I’ve been thinking about writing an article about my other half for a while and its only the worry of publicly mocking his dress sense that has stopped me. I realised that he gets far more stick on Facebook from his work mates than I could ever inflict on him using fancy words, so here it goes.
The first time I met my bloke he was wearing Gap jeans, a Haynes Manual Ford Cortina t-shirt and Fred Perry pumps, all fairly casual, standard items for a 29-year-old guy. I knew he had potential to pull off a range of looks, he’s tall, broad-shouldered and stuck in the 90’s so there was definitely room for improvement. It’s only fair to detail what I was wearing at our first meeting too, Gap Pinstripe Shell top, River Island cropped jeans and Irregular Choice shoes. I could have been more conservative but you only get once chance at a first impression and I thought I’d make a statement, you can probably tell that we’re complete opposites already?
The natural progression for fashion-shy boy meets switched-on girl is that she moulds him into a socially acceptable dresser and broadens his fashion horizons by introducing smart casual garments into his collection of footy shirts and jeans. Also you’d expect that someone with a passion for all things trendy would be in her element starting out with a fresh canvas, however my husband is rather stubborn and the last three years have been something of a battle. If you stopped him in the street and asked him ‘Who’ he was wearing I’m pretty sure he would think you were a pervert.
My bloke likes to wear what he calls ‘manly’ clothes. He’s not into knitwear, suit jackets (when not wearing a suit) or shoes that are anything other than Timberland boots, Onitsuka Tiger Trainers or Dune brogues. Not a bad start really as I’ve never been attracted to guys who take longer than me to get ready for a date. But when sportswear is the ONLY option he resembles a P.E teacher rather than sexy jock. Same goes for trousers really, Gap jeans or combats have been his only casual wear until we reluctantly tiptoed into Next and purchased a pair of sand colour chino’s that definitely didn’t make him look like a JLS wannabe. Clothes shopping with him is like dragging Horrid Henry around Debenhams, you know it’s going to end with someone being in a huff and a Costa Coffee to clear the air.
We were on a roll, a couple of plain white versatile t’s followed, and god forbid, a pair of navy blue espadrilles that he’s had to wear around the house a few times to get used to. Now that I have endured half a dozen of these courageous shopping trips I think I have nailed the approach and can get him to wear a plethora of more stylish items, it’s all about confidence. It’s not really about copying the mannequin in the Zara store window, or forwarding him the trend report emails from ASOS menswear as a hint, it’s simply about making him feel confident in the clothes he wears….. Albeit in slightly more interesting ensembles than a 1997 football hooligan.
What’s so infuriating about this whole situation is that he looks good in everything, I’m not just saying that. I’m very lucky to have a good-looking guy for a husband and I’m well aware of that, but its kind of taken the fun out of watching the metamorphosis from a 1990’s country bumpkin into an on-trend, passionate dresser. I’ve accepted the fact that it’s going to be a long process and that I should carry on bin bagging the washed out and misshapen Superdry t-shirts when he’s at work and replace them with Zara fine knit jumpers. Hope he doesn’t read this!