Aibu about boyfriends appearance ?

(191 Posts)
WhosDavid Sun 13-Nov-16 11:13:22

I joined to post this because it's not something i feel I can bring up in real life without sounding like a bitch .
The background is I've been with my boyfriend for almost two years now , we're both in our late twenties . I've been married and divorced and have kids , he hasn't had a relationship since high school and still lives with his parents . He's pretty great , but doesn't really live in the real world when it comes to bills and how people in general behave . His biggest flaw is that he's quite immature but seeing as he's had no real reason to need to act like an adult I let him get on with it . He does have a full time job . He is amazing with my kids and they really adore him .
The problem is , and I really dislike myself for even thinking it , he looks like a tramp all the time . I'm talking tshirts ripped wide open,dirty clothes , he does a dirty physical job and will wear the same thing to work then again at the weekend . I've stopped asking him to join me and the kids at soft play because when he takes his shoes off he's wearing socks that all five toes are sticking out of . I'm not exaggerating. We've gone to spend nights in nice hotels and he's turned up wearing suit pants , trainers and ripped dirty tshirts. He has a suit that I've seen him wear for weddings and christenings (with his work boots)and he thinks he looks great and that I should credit him for making the effort but the white shirt has yellow stains around the collar and cuffs , he is totally oblivious. He will admit himself that he hasn't bought new clothes since being a teenager . Even his dressing gown is threadbare with holes in . I've tried to subtly buy him tshirts , jeans , even shoes and he says he loves them but they go to his mums never to be seen again . I really enjoy being with him and think he's amazing apart from this . But it's starting to get me down , I never want to go anywhere with him anymore . I should add , I've never been particularly shallow and don't care what his dress sense is , so long as things are clean ,unholy and match . Aibu in feeling like this ? And if I'm not , can someone please help me broach the subject without making him feel bad?

peachesandcreamdream Sun 13-Nov-16 11:16:06

That would annoy the life out of me.

It doesn't take much or cost much these day with primark etc to look presentable

OurBlanche Sun 13-Nov-16 11:16:55

I doubt you can!

DH is a bit like that, his dad very much so.

I got round it,once we had moved in together, by throwing stuff away!

Then again, DH was always clean, just didn't have new clothes. He still doesn't see holes in T shirts in the same way I do smile

HKHKHR Sun 13-Nov-16 11:19:00

YANBU. Sorry I don't know how to help.

I wonder if he doesn't know how to do his washing since he lives with his mum?

WhosDavid Sun 13-Nov-16 11:26:20

I wouldn't mind so much if it was just holes in tshirts . But at work his tshirt has literally been ripped almost in half and he would still wear it that night if we were going on a date . He has jeans and I know for a fact he does because I've bought him them , but still without fail he will wear his ripped and dirty work trousers at the weekend . If we stay overnight somewhere he wouldn't think to bring a change of clothes to go out for dinner or even to wear the next day . Honest , I feel terrible thinking like this but it really is getting me down . I don't know how to approach him without hurting him

Bluntness100 Sun 13-Nov-16 11:26:21

Yes, this would be a problem for me as well. My hubby had a bad habit of buying new clothes then not wearing them for ages, so he didn't look like he was wearing new clothes. Weird as hell, didn't want to look like he was making too much of an effort. Not quite so bad but annoying when he put on old shit rather than his nice stuff.

The habit is now broken but it did take me asking him why he wasn't wearing his new stuff and telling him he was being ridiculous a lot. I now have a man child on my hands who generally asks "is this ok to wear" before we go out.

Just say things like , you need s new shirt, thats Got sweat stains, or you need new socks, or you need a new t shirt, that Ones ripped.

I'd also have a concern about a man in his late twenties still living with his parents. And who has a mother who doesn't mention to her son about his dress sense.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 13-Nov-16 11:26:55

He sounds very extreme.

You need to decide if its a deal breaker for you. If it isn't, accept him as he is warts and all.

If it is, probably the kindest thing is to be frank and honest, tell him how much you care for him but you cant get over this and ask him how you can fix it. If he's not willing to compromise at all then end it.

BastardGoDarkly Sun 13-Nov-16 11:30:23

Have you tried saying... I'm not going out with you like that??! Honesty is the best policy, you're not BU, I'm a scruff myself, but would draw the line at ripped in half t-shirts!? You're going to have to tell him, you don't care if you're spinning around at home, but out and about, he needs to be clean and covered! It's fair enough, if he really doesn't want to, that's also fair enough, but it would probably be a deal breaker for me.

WhosDavid Sun 13-Nov-16 11:31:05

Bluntness100 , I do regularly say to him when he takes his shoes off 'look at the state of those socks!' Or 'what happened to the socks I bought?' And he just either ignores me or shrugs .
I've met his parents and siblings (also in late twenties living at home) and they're lovely people but don't place any sort of emphasis on appearance . They live in the countryside with only a few houses nearby and dont seem fashion conscious , even his sisters. I can't say enough how lovely they are . They just don't seem to have any idea about how appearance can be important sometimes .

BastardGoDarkly Sun 13-Nov-16 11:31:43

Spinning should be slobbing, but spin if you want!

FlowerOfTheValley Sun 13-Nov-16 11:36:38

I came on your thread expecting to say you were being unreasonable and it's up to him how he dresses.

However, you're not being remotely unreasonable. Holes in clothes no huge issue personally but I can understand you feeling awkward if his clothes are regularly dirty.

Is his personal hygiene good? Shower regularly etc.

Are you close to his mum? Could you have a subtle conversation with her.

FlowerOfTheValley Sun 13-Nov-16 11:41:10

Sounds like his family are similar so probably not much point in talking to his mum.

The lack of interest in fashion isn't something I would consider relevant but clean clothes is different. Do the rest of his family wear dirty clothes or are they just not into fashion.

WhosDavid Sun 13-Nov-16 11:41:38

He does shower and is usually clean , he then just puts dirty clothes on 🙈 . I don't think having a word with his mum would do anything other than cause embarrassment because the whole family is of the idea that something shouldn't be replaced until it's literally falling apart . I'm talking about furniture / cars and stuff so it does kind of explain a little why he's like this . His whole family have very good jobs and are pretty well off . His parents are both scientists , but both approaching 70 so I'm not sure if his mum would really get it if I was to have a word .

Buzzardbird Sun 13-Nov-16 11:47:29

I often have to tell my DH to change his top/trousers as he has food spilled down the front of it and we are off to parent's evening or something. I have to throw away his holey socks or he would keep wearing them too. I am afraid, in this situation you just have to tell him that you are not going out of the house with him in dirty, ripped clothing and suggest that the new items you buy him are kept at your house for him to change into.
He obviously hasn't been taught any presentation skills so it will be your job. Harsh, but true.

RainbowJack Sun 13-Nov-16 11:47:31

Just move on and stop wasting your time. You can't change people.

And if he's happy like that then he doesn't really have to change. It's your problem. So either live with it or move on.

FWIW I couldn't live with it.

Richardhun Sun 13-Nov-16 11:49:06

Just be matter of fact.

You look terrible, I need you to smarten up. take him shopping. Then explain, these are your evening and weekend shoes/ clothes. Don't wear your scruffy stuff, I like seeing you smart.

Bountybarsyuk Sun 13-Nov-16 11:49:50

My husband started dressing quite slobbily at one point, and in the end I just said something quite nasty but along the lines of I don't want to be seen out with you like that, it's embarrassing and other people don't look like that, so stop it. The minimum requirement for me is socially acceptable (so no vest t-shirts/cut off!) and clean. I then drove to Sainsburys and bought a whole load of larger size cotton t-shirts, nice checked shirts and chinos and jeans and gave them to him.

In his case, there were two things underlying the slide- partly feeling down about something and starting to not care about appearance (or feeling like nothing he did in that department mattered) and partly getting bigger and just failing to buy bigger clothes that fitted so the overall look was like a sausage skin bursting!

I know most people would find my approach rude and infantalising but in my husband's case, he needed both the kick up the backside to change and the help to do so- he now gets his own clothes again, knowing he's got a baseline of decent clothes that aren't anything fancy but look ok.

I agree that if a husband did this to a wife, it could be controlling, indeed I may be controlling, but I don't know any women to be honest who have let themselves go to quite that extent of too small, dirty and socially 'ugh' clothes, I've never known any, but I know quite a few men whose clothes are pretty awful.

In your case it is compounded by the fact that your partner is living and home and doesn't sound very independent so the above route may be the wrong one to take. My husband was holding down a very demanding job (his work wardrobe was smart as it hadn't changed much over the past few years) and had let it slide, so I wasn't worried that by buying him some clothes, this would fatally undermine his independence!

NoCapes Sun 13-Nov-16 11:53:19

I wouldn't go out on a date with someone wearing half a t-shirt, I'm really shocked that you do

Just say "why are you wearing things that aren't fit for use anymore?" "Why would you think going out in half a top is appropriate? Would it be appropriate if I did it too?"

Or just tell him to do one
I couldn't respect someone like that

WhosDavid Sun 13-Nov-16 11:54:56

Bountybarsyuk , that is a good point . I don't want to be controlling . After all he was like that when I met him . On our first date he turned up wearing a quite nice casual shirt unbuttoned with a tshirt under . But he had his work pants and work boots AND the shirt had a huge chunk missing from one side where it had been burned off . I mean a huge chunk , like half of the bottom on one side . So it seems hypocritical to bring it up now after all this time .

WhosDavid Sun 13-Nov-16 11:57:28

When we go on date nights , most of the time we meet at the place . So by the time I see him , we're already out . I feel awful , he's so thoughtful in other ways and has taken me to some really nice places . But that obviously makes it worse , he sticks out like a sore thumb , even when he is wearing his suit

NoCapes Sun 13-Nov-16 11:59:37

But why do you go into the nice places with him? I'd seriously turn around and go home
Dressing like that and taking you out really shows a lack of respect for you
Not to mention lack of respect for himself
How do you find him attractive?! confused

HappinessLivesHere Sun 13-Nov-16 12:00:37

If I'm being honest, and probably shallow, that would have been a deal breaker for me at the start. DP and I are by no means highly fashionable but we both like clothes and like to make an effort to look nice. I think it's important to view things like that in a similar way or you could become quite resentful. And you already sound embarrassed by him.

Bountybarsyuk Sun 13-Nov-16 12:03:04

I don't think it's controlling to have basic social standards of dress, as you haven't done anything about it. I'd be really honest, but then me and my husband are quite honest anyway and if I looked a state or thought I looked inappropriate, he'd tell me and vice versa.

FlowerOfTheValley Sun 13-Nov-16 12:03:51

Fair enough, sounds like it's what he is used to.

You're either going to have to accept him like he is, have an honest conversation with him as subtly as you can or take him shopping/buy him clothes/ask him to wear appropriate clothes.

Maybe a conversation along the lines of "it's up to you how you dress but could you not wear your work/dirty clothes when we go out. Or you look really smart when you wear <insert clothing of choice> could you wear it next time we go for a meal etc"

WhosDavid Sun 13-Nov-16 12:05:04

NoCapes , I do find him attractive , I really do I just hate the way he dresses . My ex husband was by no means vain and actually a little overweight but would always make an effort to look good , he would replace items that needed replacing , he would go to the barber every few weeks for a haircut and a shave . He took pride in his appearance and usually looked fairly smart . Not trying to compare him to my ex , more pointing out that I'm not used to having to talk about these things with men , my brothers and friends husbands are all the same as my ex so I really just don't know how to approach him without upsetting him.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now