Among the many interesting comments heard in the world of retail, this one has to be my favourite: “I’m returning it because my husband doesn’t like it.” And perhaps this blog post will be written from a place of naivety, being that I’m single, unmarried and at the peak of my independence, but it always boogled my mind when I’d hear a woman fall in-love with a garment only to return later because her husband didn’t like it.
I catch myself chatting with my cashiers about the role of a man’s opinion in his wife’s wardrobe. Not to mention, the notable change in a woman’s face when her husband dislikes her new favourite garment. The first thing I think to myself is usually, “He doesn’t like it? Is he going to wear it?”
Though I realize this is a two-way street, men also seek the approval of their female spouses when shopping, yet the rarity of a man coming in to return an item because his wife doesn’t like it is higher than a female happening.
When you marry it seems you also wed a new set of opinions that will affect your decision making going forward. And the thing women and men do not want to admit to is that the goal is to avoid anything that will make your counterpart less attracted to you. So be it that new dress you love oh so much that he hates, you return it because you value his opinion.
Coming from a single fashion gal though, I must admit this shit scares me. I like pleats, tulle, leather, boule, jacquard and when I fall for a garment I fall hard. So the question is: in a relationship where do you draw the line between valuing your spouses opinion and honouring your individuality? And where does it evolve from kindly giving one’s opinion to full on policing one’s wardrobe choices? Because you have to wear the dress, and he has to be seen with you even if he hates it. But isn’t love just that? Being able to accept that something makes your partner healthy and happy despite how much you dislike it?
Just a few months ago my good friend and I walked into a rock shop (yes I like rocks).While looking at a Himalayan Pink Salt lamp he mentioned that his boyfriend had one just like it and how much he disliked it. Each time I’ve popped over to their apartment I find it lit up in the corner of their living room, and although I know how much my friend depises this lamp, I know that he loves and respects his boyfriend’s love of it.
I like the idea of respecting your partner’s opinion, yet staying true to your individuality. Blindly following your partner’s requests can be toxic to your self-esteem; we cannot forget that our style is ours and if my ex had it his way I’d wear 5inch heels everyday. I’m single, and perhaps I don’t have enough experience with the matter, however I think the best question to keep in mind is Where does this evolve from kindly giving one’s opinion to full on policing one’s wardrobe choices?
Sometimes a spouse, like a friend, can stop you from making an unnecessary fashion faux-pas. However don’t forget the necessary ones that help you realize that blonde may not be your colour but 6-weeks later and your roots grow out you find that ombré hair has never suited you more. You have to make few mistakes to find the what looks and feels best. It’s your partners job to join you along the way.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: Just because your a party of two does not mean you can’t take care of you. Value their opinions and your own.
PS. I literally just made that up ^ and it goes to show how clear headed one can be with a cup of Earl Grey and a good sleep.