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  • A woman's style

    Hi All,

    Since you guys are here, you care about style. For those dating/engaged/married - how do you feel about your significant other's style? Specifically, do you wish they were more stylish? Or were they already stylish when you met them, and that's part of what attracted you to them? Or did their style naturally evolve over time?

    I have been dating an AMAZING woman; very pretty, smart, great chemistry between us, etc. All is well and I enjoy being with her, and see long term potential. However - here's my one small problem - I don't like the way she dresses. Not that she dresses bad at all, but she isn't much into women's fashion. Now, I'm not a guru regarding women's fashion by any means, but many of us can spot a well dressed woman when we see one. I have many female friends, and I love their style. Classic, contemporary, effortless. I love a well dressed, put together woman. I live in Chicago and there are plenty of women who I see out and about who are dressed well, and I always wish the girl I was dating would dress more like them.

    What do I do? I don't want to be superficial and stupid, and call things off with a wonderful woman simply because she's not into fashion, but at the same time, I've always been drawn to a woman with great style, and see myself with that kind of woman long term.

    Looking forward to your feedback - thanks!
    Oral B.

  • #2
    Dangerous territory, sir!

    For the first part: My SO has her own style, but it's definitely evolved since we met 3 years ago. Style wasn't a top reason why I was attracted to her, but generally I'm sure it plays a part in the grand scheme. She likes that I was interested in and had good style, so she from time to time asks for my opinion on stuff for her. For example, she switched jobs and needed to revise her work wardrobe to be more biz professional--as someone who has been in a biz pro setting my entire career, she looked to me (and my coworker friends) for advice on where to get good suiting/dresses/etc. Sometimes I also buy her things I think she'd like (and which I also like), but typically I get ideas from her vs. just choosing stuff I like without her input. Oftentimes, I know she's looking for X type of item, and if I see X that I like, I'll send it to her and say "hey saw this, and know you're looking for one, what do you think?".

    What you want to avoid is coming off as pushing her into anything that she doesn't want to wear or like. That can be disrespectful and offensive, IMO. It's hard to know the line between being helpful vs. pushy, if you're wanting to be proactive on this front--it'll be personal to your SO and how she views it.

    I'm mostly glad that my SO is comfortable with herself and what she wears, and isn't always trying to live up to others' fashion requirements all the time. If a fashionable woman is something you value highly, then I think you will eventually have to make a decision (or have your SO make that decision, if you push it) on this front. Best of luck!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by hornsup84 View Post
      Dangerous territory, sir!

      For the first part: My SO has her own style, but it's definitely evolved since we met 3 years ago. Style wasn't a top reason why I was attracted to her, but generally I'm sure it plays a part in the grand scheme. She likes that I was interested in and had good style, so she from time to time asks for my opinion on stuff for her. For example, she switched jobs and needed to revise her work wardrobe to be more biz professional--as someone who has been in a biz pro setting my entire career, she looked to me (and my coworker friends) for advice on where to get good suiting/dresses/etc. Sometimes I also buy her things I think she'd like (and which I also like), but typically I get ideas from her vs. just choosing stuff I like without her input. Oftentimes, I know she's looking for X type of item, and if I see X that I like, I'll send it to her and say "hey saw this, and know you're looking for one, what do you think?".

      What you want to avoid is coming off as pushing her into anything that she doesn't want to wear or like. That can be disrespectful and offensive, IMO. It's hard to know the line between being helpful vs. pushy, if you're wanting to be proactive on this front--it'll be personal to your SO and how she views it.

      I'm mostly glad that my SO is comfortable with herself and what she wears, and isn't always trying to live up to others' fashion requirements all the time. If a fashionable woman is something you value highly, then I think you will eventually have to make a decision (or have your SO make that decision, if you push it) on this front. Best of luck!
      Thank you for this feedback. Yes, dangerous territory indeed. By no means is it my place to say how she, or anyone for that matter, should dress. I guess I'm trying to find a balance between finding someone who has the same style sense as me, while also appreciating someone for who they are rather than what they wear. I'm very sensitive when people (unless very close friends who know my style and are also style oriented) suggest I wear something, so I certainly don't want to do that and be respectful or pushy.
      Oral B.

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      • #4
        I agree with Hornsup, my wife has always had her own style, which I've found to be a little on the loud side (she loves, loves, LOVEs patterns and bright colors). I think she's moved more conservatively as she's entered her career and so she asks for my input on things occasionally. The "hey, saw this" move is a good one.

        I also recognize its a two way street. I have my own style and its what makes me comfortable. I appreciate feedback from her but would never wear something just because she liked it (she loves bow-ties, i hate them). I expect the same from her, she's going to dress however she feels comfortable, and as trite as it sounds, part of loving her means recognizing that she has to love herself first. It's a slow thing, we've been together for about 6 years and have both changed and probably moved more into alignment with each other style wise - she's picked up more monochromatic stuff, I've slowly moved into some more "fun" things.

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        • #5
          My wife uses StitchFix subscription for her own personal style. I didn't push her to it but her style has really evolved since Stitch. Perhaps buy her a subscription as a gift -- craft it as an effortless way to try new things.
          Using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            I like my wife's fashion sense. She has subscribed to some of the clothes-by-mail styling services to expand her collection of colors and fabrics. I keep meaning to try something like that, but I still don't trust myself to ever send anything back.

            Of course, if my wife really cared about style in men, I would have been out of luck when we first met due to my pure tennis-shoes-and-jeans concept of men's clothing at that point. I am thankful she was tolerant of my rattiness then and tolerant of the eccentric phases of men's style I went through before having any formula for a casual, mixed formality, and formal style that works for me.

            That all said, I would suggest letting your current partner find their own style. If someone told me in my early 20s that I need to try wingtips and sports jackets instead of converse and starter jackets, I would have thought they were all wrong and it may have been a turnoff. I didn't figure out anything until it was gently suggested to me that there are acceptable clothing colors other than black and ways of dressing that don't support a local sports team.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wpaulkelley View Post
              My wife uses StitchFix subscription for her own personal style. I didn't push her to it but her style has really evolved since Stitch. Perhaps buy her a subscription as a gift -- craft it as an effortless way to try new things.
              Sounds like a great idea.

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              • #8
                My wife is not very into fashion at all. I've used clues from here to help her get some more staple time pieces into her ward robe. She almost always asks for my opinion and takes it with an open mind. I don't need someone into fashion as long as they know the difference between dressing for the right occasion. It is unattractive to have women that defer to the leggings all the time look.

                Now I can see the appeal of someone that is ... but remember with someone into fashion comes their associated expenses. It isn't the all end all to life but a lot of my friends that are women that are into fashion including shoes, bags, etc. can spend some big bucks. Having two people in a relationship focused on that? It can add up.

                Personality and matching goals is more important than style to me. That stuff will eventually go a bit as you all age etc.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hockeysc23 View Post
                  ... I don't need someone into fashion as long as they know the difference between dressing for the right occasion. ...

                  ... but remember with someone into fashion comes their associated expenses. ...
                  Amen to both of these. And I spend enough for the both of us

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                  • #10
                    Thank you. You all seem to have a better handle on this than me, as I'm 30 and pretty comfortable/confident in grasping my personal style. I guess I just don't want to ever resent her, or see another woman and wish she dressed like another women. Cost is also a thing, while I'm frugal, I know many men/women who spend a lot on their clothing. But the resounding message I hear is that this shouldn't be a deal breaker by any means.
                    Oral B.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by blan2819 View Post
                      Thank you. You all seem to have a better handle on this than me, as I'm 30 and pretty comfortable/confident in grasping my personal style. I guess I just don't want to ever resent her, or see another woman and wish she dressed like another women. Cost is also a thing, while I'm frugal, I know many men/women who spend a lot on their clothing. But the resounding message I hear is that this shouldn't be a deal breaker by any means.
                      In my opinion there may always be a better dressed woman or someone that catches your eye. Same from her perception. I think the key is can you accept them as they are. In my experience don’t go in wanting to change someone. They may change but forcing someone to change can lead to frustration for both parties.

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                      • #12
                        Oh boy--I love this subject on so many levels.

                        First, my wife worked in fashion design and production before she returned to school and ultimately finished law school and went to work as a healthcare executive. So, she thinks she knows everything about fashion--or for sure she knows she knows more than I do. She routinely shows me two pairs of shoes, asks me which to wear with her outfit, and then picks the ones I don't like.

                        No joke.

                        Second--I like her style most of the time, except for one issue: She is more into quantity than quality. Seriously--her closet is jammed full of clothing. As well as three or four other closets in our place. It is STILL jammed after she donated 25 pairs of pants and 30 dresses to Goodwill a few weeks ago. She has over 100 pairs of shoes and over 50 pairs of boots. She never wears most of this stuff.

                        And she buys most of it at TJ Max or Marshalls. UGH!!!

                        Seriously--her style is 90% great--but she doesn't have any clothing that looks expensive (except for her extremely expensive handbags--jeez--I can't believe the prices on that stuff--I've paid less for cars--and I LOVE it when she carries those). I don't know how else to put it. She makes a good deal of money, but she'd rather buy five cheap dresses than one smashing one. That bugs me. I like a good sale, but I want my clothing to look and feel "upscale." As a lot of you know, that goes especially for my shoes.

                        Third--this disconnect has been good for me to learn about myself. Why does her habit bother me so much? Well, for one, my mother was a cheapskate (even when we weren't poor) and when I was a kid she dressed us in clothes that were often ridiculed when we were kids.

                        And there were times we were poor. That feels shameful to me, although I don't have that judgment about others who are poor. Okay, I've spent a lot of time in therapy, so I could go into this for a long time. I won't.

                        Fourth--Although this goes way beyond a men's style forum, I would encourage you to use your relationship to learn about yourself and drill down a few levels to discover what it is that bothers you about this (and other issues as well as they arise).

                        I will suggest for your consideration that your discomfort with her style says something about your own insecurities, just as my discomfort with my wife's fashion habits says something about my insecurities.

                        It could be important if and when you elect to have children. If you project your own insecurities on your kiddos, you'll probably be extra hard and demanding with them. I know I was with mine before I learned better (after they were young adults, unfortunately).

                        And that's way more of my opinion than you asked for, so I'll sign off for now.

                        Good subject!
                        Last edited by mebejoseph; February 6, 2019, 10:45 PM.
                        WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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                        • #13
                          One way to try to influence her to dress better is to comment how you like an outfit on a woman you see in a movie or tv (just not a woman you know personally or see regularly in real life).

                          With my wife, I just help her with color coordination/combinations, but leave everything else to her. She's always had her own style, slightly fashionista but not to the point of shopping weekly. Sometimes she thinks of buying something fashion-y and I try to convince her to really think about it if she'll be wearing the item regularly for a long time, especially if it's shoes. But ultimately she makes her own decisions and I let her make the occasional mistake, then say I told you so.

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                          • #14
                            Take her shopping and point out what you like. She will probably like some of it as well, and then buy it for her.

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                            • #15
                              Man, so much more great commentary from you all! I grew up in Oklahoma - while it's geographically the Midwest, culturally it's the South. I've always been around women who place more stock in dressing well and looking presentable. I've also been around women who work corporate jobs, meaning they have to dress up more on a day to day, which spills over into their non-work wardrobe, meaning they may pay more attention to their personal fashion. Not a blanket statement or generality by any means whatsoever, just what I've been conditioned to over the years.

                              [MENTION=17354]mebejoseph[/MENTION] - I think this certainly has something to do with my insecurities. I suppose I've always had an idea of what success is supposed to look like. High paying job, wearing suits to work each day, having a significant other who is also uber successful, who dresses well, who is a social butterfly...etc. All things which don't define any of the important aspects about life and relationships.

                              I don't know why this bothers me so much, and I'm afraid I'm not ready to come to grips with my outlook on this, which will deem detrimental. I think I'm at a real crossroads in life, and this is one of those issues where I'm going to transform one way or the other.
                              Oral B.

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