September 11, 2012

How far would you go to please your man?



Now, now. I'm not talking about any kinky, Shades of Gray-ish nonsense. I'm talking about what you're willing to do, within reason, to be what is attractive to your guy. Personally, I never thought this topic would come up between Matthew and I--until recently, when the proverbial shit hit the fan between us.

First, let me premise this post by saying I was inspired to write it after reading a post by Raven titled "I dress for men." She claims that men hate cardigans, maxi dresses, bubble necklaces, red lipstick, and the infamous blogger topknot. While I tend to avoid generalizations and am sure that there are probably plenty of exceptions to this rule, I found myself laughing and nodding my head in agreement throughout Raven's entire post. Why? Because Matthew and I JUST had this fight conversation a couple months ago. Before that time, I probably would have been one of the girls that got a little huffy and said, "actually, I dress for me, and I should hope my husband loves me the way I am!"

And believe me, when this topic came up between myself and Matthew, I wasn't thrilled to hear his opinions on some of the ways I've been presenting myself lately.

Let me back up.

It was a sunny summer afternoon. I was PMSing. Already this is going badly, eh? I was feeling insecure and fishing for compliments from Matthew, but since men don't understand the whole no means yes and yes means no rule that automatically takes effect during PMS, he mistook one of my compliment-fishing questions for an actual, legitimate question, and made the grave error of answering me honestly. Long story short, it came out that he hates my hair in a bun, thinks I look absurd in red lipstick, doesn't like the vintage "frumpy" look to some of the clothes I'd been buying, and he also made several other points that served as daggers directly to the left ventricle of my heart. I did the reasonable thing upon hearing these would-be insults to my "style," and stormed off, stomping and slamming doors in my wake. How could he criticize something as personal as a woman's sense of style? How dare he act as though I should live to please him! This is two-thousand-and-effing-twelve, and women don't gravel at the feet of their men any more! How dare he say a word against my hair or clothes or choice in lipstick!

I spent several more days being furious with Matthew. I was afraid to tell anyone about this argument we had, because in my mind, it made Matthew look unforgivable.  But finally, I talked to a friend about it. A friend I respected and knew would give me honest feedback. I expected her to be angry with Matthew--to join sides with me on my "nail his balls to the wall!" campaign. But to my utter amazement, she only told me that she had gone through something similar with her own husband... something that resulted in the two of them going through her closet together, he pointing out what he loved her in and what he didn't. Bottom line was this: she didn't really care if it was "right" or "wrong" from a feminist's perspective. She wanted to please him, and to wear things that he found her most attractive in.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I started to come back down to earth after my several days of heightened fury with poor Matthew.  After hearing that something so similar had happened to another couple I looked up to, and their relationship lived to tell the tale, it all became... less horrible.  And then I talked to my mom about it, and it all became even more less horrible. Suddenly it made sense to me to know when Matthew found me most attractive and when he didn't. It seemed reasonable to wear the stuff he loves when I'm around him, and wear the fashion-y stuff that I like when I'm out with friends or in outfit posts or something. I decided that, when I'm around my husband, yes. I would dress for men. Not really men, though. HIM.

Still, I can see how this point of view would bother some women. Many would likely have the reaction that I first had and think "screw 'em if he doesn't like the way I dress or my favorite shade of lipstick!" But as for that mentality, I think I've just decided that maybe this is what they're talking about when they say a successful marriage is hard work and compromise and sometimes sacrifice. And it helps to know that Matthew would make changes for me, too, if I asked.  Bending your own will to please someone you love isn't always a bad thing, or a sign of giving in to chauvinistic male domination. But as a certain wildly popular erotic fiction series might suggest, maybe that's what a good chunk of us ladies are craving, anyway?

I'm not sayin' that, but I'm just sayin'.

140 comments:

  1. I've written about this before. That "top-knot"? It's a BUN. Men don't like BUNS. At least not the ones that reside on the head. Ahem.

    Love this post, Jenni :)

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  2. This is so good.
    Makes me wonder a little about the less than lovely ponytail I've been sporting lately, though.
    Probably time to call the hairdresser.

    Thanks for the nudge in the right direction!

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  3. great post! something different to think about!

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  4. I remember asking an ex-boyfriend what he thought of the way I dressed and totally flipped when he said "Actually, some times you can look a bit like a slob." Let me tell you, there was a whole heap of "What the effing eff did you just say to me?!" There I was, thinking I was all comfy and cute casual but nah-uh. I stepped up my game after that - but note the "ex" part ;)

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  5. Ben and I had this conversation a few years ago too actually. not an argument, not throwing any stones, but me talking about the flowy shirts that I love because they hide my "i feel fat" days, and him telling me that they actually make me look fat when I'm not. (but no no no, he didn't actually use the "fat" word. that would not have gone over well).

    men like to see curves. I completely understand their point of view. but I like that we still have opportunities to wear clothes solely for us when we go out with girl friends. red lipstick and topknots unite!

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  6. but i think COMPROMISE should come from both sides. my husband hates jersey knit dresses. i love them. just because he hates them doesn't mean i should never wear them. so i don't wear them every single day or on a date out with him, but i wear them. we compromise. i hate that he bites his nails. he doesn't stop. but he doesn't get mad when im constantly saying, "BEN" when I hear it. (the sound and the act freak me out)

    I think above all, marriage is a team effort and if you are only playing by one person's rules, the TEAM will never win.

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  7. I always laugh when my husband tries to pick stuff out for me in the store. Basically, he wants me to dress like I'm about to go on a hike, at all times! He doesn't really care what I wear, but once he did tell me that a shirt I wanted to buy was HORRIBLE ugly. I bought it anyways but I just wear it when I'm not going to be around him much. Sometimes I feel guilty that I wear a tshirt and jeans around him at the house but get all done up for church or work or a night out with our friends, but then I realize (because he always tells me and I don't believe him) that t-shirt/jeans is how he prefers me. I don't get it, but I actually love it :)

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  8. This is a great post...my husband is constantly drained by my 20-outfit changes before we go out somewhere. "You look great in anything!" He says.
    Suuuure. It's not that you just want to get the heck out of here. ;)

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  9. Great post!!

    My hubs says he loves everything I'm in or how I wear things...But I wonder.. ;)

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  10. great post!! but my mom has always told me...women dress for other women and UNDRESS for their men ;)

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  11. YES. Kyle and I have had the exact same "conversation." I totally applaud you posting about it. I can't count the number of times we've had fights in our marriage that I thought were un-sharable, only to find out later that almost every married couple I know has had the same fight.

    And I liked where you landed - dress for your hubs when you're around him, and dress in what you like when you're out with the girls. Great post!

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  12. Lol this is hilarious!!! Not hilarious about the fight but the whole premise of you looking for compliments and Matthew actually answering honestly. I think that you are willing to dress more for him when you guys are together it make things better for both of you. He will be all up one and it will make you feel a lot more sexy, beautiful, desirable.

    Or You could do what I do and wear pjs most days so when you actually get dressed your man thinks you look like the best thing since sliced bread. I'm being honest. Well and plus right Ryan can't be picky about what I wear cause I have like 10 outfits total. Lol

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  13. Nothing wrong with respecting the opinion of your spouse - on any subject. I appreciate constructive criticism on my outfits from my husband when I can get it (most of the time I get the ubiquitous "It looks fine").

    That being said, you should wear what you want, when you want and keep in mind that men don't always have it right either. I don't always like what my husband wears and sometimes I share that with him. He usually responds by letting me know that women don't know anything about men's clothes. I think the same is often true about men and women's fashion so keep that in mind. Not saying your man is like this but some men would have us wearing skintight sexy black dresses everyday or the other extreme wants us in jeans and their v-neck tees every day which is so BOR-ing.

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  14. You have no idea how happy this made me to read. This "discussion" has literally been on repeat in my house for the past few months. My super mature response so far has been "Oh...fashion advice coming from the man who still wears tommy hilfigger carpenter jean shorts & Gerbaud's?! Get serious..." but I've definitely been realizing lately I don't dress for him - his opinion doesn't even come into consideration when getting dressed - wow...how terrible do I sound?! In all reality I think girls definitely dress more for girls rather than men. I've been trying my best to avoid wearing my leopard print skinny jeans in front of him, though, so that's a start - right?! He D E S P I S E S skinny jeans & leopard print and he just about had a heart attack when I bought something that combined the two!

    Thanks for sharing your story - it was nice to know we're not the only couple going thru the same thing!

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  15. Haha its funny because my husband recently asked me if I could do more up-do's and sock buns. He loves super short pixie cut hair (and mine is not even close) so he loves updo's because it looks like short hair lol.
    Now, I will NEVER chop my hair off like that for him. Seriously, never. But I will compromise by up-doing it more often lol.

    That being said I have always dressed for men and not for myself or other women or for fashion so thankfully he loves everything I wear.. but he he agreed that he hates cardigans and vintage clothes (that he actually called hippie clothes lol)

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  16. Love this! I have had this same type of conversation (sort of) with my husband. I am not the trendy type and I don't have most of the staple blogger pieces. But I probably wouldn't even if I wanted to. My husband HATES maxi dresses, colored skinny jeans, giant jewelry of any type (including bubble necklaces), and he even hates leggings! What do I wear, you might ask? Jeans, dress slacks, nice blouses, t-shirts, shorts, dresses that show off my shape (but not promiscuously), and simple, tasteful accessories. yes, sometimes I wish I had the sense of style that most bloggers have, but I know he would hate it, so I don't dwell on it too much. The thing is...I feel sexier when I know he is attracted to me. I would rather that than dress super trendy and know he thinks I look like a clown! But we have had a full fledged argument when I cut myself some bangs one day. Apparently he hates bangs more than anything. And I had the same mindset that did. It's MY hair after all! But ultimately I grew them out and probably won't do that again...at least for a while! :)

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  17. When I saw your title, I was thinking - "Ooooo, what is THIS gonna be about?!" I admit, I totally went the 50 shades route before I read on. Ha!

    It makes sense though. Todd and I have had some of the same discussions in the past. He would love to see me in more skirts and dresses and well, I still struggle there, but I've been working on it!

    Sounds like ya'll found a good compromise though and that's really what matters. And he may not like the bun thing, but I think it looks fabulous. Go figure! (o;

    PS - He really does have some balls though for going there while you're PMSing. What a brave man! Haha

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  18. I read Raven's post too.

    My husband and I have had the same discussion. Last year, I found out that he doesn't really like boots on women. Or flats. He doesn't find the unattractive but he said that the only shoe that would make him look twice is a heel. I guess that isn't super surprising but it made me go, "Hmmm..."

    Obviously I want him to find me attractive (he's better!!!) but I can't wear heels everyday - so I guess I'm somewhere in the middle.

    I dress for myself, because I want to feel comfortable and confident in whatever I'm wearing. I also dress for other people, but only to an extent. I mean, who doesn't want to feel like other people think they look great?

    I don't do uber trendy stuff, because it's just not me. I can't pull off red lipstick - or at least I'm not comfortable in it. I have no idea how to get my hair into a top knot.

    At the end of the day, I just want to feel like myself because that's when I'm most comfortable. And I feel most confident when I'm comfortable.

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  19. There are times when I don't care that my husband hates my Ugg boots or gladiator sandals...but then there are times...I DO care what he thinks. Heck, I want him to look at me and want me like he did when we first met. So if that means wearing something I know he likes, or doing my hair the way he likes...then so be it. I tell him what shirts I prefer him in, and he wear thems. I tell him how I like just a little bit of facial hair and a certain hair cut. He does things too to impress me. There is no harm in dressing for your significant other. But I agree...sometimes you should dress for you!

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  20. ! ha so funny, and so true. Jonathan has said some of the same things to me--- pieces of clothing that I just LOVE he is like...that is so ugly! Although, I wouldn't say in general I dress to please him... my body really only looks good in certain clothes anyway--- and I never dress in a way that would turn another man on, (I watch the cleavage when I can, and make sure nothing is so tight I can't breathe). Jonathan really appreciates when I save the spicy numbers for just us, and not the world. I probably won't be giving up my top knot anytime soon though....unless I can throw away the 500 pairs of oversized basketball shorts he insists on wearing every night when he gets home from work (oh yes, this issue goes BOTH ways in our house!) :)

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  21. Like Hockey Wife, I dress in what's comfortable -- and not in a sweatpants kind of way (though I do that sometimes!), but in a, "I'm confident when dressed how I feel most comfortable" way. Like flats, cute skirts, polka dots, hair up. Whatever.

    My boyfriend has expressed his feelings about my hair, makeup, etc., at different points, and I listen to what he says -- but I don't change my wardrobe or pick a shade of lipstick based on what he will or won't like. Not intentionally, anyway. Doesn't jive with me. He loves me and thinks I'm beautiful, I reason, so what difference does it make if I want to put my hair in a bun that day? (My BF is likewise not a fan of the bun. What is that about?)

    I see your point, though I guess I will have to gently disagree. The idea of my guy going through my closet and pointing out items he dislikes doesn't sit well with me. Maybe if I could do the same thing with him -- though he would never give up his beloved T-shirts!

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  22. this is a constant battle with me and my boyfriend! i have to wear suits all week long, so i want to dress comfy and cute on the weekends...but apparently skinny jeans and a top aren't sexy?? instead mini skirts are? i do try to appease my boyfriend when i see him but sometimes i just have to do me. since we still have our own places and don't see each other every day, i try to remember to wear what i want on off days and what he likes on date nights. all i have asked from him in return is to wear boxer briefs...even tougher battle.

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  23. Great post! It's awesome to see this type of thing in the inside of an existing marriage before I get there.

    I try to do something similar to this, just short of asking what he likes best...I try to remember the things he actually notices when I wear it, and wear pieces like that more often.

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  24. i read that post, and liked your approach a bit better. I have so many differing views on this subject...I have always believed i dress for women, and would bet that the majority of my friends would say the same, ESPECIALLY those that live and work in LA. Women judge, women look, women notice...topnot? thats a bun to a man. heels are heels no matter who designed them. statement necklaces is just big jewelry. I think if women dressed for men, a lot of us would be walking about topless in mini skirts..lets be honest here. Im aware im generalizing here and there are men (i know a few) who notice the difference between a F21 heel and a CL pump, some are straight and some are gay. but still. I think its personal for every woman and every relationship. Some men think their spouse looks super sexy in his t shirt and boxers, some men ( a friend of mine) does not like his wife going out wearing really revealing skirts/tops. Its not him being controlling, he just doesnt want other men looking at his wife that way...whereas some men would kill for their wives to get out of the skinny jeans and put on a mini skirt or tight dress. I say to each their own. Whatever women feel comfortable with, and whatever works for their relationship, more power to them. I had stephen get rid of a pair of awful jean shorts, and i wont wear a pair of shoes he thinks are awful...but will i stop wearing my hair in a bun? never, and i doubt that is going to keep him from sleeping with me. lets be honest about that too.

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  25. Loved this post! Very well written and I agree completely.

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  26. I love these posts. You did a really cool thing, talking about it openly like you did. As a non-married (but hoping to be someday) girl, I appreciate that. I wrote something sort-of similar this morning and linked it to your post - hope that's okay!

    http://whatnowlife.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-to-keep-it-ssc.html

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  27. My husband and I are going through the same thing! I love trendy but simple pieces, high heels and lipstick. His favorite outfit of mine is a tshirt and jeans . I used to feel disappointed, like I put ALL that work into my outfit that he didn't like! But I understand now that he sees the clothes as distracting from the real me. When I wear sky high heels and red lipstick, he thinks I look superficial and fake. I had to remind myself that when we go out in public, I am not only dressing as myself, but also as his wife.

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  28. So this is such a great topic. I have lived with my boyfriend for two years, we've dated for 5. Not that this is important, but I just want a premise. He always used to make fun of my "Grandma sweaters", "Baggy shirts" and "Baggy pants". This offended me to no end. I constantly asked why he couldn't just find me perfect and gorgeous no matter what I wore. Why couldn't he see that I had a style and I felt good in it. After years of getting to know each other, I learned that I had a particular preference in certain things he wore. Jsut as he preferred my hair straight (not air dried), little makeup, and fitting clothing, I preferred him clean shaven, in neutral colors (instead of bright colors) and the more masculine the outfit, the better. It was nice to realize that just as I preferred him masculine, he preferred me feminine, and while it took years to really accept and understand this strange little out-dated fact, I'm glad we did. It really has changed my outlook on the whole dressing for your other argument. Thanks for talking about it.

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  29. What an awesome post!!! Russ and I have had this "discussion" a few times. I've come home from shopping a few times and he's turned up his nose at a couple of clothing items and it gets me upset. When we go shopping together I get frustrated that he picks out what I think are some ridiculous articles of clothing (plus sometimes they just are so WRONG for my body type, and he doesn't get that).
    Basically it's like you (and all the previous commenters) said: it's compromise. If YOU really love it, it's ok, wear it! Just maybe not all the time when you go out ;)

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  30. I think my husband is pleased that I'm not a trendy person! Haha. Really. Even when I point out an outfit I like, he'll give a consolation smile and remind me that women dress for other women. It's so true! However, I appreciate that he only comments on my clothing when I ask for his opinion. He is always very conscious to not speak for me, tell me what to wear, or tell me how to do something. I love that! But again, lucky for him, most of my friends define my style as "clean and classic" anyway. (Translation: Boring?)

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  31. Want to know something crazy??? This happened with Ross and I, but with the table being turned. He is a simple guy that never really cared about clothes, fashion or presenting himself. His shirts were always wrinkled, untucked,and never wanted to buy anything new. It drove me NUTS! We used to fight about it all the time. Then one day, he magically started caring. Now, he takes longer than me to get ready sometimes. He told me that he not only does it to please me, but he now has more confidence in himself and he carries himself completely different. I don't think you are any less of a strong woman for wanting to please your spouse. Like you said, it's part of having a lasting marriage. Great post, Jenni!
    Shanna

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  32. so what DOES that man of yours prefer you in? (just curious)

    and yes, raven's article was so funny. and yours is so honest!

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  33. So I definitely just sent my hubby a link to this blog post and Raven's asking what he thought of my wardrobe, hair, and makeup. I'm honestly curious and even had to tell him that this wasn't a trick question. To generalize, I think a lot of the time women try to be trendy and on point with their style which is completely fine. But sometimes its nice to know that your significant other also thinks you look great and not just the editors of Vogue. My husband and I communicate really well and try to be super honest with each other. He knows that I hate his hoodies and shudder every time he buys a new one. Why can’t he tell me doesn’t like something of mine? So yeah, we should wear what our Husband/Boyfriend/Significant Other like but the same goes for them. If we’re going to be honest we have to be completely honest. And no matter what he says I will still rock a bun and cardigan most days.

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  34. I love this post!! LOL!! I would have been offended too. But hmmmm, this gives me so much food for thought. And the need to go through my wardrobe....

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  35. Great post and way to think about dressing for your man!

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  36. LOVED reading this! Thanks for sharing... I think this is a recurring "conversation" in most marriages.

    Lately I've been dressing rather frumpy... I'm almost 8 months pregnant so I just don't feel like getting dressed or fixing hair & makeup if I'm not leaving the house... but after having this "conversation" with my husband, I've realized that he would rather come home to a pretty & happy wife (instead of me lounging in one of his T-shirts and a pair of basketball shorts with my hair in a knot with no makeup on... and complaining about feeling tired and ugly... lol) I think we both feel better when I take the time to look decent ;)

    Ash

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  37. i would have reacted the same way as you. and i've always dressed for me but that has been something in me since i was 5. i had a boyfriend who would tell me what lipstick shade he liked, that he liked my hair STRAIGHTENED (you know my hair is curly crazy), and wanted me to always look super feminine. he was kind of verbally abusive anyways, so i have negative reactions to stories like this. i mean, one of the main things about my style is that it can be masculine if it wants! haha

    but i also realize that there is truth in this and that matthew, of course, has a wonderful heart! duhhhhh. i totally get it.

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  38. I loved this discussion. And I have to say, your style is adorable. When I first read this, all I could think about was the scene in Sleeping with the Enemy where he makes her change her clothes to go to a party because he didn't like what she was wearing. I accept that men have an opinion about what we wear, I respect that as well. My husband will make fun of what I chose to wear sometimes, and I know what he despises and doesn't. And in all honesty, men like sexy. Pure and simple. But after 12 years of marriage, it is the least of our concerns. When I am out with my husband I want him to be proud of me. So, yes, in a sense I do dress "for him" and he for me. But I also dress for everyone else around me. I love clothes. I love style. But in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter all that much. And... I'm a JCrew cardigan wearing, skinny jeans with boots kind of girl. And my husband loves it. Ok well, maybe not the boots, he thinks I'm out for riding lessons. Doesn't really stop me from wearing them though :)

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  39. i'm not sure if its because my husband grew up with 4 women, or because he's just too nice, or what it is, but my husband actually likes buns. i feel like i have pretty simple style and so it makes it easier to find things that we both like. if ryan (my husband) doesn't like something he will tell me, and when he doesn't like a trend or something he will tell me too, if i like it i'll tell him. i'll just find more subtle ways to work those things in. maybe its just cause i'm not trendy or cute that i dont have this problem. but i'm so happy that you have come to be at ease with this idea.

    K

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  41. ooops! posting issues, anyways! really is such an interesting topic. I feel like I dress for what I think looks good one me…that others will think good on me. so I guess we all sort of dress for others (or certain people in particular). Definitely a fun (uh I hope fun) conversation I will have to have with austin. although I guess when you are with someone so long, you do know what they like. and you do try to wear more of it. I do that more when austin is around I think too! (now that I really do think about it). but I just don’t like generalizations you know? I’m sure some guys do like some of those things. just like some girls like tattoos or piercings or things like that and me not so much! I know austin likes when I wear headbands. Hahah I mean I like headbands so that works, but maybe to other guys they wouldn’t feel so gaga over it! just gotta know your “audience” :)

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  42. I love this post. I think that women dress for women, but then bitch because they can't find a man, or are unhappy in a relationship. I also think that it is important that our spouse likes our appearance. The attitude that "I don't care what you think about how I look" is where cheating roots start growing, I think. Call me crazy. Likewise, the male should also keep up his appearance and wear things that his wife finds attractive. PS - there was an entire episode of King of Queens where Carrie kept wearing buns, and Doug HATED them, and he finally told her. :)

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  43. Such a good post, Jenni! Steven HATES when I wear maxi dresses. HATES IT! So I don't wear them unless I'm going out with the girls. He also doesn't like lipstick (but I think that's more so because of the kissing thing, not so much how it looks :))

    But, he does love when I wear my bun! He always tells me I look cute when my hairs like that.

    I think when it comes to style, when spending time with your man, you should aim to please :)

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  44. You should show him the Man Repeller ;)

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  45. I will forever use "nail his balls to the wall"!! And this is two-thousand-and-effing-twelve!

    I think it is great that you are doing things to please your man. Especially if he is willing to change things as well. I think that compromise is VERY important!

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  46. I love this post. Seriously love it because I think about this topic all the time. I am lucky enough to have a husband that actually has an opinion about wardrobe and how I look daily, like yours does. I have quite a few friends whos husband dont notice their new haircolor or that they are wearing a new outfit. When I go shopping I bring hubby along and let him pick out a couple items for me because it feels good to wear something I know he loves. Granted there are a ton of things he picks out I would never wear but I nod them off and we compromise on something else for my closet. It used to bother me that he hated my vests and headbands that I used to sport on the daily but now I mix them with things he loves. All about compromise :)

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  47. I literally found myself laughing out loud throughout this post because from a young age, my DAD of all people gave me dressing-for-guys dating advice. Before my first high school dance, he told me to avoid the "weird crunchy updo thing" because guys want you to look the way you do all the time — natural, yourself, with your hair down and normal. When I mentioned this to my guy friends recently, they all responded with a huge, resounding EXACTLY and I realized that there really is something to the whole guys vs. girls style thing!

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  48. Lol!!! Jenni I loved this!!! Mathew basically said word for word what my husband told me too! And trust me, he changed for me too, or rather, I forced him to change ha! One of the reasons I kept turning him down when he would ask me out in the beginning is because he alway wore tapered jeans. Tapered. Jeans. I did eventually go out with him and soon after (VERY soon after, I have an image to upkeep!) I took it upon myself to redo his entire wardrobe. Threw away all his horrid clothes and went on a very expensive shopping spree for him and bought him all the clothes that I find attractive. So totally goes both ways ;)

    Ps: please please tell me you read the comment on my post from "but you can call me a feminist"? It's near the bottom have of comments. It will change your life if only from the sheer hilarity of it.

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  49. Jenni this is TOO funny because my husband and I just had a big discussion about this EXACT issue this weekend! I also read Raven's post, and I'm not surprised that it caused a reaction because I know a lot of women really take offense to this whole idea that you should actually try and please your spouse with your actions, including the way you dress. I feel like people spin it into some feminist control thing, when really if you love the person your married to, don't you want them to like the way you look? So I totally agree with what you have to say :) Being a blogger, it's hard not to want to rock bright red lips with a sock bun and a bubble necklace because I personally think that looks adorable...but my husband hates all this stuff too. So the result of our conversation this weekend was the same--I am going to try and save those looks for girl's nights/hanging out with friends, and wear things he likes more for date night/when we're together...and who am I kidding, I wear workout clothes 75% of the time anyway, but thank goodness he seems to love the way I look in those :) Thanks for your honesty and being so genunine, as always. Have a great day!! xoxo

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  50. I agree with your view- a sort of compromise. My husband and I are both rather... "comfortable" dressers (jeans & t-shirt), but I do like a sharp suit and he likes a nice dress with heels. We've been together for 11 years, and there are definitely things we've each changed and adapted about our appearances- although I think part of that is just going through our twenties, too. That said, I know he hates lipstick/lipgloss (which is mostly fine with me), but he knows I'm a chapstick addict- and he's gotten over that unless I've just put it on when he kisses me! I think a large part of it, though, is that when you can tell your partner is proud/impressed/turned on by the way you look, you're gonna feel a little more confident, strut a little more, and feel a little more sexy- all of which are exuded to everyone. Having someone on your team is always a boost- and the better you feel, the better you're gonna look. So "dressing for your husband" is dressing for yourself, too, I think. (That was all worded terribly, but you're clever enough to get my gist!)

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  51. this is something to think about. ive never thought about personal style in this way, and how sometimes when we dress we only think of what WE like. its one of those things that have to be worked mutually just like you said. great post.

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  52. me and the husband have had this discussion and most of the time he loves what i wear but every so often there is an outfit that causes a raised eyebrow--no more needs to be said.

    sometimes i change and sometimes i just wear it anyway. but on big occassions i will dress to make him happy because it matters to me. when we got married i knew what dress he would love me to wear and so i chose a dress that refected that. he never asked me too but i did it because i love him and wanted to take his breath away. and the memory of when he saw me for the first time was more than worth it :)

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  53. This is so good Jenni! So honest and real and I think every woman in a relationship can relate. Thanks for sharing!

    xox

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  54. I used to agree, but I'm still not quite sure I do anymore. I recently made the book "Why Men love Bitches" my dating bible. It just states that you should never change yourself to make a man love you, I'm still kind of on the fence about it though, I guess it changes when you get married.
    Good insights though :)
    Thanks for sharing!
    -Jordan :)

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  55. After reading this, I called the boyfriend into the room and asked him if there was any item of clothing in my wardrobe or anything about my style that he liked less than the rest. He froze for a second, clearly thinking it was a trap, then said, "Do you want me to be honest right now?" Yes, of course. Then he said he couldn't think of anything. I asked, "what about when I wear a bun or pony tail?" to which he said, "What's a bun?" After thinking about it for a while, he finally said, "I really can't think of anything I don't like but I DO like when you wear that red lipstick. It's very striking and I think you turn a lot of heads. I just won't kiss you while you're wearing it."

    So I guess that's the most he's ever noticed in my personal style. He can't kiss red lips but he likes how it looks.

    What's funny about this is that he was totally willing to change up his style to please me. When he first started dating, he did things like wear sweatshirts tied around his waist and tuck in t-shirts to his jeans. Luckily, that stage is over. Now he only goes shopping if I come along and he wants my approval on everything he buys. Guess dressing to please your significant other can go both ways!

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  56. I love this post! I'd be super offended to hear it out loud too, but I think my subconscious actually KNOWS... the BF uses positive affirmation to encourage what he likes. Tight black dress for dinner? "YOU LOOK AMAZING!" Bright, printed flowy maxi? "You look nice." :) -L

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  57. I know I have stuff my husband hates...but he has WAY more that I hate and he refuses to change his style lol. So I think we will just keep this stalemate going for the duration of our marriage! We have TOTALLY different styles, and it doesnt seem that either one of us will be as rational and compromising as you have been unfortunately!

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  58. It's so funny to read this today because I was just thinking about this the other day! I bought a pair of shoes the other day (a pair of shoes that no one would think I would wear, but I wanted to try something different). I remember thinking, eeeeeeepppp Luke is gonna hate these! I got home, showed him my new shoes & he said "those are awesome! they're different, but they're fun"! I said I was worried he'd hate them & he replied with - so what if I do - if you wanna wear them & you like them - go for it!

    It might be that I'm a little conservative with my style and rarely make bold statements, but Luke has always said that he loves seeing me in outfits that I feel the most comfortable and beautiful in. And in those rare occasions that I do try something trendy or on the edge, he always tells me to go for whatever I want! Or maybe he flat out just doesn't care?? I don't know :)

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  59. I absolutely love this post! I completely agree. It is true that you can dress the way that he likes to see you for date nights, etc. and dress the way you want when you are out with your friends or just by yourself.
    There are also things I don't like about my boyfriend's wardrobe and now that I think about it, I do vocalize my opinions when we are going somewhere and I think a shirt is ridiculous. So I couldn't be too offended if he ever told me that something I wear looks silly. I mean he has a shirt that says "Art School Dropout" I told him that people are literally going to think you dropped out of art school and you will look like an idiot.

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  60. I think I stray away from conversations like this because I know I would take it to heart too!! I'd also probably backlash with something like "Oh yeah? Well it's not so hot when you walk around in your cargo shorts from 1999 either". Instead, I take mental notes of every time Dustin says "you look cute/hot/sexy!!!" so I can pull out whatever I was wearing again and know that he likes it. ;)

    xo dana
    thewonderforest.com

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  61. Jenni this is the best post I've read all week. Seriously! Amazing. So happy you shared.

    I've been trying to understand this feeling I have about feeling good from buying something new. If I'm not super fashiony and have something new or an outfit id post on my blog....I don't feel as confident. It doesn't make sense but it's the truth! And when I get blogged up, my boyfriend never says I look good. He says I look good when I'm wearing a nasty flannel shirt. His opinion should matter more than how I compare to pinterest. Right!? I mean how often does he see me. As far as compromising with Matthew, I think it's the right thing to do for your marriage. If you don't lay off the lipstick sometimes what's he to do next time you ask him not to do xyz. Compromise is key & that's maybe not feminist but it's humanist ;)

    That doesn make sense so hopefully you got what I meant!

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  62. Great post! My husband and I have had the exact same conversation a couple of years ago. I realized that there are two kinds of women the ones who dress for men and the ones who dress for women. I dress for my husband because It's not that important to me and I care about his opinion more than anyone else.

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  63. Oh lord, I love this post. We had a blow out similar to yours a few months ago on vacation when PB decided to ask one morning if I was going to put on make up... ass hat move but after I calmed down (and put on my make up!), I remembered a good friend of mine saying you must always be your husband's girlfriend so he doesn't have to find a girlfriend. And while I am still a girlfriend, you betcha. Yes, awful to think of from a feminists position, but the truth hurts. On nights where we are going out together, I let him pick my outfits a lot because I DO want to be attractive to him. And PS, men also hate flats. Ugh.

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  64. I can absolutely relate. The boyfriend hates buns. He comments on how much he dislikes them whenever I wear them, which is only days I am running late (so a lot). He hates lipstick of any kind. He prefers when I just wear chapstick (Although I have a new trick- just bitten lip stain, It's like coloring in your lips with a marker and then putting on chapstick!) He does love a maxi dress though, something Raven warned against. I have to admit, I don't do a good job of dressing for him unless it is a special occassion. Maybe I should make a better effort.

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  65. Such a great post! Now I'm really curious to see what M likes and doesn't like on me. For example, the 1 maxi dress I own is "loud" as he put it...which hurt my feelings as I was nervous to wear it the first time, but it is pretty loud considering how conservative I am with my attire most of the time. I'm glad you posted this!

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  66. I haven't read all of the comments above so someone may have said something similar already- but, honestly, this concept of dressing for men isn't all that different than the whole housewear/sleepwear/lingerie debate that's been going on for ages between men and women. Most of us women would prefer to be "comfortable" in our housewear (and rarely find lingerie to be comfortable), whereas our husbands like a little lingerie. I think that men like to know that we are comfortable enough to be in our sweats around them and like to see us relaxed in that way, but I truly believe that they want to see us as they fantasize us to be- and that's not usually in sweats and hair rollers (I know, I know no one wears hair rollers anymore…but you get the point).

    Within our first year of marriage I learned that my husband hates what I wear around the house and I'm not even going to tell you HOW he told me that (at least not publicly). I found out that he's not a fan of me wearing red lipstick, but loves when I wear eyeliner (says it looks mysterious- ha!), and he's not a fan of lots of large earrings and he hates that I rarely wear short shorts. He likes sexy, but not done-up sexy. Subtle, mysterious, not-on-purpose (but on purpose) sly sexiness, and sweats, red lipstick and big jewelry doesn’t achieve that for him.

    I definitely think it's important to take his likes into consideration and sometimes it's challenging because I definitely want to stay true to my desires as well. It took me some time to find sleepwear and housewear that I found comfortable that he also found attractive- but I did it! And I still wear my red lipstick when I want to, but I am mindful that it's not his favorite look and I'm okay with that- and ultimately he has to be too, just as I have to be okay with some of the things that he wears or likes that I'm not fond of. As small as attire may seem in the big scheme of a marriage, it is also a part of that compromise and sacrifice that we make to please and make each other happy.

    Great post!

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  67. Great post! I often show my husband things I like in catalogs to see what he things. Its been very enlightening to get his opinion. And especially fun when we both hate the same trends.

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  68. I love this post so much right now because it just happens that S and I had a VERY similar conversation this last weekend. You see, when I'm running late, or I'm tired, or just want to be comfortable my go to style is the top know bun. I may or may not be wearing one right now. well, at one point last weekend i put my hair in a pony tail and he was all like "wow, i barely ever see your hair like that", "it looks so nice", "you should do that more often".... then i changed it into a bun when humidity took a toll of it and I got "you didn't like the pony tail?"... then i knew hahaha. we had a conversation about that too (and harem pants, red lipstick, and my big nerd glasses). good think it was no where near my time of the month hahaha.

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  69. I think any woman who has a problem with wanting to dress to please their husband is selfish... might sound harsh, but the whole 'if he doesn't like it he can go screw himself' mentality is a fast road to ending up alone because clearly that woman doesn't care about anything but herself.
    *down from soapbox

    NOW, please know, I'm not saying you are this way.. please understand that. :) and continue reading...

    I've had this same conversation w/G-man with the same hurt feelings as you because I was SHOCKED he did't like me in my skinny jeans, cowl neck sweaters, and knee high boots...nor does he like me in scarves, high waisted belts and big jewelry. THIS IS WHAT I WEAR!! But he told me I was too 'fashion model' and he hated it. At the time (since we're long distance and all) I told him that I dressed for pleasing myself since he's not around to please (ouch) but I know, when we're together, I make every effort to wear just what he likes, with hardly any jewelry, and do my hair just so. And I notice he does the same for me. (If you only knew how he dressed at the beginning of our relationship...cringe worthy).

    All this long windedness to say, I've soo been there, and I think its sweet (now that you know) you're wanting to dress for his likes. To me, the ultimate is when my man finds me sexy and hot so I'm happy to wear whatever he likes to keep me feeling good about myself.
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

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  70. Preach girlfriend. Nick hates red lipstick ("I can't kiss you when you're wearing it"), flowy shirts (but I love them. So they stay. I just wear short shorts to balance it out (: ), and would prefer me in jeans and a t-shirt at all times.

    It's a balance. The upside to having to hang out without him a lot of the time is that I can experiment with my wardrobe. But I feel ya...if you're NOT dressing to make your husband think you look supa sexy, then what's the point? Who else are you trying to please?

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  71. I agree whole-hardheartedly with this post. Of course, sometimes I wear things my husband doesn't LOVE, but for the most part I want to be attractive to him. Usually - I'll feel my best that way too. (My hair is in a bun right now, and I'm wearing bright coloured lipstick!!)

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  72. my husband hates every.single.thing you just listed that your hubby doesn't like. that's SO funny to me. we've had this conversation so many times and a few months ago I finally got it too. I wear the stuff I like when he isn't around, and the stuff HE likes when he's around. seems to be working too :)

    marriage is definitely work! nobody told me i signed up for these things!! lol

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  73. omg, you have no idea how happy i am that you wrote about this because this is something my boyfriend and i have been talking/fighting about lately. he told me he prefers when my hair is up (so that means he thinks i'm ugly when my hair is down, RIGHT?!), and he likes me in skirts (but i'm always cold at the office, so pants it is), and that he prefers me in tank-tops (i'm feeling fat today). the same goes with trends - he thinks maxi dresses covers too much, and neon pants look silly but i LOVE those pieces. and i consider myself to be a pretty decent dresser, with a pretty good fashion sense. so what does he know? i feel like most woman sort of pride themselves in looking and feeling good so when my boyfriend says that he doesn't like me in something or prefers something else, i take a huge offense to that. i of course love him and want to make him happy and turn him on and please him, yada yada yada, but does that mean to give up part of my sense of style? should i talk to a friend about this too? AHHHH, I'm not alone!!! thank you!

    xo
    Eriac

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  74. this is a great post! i know there are some things (colored skinnies) that my husband doesn't like... i may have to ask him his opinion on cardigans tonight! i would have reacted the same way as you though. i definitely think it's a fine balance of dressing in a way that they find attractive but also in clothes that make you feel stylish. :)

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  75. um, you're brilliant. i love the way you composed this story. you're a wonderful writer!

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  76. GREAT post Jenni, and gave me a good chuckle too!!
    It's quite funny how men and women view things so differently...

    My hubs and I communicate openly about our wardrobes and we are brutally honest! But the clothes and looks he doesn't like - I can still enjoy with the girls or when not around him :)
    x

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  77. LOVE this post!!! I think it's too early in our marriage for my Hubby to come out and truthfully say he hates my maxi dresses...hahaha.

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  78. SO interesting!! Especially from my single perspective. haha! I love @wonderforest comment too!

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  79. About two years after our first date, my boyfriend told me he hated the shoes I wore that first night SO much, he almost didn't call me back for a second date.

    They were Army ballet flats that I thought were the shiz. They were just broken in enough, and I loved them.

    I asked him why he waited two years to tell me (and especially since I had other flats I wore on a regular basis). He said he didn't want to upset me.

    Now I only wear flats to work.

    My hair on the other hand? He can eat shit because I'll do what I want with it :)

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  80. I like this post.
    Joe usually tells me straight up what he likes and doesn't. Which I appreciate. He also updates me on which outfit of mine if his fave at the moment. Sure, I like to look nice for him on date nights but for work and what not I wear the so called "hippy shirt" that Joe likes to tease me constantly about
    (post about the shirt plus picture http://stopcents.blogspot.com/2012/06/tgif-sponsor.html)
    and other various items he's less found of. He also hates my hair in buns and hates bright red lipstick!

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  81. i like it when my hubby says i look good. but i recently had a similar conv. with him about a maxi skirt i bought, "the vintage "frumpy" look", he said i look funny and it doesn't flutter my body and i was thinking i was being fashionable.

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  82. I won't wear anything that my husband doesn't like (within reason). He equates ruffles with pirates. If I come down stairs and he says "argh, matey" I will immediately change. At his request, I don't wear too much makeup. I know that he is a "guy's guy" and doesn't know anything about fashion. But keeping him happy is one of a few main objectives in my life. So I try to do my best.

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  83. I think your approach is reasonable, though the commenters saying they only wear clothes their husband like? You have a say too. Unless he does the same for you.

    My husband will tell me if something looks off or he doesn't like it, just as I do to him. But at the end of a work day when he's in athletic pants why should I not wear my yoga pants? I think everything in reason but if you're 100% focused only on what makes him happy? That's not an even relationship, even if it is just about clothes.

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    1. My husband looooooooooooves yoga pants. :)

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  84. My husband hates when I wear red lipstick (says its "slutty"), hates my hair up, and has called some of my outfits nerdy lol. I'm just glad he feels comfortable enough to tell me what he thinks!

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  85. AH I LOVE THIS POST. Such a great post!! I'm going to ask Tiel tonight.. because as far as I know.. he doesn't even notice what I wear. Ew this could get interesting. Maybe I will play tricks on him and wear hideous things then see his reaction.

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  86. I may never stop laughing when I ask JB what he doesn't like about my wardrobe. this is gonna be good.

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  87. Wow, this post was really interesting. You made me think about this situation in a different way. You're such a great writer and I hope you do more posts like this. :)

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  88. I love this post, Jenni! I've been with my husband since high school, and we've had a couple of conversations like this along the way. It's hard because your instinct is to do what you want, but if he wanted to wear something that I thought was really unattractive all the time, I would be kind of annoyed that he didn't take my opinion into consideration. We've gotten to the point where I pretty much know what he likes or doesn't like, and I find that I want to dress to what he likes when I'm around him.

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  89. I had this vest (Yes, a vest) that I LOVED. It was black, and tied at the waist, and had a small amount of fur on it. One day, Hunter came home and said, "Please don't wear that anymore. I'm sorry I'm saying something, but I JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. YOU LOOK LIKE A GORILLA!!"

    I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or throw china, but I got rid of the vest. And then I threw out some of his clothes too. And now we just flat out tell each other. And heck, I think it's a great thing. I really, really do. Honesty is beautiful.

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  90. I love this. It's the truth, as much as my inner fashionista may not like it. I think about this often, dressing for women versus dressing for men. It's all about compromise. I have outfits that I LOVE but I know my husband isn't a fan of (mostly because I often dress like I'm 5, peter pan collars and bows are my weakness), so I wear them when I'm out with the ladies. And I save the sexier stuff for the Mr. And knowing that he thinks I look good makes it worth it.

    Aaaaand I possibly crave some Christian Grey-esque bossiness. Those damn books.

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  91. While I am so so so one of the women who dresses strictly for herself. I TOTALLY see where you're coming from. I like your last point; I think we are all craving a little chauvinistic male domination.

    Peony

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  92. Ok, so it's not just my guy that doesn't like the bun. I only wear my hair down..mostly because I don't know how to style it but also because S says that 'no woman looks good in a bun'.
    I dress for myself, it's just great that S loves my clothes anyway.

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  93. I see both points. I'm not going to totally change myself for a guy but a will pick my battles. I mean he found you sexy to begin with a certain way and like MEN do not fashion does evolve. LOL and they may not only like that. I don't think by wearing something he likes you sacrificing your personal values. LOL good post.

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  94. I love to wear things that make my husband happy.
    But, I also like to wear things that make me happy. So I do both.
    & when I can make both of us happy, that outfits on repeat.

    After all, I do love that man.

    xoxo,
    Leigh

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  95. I love to wear things that make my husband happy.
    But, I also like to wear things that make me happy. So I do both.
    & when I can make both of us happy, that outfits on repeat.

    After all, I do love that man.

    xoxo,
    Leigh

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  96. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  97. I deleted this because I wanted to spell check. Yep. I'm a dork.

    Wow, this has a lot of comments! Of course I'm way down the list!
    But I never really thought that men cared about what we, women, wear. I mean, they want us to look nice, but I didn't realize they had particular ideas about what they like better or not.
    I haven't had much experience with guys so far, but when I read your post I was totally on your side!
    But I see your point that you should try and compromise and wear the things he wants around him. I guess. I don't know. I guess I still have a problem with that, because I always think that the guy you're with should love whatever you're wearing. Then again, I'm sure he has a favorite outfit or something....But I think you look nice in red lipstick! Maybe Matthew doesn't like when you kiss him when you wear it?

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  98. I love this post. I like hearing about the discussions that couples have - I guess sort of to know what I'm up against one day. You make a lot of good points - I like this idea of dressing in what your man/woman likes because you'll feel sexier. I guess for now though, I'll just keep wearing what I'm wearing. Ah, the joys of being single :)

    PS. I read about 40 comments down. I love reading what your readers have to say - you've got a lot of awesome ones.

    PPS. Going to read Raven's post now...

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  99. I couldn't agree more! My husband also has told me he hates red lipstick and frumpy looking clothes. I think it's good they can be honest, and I think it's even better that we take their preferences into consideration. We'd want the same from them.

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  100. Such a wonderful post Jenni! Great points! Sometimes it's fun to wear something you like that is unique to you, but ultimately I think it's important to please your man. Totally agree with everything you said here!

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  101. you are definately onto something here!!
    Men are a simple bunch really, they like fitted, feminie and classic!
    Floral pants, granny cardis and ugg boots, def a no-go zone!!
    its hard but ive taken the same approach as you, make an effort to wear stuff HE likes around him and save all the fashiony (fun!) stuff for those all important coffee dates with the girls! x

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  102. I really needed this post, this weekend just gone we had the exact same fight/heart to heart (as I mentioned in my blog). I don't really know how I feel on 'dressing for a man', my man.
    I guess I do. I had a hissy fit the other week because a dress I bought that I thought was nice was apparently not and I looked like a 'nanna' (grandma!?) in it.
    *insert WTF reaction here*
    But it turns out he feels as though he wants to be honest but sometimes I don't know how to take it. I want him to be honest but at the sametime I don't think women can take it. We like a little white lie here and then but then at the same time demand the truth.

    I haven't decided what I'm going to do with said dress, I think I'll wear to work.

    xx

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  103. I love that you've written this all out, because I too have had this EXACT same discussion with my boyfriend. What is the deal with their extreme dislike of buns anyways? LOL. But yes, I know that he alters what he wears around me too, he knows exactly which shirts I do not care for, which colone is my favorite, and he usually asks before we leave the house something along the lines of "does this look ok?" He also cares what I think, so in appreciation I take consideration for his likes and dislikes as well. But there are times, where I've bought a certain shirt or something that he didn't care for, but I wore it to an event anyways because I was too excited not to, it was new- it needed to breathe! LOL :)

    But you're so right, and it all falls into the partnership. I want to walk around with my man, knowing that he is diggin the way I look. Just like I like walking around diggin' the way he looks. We look good together :)

    xo

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  104. Kudos to you for putting out a somewhat controversial point-of-view and my husband will thank you forever for this mind-changing affect you've had on me. :) You are wise beyond your years, lady. Love your post!!

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  105. Fascinating post, Jenni!

    After reading Raven's post, I'm not sure I agree entirely with what she says. While I'm certain there are things that I wear that my husband (or men) aren't crazy about (my J Crew chambray shirt), I think my husband finds it more attractive when I'm confident with what I wear. Yes, if he had his choice I'd be wearing white skinnies every single day but I don't and I'm not going to. I don't think he'd even notice if I eliminated every single cardigan from my closet so long as I continue to put effort into my appearance and get out of my pj's and yoga pants every day. (Although he continually tells me that I'm at my sexiest when I'm relaxed at home with my hair pulled up.)

    I'm all about pleasing my husband and making him happy and he likes to do the same for me but I never want to feel obligated to do it nor do I want him feeling obligated to dress a certain way around me.

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  106. Hi Jenni! I am a new follower to your blog and just love it! You're a wonderful writer and the fact that you're from Austin as well is just the cherry on top of the cake!

    PS- I have been in a relationship for 5 years and about half way through I realized that I really wanted to dress to impress HIM. Not anyone else. After all, he is who I go home to every night.

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  107. Honestly, I was disgusted after reading Raven's post just now. Never followed her before and will DEFINITELY not follow her now. She's too ignorant for my taste - tis' their own, right?

    Your post on the other hand is genuine. I dress for myself, men and women. Of course I want to look stunning/dashing/sexy/irresistible to my man; however, I will never wear something I am uncomfortable in. Additionally, I'm all about compromising (mostly because I have an open mind), but I believe my boyfriend fell in love with me, not my clothes. Yes, part of ME is my personal style in which I hope he loves as well. But end of the day, he wants ME to be happy as I do him.

    I probably would have reacted a long the same lines as you if my boyfriend went off about my personal style, well, because it's something I truly cherish and enjoy. However, I'm a very logical person in that I get why he may opt for the bandage dress over a shift dress when asked. I like to take a step back from the situation and approach it lightheartedly. "Don't take things, better yet yourself, too seriously," is my motto.

    xx, Allie

    www.alliesbubble.blogspot.com

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  108. oh goodness, I actually just had this argument with my husband this weekend. he used the word "frumpy" too when referring to my side braid and maxi skirt.

    he's always been a trooper & been willing to go shopping with me & has always claimed to have better "style" than me. which may unfortunately be true.

    so glad to know we're not alone! and thanks for the link to the article. can't wait to read it :)

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  109. This cracks me up. I don't mind a woman dressing for her mate, HOWEVER... I don't think he should be the END all. If you like that cute little vintage dress, and you're not going out on a date with your man, then go for it!

    I'm lucky in the sense that my husband is just as funky as I am, so he's totally down with my thrift store finds, top knots, and nerdy glasses.

    The least sexy clothes will have him biting his lip and staring at me all night. It's a strange thing, that's for sure.

    However! I do often ask his opinion and will nix a shirt that he doesn't find flattering on me. I consider that more the opinion of my best friend than my husband. I don't get offended, I just take it in to consideration.

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  110. I read this yesterday and I have been thinking a lot about it since then. I completely get why you would want to dress in a way that your husband finds attractive and I try and do that for my boyfriend too (if we're going out on a date usually). But mostly I dress for myself... and for other girls. I love topknots and lipstick and I'm too stubborn to change my personal sense of style and what I like and feel GOOD in for someone else.

    I think that's what it comes down to, what I feel most attractive wearing. I don't like wearing what someone else likes me in, because usually it makes me feel self-conscious/uncomfortable.

    That being said, I really respect your dedication to Matthew and that is awesome that he was so honest with you about what he likes. I respect that a lot.

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  111. Well said!

    I had the same discussion with my husband a few years back. Like you, I was hurt/shocked/embarrassed/frustrated.

    Then I came to the same realization you did: why not dress for the man I love? Also, why not just wear those things when he's not around? That way I can still enjoy them.

    Some women might misunderstand our husbands and think they are saying we SHOULDN'T wear what they don't like. But really, all our husbands are saying is that they're not going to PRETEND to like them. But since we don't want our men to be pushovers and since we want to know what makes them happy, we should be appreciative of this feedback!

    Good for you for putting this out there because I'm sure there are tons of other women going through the same thing. :)

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  112. I guess I didn't realize how prevalent this conversation is with spouses. I think I got lucky with my husband when it comes to how I dress. Mostly, I'm casual. The way he likes me to dress is how I like me to dress so we've never had this speed bump. My hair length is a different issue which has ended with me very angry before. It was the same thing as thinking that how I wear my hair is for me to decide and Chris shouldn't care. But then, I did start caring and so I started growing my hair out. I have the goal to donate it and cut it short again but why not give him for at least a couple of years of exactly what he wants? It's just hair (and clothes) after all. As long as the requests are reasonable, there's no reason not to compromise with your partner on things like this. Great post!
    --Erinn

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  113. You put it so well. Loved your point of view and definitely agree there is a difference between "going out with your girlfriends" fashion and "hanging out with your husband" fashion.

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  114. I remember being a little girl and my mom taking a break from her day (before my dad came home from work) to pull her hair out of a ponytail and take off her glasses. I remember telling her that I thought that was dumb and "who cares what dad thinks!" She looked at me and said, "Maybe when you're married...you'll understand."

    I've been married for 3 years now and while my husband makes me feel beautiful ALL. THE. TIME....I do know what he loves and try to focus on that versus what he doesn't love.

    And I loved some of the comments about compromise. He also knows that I hate it when he wears those oversized jerseys :) But - of course - we love each other the same no matter what style we try.

    Thanks for the honest post!

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  115. i'm a little late in the game since i'm comment 116. i had a baby 4 months ago and hate my body right now so i feel like i'm always asking what looks good and what doesn't. it's weird because i really, really want to know. but then i get my feelings hurt when he says he doesn't like something. :) but i really agree with you and i'm glad i'm not the only one that gets a little feisty.

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  116. So well written & such great points! I don't even think I know what my husband really likes seeing me in...but I think I'm going to ask him now!

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  117. I can see value in dressing for your man --- and truly, I do think about "oh! D would love me in this!" but I also know he is so-so about boots and I LOVE boots, so that's not going. ;)

    I know some ladies are willing to give up their free reign over their hair and clothes choices, because of course we want to make our men happy! But --- there's a danger in that. How I dress and the way I do my hair is an expression of who I am as a person --- and I don't want to lose that. And my husband wouldn't want me to loset that. Though, he's a fan of cardigans and just likes when my hair is down, so maybe he's in the minority. ;)

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  118. I love this and I totally agree with it. If it were up to me I'd slap my hair in a bun but Josh loves it when I curl it so I do it every now and then for him more than me.

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  119. I completely understand your point and where you are coming from as much as I can from being an outside observer, but I would still like to respectfully disagree a bit.

    I don't like the idea of dressing for men. At all. I like the idea that women and men should wear whatever pleases their own individual fashion preferences. That being said, this isn't always something we do anyway. Certain situations warrant certain styles of dress. You don't dress the same way at work as you do when out with friends or on a lazy Sunday.

    What I think should govern individuals within couples choices for their SO is mutual understanding and respect. Since this post came out of an unintentional disagreement, I guess it was kind of hard for that to be the way it was discussed for you and Matthew. I think my personal method of dealing with it would be to understand that I need to maintain personal integrity and autonomy over my own choices but make appropriate concessions for the person I have chosen to wear my life with. For example, not dressing for him all the time or feeling that every outfit he witnesses must be chosen with him in mind, but understanding his preferences and keeping them in mind for date nights and special occasions...for the purpose of YOU wanting to please the person you love.

    I think perspective and approach are the most important factors in choice. I think we agree on most things, and I completely respect your choices. I hope this doesn't come off as passing judgement on your relationship or your choices, because those are YOURS. This was just my view on what I think I would do in the same situation.

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  120. OKay so i know there are already a TON of comments but I want to say my bit too :)

    I've been struggling with this lately too. I'm in this weird part of my life where my material possessions, including clothing are at a minimum because I move every year. having less things just makes it easier.

    But I've found myself in this strange place: I want to grow up and become the professional woman I've been trying to be for the past two years. I have this closet that doesn't reflect how I feel, thus, my confidence has been plummeting. Along with have a really hard time finding a job, I've been having a rough time lately.

    I've found that the days I feel the best are the days that I know my boyfriend loves what I'm wearing. It's taken a lot of courage to open that part of my life to him but I'm really glad I did. I have no problem wearing something that I know he likes and getting rid of the things he doesn't like me in.

    I don't care how I look to other people. I'm not wanting to look the hottest or have the nicest clothes, I just want to know that when I walk in the room, my boyfriend can't take his eyes off me. I've even offered to have him pick out some stuff for me. Thankfully, he has great style too or that could be a horror story :)

    Great post! I'm going to be referencing it in my "Weekly Weigh In" on Thursday. I will link to your blog :)

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  121. I found this interesting. A few days after I read this post and the comments, my boyfriend gave me, as part of my bday gift, a bubble necklace and jcrew skirt. I don't own any other bubble necklaces, or many statement necklaces at all for that matter, and have just a few jcrew pieces, mostly for the office. I think he got the ideas just from asking advice of the saleswomen. I mentioned that I read something to this effect on the internet, and he just was just kind of like "huh?" He's a total guy's guy and knows very little about women's fashion. Even if I wear a statement piece, I'm generally fairly simple in my taste, which he likes. I wonder if to men it's almost about simplicity a little more...as opposed to a look that seems a little weighed down in fashion. They just want to see the girl.

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  122. PART 1

    A man joining the party! Do I really dare to join?

    I've been able to enjoy some of your stories, since my amazing girl has forwarded them to me. I in particular loved "Love Story"... that was just beautiful. We both smiled as we read it, seeing similar "patterns".

    Regarding this post:
    I think there is a whole lot of truth in both the post and the comments following, which I have enjoyed reading.

    From a man's perspective regarding "buns", I can say that I actually love it when my girl has her hair in a bun.
    But I basically just love her hair in every way. She has incredible, looooong, curly hair - the most beautiful hair I've ever seen.

    But though I love it up and in a bun, there is NOTHING as amazing as when it is down. Either in a braid or just down on the side. And because I know it is a lot of work for her, it makes me feel so special when she does it for me.

    As far as clothes, I realised long ago that girls mostly "dress up" for other girls.

    But there is a male "counterpart" to this. In my opinion - (shared with a lot of guys I've talked to) this whole "buffing up" at the gym is not primarily for the sake of the ladies (though some say it is). It is the natural competition and comparison that has always been going on.

    Back in the day, guys would fight, or take swords and shields and knock each other out to prove who's stronger, but in our more "civilized" society, we have to settle for the muscles/skills developed at the local gym. Though girls might appreciate it, I've heard from so many girls that it's not no.1 (though there are always exceptions to every "rule").

    In essence:
    Girls seem to dress up, match items and style up for the APPROVAL of other girls and recognition of taste in the eyes of other girls. Though men might like or notice some of it, it's not the real reason behind why they're doing it.

    Same thing with guys; they muscle up, or do seemingly stupid things to receive recognition and/or approval from their peers. Though girls might enjoy some of that, it's not the primary motivation.

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  123. PART 2

    To bring it back to the title of the post:
    I think it's the wiser thing to do, to find out what your partner likes, and adjust as much as one can to please - this goes for both men and women. It is a GIFT of love, showing him/her that they're the centre of your life.

    I know that I for one want to look the best I can and be as attractive as possible in the eyes my girl. I try my best to find what she likes. When I choose a cologne, I pick out a bunch I like and ask her to choose one. If we're going out, I ask her what she'd like me to wear, if there is a way I can match her etc. If there would be things she didn't really care for, then it would be the easiest thing for me to give that up, at least while we're doing something together (but I can't recall that happening).

    I just want to be my best in her eyes, because it is still me being me. Happily, we have very similar taste, so it is quite easy to accommodate.

    But she does the same for me - (though I always find her to be beautiful)
    She'll wear my favourite dress, braid her hair, or let it down or make it in a nice bun. She is always trying to please me, and her efforts warms my heart, though I really mean it when I say that I always find her to be the most beautiful woman in the world.

    So, to somehow try to round this up, I'll say that my girl's opinion is the most important outside voice in my life, and therefore it is a small thing for me to try to please her in every way possible, just because I love her so much. And I feel that I am the blessed recipient of such devotion as well. It makes for a very happy relationship.

    If both invest 100% into a relationship, unselfishly and with their partner's interests in focus, it should be a winning game. I mean, how can it NOT be, if two people are so fortunate to find someone desiring to live this way?

    This was long so I'll stop (blame all the time at my disposal, waiting for my plane to fly me home).

    Have an awesome day!

    Alex

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  124. @Alex - Thank you SO much for taking the time to leave this thoughtful comment! I really enjoyed reading what you had to say and I'm glad you put your two cents in. It's not often I hear from a guy, and I think this was an appropriate post for one to chime in on. :)

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  125. This totally just made my day!!! Awesome post Jenni!!! My husband doesn't really care all that much but doesn't understand the whole "handmade" look at all!!

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  126. This post (and Raven's)COMPLETELY made me question all the shit that I wear. Because I'm doing all the things that are being named off. LOL. I absolutely loved reading both posts! - Nicole from insidethemindofnicole.blogspot.com

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  127. I stumbled on this post from the blog challenge and it was a really interesting read, especially the comments from both sides of the aisle.

    I know that I dress for me and my husband loves it. I usually ask him to pick between one or two options if I can't make up my mind and he truthfully answers and he is usually my go to opinion breaker if I am shopping with him.

    I feel like there are good points to dressing for yourself and for your husband, but ultimately I think you should dress in a way that makes YOU feel the most confident and sexy. I know that if I feel my best then I will look my best and I'll be my happiest and that's how my husband wants me.

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  128. Old but great post. I can certainly see both sides, but it does make total sense to wear what your significant other likes. I know I'd rather look at my boyfriend when he's wearing a nice, colored button-down top rather than his faded black tuxedo t-shirt that I'd like to trash. Also, I feel better about myself knowing he thinks I look good. No one's opinion of me matters more.

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  129. I love this! My husband has certain things he doesn't love me in either. I saw an earlier comment about flowing shirts that we like to wear on "fat days," and those happen to be the same shirts my husband can't stand. I'd had no idea before he said something, so if he and I are going to be hanging out together I try not to wear those shirts anymore. He's also said he prefers my face without makeup, but I love that he thinks I'm always beautiful. Jenni, you probably already know this, but it sounds like you have a great guy who is honest with you.

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  130. Haha, I've found in my relationship, I am more submissive to him than I EVER thought I would be to a man. I grew up in a house where I was the only girl surrounded by FIVE men - three younger brothers, our dad, and an uncle is more like our older brother - and after putting up with their crap for so long, I said, "I'll be damned if I let a man think he's going to tell me what to do!" My grandmother told me she never wanted to be married because she didn't want to be a wife and clean up after or cook for a man. I decided that was going to be me too. I have been a tomboy, through and through, for most of my life as well.

    And then I met John. And he never forces his hand and lets me be me, but surprisingly, I found myself wanting to cook and clean for him. As independent as I am, I let him do things for me like open jars that I know I can open and buy things for me when I'd rather buy them myself, and so forth.

    And this all bubbles down to how I dress. Sure, I love wearing dresses now (surprise, surprise to the tomboy who hated dresses when I was a child and teenager), but I know which ones will get a compliment from John. I know he prefers my hair straight most of the time instead of curly so I make the extra effort to straighten it. I know he likes when I wear a little bit of makeup (not a lot though), so I wear it. And he tells me I look pretty and so I feel win/win. I'm not saying I get my validation from his approval, but it's nice to be told you look pretty but your man. Dressing up for him as helped me feel better about myself in that I can now see that yeah, I look pretty damn good in that dress and I know John's going to love it, so when he says, "You look pretty," I'm now like, "I know. Thank you." Haha.

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  131. My boyfriend who I had dated for 6 yrs and already living together with suddenly woke up and said to me last April that he does not love me anymore, he is not happy with the relationship,and that he does not want us to live a miserable life together and he already rented a new place and wants to move in with a girl he met at work. I begged and pleaded with him but all my effort failed and i became desperate and searched for solution that was how I met the great spell caster on www.prophetofgoddess.com and email spells@prophetofgoddess.com and after 48 hrs that he cast the love and return spell, my lover came back to me leaving the other lady.

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  132. Interesting post!!! And answering the question/title of your post...I think as everything in life... everything depends!!! If it makes a difference in your relationship and you are happy making this changes... then good for you two!!! :)

    I guess I am lucky that my husband always tells me to dress however I feel happy, comfortable and pretty! I think he thinks like that, because he knows that dressing as I want is a big important part of my own individuality and my self expression, so he respects it. And sometime I really really like to experiment with new style and things that are not necessarily conversional, so I appreciate his support. Even though there were some things he didn't like in the begging, he started to like it and appreciate it! So he has change his mind some times... Even though he once said he didn't like red lipstick, he lately told me he loves how red lipstick looks on me with some looks. He has always loved the high bun though. The only thing he really doesn't like are the boyfriend jeans, because he says they make me look not sexy. And I was like: well, some days I don't feel like being sexy, and I feel boyish instead! hahaha He laughs! I have only change what I was wearing in the cases that the dress code was more elegant or more casual than what I was wearing... all the other times I just have dressed like I wanted. So.... this is one case! but there's many cases! My best friend did the same that your friend did with her husband, but because he was too jealous of her looking too sexy at the office. I guess I'm a little stubborn, but I wouldn't have accept an excuse like that to change the way I dress. But, she's happy and they are happy together. So it's not my business. Each person and each couple is different. So the summary is... if it makes you happy, whatever your choice is... then it's fine! :)

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  133. my hair work has go far away that people from other country come for help and they are always answered. and i strongly believe yours is also going to be simple like other if only you are really ready, my hair work is 100% guarantee and it work fast and you also have to email fast so that i help you out immediately. The woman i helped last two month Mrs Sandra from Canada her hair problem was worst when she came to me for help now she is happy sharing my testimony online, you can reach her for questions (sandratmaluv@gmail.com), you can also share my testimony if only you believe me. I have 47 years of experience in hair work. the picture you see below are some women that came from USA to thank me in my temple right now they are having long and thick hair that will last forever because of the trust and believe they have for me.

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  134. I can’t thank you enough Email: ekakaspelltemple@yahoo.com for all that you have done for me. About a year ago I my partner had a misunderstanding that lead to break up, we had both made BIG mistakes in our relationship. He ended up moving away from me to pursue a new life. I knew in my heart that he would be the only one to make me happy. I was relieved when I found your site and what you had to offer. I requested 3 to 4 day casting of the reunite us love spell and within 4days Denny company had relocated him back to our hometown where I still lived. We immediately reconnected and move in with each other i am so happy that i found you and i was all patient to following your order thank you Dr Ekaka. If you are in need of help i will advice you to contact him

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  135. Hello to the viewers on this site my name is Mary Cranor i was married to one Mr David Cranor we live and love each other so much am 52 years of age now and we both have 3 grow up children i and my husband love and care for each other our marriage last for 31 years so few years back my husband traveled to Europe for business he spent about 6 months there coming home he came with a young lady which i was not comfortable with i tried all my best and at the end my husband was able to send this lady out of the house and she return to Europe we love our selves again just as before,but after few years we have been together again an old friend of main who traveled to another country Later came back to America he has been a good friend to me and my first lover during our high school days he invite me for denier but i refuse he begged me because it has been long we have meet each other we only chart on Facebook and Skype so granted his invitation this happened on the Christmas night December 24 2013 i went out with him hopefully i will come home that same day i know i was very wrong so getting there i spend lot of time with him and i spend the night with him in a hotel room it was all an incident and i was very assumed of my self when i discovered what i did,but the most painful part of it was my husband friend saw me with this man which i did not even know he went and tell my husband all that happened,when i got home the next day my husband sent me picking my stuff he said is over that he needs a divorce i was heart broken i don't know what to do i love my husband so much and for the sake of my children i can't let go just like that,i share my problem with my a friend of my we work in the same company he introduce me to a powerful spell caster who also help her in her own time of need his name is DOCTOR OTUOBALLA he help me cast a spell and my husband later came back to me begging me to come back home that was how the great powerful spell caster helped me in fixing back my marriage and getting the man i love back to me am very grateful to him my husband return back to me after seven days the incident occurred,are passing through problem in your marriage or relationship? the answer is here DOCTOR OTUOBALLA is here to help you too just as he have helped me contact him now with this email: otuoballaspelltemple@live.com

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  136. Emiliano BabarahApril 5, 2014 at 1:51 PM

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