It’s true that guys are paying attention to their style more than ever, but if your man is still a sports jersey, sweatpants and sandals kind of guy, you might want to give him a fashion lesson (or two). Here are seven tips for dressing your boyfriend that won’t ruffle his feathers.
1. Find His Best Fit
Except in particularly dire cases, you don’t have to overhaul your man’s wardrobe to improve his style. Sometimes elevating his look is as easy as adjusting the fit of his clothes. Encourage him to take his measurements (for online shopping), or if you’re already bringing a few pieces to the tailor, casually ask him if a pair of pants could use a hem or if a shirt’s too big in the shoulders. The key is to keep it casual, otherwise you might risk an argument that rivals the great “why didn’t you make the bed” debate of last year.
2. Gift Him Clothes
Don’t drag your man to the mall, only to banish him to those sad mall benches after you visit another shoe store. Instead, subtly improve his style without forcing him to go shopping by offering him clothes as gifts. Go for versatile, high-quality pieces that fit with his current style that he’ll be able to easily incorporate into his wardrobe:
- Cashmere sweaters
- Fitted dress shirts
- Cotton pants
- Shoes (brogues or wingtips—these are key!)
Want more ideas? Draw some inspiration from this men’s must-haves article.
3. Take Baby Steps
He may be your baby (or just act like one), but remember good things take time. Keep in mind that it’s important not to overwhelm your dude with too many changes too quickly. When helping him pick out some new clothes, introduce pieces that will fit in with, but elevate, his current style and make sure you compliment him when he tries something new. “That suit looks great on you,” is a great place to start. Because let’s face it: he won’t wear what he’s not comfortable in.
4. Use the Power of Suggestion
The key to maintaining positive behaviour? Giving encouraging feedback. Give your guy compliments when he wears something that looks particularly good on him. Remember to keep it positive, lavishing praise when he hits a fashion home run but keep your mouth shut when you’re not as impressed. The last thing you want to do is make him feel bad about himself, so keep it positive. (And as for that pair of sweats you don’t like—so weird how they went “missing”!)
5. Offer Positive Feedback
Keep it subtle by employing the power of suggestion. Drop helpful hints and tips, like “that sweater looks great, it would go well with that dress shirt I bought you for your birthday” when he’s getting dressed in the morning or getting ready for a big event. Trust us, a little well-meaning guidance can go a long way.
6. Provide Visual Inspiration
Besides suggesting style ideas to him, invest in men’s fashion magazines every once in awhile and let your man have a read, which may inspire him. If that fails, it’s an opportunity for you to browse the magazines for his future Christmas, birthday, or spontaneous gifts (see tip #2)—and hey, maybe you’ll gain some new intel on your man by reading an article or two. Win-win.
7. Add Some Accessories
Pin clips, bow-ties, pocket squares, watches… these pieces all lend interest and panache to any outfit. Even if your fella is still struggling to perfect his style, a few nice accessories can instantly add a boost to his look. Just make sure you don’t venture into costume territory. You want your dude to look like himself, not like a character.
Though you love him for what’s inside, when the outside matches his personality, you might just love him a little more. All jokes aside, when your man feels put together, he’ll feel more confident and there’s truly no better accessory than a smile.