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6th February 2015

All’s fair in love and war

Love your partner but loathe their style picks? Kathryn Murray’s got your back

As Valentine’s Day approaches, a lot people are thinking about how loved up they are, how perfect and amazing their partner is, and how there is nothing they would want to change about them. But not me; I’m too busy thinking about how rubbish my man’s sense of style is.

Yes, I want him to be an individual who is happy with what he wears and is confident in himself. But I always dread our nights out, knowing for sure that his hideous Hawaiian print shirt, brown suede shoes, and black shiny jeans will take a starring role.

However, I am comfortable in knowing that I am not alone. Surely it’s not just me who plots to change their partner’s style? Can I seriously be the only person who has considered spilling red wine over a not-so-popular pair of white trousers? Or accidentally catching a bracelet in some hair which hasn’t seen a pair of scissors in over a year? Is it possible that I’m the only one wanting to gain weight, so he stops stealing my skinny jeans? Surely not.

And I am equally certain that this isn’t a trait solely belonging to females like me in relationships. Everyone knows that the male species favour short, tight, verging on inappropriate outfits compared to their girlfriend’s signature ripped-jeans and oversized-shirt ensembles.

From experience I can tell you straight off the bat that being honest is not the right way to go about changing their style. In fact, this is probably the easiest way to find yourself single and alone, wishing that you had the luxury of loathing your significant other’s favourite itchy jumper. No no, take your time. ‘Softly, softly, catchy monkey.’

This is how you create the perfectly dressed boyfriend/girlfriend: Firstly, you compliment them on the few outfits they own that you do in fact approve of. Then, you comment on how other people style themselves. Examples include: “He has a cool jacket, I think something like that would suit you!”, and “I like her skirt, do you have one like that?” Finally, you go shopping as a couple. Suggest a few items that would revamp their dress sense, casually rejecting items that they pick up (and that you despise). See? There is hope.

If all else fails, you can be honest, hoping that they won’t be too offended. But if they do, and it all goes wrong, at least you will have saved the next poor soul the effort.

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