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How to keep my sense of self when husband chooses my clothes!

(28 Posts)
magso Mon 20-Oct-08 15:57:09

Wasnt sure where to post this!
We have been married 20 years! In the early days dh didn't really notice or interfear with what I wore and always wore simple understated clothes himself - as do I. I am petite and like classics with a twist which I know can look frumpy and boring if you are not careful, and although I am not afraid of colour I avoid sexy and obvious! Frankly I would rather border on slightly uninteresting but practical than overdo it!
However I hardly work now ( Ds has sn) so cannot spend on clothes. Dh bless him, tends to buy clothes for me as presents - so I am getting more and more things that suit his taste but not always mine. I think he is trying to chear me up, and some things are lovely. As you will have guessed I am well into my middle years, and (bless him) I do not think he has noticed - I mean trully noticed! We do not go out a lot - to family and shops, but I am finding harder and harder to go out dressed in clothes I feel 'not me' in! (high heeled thigh high boots, animal print bustier or strappy tops, fake tatoos). The phrase mutton dressed as lamb comes to mind - often. It makes me want to hide at home even though I am desparate for adult company!
I have ofcourse told him (bluntly) I don't like leopard print, can't wear very high heels (and made him run after ds), that it is smart to wear one sexy item cheap if overdone, but it is getting worse. I feel like a naughty scalded child if I refuse to wear his gifts and it creats a difficult atmosphere in the house. It is getting worse and I dont know what to do! In fact I don't know how it has got to this stage - where Dh does not hear what I say, and my feelings are ignored. Help? Is it a midlife crisis or is it me?

PhantomOfTheChocolateCake Mon 20-Oct-08 15:59:49

Jeez. I wouldn't let anyone dress me!

Can't you take them back to the shop and exchange them? or negotiate an allowance so you can buy your own?

brimfull Mon 20-Oct-08 15:59:49

tell him he has no taste and shop online for yourself

ladymac Mon 20-Oct-08 15:59:59

Could you perhaps just wear them in the bedroom? Is that what he's aiming for?

filz Mon 20-Oct-08 16:00:02

oh bless him but it does sound difficult!

Cant he take you shopping on a weekday whilst ds is at school; so you can say what you like and nudge him in the right direction?

BodenGroupie Mon 20-Oct-08 22:05:42

Why don't you hint for one of those styling sessions for Christmas, where they do your colours etc.....way of opening up the subject without hurting his feelings.

My dh still moans that I never wear a skirt he bought me in 1984 - orange, pleated, size 8 hmm

Ivegotaheadache Mon 20-Oct-08 22:10:22

Sounds like he would love you to look sexy and obvious!
It's not your style but maybe it's his.
Have you asked him if those sorts of clothes are what he wants you to wear rather than your own practical style.
If it's the case, maybe you can agree to wear them privately once in a while. smile

mabanana Mon 20-Oct-08 22:14:51

OK you have loads of option.
a/take them back to teh shop and exchange them for things you like
b/Ask your dh for money to see a personal shopper for Xmas (personal shopper costs nothing but for clothes)
c/ask for vouchers so YOU can go shopping
d/ And I recommend this one, tell him how controlled you feel when he buys clothes you don't like and then gets nasty when you don't wear them. This is not nice behaviour.
I think it's really strange he buys all your clothes, and even stranger, tbh, that you wear them! He sounds very controlling - which may be a dynamic you've slipped into, but really has to change. His choice of clothes sounds totally extreme and horrible. Fake tattoos? Are you serious or is this a wind-up?

Tortington Mon 20-Oct-08 22:16:07

duckin ell, theres always time for clothes darling, prioritise

Tortington Mon 20-Oct-08 22:16:33

you have access to the nternet - chose your own

Josie3 Mon 20-Oct-08 22:21:47

cry. While you tell him that you love he thinks you're still a sexy mama, but feel inapropriately dressed.

Pannacotta Mon 20-Oct-08 22:23:40

Agree with HellMouth, make time to shop, even if it's via the internet.
Plenty of helpful folk on here will give suggestions/links if you ask for advice if you find it too overwhelming.
Tell your DH you want to choose your own clothes, and ask for specific things for presents and not clothes so he doesn't have an opportunity to try and dress/control you.

magso Tue 21-Oct-08 09:43:11

Thanks! Mabana you have put your finger on it - what started as lovely gifts that I wore to please him and keep him interested -now feels controlling! Josie I have tried being flatted at his attention. Yes I know he wants me to look sexy and act more confidently - the trouble is it does the opposite! I have tried wish lists! I have tried getting things that compromise a little ie a subtle leaf stripe dress (which we both like) rather than animal print. Now it is getting to the pont where I want to run ( not an option I'm afraid)- so time for serious talk I think.
It doesn't help that I have rather lost my way with clothes! I love stuff in shops I can no longer actually spend in so try to find economy versions! Nothing for it but to find a way to earn more and become the snappy dresser he wants but with my own sensabilities!

magso Tue 21-Oct-08 09:44:29

Oops forgot to check for typos!

mabanana Tue 21-Oct-08 11:54:07

Then say you want to start choosing your clothes again - be assertive about it, and ask for your Christmas present to be a session with a personal shopper and money for clothes so you can choose them.
Don't you have any money of your own? If not that's very worrying. If it is agreed between you that you are caring for your child with SN so he can go out to work, then your family income should be just that - family income - which should also be yours to spend. I would find it totally unacceptable that he is able to treat money that is spent on your essential clothes as 'presents' giving him total control, and you are supposed to be grateful. That's really awful.

Cheesesarnie Tue 21-Oct-08 12:04:43

i would hate my dh doing this!he doesnt get im petite so will buy too big thinking itll do and im sure he still believes its the 80s!
i agree with it being odd that you have no money of your own even spare change.i spend hardly anything on clothes etc but make sure when i do there clothes i know i wont get bored with and will wear again and again.point out to him that although its lovely to recieve gifts that its money going to waste as there just not you.smile i really feel for you!

also most of my barely there wardrobe is second hand ebay etc so it doesnt have to be expensive but also doesnt have to be 'economy versions'.

Cheesesarnie Tue 21-Oct-08 12:05:34

would he give money rather than clothing for you to buy your own-so youd get day off plus clothes you like?

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Tue 21-Oct-08 12:10:14

Get a Next/home shopping account and he can pay the bill.

Try suggesting it as a way of helping him so as not to hurt his feelings i.e. "I really appreciate all these clothes you buy but I have been thinking it might be easier if we had an account somewhere so that I could shop online. That way you don't have to spend your spare time trawling around womens clothing shops but you can still treat me"

mabanana Tue 21-Oct-08 12:15:11

If the couple agree that the OP has been forced to give up work to look after their child with SN, then it's totally inappropriate to talk in terms of her dh using his money to treat her to clothes. It's their money, and clothes are a necessity.

Cheesesarnie Tue 21-Oct-08 12:19:12

mabanana i agree totally.i remember when 2nd dc was about 2 i needed new shoes-such hard work to convince dh!soon after he realised its our money.id not had new(meaning new to me even ,so not even second hand clothing for about 3-4 years by then unless you count maternity pants!).

scaryfucker Tue 21-Oct-08 18:02:59

is this for real ?

LisaLessLumpy Tue 21-Oct-08 18:09:35

I was thinking the same thing. I apologise to the OP now if this is for real but when I read the OP I thought it was a pisstake.

sagacious Tue 21-Oct-08 18:14:25

Fake tatts?

Claim an allergy FGS

mabanana Tue 21-Oct-08 18:46:10

I have also asked if this is real, because it is so extreme, but hey ho. It is trollerama round here sometimes.

mabanana Tue 21-Oct-08 18:48:03

My more recent posts have been really challenging the view of other posters that a man who does this is 'sweet', and that it's fine for him to keep all the money and 'treat' his wife to clothes that she doesn't like. And that she must be careful with his ego and tactful at all times around him instead of saying what she thinks. I find these attitudes even more eye-popping than the OP - true or not.

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