Look, I kind of want to say dump them, but I won’t. Not yet, maybe later. If your partner doesn’t like your clothing choices it can be a tricky to navigate thing. Everyone wants to be attractive and the approval from someone who loves you is always nice. But what happens when they don’t ‘get it’?
That’s what I want to chat about. It’s something that comes up in questions and conversations often enough. Heck, just this week Kel told me my dress looked like a sack and I should consider a belt. I don’t know why or where it came from, but apparently, he’s Anna Wintour all of a sudden. Haha. But in the end, he knew and I knew, it was none of his business.
Sometimes he weighs in. I rarely listen.
He has never really weighed in on my appearance. Not my body, my style, my hair… None of it. There have been times I’ve asked for his opinion and genuinely wanted an answer. But other than that, he does him and I do me; together. It’s gone a long way towards how comfortable I am in my own style. He saw it all, from peasant skirts and peplum to sporty sneakers and pencil skirts.
As you find your style, there are going to be people who get on board with it. They will support you and cheer you on. Then, there are people who are one hundred percent NOT going to be on board with it. Maybe it’s different to how they saw you, from what they like or it’s a big change from what you were doing before. Change is hard for some people, that’s their thing.
But what if that person is you partner? How do you navigate that when you’re learning what you like for yourself? First of all friends, no one has a right to tell you what to wear. Ever. Let’s get that out of the way; EVER. You should stop listening. Altogether. It’ not about them and, there is no requirement for you to dress to please them. Learn what you like first, make it about you. That’s an okay thing for you to do, you know?
Starting by doing this one thing; stop asking people for their opinion.
Seriously, are you insane? Unless you are actively asking them to lie to you (and what good will that do?) then what is the point of you doing that? You are looking to them to validate you and your appearance. It happens, we are all bred with some level of wanting approval from others. Hello, I’m the first born, I’ve got it in spades.
But when the feedback from the outset was that they weren’t into it, you won’t win. You can’t. It’s either false praise (and you’re going to know it is) or it’s not what you want to hear. It’s a big ask, but you have to stop looking outside of yourself for the approval of others. Stop asking if they like your dress, your shoes, your hair and find other ways to have them validate you. Make them buy you presents and tell you you’re pretty. That would be cool
And if all else fails, head over to Man Repeller; an entire blog started on the idea that sometimes, dudes just don’t get fashion but we wear it anyway. Sounds like fun, right? It is. It’s the best, easily one of my favourite blogs turned media businesses ever. Practice your rebellion with the team! And in the end, when you’re faced with criticism from a loved one, there’s only one thing to do;
Check in with yourself, what do you want? Do that.
There is, in the end, a disclaimer to all this. If your partner is controlling what you wear, making selections for you and only ‘allowing’ certain items they approve of then you’ve got a problem. Maybe they withhold money from a joint account or simply demand compliance. That is controlling, manipulative behaviour and you need to look closer at that, maybe with a professional if it feels like it’s getting worse.
Chief Blogger at Suger Coat It; An Australian lifestyle blog for women who work for themselves. Melissa is a social media consultant & lover of stripes. Most weekends you’ll find her at the beach or home on the veranda kicking back. Around here, they call her Suger. Feel free to do the same.