Your boyfriend? Your wife? A fashion magazine? Your boyfriend? Kate Moss? Your
I don’t mean literally chose it, as in laid it out for you on a chair.
Let’s assume you are not four. Or a fashion model. I mean who had
input either literally or figuratively into what you’re wearing right
now (still in your pyjamas? Try thinking about what you were wearing
If you are a guy and there’s a woman in your life, it’s a fairly safe
bet that she exerted some influence. You may not even realise it but
she did. It’s a rare man who can withstand fashion pressure from his
partner. Partly because you tend to be less confident about your
fashion judgement and partly because you don’t really care enough to
put up a fight. You’d rather save that energy for wrestling the remote
control away from us before Grey’s Anatomy comes on, am I right?
If you’ve been with your partner for longer than, say, six weeks, there’s an excellent chance she’s bought you some clothes. Women do this a lot. It’s our not-so-subtle way of arm wrestling you into fashion submission, also known as ‘How We Want You To Look’.
With age and experience, we have come to accept the futility of trying to change many things about men. Like your reluctance to commit, your inability to remember our friends’ names, the way you think the floor is a wet towel’s rightful home and your penchant for initiating sex when we’re asleep.
But your wardrobe? Easy peasy. We do this by disguising our controlling tendencies as gifts. Buying a man new clothes for his birthday, Christmas or (if those dates are unfeasibly far off) just because, is a super way to manipulate him into your preferred image in a far less confrontational way than hissing “I hate your stupid Reeboks and the way you wear them with jeans.”
But what about women? Who’s responsible for what we wear every day? The debate about whether women dress for men or other women isn’t new. Putting practical issues like budget and comfort aside (the fashion industry doesn’t concern itself with such plebeian practicalities), when choosing clothes, do we seek sexual attention from men or fashion credibility from women? And yes, you do have to pick because sexy and fashionable are mutually exclusive.