I let my husband dress me for a week. For some couples, this might be no big deal. I know plenty of men who outdo their partners when it comes to matters of dress. But my hubs is not one of these men.
To fully understand the impact of this decision on my life, I must first paint a picture of my husband’s ability to dress even himself. For starters, I buy my husband’s clothes. All of them.
‘Does This Match?’
Most mornings I receive a tap on my shoulder at 6 a.m., accompanied by the question, “Does this match?”
It rarely matches. Or, perhaps worse, it ALL matches.
Fashion Is Not Exactly His Forte
In fact, if I had a nickel for every time that I have to explain a simple fashion rule, like “those aggressively checkered brown pants cannot be worn with that black gingham print shirt,” I’d be a rich woman. Maybe so rich, I could hire him a stylist.
Left to his own devices, Hubs is known to wear dad shoes with jeans, all the green items he owns, boat shoes with socks or bright orange radio promo t-shirts. There is no limit to what he is capable of, and yet most days, he looks great.
This, I attribute to his ability to know his shortcomings and ask for help.
He Was Game To Try This Experiment
So, now that you understand the challenge a man of this skill set might have dressing his wife, you can appreciate his willingness to participate in this little experiment. He is a gem, dad shoes and all.
Also of note: Whatever outfit he chose, I committed to wearing it for the entire day for the integrity of this piece.
And so it began.
How It Worked
Each morning (or the night before), Hubs would go into my closet and stare, scratch his head, stare some more. He did this for what felt like a solid eight minutes.
The look on his face I’d liken to an alien landing on planet Earth for the first time. I wanted to take his hand and whisper, “Yes, hello little alien, these are women’s clothes.”
He would grab a shirt and make an announcement that sounded a lot like a justification, such as “I’m wearing plaid so you should wear plaid.” He would then proceed to pick pants. To Hubs, all jeans are jeans. To me, each pair of denim is a unique and special piece.
In selecting a style, one must consider: top selection, shoe selection, time of year, type of event, fit, color, length. Hubs saw denim and grabbed senselessly. The same was true for leggings.
Repeat after me: All leggings are not the same.
All Shoes Are Not Created Equal
In my mind, shoes require the same careful reflection as any other part of one’s outfit. Shoes are the icing on the cake and can change an outfit from day to night, comfy to miserable. I’m not sure Hubs can see the difference between a 4-inch stacked heel bootie and sneakers of a similar color.
But this difference — no matter how subtle to his eye — is critical to the success of an outfit and, quite frankly, a day.
On Mondays, We (Should) Wear Sweatpants
Naturally, on Monday, he put me in 4-inch heels. But let’s talk about the good: I felt cute, and it matched. Hooray for Hubs! But what it didn’t match was my lifestyle. (You knew that was coming!)
I got asked no less than five times, “Why are you sooo dressed up? Do you have a meeting?” On Mondays, I just don’t (and can’t) wear 4-inch heels. Because on Monday, I have crap to do. Like this particular Monday, I was helping a girlfriend stage her house to sell, which requires moving furniture — which ultimately required me to go barefoot.
Forget moving furniture, Mondays in general for me include raising and chasing tiny humans, which means heels are for church, work functions, and going out. Out-out — as in on the town.
Tuesday: Sponsored By Adidas
On Tuesday, I realized I shouldn’t have complained about the Monday outfit. On Tuesday, the pendulum swung far back into the comfort zone. I still don’t know if it was a joke or if he seriously thought putting me in every single piece of Adidas brand clothing that I own at the same time was a good idea.
Either way, it happened, and I donned a bright green jacket with maroon shoes all day. I got asked on multiple occasions if I had a contract with Adidas or if I had a costume party to attend and was going as Sporty Spice. True story.
We All Have These ‘Only Wear At Home’ T-Shirts, Right?
The tee beneath is a bit threadbare, so I usually reserve it for bedtime or yard work. But Hubs had other plans. It was a tad bit humiliating, but on the upside, my Adidas leggings from Costco are supremely comfortable.
Let’s Taco ‘Bout It
On Wednesday, I had plans with some friends to grab margaritas and tacos. To such an occasion, I’d likely wear a cute top, jeans, and heels or maybe leopard flats. But Hubs put me in some Vans-like sneakers and, truth be told, I didn’t hate it. The top was a bit shorter and preppier than I’d usually wear with ripped low-waisted jeans.
Personally, I think the big ol’ holes are better suited for a plain white tee, but I kinda dug the pop of color that the green shirt provided once I threw on the leather jacket. I felt pretty OK about this get-up… for a while, anyway.
Under the Influence(r)
In the spirit of transparency, I want to talk about me in front of this super Instagrammable wall. If I give you the impression that I’m comfortable posing in these photographs, think again. Taking these pics is torture for me.
Posing For Pics Is Just Plain Awkward
I’m awkward. I don’t know what to do with my hands. Should I pop my knee? How do those influencers look so sultry in their poses? Does everyone see that one of my eyes is smaller than the other when I smile?
I ask friends and Hubs to have mercy and take these pics as quickly as possible, usually in the privacy of my own home or yard.
Caught In The Act
This particular evening, I had yet to snap my photo when my girlfriend spotted this wall. I agreed to pose in front of it, despite the self-preservation instincts that keep me from posing in public.
As I was awkwardly smiling, clutching my clutch, I spied the first boy I ever kissed (in ninth grade) sitting at a table opposite me with his wife and kid — because, of course, I did. Dave W., if you saw me, I’m sorry the shame of my awkward selfie prevented me from saying hello. You and your family look lovely.
Pretty In Pink
Back at it on Friday, I think Hubs hit it out of the park. I would never have paired the pink Converse with this combo (and I mean never, as in, I was really close to donating these shoes to Goodwill), but I actually really loved it.
The outfit was comfy, fit my lifestyle, and I felt good. Tucked or untucked, it worked. Gold star!
Take Me To Church
I was a good sport. I wore whatever he picked. I wore it despite my discomfort and despite my controlling nature. I wore it all. That is, until Sunday. In the name of Jesus, I just couldn’t. Well, it was mostly Jesus, but a little bit of vanity, too.
We just moved and we are at a new church, and the first dress he chose was technically a swim cover-up. Jesus doesn’t want to see my lady bits in church. I couldn’t do it.
Scrapping The Second Attempt, Too
Technically, his second attempt was “appropriate,” but, as I said, we’re new here and trying to make friends. I was tired, and there were just SO many ruffles. I just couldn’t stop the look on my face.
What I Actually Wore That Day
By the third attempt, he was frustrated and grabbed this striped grey dress and gold sandals in haste. But for all of that frustration, the end result was respectable. Both Jesus and I thanked Hubs for his extra effort.
So, I thought this little experiment might teach my husband a thing or two about fashion or at least give him some insight into the plight of women everywhere who struggle with what to wear each day. But in the end, I think it taught me more than it taught him.
Namely, I learned that my husband doesn’t give two hoots about what I wear — but I do. Call it vanity, call it self-respect. I want to look and feel good every day, even if I’m wearing leggings. While I did my best to hold my head high when dressed as Sporty Spice, I did feel a little silly.
To that end, I also learned that if I don’t want my husband to dress me in it, maybe I shouldn’t have it in my closet. This experiment was, in its own way, a Marie Kondo-type gift. Those items that felt cringe-worthy — the first church dress/beach coverup — for example, have to go.
And The Most Important Lesson…
Finally, I have to say my hubs is a true sport. He puts up with my shenanigans on a regular basis and indulges my solicited and unsolicited fashion advice day after day.