WWYD – clothes

I have asked a few friends this question lately, and I figured I would ask you, my readers, for your opinions and experiences.

Situation: you are getting ready to go out somewhere with your spouse / partner, and you don’t like what they are wearing, do you :

  • A) Tell them they should change and explain why;
  • B) Ask them “are you really wearing that?”
  • C) Say nothing but expect your partner to pick up on your vibes and change; OR
  • D) Keep your mouth shut so as not to hurt feelings and just continue on with your evening?

If you are the target of “are you wearing that? I don’t like it” do you :

  • A) Change immediately to please your spouse, putting aside your own feelings;
  • B) Say you will change, but you ask for a detailed explanation of why it’s necessary;
  • C) Try to understand what bothers your spouse, and convince them why they are wrong;
  • D) You don’t care, this is what you want to wear. If s/he doesn’t like it, tough noogies.

Looking forward to reading your responses…

Edited To Add Another Question: If your partner asks you your opinion about something s/he is wearing or is planning to wear, is honesty always the best policy?

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  1. Lisa Danton says:

    We have a “it doesn’t work” phrase in our house that we can say to each other. Then we trouble shoot as to which piece to keep: top or bottom, and help find something that “works” for a complete outfit. No harm or no foul. So for us: A on both counts.

  2. Leslie says:

    My partner and I have a love/hate relationship with each other’s clothes. Fortunately, we both have a sense of humor about it. He claims that I dress like an “academically-minded milkmaid” (chunky glasses, flouncy skirt, clogs) and I often have to remind him that motorcycle pants are not formal wear.

    That being said, we differ in our approaches to handling the issue. I mostly don’t care or say anything. He, on the other hand, uses my wardrobe indiscretions as an opportunity for some warmhearted teasing. Typically, it ends with me threatening to wear this nice lime green jumper I have as an alternative, maybe with some stirrupped leggings, and he lets it drop.

  3. mrsjessica says:

    The only times we have this conversation is in one of two situations.

    1. I don’t think he matches. I.E. I have a thing against brown and black or his kippah (he wears knitted) actively clashes with his outfit.

    2. I think he is dressed too casually for the occassion. DH grew up in a very casual world, and sometimes I pick up the social cues better than he does about what to wear.

    He’s responds well, generally. Most of the time he thnks I’m silly about the brown/black thing, but he will change if I’m totally horrified.

    Usually, this hasn’t happened to me, but if it does, I want to know why it’s a problem. Usually it’s that it doesn’t look right on me.

    Depending on the issue, I say we respond either B or C – but we try to be nice about it. Not worth fighting over, really…

  4. tila says:

    Geberally, I am not impressed with what DH wears. Infact, this am he gave me jeans that were worn out at the bum and asked me to sew up the “hole”. Not to mention the rips and shres at the cuffs. He claims no one sees. In this case i sewed the but, but refuse to patch up the cuffs. This is hom all the time. I have learned that if I say anything it gets ignored.
    Once I was told that all my “rolls” of fat were visable when i wore a certain t shirt. I gave it away. Even if I felt pretty in it.

  5. Wyman Brent says:

    I prefer to wear my birthday suit. No matter where I am going or what mood I am in, it always seems to fit so well.

  6. I think it is important to 1) Establish some key words/phrases that either of you can use in order to suggest a different outfit AND 2) Word each statement carefully so as to minimize hurt feelings.

    Rarely does HaSafran need to be told to change, although periodically I ask him to dress “up” a bit more. He takes it all in stride, but I respect that he is fairly casual about his clothing and I don’t ask him to dress up unless I really think it is necessary (or that what he is wearing is totally inappropriate).

    For me, the biggest issue is not usually if what I’m wearing is appropriate (because HaSafran doesn’t really care) but whether is not it makes me look…well, fat. So we’ve developed key phrases ie he can say to me “Are you sure you want to wear that?” and I’ll know he thinks it isn’t flattering. I can then question him if I want (ie is it the shirt? skirt?) or I can go and change. He doesn’t *require* that I change, but I take it to heart that if he thinks it isn’t flattering, that I shouldn’t be wearing it.

    Similarly, I can ask him if what I’m wearing is “appropriate” usually meaning flattering, and he can answer, without fear of my being upset at him.

    We’re going on 12 years and we’ve never “fought” over this yet. It works for us :)

  7. Estee Lavitt says:

    We go with the tell each other why he or she should change. I think often the issue is the type of clothes for the specific situation or event. Dress vs casual, warm vs cold weather, etc. In that case wouldn’t you both want to know what would be best? Just have to be open and explain what the issue is (option A above).
    If the issue is LIKING the outfit either because of style taste or how it fits (especially at the top weight) then I usually would suggest nicely but offer that it’s ok if you want to go like that anyway but here is why it is an issue.. And i’d want to hear the same but ultimately the decision belongs to the one who has to wear
    it!
    If you are so concerned with fit or style you should make sure to shop together is possible.
    Then everything will be “approved” and you won’t have to worry right before you are ready to go!
    Hope that made sense. I just know it’s always good to have a second set of eyes to look over my outfit. Sometimes the mirror does lie. But a spouse should never!

  8. Rainy says:

    When I was still with the Ex Mr. Honey and Ollie, we’d just say, “Uhhh. No. Doesn’t work.” and usually the other person would say, “Why not?” and if the explanation was sufficiently convincing, said person would go change. If the explanation was not sufficiently convincing, the other person would not go change. If the latter, then later on during the evening there would be a point where that person might say, “Wow, I don’t feel comfortable/think this is as flattering as I thought/sure wish I’d changed.” and the other person would say, “YA THINK?????” and that’s how we handled it.

    I have this terrible problem with my oldest daughter now. Her fashion sense is truly unique, and while I think this is a fine thing, I am trying to teach her “situational appropriateness.” That is to say, “I know you want to wear that skirt with shredded tights and boots and a hoodie, but we are going to -insert $random professional’s office-, and it would be better if you wore a smart frock or trousers with a nice blouse.” I’m having way more luck with the youngest, who listens to me and changes. The oldest usually ignores me and then when we get there, she says, “Wow. I should have changed.” and I say, “YA THINK????” and then we go through it again the next time. *EYEROLL*

  9. shorty says:

    Hubby is definitely the better dresser, so i usually pout and listen when he doesn’t like what i am wearing. but he is usually right. occasionally, i get to comment, and he usually doesn’t mind if i suggest a change.

  10. Mike S says:

    Is there to be no option along the lines of: “Darling that’s OK, but I like your gray suit so much better”? In short, can you (or he, you didn’t say which) not make the point without direct confrontation?

  11. Z! says:

    R is colour blind and will often ask for help. Somedays, since he gets up so much earlier than I do, he clashes, but he generally doesa a great job and I think the occasional brown socks with black pants are funny.
    He also generally likes my style, but I know he would love if I would make more of an effort erev Shabbos and/or Shabbos morning if we are eating alone at home.

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