and cake because that is how I roll” bit, but I totally want the wifey sweatshirt.

    • Jacky Speck

      My immediate reaction when I saw it was “OMG I WANT THAT.” Then I felt a little weird about how much I wanted it, because the masculine equivalent of wifey, “hubby,” just makes my skin crawl.

      • Class of 1980

        Ha ha ha. I can’t deal with “hubby” either, which makes me feel snobby somehow.

        Even stranger is that no one in my generation (that I know) uses it, but lots of twenty and thirty-somethings do. How did this happen?

        • It also makes my skin crawl, though I’ve used it a couple times. My husband and I call each other “Husband’ and “Wife” as nicknames. Hubby strikes me as twee somehow, which makes me feel snobby as well. I have called him The Hubs, but mostly it’s Husband.

          • Jennifer

            I like Hubs so much more than Hubby!

          • Sarah E

            Agreed. Because it can be short for “hubba, hubba!” Which is just silly and fun to yell when he walks out of the shower.

          • Oh my gosh, yes. And thanks!

          • Ailee

            The Hubs FTW.

          • alyssa

            I call mine the Hubster. It just came out one day and stuck!

        • Jacky Speck

          I’m a 20-something now, so all my friends are using it… Hasn’t gotten less icky for me. A friend referred to my fiance as “your future hubby” once, which literally made me cringe. I can’t even explain why I dislike it so much. I guess it’s because “hubby” just sounds entirely too cutesy, whereas “wifey” is like, cutesy + sexy + dare I say a little mysterious? I can get behind that.

          • Caroline

            I feel the opposite. I like hubby, but wifey? No thanks.

          • Meg Keene

            Oh. I hatttteeeee the word wifey. Hate. But I find something about the shirt ironic and reclaim-y and awesome. I think. but I might hate it. But I kind of want to have it to wear around the house, particularly given my job.

        • Alyssa M

          I’m 24 and I hate “hubby” too, about as much as I hate “my man”… they both make me cringe.

          My mother (who hangs out with a lot of 30 somethings) called my father “hubby” the other day and i shuddered.

        • Lauren

          My mom used to call my dad, “hubby,” in the 80s. I occasionally call my husband “huscat” which admittedly can sound like housecat, but eh, oh well.

      • luciegoosie

        Ever since I moved to a bogan rural Australian town, I’ve started using the term hubby all the time. At first it was just to fit in, but now I feel terrible because it’s become a normal part of my vocabulary. I would be so upset if I heard my husband calling me wifey…yet somehow I still want that jumper. Because: irony

  • BreckW
    • Meg Keene

      ME TOO. ME TOO. I think I used the word neeeeeeeeeeedddddd.

      • World of yes on that skirt!!!!!! I have nowhere to wear it and no money to buy it with. Sad on both points. I really think I need a glittery New Years party to pass this crappy year. Is it over yet?

  • In case anyone was curious where this hip, subversive, half-black feminist who totally has the white hot rage stands on the wifey sweatshirt…

    • Anna

      You are the beautifullest. You look so happy!

    • copper

      I just can’t get behind it, because… the armbands are in UCLA colors! The less wifey part of me, the part that loves football, cannot handle that.

      • Aj

        in the photo above I’m wearing the shirt to watch the UCLA-USC game (which we won! go Bruins!). my wifey-to-be works at USC, so we’re a house divided. she still likes the sweatshirt :)

        • copper

          We’ll get you next year, just you wait! *shakes fist*

      • Ha..I literally cannot imagine choosing not to wear something because it includes a rival sports team’s colors. :)

        • I deleted a lower comment because I replied to the wrong one (phone posting before coffee). How small does the sweatshirt run? Like, order one size up from what their size chart says or one size up from your normal “street” shirt size?

          • Well, I couldn’t find a size guide ANYWHERE on their site…but I’d say just order a size up from your street size!

          • Thanks :-)!

    • If you told me yesterday I’d be loving a “wifey” shirt, I would never believe you. Seeing is believing, because DAMN. WANT IT NOW!

      • Silly q: when it says “runs small,” does that mean that their sizing chart is off or just that I need to order 1 size up from my normal shirt size (by their size chart I would order a small)?

    • Ailee



  • Sara

    No joke, I said to someone at a party this weekend I wanted to learn cross-stitching and was making it my new years resolution. Perfect timing! (I for some reason have been dying to make my friend a pillow that is cross stitched with the phrase “this shit is bananas”. )

    • Jessica

      My room mate made my partner and I a cross stitched pillow that said “Living in Sin No More; September 14 2013”
      It’s my favorite physical wedding present.

    • Back when I was a print producer, the photographer I worked for very, very badly wanted a cross stitched pillow that looked very fancy and read “lighten the fuck up” as a gift for his uptight son. That was a fun project to source!

    • Kestrel

      I haven’t had the time, but I’ve been wanting for the longest time to recreate this cross stitch:

      And many, many other hyperbole and a half things.

      • Amy

        Ohhhh, I need this.

      • Erin

        I’ve been meaning to cross stitch the EXACT SAME THING.

  • Jacki

    I’m just gonna sit over here on the No Wifey bench and work on my subversive cross-stitch. (Totally adding Radical Homemakers to my Amazon wish list, though.)

    • Amy

      Might I suggest this one?

      • ItsyBit

        I need that in my life.

      • Jacki

        That is amazing!

      • Crayfish Kate

        How did you know I needed one more thing for my bestie’s gift?! That is awesome!

      • Sarah E


      • elle

        I might consider taking up cross-stitch, just for this.

  • Aj

    I love my wifey sweatshirt! We’re not getting married until March but I’m already rocking it. I figured after 7 years together and 5 years of engagement (waiting for it to finally be legal in CA…again), I earned the title. This queer femme-feminist is pro-sweatshirt as is her baby butch “I didn’t want to get married until they told me I couldn’t” partner.

    • Meg Keene

      Ok FINE now I’m totally going to have to buy it, because apparently it’s awesome and subversive and everyone looks totally hot in it.

  • “It’s for the girl who really loves a good pencil skirt and a drunken
    dinner party, but has complicated, complicated feelings about all of it.”

    Me me me me this is so me.

  • alyssa

    and for those of you in the no wifey camp:

  • Superfantastic

    I am totally going to start making Tiny Celebration packs to mail to friends with good news.

    • Meg Keene

      I love this.

    • Alyssa M

      This may be the first time I’ve ever considered spending money on sending out save-the-date cards… Tiny Celebration save-the-dates!

  • Ailee

    They’ve got a Wifey T-shirt too!

    I usually hate the term and the categorization (as if I should be bringing my husband a plate of food and/or nagging), but I just love this for some reason. I think it’s also because the font remains me of the previous APW font…

    The term “Hubby” makes my skin crawl, and I started calling my husband “Hubster” ironically a few times, since I have a Pomeranian that I refer to as “Pupster” sometimes and it just all felt way too Stepford- but then it kind of stuck and got shortened to Hubs.

  • Ok, you’ve totally pegged me on this one, including the white
    hot rage. Except switch out accordion for ukulele. Yep, I officially want all
    of these things. Even the wifey sweatshirt, of which I hate the concept, but
    for which I have a dirty, secret love. Probably out of irony.

  • SamiSidewinder

    It’s a bit late to the covo, but can I please submit this awesomeness? I’m about to buy myself one. Probably in pink b/c ovi.

  • Ha ha ha! The accordion. You sly devil. Best Joan obsession joke I’ve ever enjoyed from someone other than myself.

  • Emily

    It’s a bit grating how often you call your self hot, or accomplished, or super organized. Do you have flaws? And yes I would take issue with a man describing himself as hot, hip, and subversive.

    • Meg Keene

      I’m not totally sure who you’re talking to here, but the editorial team wrote the title, and it sure wasn’t about Rachel. (Though she is both hot and subversive, if you’re asking my opinion.) These gift guides are plays on the archetypal characters we’ve been talking about this year. So yeah, we just called you guys—the readers—both hot and subversive. Deal with it.

      A more general response to your “do you have any flaws” comment about women who write on the internet exists right here:

  • Pingback: Giving the gift of gift guides…()

  • DavidJennifer

    How about putting petite jewelry on a Tiny Celebration Packs? I guess sparkles are always a good idea to celebrate. I love them!

    Which is better Option – Pink Diamond vs. Pink Sapphire