Should a person you're seeing be able to dictate your fashion choices?

In a past relationship the person I was with was very picky about what I wore and how I looked. Being goth it was hard to accept suddenly dressing like a hipster. I went along with it because I felt like I needed too, to keep the relationship going. Suddenly it got to the point where my makeup was decided, and even my hair color was decided by them. They had even outright told me no on anymore piercings even though I already had two (not including my ears). Is this normal? Or even okay? This was my first serious relationship and I don't have much else to go on.

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Most Helpful Guys

  • I don't think your partner should dictate that many things, but I think it's reasonable for them to have some input. For example, if you're wearing very revealing clothing and that makes him uncomfortable then he should let you know how he feels about it and hopefully you can work out something you're both OK with.

    Or if he wears something that makes you uncomfortable for some reason, you can discuss that and hopefully he'll make some changes to accommodate you.

    But what you described sounds to me like it's very controlling. I think you should mostly be able to dress the way you want and choose your own hair color and style, but maybe with some accommodation to his preferences if there's a few specific things that he doesn't like.

    The person you're in a relationship with should mostly like you for who you are - perhaps with a few minor changes but certainly not wanting to totally change you.

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  • Normal, no. Okay? Sure if you don't mind. Does your partner have the RIGHT to tell you what to do? Of course not. But they have the right to request what they like and you have the right to decide how important dressing for them is compared to dressing for yourself.

    I certainly would wear whatever my wife wants me to wear. The idea that I 'dress to express myself" really makes little sense, clothing doesn't really do that. Ask yourself, what's your purpose in clothing if not to look good for your partner?

    If you have something about how you look that is more important than looking good for your partner, then do that. If you don't, then look how they want you to look.

    People will often say that you shouldn't dress for them, but for yourself. But what the heck does "dressing for youself" mean? I have no idea what people are thinking when they say that. I mean, if its uncomfortable like he wants you to wear heels and that hurts your feet, yeah, wear comfy shoes for yourself. But what's the point in dressing in some certain way "for yourself"?

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Most Helpful Girls

  • I put up with it when I was your age. I wouldn't put up with it now. Unless you enjoy being controlled that way like some sort of power exchange, I don't think it has any place in a relationship.

    Is it normal? It's within the range of behaviors that could be kind of mild or could be abusively controlling. In your case it sounds like more controlling than you were happy with.

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  • @Brindle_Bangaa you chose the word "dictate" to describe your situation. Parents dictate your bedtime as a child, your boss dictates your work load per your job discription, laws dictate whether you should drive after consuming alcohol... A boyfriend dictating the way you should dress or look.. Clearly he needs his ass whooped. But hey, it's all in what we'll allow and accept.

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What Guys Said 39

  • no a partner should not dictate your fashion choices to you.
    it's not normal
    it's not ok

    a partner should date you for you and offer suggestions on how to improve yourself for the betterment of yourself rather than just dictate how you should be based on their preferred styles

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  • If it's your spouse, then yes. They have a say in the matter.

    If it is just a friend, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, then no. Unless you care about how they feel, and they genuinely don't feel comfortable about you wearing something in public

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  • You should never let someone dictate your body. You should dress however you feel like regardless of what your partner thinks. You should have the right to do whatever you like to you body (unless it's harmful of course). If the partner can't accept you for who you are and what you wear they are not worthy your time. I might sound harsh buts it's my honest opinion. You should keep on doing your thing and the right guy will come along. Take care!

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  • Suggest my ass. Say fuck you darlin, if you didn't like this painting when you accepted maybe you should have left it where it stood. Sounds like a control freak, and i shit you not when I say this. Control freaks are psychotic. GTF out of that relationship.

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  • Honestly that's unhealthy a person should be able to express them selves and it's wrong in my opinion to create a person in the image you choose fit if that person isn't your type don't date them you know

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  • Nope. It should be okay to say hey I think you would look good in this, or those shoes don't quite do it for you, but there is no room for controlling or belittling behavior in a relationship.

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  • That should never ever be the case. A relationship is appreciating the other and accepting them, fashion and all. Although we may be influenced by others it shouldn't be to this extent. You don't change people you only encourage them and hope they can figure it out themselves while loving them still the same.

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  • If someone who supposedly is attracted to you rejects the way you dress it makes me wonder if they have some sort of alterior motive. Not a cool thing for a partner in a relationship to do. I mean my ex would tell me to put on a nicer shirt when we went to her parents house but that's understandable knowing what i tend to wear 😂

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  • It isn't normal, it isn't good.
    Advices are good
    To ask for a special dress (nurses by example) is even better
    But to decide for you anything isn't good doesn't matter what it is like.
    (Surprises for birthdays and Rush decisions apart)

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  • Yes if they really accept u for u who u r they wouldn't care tho. But I can understand bc they r being seen w u in public and might see someone they know

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What Girls Said 19

  • No, that is controlling. As a friend, giving constructive criticism is always helpful. However, that is very different from changing you. If a person really likes you, your appearance let alone your clothing or makeup shouldn’t matter. In fact, they should be telling you that you look beautiful without makeup or that you should be you instead of suppressing who you are.

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  • Absolutely NOT. I presume if the other person is seeing me, he already approves of my fashion choices. And its taken some 50 years or so to develop those fashion ideas. If the other person dressed "goth" I certainly would not be attracted to him so my opinion would not matter.

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  • That’s like... really wack of them. I would advise you to avoid relationships like that, desu- you’re your own person and deserve to express yourself however you please.

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  • Of course not. That's being controlling and that's abusive. There's nothing wrong with giving your advice on a certain outfit or the way they dress, but if it gets to the point where they are controlling you and demanding that you don't do something, than theirs a red flag.

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  • The only time it is okay is if it is in a power exchange relationship, and both partners are okay with all the rules and arrangements. But if it's just a normal relationship then it is not normal or okay.

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  • It's abnormal. When you're in a relationship with someone and you truly love them, you love them for who they are as a person. You don't try to change them. It seems like this was more of a controlling situation.

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  • Depend, if he don't want me to wear revealing clothes or dress more modest it wouldn't disturb me if he want me to wear heels all the time and all that wouldn't be ok.

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  • No! It's your fashion style; he should love you for you; I once had where the guy asked me if I could wear leggings but he asked me nicely; dictating this.. No

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  • If it would've been normal, you wouldn't have asked this question. It's obvious how it made you feel, so you can judge by yourself. Do not change for anyone.

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  • oh well no, the guy i was dating tol me to stop being goth, i broke up w him

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