Ask A Woman: Buying clothes for her. Is it worth the risk?
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Like a lot of the guys who visit Dappered, I don’t mind getting out and shopping for clothes for myself. I enjoy it, but I enjoy shopping for others even more. I just recently tried shopping for my wife for the first time. She has an incredible sense of style and always looks amazing whether we’re going out or not. But she just doesn’t like the mall, and recently she’s been saying she wishes she had some new, nicer clothes to wear.
We’ve been married eight years, and aside from the occasional jewelry purchase, I very rarely buy her clothes or accessories. I know she’s been wanting a few more dresses and skirts. Should I take the plunge and surprise her with a few things that I think she’d look great in? I’d keep the receipts of course. Or is that just weird?
I know readers have been skeptical in the past about men buying gifts of clothing for their partners. But I think it’s a wonderful idea in the right circumstances. What are those circumstances, you ask? Remember when I gave y’all some formulas for figuring out when to buy flowers from a florist versus a grocery store? Let’s do it again!
- You are known for your impeccable style
- You are known for your stained sweatpants
- Your partner has eclectic, unpredictable taste
- Your partner has a specific style (classic, neo-hippie, urban, hipster, etc) that is pretty consistent
- Your partner would rather have a colonoscopy than go shopping
- Your partner would rather go shopping than have sex
1 + 2 = This isn’t possible. Move on.
1+ 3 = This could go either way. You have a good chance of picking something well-made, in a great color, that someone would love…but that someone might not be your sweetheart. Start with something small–like a pair of inexpensive earrings–and see how it goes. If she loves it, go bigger; if she hates it, either figure out why for next time, or give up.
2 + 3 = Hell to the no.
2 + 4 = I still don’t trust you, sir.
2 + 5 = Meh. I don’t see any harm in trying to buy clothing as a gift, and your lady would certainly appreciate the gesture. Just save that receipt and don’t be hurt if she decides to return it.
1 + 4 = Absolutely, go for it. Sneak a peek in her wardrobe at what she already has so you’re not duplicating, then go nuts.
1 + 5 = See above.
2 + 6 = False. In fact, you’re done 2. Be gone with you.
1 + 6 = Just because your gal loves shopping, it doesn’t mean she wouldn’t enjoy getting a gift of clothing from you. Don’t make it a regular event, but on occasion, if you’re passing a storefront and see something you suspect she’d love, indulge.
1 + 3 + 5 = Ugh. Too much math. Is this still a style column?
If you do decide to buy your wife clothing, Rob, make sure to take into account her body type and coloring. If she has very pale skin, you probably want to buy bright clothing instead of pastels, so that her complexion isn’t washed out. If she’s broad-shouldered, you may want to stay away from items that have really structured shoulders, like blazers, so that she doesn’t end up looking like a line-backer.
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