Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Skirting the Issue

(not my photo - google images)

I recently was clicking around the internet, and stumbled upon an article on a fashion blog about whether or not we, as women, should change the way we dress to please our significant other. The article contained lots of quotes from women who had written in to comment on the issue, but I was frustrated that it was a bit one-sided. Every single quotation was strongly against it. The author hadn't published a single comment from someone who thought that you should try to please your husband/boyfriend by adapting your style to their taste. Now I don't know, perhaps there weren't any to choose from, but I was really struck by the attitude of the whole thing. These women were offended at the mere suggestion that they put someone else's preferences ahead of their own. The article was full of phrases like "be yourself no matter what!" "You are the top priority!" "You should be dressing only for yourself!" "Don't change for anyone!" etc.

It raised some questions in my mind. Sure that sounds great... because it's been pounded into our heads since we were children. But really, why are we told not to "change" for anyone? Isn't that what life is all about? If nobody ever changed to accommodate someone else what kind of world would we live in? And I realize that clothing and fashion really is not a huge issue. Style is incredibly subjective, and it is a great way to express yourself. But here's my thought: if you really care about someone, enough to be in a close relationship with them, then isn't it a rather small thing just to change what you wear a little bit in order to make them happier? Obviously if he completely hated your style you probably wouldn't be in a relationship with him because he never would have been attracted to you in the first place, but let's say he just doesn't like a certain pair of shoes that you wear, or he doesn't care for it when you wear your hair a certain way - after all, he's the one you're trying to attract here.

I'm not talking about modesty here (that's a whole other issue!), just personal taste. Frankly, God has been convicting my heart slowly but surely throughout my marriage that it's really important for me to ask Cory what he likes, and then wear it, regardless of whether it's my favourite or not. There are obviously other factors at play here - it has to be reasonably modest, if we're shopping it can't be super expensive, I have to be able to take care of the kids and house comfortably while wearing it, and - yes - I do have to like it too, at least a little bit. I don't think it's fair to ask someone to wear clothes that they hate just because you like them. But who am I trying to impress here? Everybody else? Myself? Or is my husband my top priority?

This is why I have ridiculously long hair. Not because I love it, but because my husband does. He absolutely loves my long hair, and the occasional inconvenience of it is a relatively small price to pay for all the compliments he heaps on me, especially when I wear it down. Now just because he likes my hair down doesn't mean I wear it that way all the time, in fact it's more often braided or tied back than not, but I would never go chop it all off as much as I'm tempted to sometimes because it's such an easy way to make him happy. Also - this is why I am planning on wearing skirts a lot more this summer. It's funny, I've been reading a lot of blogs lately by women who feel convicted by God toward wearing skirts, as an issue of modestly and femininity. I've got to say I don't share their conviction, at least not about wearing skirts all the time. I agree that modesty and femininity are very Godly and important characteristics for every woman to try to emulate, but I don't feel that you have to wear skirts all the time in order to do that. That being said, my husband loves it when I wear skirts and dresses, especially longer ones. I probably feel prettiest wearing a well-fitting pair of jeans and a nice shirt, but my husband loves the skirts. So I've been making more of an effort to wear them, and when we went shopping on Saturday for a few clothes for me to wear this summer (I don't fit into my old summer clothes yet!) I purposely picked out skirts and dresses to try on. I found a couple of really nice things that we BOTH like.

So this summer you'll probably see me around wearing a lot more dresses and skirts. I know my husband is pleased with this development, and that makes us both happier. Now if only I can convince him to wear the shorts that I like, we'll both be content!

Growing Home


  1. Found you through "Growing Home's" link up.

    Great article. It is important, and Biblical to place our husband's preferences as a priority in our hearts and practice.

    I wear skirts 99% of the time, because I feel and behave even more femininely in them. My husband loves this, as well. I also wear my extremely thick hair long, because he prefers it, despite it being more difficult for me to maintain...yes, marriages would sure be a lot happier and more successful in our culture, if we practiced putting our spouse before us!

    God bless!

  2. Great post. I think that my husband's opinion of what I wear and my style is very important. As you mentioned, my husband's attention is what I want to attract. I think many women are fearful, fearful to give a bit of themselves, making them feel like they've lost "control."

  3. Hey Emily!

    I love this post... I totally agree with you. I do the same thing for my husband with my long hair... I would love to chop it all off!! A lot of women don't understand the value of dying to yourself...even with something as seemingly unimportant as keeping my hair long. It tells my husband that I love him, so that makes it important to me.

    Lucy Togni