Dodging a potential landmine there, aren’t you? What if he thinks that after wearing that crimson shirt he’ll never be able to walk out of the house again? Or what if she genuinely believes that those fluffy balloon skirts compliment her even balloonier backside? Can you actually risk sacrificing a perfectly bouncy and burgeoning relationship at the superficial altar of good fashion? A lot of people would say yes. Else the Internet wouldn’t be filled with the pertinent question of How do I stop my boyfriend/girlfriend from wearing ugly clothes? But if you put it just like that, then even the relationship gods won’t save you.
“There are better ways of communicating without hurting your partner’s feelings,” says Rachna K Singh, psychologist and lifestyle expert, Artemis Hospital, Delhi. “If you are too critical, make comparisons and constantly nit-pick on your partner’s style, he/she will resent you.” PS: Asking your girl to dress like a chick in your office is a good move only when you are trying to break up with her!
Way More Than Words
“Communicate in a positive fashion, using requests and suggestions like ‘I would like you to’ instead of making dominating statements like ‘I want you to,” counsels Singh. But if you say something like ‘I would like you to wear that awesome pair of suspenders even though you have a carefully cultivated pet pot belly’, then you need the fashion counsel, not him. “One must have an open mind while making suggestions. Realise that your partner might not be open to the idea of changing how they have been dressing for years,” says Singh.
Or do what junior lawyer Nayantara Vaid did when she wanted her tall and lanky beau to dress better. “Not that he dressed badly to begin with, I wouldn’t have gone out with him otherwise,” she retorts. “I had to coax him for almost two years before he even considered ditching loose, half-sleeved shirts and extra-baggy hip-hopper jeans. But I was never pushy,” she explains. “I showed him fashion magazines, had open discussions about why I thought he’d carry off what most men can’t and went shopping to have him try better-fitting clothes. And don’t forget the gifts, he now loves wearing bandhgala shirts after I gifted him a few.”
Little By Little
But if your significant other’s bad style is thanks to pure laziness, then you’ll have to step on the ball and sweat it out. You’re their life-changing superhero, remember? “In an ideal world, I wouldn’t change a thing. But I did overhaul my husband’s wardrobe completely after we met. And he didn’t mind, as long as he didn’t have to make an effort,” says Pernia Qureshi, Bollywood stylist and fashion website owner. “But I didn’t redo his style fully. He hates wearing colours, so I introduced a neutral colour palette with grey blazers and beige trousers, even though I’d love him to wear some colour. And I got everything tailored to exactly fit his shape,” says the proud wife who has no qualms about accepting all the compliments that her husband now gets for his good taste in clothes.
And if you are the other half who isn’t bending to your partner’s sartorial demands, then hear what cover model Freddy Daruwala says. “I want my partner to be in my fantasies, be it as a woman wearing a bikini or a short skirt. I don’t want to ogle at other women wearing the same things.” Still not convinced? Then you better be super awesome, funny and a total knockout. And find someone like hunky former model and actor Ameet Gaur, pronto. “Honestly, my girlfriend’s personality matters more. If she wears something terrible, I would compliment her about something else that looks nice on her. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll accept her for what she is.” Awww, did we hear you say!5 Ways to Get Your Partner from Nay to Yay!
1 Shower them with fashionable clothes. Ask your friends to compliment them.
2 Get sneaky. Strike deals about doing one thing that they want if they dress the way you want for an evening.
3 If they don’t care about their style, then you can get away by hiding the really ugly ones. If they do care, then read below.
4 If they think that a pair of neon overalls or diamond-studded jeans are the ‘it’ items in their wardrobe, then take them back to the crazy ’90s albums on the Net. Seeing documented evidence of their embarrassing closet will make them realise their folly.
5 Don’t sweat! If they dressed this bad, what were you thinking when you agreed to go out with them?
From HT Brunch, April 29
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch