My name is Bethany, and I let my husband dress me for a week.
I’m sure you’re asking what I asked myself all throughout this process– why would I go through this? I wanted to stretch myself! I like situations that I can control. I like everything in its place, and I live by plans and organization. The only way to really learn about yourself is to get out of your comfort zone, and for me that means letting go. The rules of the project were simple. I didn’t have a say in what I wore, he could utilize anything in my closet, and when dressing me for work, it had to be office appropriate. Right out of the gate I knew we would have some challenges. Spring weather is unpredictable. Some days it’s cold and raining, and then it can warm up into the mid 80’s. I also have a pretty minimal wardrobe! I hate clutter and excess, so I try and keep it simple to mix and match. He didn’t have it easy.
I know that appearance isn’t an incredibly important part of life. This project tested that. Yes, I’ve known my husband for eight years, but there’s no one who knows you better than yourself. I know how to hide my insecurities, I know what makes me comfortable etc. I love being creative and fun and simple, and the clothes I choose help me guide that expression. Denver dresses well, but it’s not something he spends too much time on. Giving up my opinion was pretty tough.
Although he was nervous, Denver agreed to the project.
To start us out, I asked him to describe what he thought of my personal style.
“Comfy Chic. You’re really fashionable yet you always look comfy.” – Denver
I looked up “Comfy Chic” on Pinterest. Apparently it’s a real thing. I love outfits that fit my personality, but I also value comfort so he’s not entirely wrong! How would he translate that himself?
Let’s take a look at how he did.
Monday: “I’m sweating because my husband dressed me”
“I picked this because I think these pieces are really pretty, and I really like black and white.” -Denver
He chose this shear business button down, black and white sweater, and black ankle slacks. An all black and white ensemble is something I love, but this just seemed over worked and awkward! I love this sweater, but it’s for the dead of winter. It was sunny and 75, and I felt strange. Everyone else was walking around in t-shirts, and I wanted to shout “I’m sweating because my husband dressed me!”. He knew he wanted me to wear this shirt, but everything else seemed like a rushed after thought. I think he could tell I was sweaty and not thrilled, so I had high hopes for a turnaround! Overall, I like these pieces individually, but not necessarily together.
Tuesday: “You should wear rain boots. It’s going to rain”
“I picked this because I’ve always like this combination. And I think you look good in this color. I like the patterns.” -Denver
He chose this orange sweater, white and black button down, and black ankle slacks. He bought me this sweater a couple of years ago, and I love it! This day was a cloudy and cooler day, so this outfit was much more appropriate. I think the polka dot button down under the sweater was a smart pairing. I got a little scared when I saw him look over at my bright orange and white rain boots saying “You should wear rain boots. It’s going to rain.” Thankfully he grabbed my more professional shoes. I wear a lot of basics to work, so wearing this bright and patterned sweater is always a bit out of my comfort zone. I got three compliments before 9:00 in the morning, specifically on my sweater. Maybe Denver dresses me better than I dress me? I felt proud of him.
Wednesday: “You need more pants”
“I picked this because I really like the lace detail on this shirt. The burgundy pants are different.” -Denver
He chose this denim lace detailed button down, burgundy ankle pants, and a gold necklace. Once he found out I only have three pairs of work pants, he went straight for these burgundy pair while saying “You need more pants”. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like my husband saying I need to go shopping. Maybe this experiment is golden. These pants are more like capris than ankle slacks, but I couldn’t say anything! I felt okay other than my pants being too small. I feel good about the button down choice, and I love the lace shoulder detail. He put this gold necklace with it, and I think it pairs well. Overall, he didn’t seem as confident as the day before, but I think he did a good job. This day made me realize I need to donate these pants.
Wednesday Night: “I thought the cardigan would fix it”
“I picked this because I think the pizza shirt is hilarious, and I really like the casual comfy look of the flannel with the leggings. Pom pom hats are awesome.” -Denver
Feelings: Exhausted, but happy
He chose this pizza t-shirt, zip up flannel, leggings, vans, and a beanie. We are always under a time crunch on this day, and that added pressure to this process. Denver knew that he wanted me to wear this pizza shirt, but he also wanted me to wear my boyfriend jeans. I already knew this would be a problem. They’re both relaxed fit, and I felt pretty sloppy when I tried it all on. The cardigan he picked out was too small to go over this shirt, and I legitimately felt like a stuffed sausage. He was really confused— “I thought the cardigan would fix it”. He went back to the drawing board. It was so hard to bite my tongue! I wanted to help him fix it. He had me try on different pants, shirts, jackets etc. Denver wanted nothing more than for me to feel comfortable and confident, and he finally landed on this. I felt a little bit like a black ninja, but over all I think he ended up picking something that was very me! This day he admitted that dressing a woman is much harder than dressing a man.
Thursday: “You need a pop of color”
“I picked this because I really love this blazer. I think it’s a trendier look as opposed to a business suit. I think the burgundy top contrasts really well with the light blazer.” -Denver
Office Wear and Life Group
He chose these high waisted black ankle slacks, burgundy tee, cream blazer, and a statement necklace. The weather was perfect for this kind of outfit. I was really excited about this one because I had never worn all of this together before. For the first time all week, I felt like I looked like me! I was really impressed that he picked out this necklace, and I got a lot of compliments on it as well. He was so cute picking this out. I could hear the hangers sliding around as he yelled “You need a pop of color!” On this day he learned to think of the outfit as a whole, instead of just putting together individual pieces. Progress.
Friday: “Where’s your Papa’s flannel?”
“I picked this because I just love the over-sized flannel with the simple top and leggings. I like the fact that it’s casual and you can still wear it in public. It’s your grandpa’s shirt, and I think it’s really neat when you wear it.” -Denver
Feelings: Comfortable and fun
He chose this flannel, white t-shirt, black leggings, and camel boots. This flannel means a lot to me, and I’m really glad he picked it out for me. I babysit on Fridays, so I felt comfortable. He knows that I run errands or do things afterward, so he wanted to give me something that I could also wear out and about. For the first time in this process, he had a couple shirts he wanted me to try on so that he could see what he liked best. Overall, I think this outfit looked the most like something I would pick out.
After this experience, I realize just how much thought and care you put into getting dressed each day. You are always able to find multiple combinations of tops and bottoms to create a really great appearance. I didn’t realize how difficult that can be for a woman until this. As I was picking your clothes, I had to take more time to think than I would if I were dressing myself. I just really learned that it’s a creative process that takes time and consideration just like any other art. I can see why the fashion industry is a high art now. I had to learn how to paint with a different palette. -Denver
This process was both fun and exhausting, and we learned more about each other than you can possibly imagine. I learned that I’m hanging onto a few items that could be donated. I learned that Denver takes great consideration of wanting me to feel confident and comfortable. I learned how hard it is to let go of control. You don’t realize how much your clothing impacts your confidence, until you’re no longer given a choice! Denver is right. Fashion is an art, and I love having the freedom to express myself every day. If you think it’s not important to you, try this yourself!