I enjoy exploring the unknown and the boundaries of love and life.
So, your boyfriend dresses like a slob and you’re wondering what to do about it. You love him and you don’t want to hurt his feelings, but it’s really starting to bother you. You spend all your time looking gorgeous just for him and, let’s keep it real, you expect the same. Learn how to approach him about his hygiene and poor taste in clothes without crushing his feelings.
1. Talk to Him
The simplest thing you can do is talk to him about it and just be frank. Long-term relationships are really only successful with good communication, and if you can’t talk about the hard stuff, the lasting power is sure to wane with time. It’s important to start having those major conversations early and to do it with tact. In order to stay with him long-term, you also want to be on the same page about what you two have to offer each other. If appearance is big to you, make that clear. There’s no point in staying with him now out of love if this is going to become a much larger issue down the road - superficial or not.
Ask yourself, why are you really with him? Do you love him? Good, that means there is hope. Explain that to him. Say that you like fashion and looking good and want to offer him the same. Tell him what you really like about him and how you can help him enhance his great features with a little help and styling. He might discover that dressing up rather than dressing down will make him feel exceptional, after all.
2. Be Flexible
Be flexible when it comes to the issue of your boyfriend dressing like a slob and maybe meet him halfway. So he likes to wear broken t-shirts, that’s fine, help him pick out some designer ones or some cooler ones in your budget. If he likes to be comfortable, get him some hip lounge and workout clothes.
Some people simply don’t like clothing that is too restrictive, but you can find some cool lounge outfits in the middle that suit your needs and his comfort level. There’s a lot of variety these days for dressing comfortably. Sports wear has made a comeback and a lot of it is designer and on-trend. Don’t expect him to go from wearing his usual sweatpants to stiff linen shirts and ironed dress clothes in a day, that’s just not doable. Learn to work with what works for him.
Maybe you also need to adjust your clothes or standards too. Do you sink two hours into getting ready to go out every day? Has he ever complained about all the fun you’re missing out on spending time in front of the mirror getting ready? Consider living a little and toning it down.
Again, it’s all about the two of you meeting in the middle. It’s also important that you realize your role in this equation too - you have been socialized to expect certain things. Just because you grew up or were influenced to dress a certain way doesn’t mean that your boyfriend was. After all, what is clothing any way? A cover up. Do you place more value on it than he does? You bet. To some people, clothes and fashion just aren’t a big deal, so understand that.
It’s definitely one expectation to ask him not to wear clothes that are dirty or gross in public, like sweatpants, stained shirts, and more, but also don’t require that he adopt a designer brand label or spend half his paycheck on looking good. That’s pretty unreasonable. If you are expecting this it’s time to adjust your thinking. Brand name clothes aren’t everything and much of that fashion for the everyday person just isn’t realistic, sustainable, or ethical. Companies spend millions a year trying to convince you that you should wear their logo, but when it really comes down to it, what does a label mean any way? Consider that.
3. Adjust His Habits
Maybe your boyfriend just needs a little help when it comes to cleaning and organizing and creating a daily flow. He probably grabs whatever clothes are in front of him or easy access in the house and throws them on, just because it’s easy to do. Consider buying him different options that meet his level of comfort but still look nice.
You can make sure the outfits match and are easy to put on and always have them ready - help him look put together in any circumstance. Think of Mark Zuckerberg - he goes for the same outfit every day and it simplifies his life. Now, you don’t need to go that far, but if you find your boyfriend always wearing the same sweatpants, buy a pair of jeans he really feels good in.
Get a few nice staple t-shirts that compliment his eye color and make them accessible on the daily. The key is not to overwhelm him with too many clothes, but to simplify and create a routine. Think about it: You, or anyone, really doesn’t need that many clothes. Most people get by on a different outfit for every day of the week, that means 2-3 pairs of pants and a few shirts. So make it as easy as possible for your boyfriend by keeping just what he needs and nothing more.
Is the reason your boyfriend dresses like a slob because he simply doesn’t do his laundry? That’s another story. Maybe he was taken care of and has never done it himself - help him out and show him how. If he would prefer that you do the laundry and you’re ok with that, fine, but have him do something in exchange. Create an easy working system.
Buy him a hamper, and have him set his clothes in the hamper to do the laundry on a given day - say Sunday mornings. Chances are his parents or mom took care of him until the day he left home and that’s why this issue is cropping up. It’s important that he learns to look after himself just the same. Good luck.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Brynn B Lewis
dashingscorpio from Chicago on September 11, 2020:
Very few people are walking round with one hand raised in the air screaming: "I'm looking for someone to change me!"
Life is too short to be trying to change water into wine.
The goal is to find someone who (already is) what you want.
There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships. We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them (as is) or move on.
Each person has to decide if not getting what they want is a 'deal breaker". If it is, get out. If it's not learn to live without.
No one is "stuck" with anyone. Suffering is optional.