Dress You Up Q1
Dear J & J: I’m a casual kind of guy. Unless I’m at work, in my mind dressing up is a clean pair of jeans. Lately I’ve been dating this woman who seems hell-bent on making my wardrobe something it clearly isn’t: more formal or dressy. The thing is, I feel like I don’t need any help (which is why this e-mail is not directed to The SharpThreads Guy). I like the girl and I also like what I wear. Any Sharpways to make that clear without undermining my main objective — to be with her?
No Name or Address Given
JACK: I understand your problem, but on the other hand, I don’t understand your problem. Let’s face it: guys play along on so many things they would never do for the benefit of their "main objective," so why is this wardrobe thing any different? Look, I suggest playing along and splitting the baby. Make it clear to her that you like the way you dress in general, but that if she would like you to get a few new items to be worn when the two of you hang out with her friends and coworkers, no problem. The key to this plan is that she feels that you are addressing her concerns, without turning into some sort of trained monkey.
JILL: What is it about women that drives them to redecorate the second they move in? Didn’t they like the house when they agreed to buy it? I totally agree with Jack’s advice. She wants a more formal you — fine. But only during those times that directly relate to "her" time. This represents a harmless compromise and is equivalent to your requesting a certain "look" for her when meeting up with your boss, etc.