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DP's lack of dress sense bothering me (maybe more than it should) - any advice?

(18 Posts)
hotchocseason Wed 24-Oct-12 19:11:29

DP is nine years older than me, which isn't an issue; I think we're compatible regardless. We like doing the same kinds of things, get fired up about the same stuff, have a laugh together. He's easygoing and young at heart.

But more and more, his awful dress sense is depressing me. In the beginning, he wore a few nice things (he doesn't have many clothes) - nothing fancy, but flattering. But ever since, he's seemed to spend his time in overly baggy, shapeless work trousers; clashing, oversized, misshapen fleeces with the pockets weighed down with all kinds of crap; manky old T-shirts; and faded pyjamas pulled up too high like Simon Cowell. And this combined look is now really turning me off.

He also lets his hair get long and scruffy and mad professor-like (not a great look with a bald patch), squeezes his pimples in the bathroom when I'm there (even though I've said over and over again that this turns me off), and just generally doesn't seem to give a rat's arse about his appearance/making the effort to be physically desirable.

Now, I'm not perfect to look at. And I didn't find my style - didn't really feel sexy - until I reached my thirties (I'm 34 now). But I do make a moderate effort, people tell me I look nice, I turn the odd head, and I'm enjoying feeling attractive for the first time in my life.

So I feel DP and I aren't on the same page with this at all. And it came to a head on the weekend, when he came along to an informal work event and arrived wearing a knackered rugby shirt, a swamp-coloured fleece gilet with 'grandad' patches on the shoulders (which completely clashed with the shirt), and knackered old jeans and trainers he bought in the 1990s. I'm ashamed to say it, but I actually felt embarrassed.

I then introduced him to my former boss, who's 10 years older than him (early fifties). I watched them chatting and thought God, DP looks older than my colleague! He's wearing the kind of things I could see my dad wearing!

I don't want an accessory partner, and my ex was overly preoccupied with his (and my) appearance; I don't like the really slick, appearance-focused, fashion victim type. But surely there's a middle ground between being obsessed with how you look and not giving a flying fuck? Just a bit of average pride in your appearance? That's all I'm after really; something in the middle.

I know the old don't-try-to-change-them rule. And I wonder if I'm being a bitch to even be bothered by this/want him to pull his finger out. But relationships take effort, don't they? And sure, it's only part of the equation, but physical attraction does matter. And I suppose I'd like it if he'd actually want to look a bit tasty for me. But no; it seems of no importance to him.

I don't want to spend my finally-feeling-good-about-my-appearance thirties with a bloke who looks/dresses old enough to be my dad. sad But he is a lovely person and I do love him.

Any advice?

MardyArsedMidlander Wed 24-Oct-12 19:14:33

Sorry, I was already at LTB by the time I read about him squeezing his spots < vomit emoticon>.

I will admit to being fairly (ok very..) shallow and if a man couldn't be arsed to look nice in front of my work colleagues, I would be terribly embarassed.

3mily Wed 24-Oct-12 19:25:37

Can't you go out shopping a few times with him and gradually give more of the old clothes to charity?

SmileItsSunny Wed 24-Oct-12 19:28:34

I feel your pain. It does sound a bit extreme. I like the gradual replacement of wardrobe plan, 3mily but it is very tricky - and it does have to be extremely gradual.
speaks from bitter experience, as have had to buy 'workman' style clothes in order to smarten up my DH

Bagofspiders Wed 24-Oct-12 19:41:12

Will he wear clothes you buy for him? If he's anything like my DH (and it sounds like he is grin) he'll be touched that you were thinking of him when you start buying him the occasional item of clothing and he won't even notice when you start getting rid of his old clothes wink.
I love DH to bits and I still think he's a very good looking man, even for his age (he's 17 years older than me) but GOOD GOD, you should see what he'll wear left to his own devices grin

Mine's not as bad as yours, but left to his own devices he wears shorts and a baggy t shirt, ALL year round. He does not care in the slightest (tho he does keep his bald head and beard very neat)

I simply replace his stuff every so often.. not too many things and if we are going somewhere where he needs to look decent I stand over him and make sure he looks ok!!! To be fair he is also then allowed to say whether he likes what I'm wearing (he always does as he has no idea!)

Take those fleece gilets one by one.. stealthily..replace with a nice fat face one... then after that the t shirts..... :D

SmileItsSunny Wed 24-Oct-12 19:50:06

YY to fatface - it looks rough and tumble, but stands up well and lasts longer than many other makes!

MrsWolowitz Wed 24-Oct-12 19:52:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhoNickedMyName Wed 24-Oct-12 19:56:11

How long have you been together?

How's his personal hygiene?

HeftyHeifer Wed 24-Oct-12 20:00:04

His dress sense will get worse if you don't act now. If someone can point me to a well dressed 50+ male I'll give them a cake. Seriously, not sure where you are but the British man of this age group Has Not A Clue.

hotchocseason Wed 24-Oct-12 20:00:14

Thank you all for posting ... I feel like less of a shallow bitch now!

I do feel bad that this has been bothering me; like it shouldn't. But I think I spent so many years feeling unattractive, and not knowing what suited me, that now I've finally 'arrived', and I get it, and I do feel I look pretty good with not too much effort ... well, it would be nice if DP could be in the same 'zone' with me, IYSWIM. Plus I want to fancy him physically, as well as who he is as a person.

DP is tight on money, to be fair. He has three children, and there's little money left at the end of the month, so replacing his wardrobe is a low (non) priority for him. He says he does like nice clothes, but he can't afford them, and besides, he says it's fine that he wears what he does because he has a practical job ... Personally, I think you can still turn yourself out well in flattering work clothes; he doesn't have to wear MC Hammer-style, faded and dated chinos covered in paint and plaster splats to do his job well! hmm

I can't afford to buy him clothes, TBH. Financially, I cover me and my DS, and he covers himself and his DCs. I could rummage around eBay for some tasteful bargains. I think he might quite like it if I bought his clothes on his behalf (i.e. if he were to give me a budget), as I don't think he enjoys clothes shopping. Nor do I, TBH; I get a lot of things second-hand, and do maybe one big clothes shop a year. But I manage to make it work, so it doesn't have to be arduous!

Could you suggest some good clothing brands for his style? We're not rolling in it, so nothing fancy/super-expensive please. He's an outdoorsy, (very) laid-back Antipodean, casual and informal by nature, so I was thinking maybe GAP or Fat Face; nothing too smart or tailored. Would these be OK do you think? I have to confess to not really being in the know with these things. blush

Thanks again.

BoffinMum Wed 24-Oct-12 20:08:40

Actually, my DP has got rather lazy and dresses older than my dad half the time. He also has a recently acquired beer gut and tbh I don't completely fancy him at the moment, not on the grounds of looks, anyway.

I wonder if I am up to telling him? He responded well to the personal hygiene offensive, and the anti-hypochondria campaign. wink

fuzzpig Wed 24-Oct-12 20:27:03

He actually sounds worse than my DH, who is 44. He has very low self esteem and I think that has a big impact, he doesn't see the point in taking care of his appearance because he will still hate himself. I am the same TBH, so it's hard to encourage each other!

However when it comes to clothes he does make an effort because he doesn't want to embarrass his DCs! He doesn't have expensive taste and slobs around in trackies at home (TBF he is in pain due to an injury so needs to be comfy). When out he just wears jeans and a t-shirt, but nice ones. He got a couple of well fitting jeans at tkmaxx and t-shirts are just ones we've accumulated over the years at gigs and geeky ones he gets at Xmas.

I think jeans are the most important thing for his look - they show off his amazing bum fit nicely and go with everything.

LadyLapsang Wed 24-Oct-12 22:47:32

DH a bit like this but I just buy him new ones and throw the old ones away or give them to charity shops . It's a pain because he will only go shopping for suits / work clothes, sometimes not even then, so I have to tell the shops I will take them home for DH to try on and decide. He hates the thought of what decent clothes cost so I don't usually tell him. The funniest moment occured many years ago when he said there was a suit just like his in the window of the local charity shop - I think you can guess the rest...... Don't sweat the small stuff as they say.

Heleninahandcart Wed 24-Oct-12 23:05:32

I have found the tkmaxx website a real face life saver in the past. If it doesn't suit, it can all go back to a shop or post. Tesco and other supermarkets usually have good, plain tshirts which might be a start and you could work up to H&M menswear which is cheap but trendy bit tatty sometimes but this is an emergency

lucyellenmum Wed 24-Oct-12 23:12:00

Do you even like him? how long have you been together?

DaveMccave Wed 24-Oct-12 23:26:00

I was going to suggest buying a voucher to a shop you like the clothes in and saying you'd won it in a work raffle or something, and saying there is nothing in there you fancy. If he's tight with money that might go down a storm. But that won't work if you're skint.

Is there anything he wears you like? Could you tell him you really fancy him in it when he wears it? Might make him think and boost his esteem. I wear worse clothes the more shit about myself I feel, so it's risky to tell someone who might retreat even more. My dp (16 years older) wanted to go shopping today for dresses and shirts for us for a wedding, and I'd only look at stuff for him and ordered something online for me, because I'm far too self conscious at the moment after putting on some weight to be trying on dresses and stuff. If he told me he wanted me to be more girly all the time I'd be pissed off. At the same time, if he wore his camping clothes to the pub, or double demined it or something I'd be mortified. He has some cheap granddad trainers he wears a lot, but I let that pass. smile

YouBloodyWolf Thu 25-Oct-12 06:32:54

I've always kinda liked clothes and wanted to dress well but hadn't for various reasons (money, always waiting til I'd lost some weight etc) until the last year or so, when I started doing something about it.

The big changes I made were picking up the occasional thing on eBay (fantastic bargains to be had!) and signing up for a card with a small chain of clothes shops - you pay a certain amount per month and as soon as you start doing so, you've got access to a year's worth of credit. I've slowly built up a few decent items rather than the great heap of cheap unflattering crap that I used to have, and it hasn't really hurt financially.

I've completely abandoned Tesco - it's unflattering, terrible quality and badly fitting. Going from a pair of their jeans to a pair of half decent ones is a revelation.

Hip 'vintage' shops can be good too. One near here has a load of second hand 501s etc for £15.

Oh, and we always notice when a old piece of clothing is covertly binned. And we don't like it wink

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