Your Style Girlfriend

    Guys: Do You Shop With Your Wife or Girlfriend?

    7th February 2013

    Because my readers are awesome (evidence here, here and here), I was not at all surprised to hear from Alex M. recently.

    Alex won my Calypso St. Barth giveaway for his awesome, thoughtful response about what he’d buy his lady with the gift card to the luxe women’s clothing store.

    He emailed me with a thank you and a pic of the swag he and his lady picked up:

    {So glittery!}

    Here’s what Alex had to say about his shopping experience with Abby, his lovely significant other:

    Hi Megan,

    I received the gift card and found out I could only use it in store, so we went to the store in Marin and it was really nice.

    Abby loved how the clothing felt, she got the clutch/bag and three shirts. She fell in love with this place, I’m pretty sure she’ll be going back soon.

    Thanks for everything and for introducing her to a new store. :D Have a great day!

    Like I said, you guys are the greatest.
    Tell me:
    Do you go shopping with your wife/girlfriend/mail-order bride?

    I find the trope of “guy holding woman’s purse while she shops for hours” trope so tiresome, so I hope that’s not true for you guys. I’m not saying you need to be re-enacting a Shop Til You Drop episode, but I hope that you can have some fun together and support one another in looking for clothes that you think look great on the other!

    • average joe

      I actually love shopping with and for my wife. I like to pick out outfits for her or even just basic jeans shopping is fun too. HOWEVER – She doesn’t like shopping with me, for me. We usually have “discussions” that go like this:

      “How much are those jeans?”
      “They’re selvedge, baby, they’ll last for ever”
      “Why don’t you just go to Target like me?”
      “Because, I’m kinda tall and Target doesn’t make clothes for people like me.”
      “What about TJ Max, then?”

      • average joe

        ha, html tags are hijacking this post!

      • Style Girlfriend

        whoops! this went up two days early. definitely not ready yet!

    • Mike Thompson

      My wife and I love shopping together (online or in-store). We end up sitting on the couch on Saturday/Sunday mornings looking through the various sales online, picking out a few things we like so we can go try them on in-store later. My wife has a great sense of style, so I always run ideas/looks by her to get her input.

      We both encourage each other to go outside our comfort zone if we like a style, but aren’t sure how it will look. That is the thing I appreciate the most, it makes taking a few chances all the much easier (which typically end up working out well for both of us)!

      • Style Girlfriend

        it’s so important to feel encouraged when trying new styles – glad you and the mrs have that part down pat!

    • Jonathan Brown

      I really enjoy shopping with my girlfriend, but I get a little self-conscious if we are together the *entire* time and she’s there while I’m just looking.

      We found that browsing our favorite stores separately works better for us. If one of us decides to try something on, we text each other to come over and give an opinion. We stick to the same general area in the mall, of course.

      It’s really nice to get/give feedback on the spot, and we seem to have better luck at great finds when we shop together.

      • Style Girlfriend

        good strategy!

    • Enrique Ollero

      I do go shopping with my fiancee, but we don’t stay tethered to each other the entire time. Often we split up then meet in the dressing room and ask each other’s opinions on what we’ve got. After that initial round, especially if one or both of us is unsatisfied with the selection, we take a second run together, where I’ll look for things she might have passed over and visa versa.

      We do know each other’s styles very well, but we also know that we may have passed over certain things because they were a little out of our comfort zone, and we push each other to try new things, often for the better. For example I’ve gotten her into brighter color palettes and she’s gotten me into preppy looks.

      We also know when to dial things back – she does this more for me when I try something that doesn’t work but I desperately want it to. I sometimes get defensive because I know her tastes are more conservative than mine and I think she’s criticizing my style, but really she’s just criticizing the piece (and she’s usually right). Most recently she talked me down from an Izod plaid jacket that looked great on the rack, but it just didn’t fit right. I wanted desperately to make it work, but thankfully she talked me down, which is good because I ended up getting a jacket that fit well and that I really did love later in the same store but had passed over initially because I was so focused on the Izod jacket.

      • Style Girlfriend

        Love this! The first round sweep of the store/dressing room check-in is key. That’s how I shop when I’m with my sister (my usual shopping companion)

      • average joe

        And then, Enrique says “babe…I got this. I just wont OOTW with my Uniqlo Blazer!”

    • goodmanw

      Most of the time I appreciate have my girlfriend with me so she can give me her opinion on what I have picked out. Always nice to have a second set of eyes to see if everything fits the way it needs to. I also really enjoy letting her pick stuff out for me.

    • the amazing snyder-man

      I prefer to shop separately. My girlfriend simply takes much longer than I can endure (an hour or more per store), whereas I can be in and out of any store in less than 10 minutes. Plus, I don’t think either one of us finds the other’s advice particularly helpful.

    • Mark

      I have a 60 minute shopping window. It’s not even intentional but every time I start getting antsy I look at my watch and it’s been about 45 minutes. I usually wrap up whatever I’m doing and I’m out by 60 minutes. I just can’t shop for longer. If I’m with my wife she’ll notice and give me a look and say, “Are you done? You’re done, huh?” Then we go.

      Our online shopping is better. Usually she’ll fill up an online cart with stuff she likes for me at whatever website, hand me the computer and I’ll add and remove from the cart and make the purchase.

      My shopping in an an actual store tends to be very specific. If I need shoes I go to the shoe store and leave 20 minutes later with a pair of shoes. I’m not a browser. My wife can go and spend the day even just looking though she does come home a little bummed when she doesn’t find anything she likes.

      • Enrique Ollero

        I tend to have a smaller shopping window during the high traffic times – Saturdays between noon and 6, when what a sassy older friend would call “The Element” is out and about. Sundays are better, as are weekdays, but I found that Saturday shopping is infinitely more pleasurable (and I can tolerate it much longer) if I start at store opening times.

        • Mark

          Agreed. The only potential downside is that with fewer people around there can be a tendency for the bored salespeople to be a bit too attentive.

          But generally I agree with you. Crowded stores with picked over merchandise at sale time or holiday time is no fun at all.

    • Dave R

      I do love having my wife’s input for clothing decisions. Occasionally I need a little reassurance, so having her on hand for an honest opinion is much appreciated. It can also be good for a laugh, like last time I was shopping for jeans that fit a little closer to the body. I ended up wedging myself into a pair of Levi’s that were probably a good 2 sizes too small. Not sure jeggings are my style….

      Also, her credibility has taken a hit recently, as I am pretty sure she hates my shawl-neck cardigan. I am not sure I can ever trust her again!

    • sts

      I have a stylist pick out all my casual clothes for me and it’s a big help. So my gf will come to my apartment and see a stack of new clothes and wonder how I managed to put all of the great looks together. She has no idea, ha! So, no we don’t shop together for me, but she will text me photos of what she is buying. Pretty funny.

    • Kaleb

      I totally would if I had a girlfriend… Ladies.

      • Style Girlfriend

        *Mic check*

    • Jon

      I enjoy shopping with my wife (for a reasonable amount of time–usually no more than 3 hours). In fact, most of our dates (we have a standing Friday night date) involved at least her trying something on.

      A few years ago I started setting aside a little from each paycheck for a “MILF fund.” She gets to use that for any discretionary clothing or spa expenses. We have four kids and the goal was that once we were done and her body was settled back to whatever her “new normal” measurements were, we’d have a couple thousand set aside so she could do a full wardrobe reboot. With our youngest being 18 months, we’re finally into the season where there’s starting to happen.

      I particularly enjoy rolling into a shop, telling one of the salesgirls that we’ll be awhile, we’ll need her to help us find sizes and we’ll give her a good tip for the extra effort. Then I find a comfy chair and watch my wife will try on anything she wants–a nice little private fashion show. We have a great time and it usually sets the mood for post-date activities too.

      • Style Girlfriend

        A “MILF” fund – definitely the first time I’ve heard that term..sounds like a nice activity to do together!

        • Jon

          Yeah, I’m firmly convinced that if I’m doing my job right (“husband”) my wife will continue to get more beautiful (inside and out) the older she gets and longer I love her. We spend time together, she gets my undivided attention, she feels great, I think she looks great.

          I’m a pastor and one of my roles is doing pre-marriage and couseling couples. One of the things I always stress the the importance of regular date-night and setting aside time and money to spend on the other.

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