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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Have an opinion?

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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  • 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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  • 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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  • There's nothing with a person giving his/her opinion about something, especially if you ask and even if you don't. And there's nothing wrong with that person deciding not to continue with you if you don't follow his suggestions.

    But why would you want to be with someone who wants to control you? Giving you grooming tips would likely lead to someone like that trying to control other aspects of your life. Nobody wants that.

    So I'd say to consider yourself lucky that he showed his nature early on and you ended things with that schmuck.

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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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  • I think it is up to the person to wear what he or she wants to.. and if it is a bit over or under the top of what the other person expects then the other person should be able to voice their opinion on it.. that is all... I think a lot of people on here and friends in real life know what I wear.. I am honest about it to my lady friends.. and that is what counts and I feel okay with it.. I do try to dress nice always... but I have the final say on the matter... but I will listen to the other person... but the final word is my decision alone.. have a great day

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  • nah dont do all that its too much. your fashion is an expression of you. when they try to change your outside, why wouldn't they try to change who you are on the inside.

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  • Fuck that. The moment a girl started telling me what to wear, she would be gone. That's controlling behaviour.

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  • Unless there's a dress code and she doesn't dress like a whore I'm cool with it. Everyone has their style.

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  • I think they should be able to give suggestions/feedback. And maybe even the occasional request. But nothing excessive. Her clothes, her choice

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  • No but you should keep an open mind on their opinions.

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  • Ofc not. You should be given freedom of expression and you have the right to choose what is right or wrong for you

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  • A healthy relationship is when you both agree on looks and social activities and life patterns you can't change a person to be with you

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    19

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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 not okay. You should be able to dress and decide how you want to be and they should accept you as you are

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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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  • I’ll wear what I want to wear and he can say his opinion but I’ll still wear what I want to wear.

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  • I could never, I want to be loved for who I am. That's far too controlling.

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  • no they can give suggestions if they want but you should never feel obligated dress a certain way just because your bf/gf wants you to

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  • Definitely not okay nor normal. Wear what you want and what you like, it is your choice, fuck other people's opinion. If they don't like you the way you are, they don't deserve you.

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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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  • What? That is not normal in any Form! That's being controlling

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  • I think making compromises in a relationship is a good way to show you care but it's not ok to be completely controlled. Ex: Occasionally wearing an outfit he likes to pleasantly surprise him is good because you yourself decided to take the initiative. If he's always telling you what to wear, all. The. Time. That's not ok. When someone controls how you dress, they take away that form of self expression. They put themselves above you and a relationship is meant to be an equal exchange of respect and love.

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  • Fuck no. Thats possessive and a huge red flag

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  • Only if their ideas are attractive.

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