Ask A Woman: It’s a nice thought…but think again.
If you’ve got a question that needs the female treatment, chances are you’re not the only one who wants to ask it. Beth is our source for the answers. From opinions on men’s style to decoding the sometimes mysterious ways of women, she’ll take on a different question every Thursday. She also might provide an answer without waiting to be asked. That happens from time to time too. Click here to get to know Beth, then get in touch with her by sending your question to: email@example.com .
I get lots of questions from readers about giving gifts to their sweethearts, so I know Dappered folk to be generous and thoughtful. I and the rest of the gals on Team Dappered have made many gift suggestions over the years–jewelry, handbags, coats, and so on. But perhaps it would be just as useful to know what items you should not buy for your gal. Unless you have specific instructions to buy x item in x size from x store, I’d recommend not purchasing any of the tokens below. Sure, you might get lucky and do well with one of these, but the odds are much greater that your other half will smile dutifully and march that gift back to the store (or stuff it in the back of the closet). Take note.
How hard can it be to buy jeans for a woman? Oh, real hard. (That’s what she said.)
I have to imagine there aren’t many men who would venture to buy their gal jeans. If you’ve ever half-listened to any woman, anywhere, you know that finding the perfect jeans is a near impossible feat for us. If it fits in the waist, it’s baggy in the butt; if it hugs the thigh, it pinches the hip. These are our struggles even when we’re the ones shopping and trying on these beasts of the style world. Thus, there are no circumstances under which I recommend that you buy jeans for a woman. Pretty much a zero return guarantee on that investment.
What kind of underwear does your wife want? Vicky’s keeping that secret.
I’m not talking teddies, crotchless panties, or bustiers. I’m not talking Valentine’s Day, your anniversary, or your honeymoon. I’m talking basic wear-to-work underwear and functional bra. You really don’t need to gift those. First off, unless you know our exact size for the exact store you’re shopping at, you’re likely to get it wrong. Second, there are so many different cuts for panties (brief, thong, boy short) and bras (demi cup, full coverage, strapless), you risk getting a fit we hate. Save your lingerie buying for the frivolous occasions where we’ll probably only be wearing the item for ten minutes. Okay, maybe two minutes.
One wrong move and your girlfriend will be wearing frames that make her face look fat.
This one I went back and forth on, but as a general rule, I’m going to say skip sunglasses. Here’s why: you really have to try on sunnies to see if they flatter your face. Much of it is face shape, but also bone structure, hair line, eyebrow shape–they all contribute to how shades look on you, so you really have to try them on in person. Buying blind just isn’t a good idea.
Buying a swimsuit is even more of a nightmare than buying jeans. Yes, it might seem like a good idea if you and your honey are jetting off somewhere tropical, to surprise her with a sexy little swim number. But think again. We have to consider cut of the leg, seat coverage, straps or strapless, one piece or two piece or tankini, panel in front to smoosh down the tummy or panel up top to push up the boobs, the possibilities are endless. And this is before we’ve even talked about color or pattern. Once we actually get up the nerve to try something on, we have to prance in front of the mirror for a few hours to examine all the angles and make sure we can live with the view. Okay, maybe I’m only speaking for myself, but there’s got to be someone besides me who’s lost an afternoon this way. Anyone?
Got something brewing in your life? Send me an email–style, etiquette, relationships–I answer it all: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s note: Before someone puts the “you should NEVER buy a woman clothes/anything she can wear” comment down below… hold off. Plenty of us have had success giving clothes (that we want to see her in/she likes to wear) in the past. Many thanks.