It's (almost) a universal truth. When a man gets into a relationship, the clothes he wears and the style he has had in the past suddenly change. It's no secret who secretly threw out his team's jersey or who 'misplaced' those baggy cargo shorts and replaced them with fitted jeans, pin-stripe suits, and crisp button-down shirts.
This seems a little extreme, though doesn't it?
If your boyfriend or husband dresses badly, you may feel like you need to take it upon yourself to guide them down the right path and fix the problem. It wasn't always like this though, and your man may not be entirely to blame for his problems.
The problem most likely started during the 1960s, when the hippie movement began in the United States. These individuals inherited tradition from bohemians and beatniks, creating a culture that was expressed through dramatic arts, literature, visual arts, and even fashion. By 1965 the movement had made its way across the globe, affecting countries like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, and even Europe and the UK. Hippie clothing was often self-made and defied corporate culture.
Because many men are taught how to dress from their fathers, a style-challenged generational cycle was born that still affects many men today.
So, what exactly can you do about it? If your man seems to have no interest in making himself look presentable or embracing clothing that fits his style and body, there are some steps you can take to encourage him to take his clothing choices more seriously- without having to be the one who hides his favourite raggedy t-shirt collection.
Step up Your Man's Style
- Focus on the Fit- One of the biggest problems men have today is associating the phrase “well dressed” with what they are wearing. This isn't the problem. Even beautifully crafted suits can still look awful on a man if the fit isn't correct. For that reason, it's important to focus on the fit. Instead of pushing him to wear the clothing choices you want him to, start with encouraging him to think about the fit of every item of men's clothing he purchases.
- It's all About him- Whether you're shopping for him or he's shopping for clothing on his own, remember that the choices he makes shouldn't be a reflection of what you want him to look like. They should reflect his own style and personality and the choices should be a team effort. You can help nudge him toward more 'grown up' and professional choices, like chinos, tweed jackets, and men's suits, and he can choose the fabrics, styles, and colours that most reflect who he is. The end result will be a man who looks fabulous.
- Teach him to Accessorise- When you get dressed in the morning to go to work, what do you do after you put on your initial dress, business suit, or ensemble? You add your accessories. These small details round out an outfit and make you stand out. The same can be said for men. Teach him that those little details can make or break his look. By adding a pocket square, a tie bar, a watch, or cufflinks, he will compliment his suits, jackets, and ties. Other people will notice these subtle changes to his personal style, giving him a leg-up when it comes to job interviews, charming the boss, and networking.
- Don't be his mum- Have you ever seen a 10-year-old boy walking into church with his mother. He's wearing a cute little suit that he obviously hates. He's pulling at it and wishing he was the Hulk so he could simply flex and rip it apart. His mum's response? “You'll wear it because I said so!” That 10-year-old is eventually going to grow up and become someone's boyfriend or husband, and when his wife attempts to tell him what to wear, he's going to dig in his heels, turn, and run in the opposite direction. Don't do this to your man. You aren't his mum, and you won't get anywhere with parent-like behaviour.
- Instead, be His Lady- He wants to look good for you because he knows you're attracted to him, so be honest with him about what you want. If you want to see him wearing men's suits or a tweed jacket with wool trousers, tell him, but in a way that makes him understand that you're not giving orders. You want him to know that you think he'd look like James Bond in a dark charcoal suit with a red and black striped tie.
- Give him Confidence- Don't criticise his current ensemble choices. Instead, compliment him on what he has going right. Let him know you think that green-blue tie would make his eyes sparkle. Tell him Brad Pitt wore a dress shirt just like that on the red carpet, but with his abs, he'd look so much better in it. Give him the confidence he needs to start exploring his style.
- Make Shopping Easy- The last thing your man wants to do is pretend to be a mannequin while you take him through every shopping centre in the 5 surrounding neighbourhoods. This is basically a form of torture. Instead of ruining his day, make it easy on him. Cuddle together on the couch with the laptop between you and shop online for men's tweed jackets, shoes, ties, and men's suits. It'll take the stress off of the occasion and make getting a new wardrobe more enjoyable.
- You're Not Tim Gunn- That's right. No matter how much reality TV you watch, you can't turn your man into a sharp-dressed man overnight. You have to be patient with him, take baby steps, and make him feel comfortable with the changes you're helping him make to his attire.
Are you worried that your man doesn't care about his appearance? Are you a little worried about his career or the way others will perceive him out in public? Take steps now to help guide him toward becoming a better-dressed man.