How to Shop for Clothing That Your Boyfriend or Husband Will Actually Wear

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Ladies, you know that shopping for your man is hard. Sure you can buy him the basics, like underwear, plain tees, socks, and perhaps even run-of-the-mill jeans if you know what brand, size, and style he prefers. Most men find basics they like and stick with them (hey, it makes shopping quick and easy, which is just right for many guys). But when it comes to special pieces you’re bound to have a harder time. Surprisingly, men can be very picky when it comes to their clothing. This probably has something to do with the fact that they often work with a relatively limited wardrobe (at least by female standards), meaning that every piece has to count. Garments must not only serve specific purposes (work, leisure, funeral, etc.), but they must also convey a man’s personal style. Whereas a women will try just about any new trend, men tend to stick with what they know will work for them. So it can definitely be hard to get them to branch out. But here are just a couple of ways to shop for the man in your life with the sure knowledge that you’ll bring home a winner.

The problem with women shopping for men is that they often want to “help”. Maybe your guy isn’t very stylish or he doesn’t dress in a modern way. Perhaps he prefers his holey tees to the newer shirts you buy him. The reason for this is that he doesn’t want to change. So if you want to hit a home run you’re either going to have to get him the same old stuff he always wears (only in a newer version) or try to change his mind about changing. The former could leave him stuck in a rut, albeit a comfortable rut, but the latter can be a pretty hard sell. Even guys who are conscious of the fact that they could (and maybe should) be dressing better are probably going to be resistant. And they definitely don’t want to feel forced. So rather than just throwing out his old wardrobe and replacing it with a new one, your best bet is to involve him in the process.

Most dudes don’t like shopping, so you can prep him in a number of ways. Start by giving him some catalogs and magazines. Tell him to circle anything he likes, from tees and oxfords to pants, shoes, and accessories. Make sure he knows that it’s not a test; it’s just to help you gauge his personal style. Then inform him that he’s going to have to try on a lot of clothing. For many men this can be problematic (they simply don’t have the interest level or patience), but through gentle persuasion and encouragement you should be able to get him on board. And once you actually get to the store you need to listen. He’s not a doll you can dress up; he’s a person that you are supposed to love and respect. So make suggestions, but don’t be pushy. Encourage him to try things even if he doesn’t think they’ll work, just to see. Make it an adventure. And when you like something, give him concrete reasons why a certain piece works for him or what it will add to his wardrobe.

Most guys will simply go for the first pair of jeans in a store that fits, order kicks based on what their friends are wearing, or read men’s watch reviews to find a new timepiece. But by taking your boyfriend or husband shopping a few times you should be able to determine what he likes and how far you can push him outside his comfort zone when it comes to clothing and accessories. This is the best way to make your man look spectacular while ensuring his comfort and happiness.

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