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5 Reasons Why Getting Your Partner to Change his Sartorial Style is a Bad Idea

although you are probably going to try anyway

Some of the things your man sports that you might not love: The fishing hat. The sleeveless sweater vest. The shower sandals. Those puffy, thick, white athletic socks, the kind where the elastic at the top of the sock’s so tight it cuts off the circulation in your leg when you borrow them (because you actually have no matching pairs of socks — so who are you to comment? — the shower sandals with those socks.

The sweat pants, the wife beater, the tee-shirt, either plain or printed, maybe with a picture of a wolf howling at the moon against some silhouetted pine trees. The tee-shirt that’s so over-sized it actually fits like a dress.

The man-bun, the comb-over, the flannel Buffalo plaid shirt, the cargo pants, the cargo shorts, the rip-away cargo pants which become the cargo shorts, the rip-away basketball sweat pants, the nylon jogger, the one earring, the two earrings, the three earrings, the septum ring.

The puffer jacket, the puffer coat, the pants that are too tight, or are too bright, or that are too small, or that are too big and have to be pulled up periodically or actually held up with one hand.

Hiking boots worn when not hiking, bicycle helmets worn when not bicycling, beach shoes worn when not at the beach, charm bracelets with the all-seeing protective eye, friendship bracelets, gold chains, medallions, Earth shoes.

You start reading GQ Magazine because you figure the know-how might enter into his brain, by osmosis. That doesn’t work so you start leaving it lying around, hoping he’ll be bored some time and pick it up, flip through it, get a clue. That doesn’t happen.

You’re watching a movie together, and you say, “I think you’d look great in a suit like that.” He says, “I don’t like suits.”

Here are the top reasons NOT to try to change your guy’s style:

  1. If you wait long enough, the way he dresses will come into style again — it’s just a matter of time. And you’ll be able to tell your friends he was doing it loooong before it caught on.
  2. Subtle as you may think you are being, he’s likely to notice the hints. He wants you to love him for himself. He is liable to deliberately resist to efforts because he is likely to feel that you don’t appreciate his current sartorial style.
  3. This one comes from my boyfriend: Do you really want a guy who you can make do whatever you want? Chances are, you want an equalitarian relationship, and that has simply got to cut both ways. You get the freedom to be yourself; he does, too. Even if that means he’s sporting those thick white athletic socks with a pair of shower sandals.
  4. We women have been fighting long and hard to be respected for our brains and our talents rather than our looks. We owe the same to the men in our lives.
  5. Re-shifting your focus on the things you do love about him, and not comparing him to any other guys’ sartorial style, will strengthen your relationship, because you are giving him the unconditional love that we all want and need.