We’ve all been known to dress to please others more than ourselves from time to time (see high school, job interviews, etc.), so it makes sense that we'd also take our significant others' opinions into account when getting dressed.
But the question is how much sway that opinion really has over our choices. Do we let it transform our style entirely or only when it feels right? Do we seek out sartorial guidance from our boyfriends and girlfriends or maintain a strict separation of cuddle-buddy and closet?
As a curious singleton in a sea of coupled-up friends and colleagues (#woeisme), I decided to investigate. How much do today’s women cater to their partners' sense of fashion, if at all? And, regardless of the answer, is being in a relationship more likely to make one's style better or worse?
Scroll down to find out what eight women had to say on the matter!
“Although my day-to-day style has certainly reverted to the übercasual, the moments that I do dress up are more satisfying thanks to the oohs and ahhs coming from my S.O. Partners are supposed to make you feel good, and mine does a great job of that—he even suggests options when I'm feeling uninspired.” — Emilie, 22, on her relationship of two years
Shop an item that reflects Emilie's current style, below!
"I would say that yes, my relationship has for sure changed my style. However, I think that this relationship really just helped me evolve into myself in many ways, which lent itself to developing my personal style.
"I think this [process of] ‘growing into my own’ really forced my style to be different than it had been because I was becoming different than I had been. I was finally comfortable in my own skin and began taking more risks with what I wore. I started dressing a lot more casually, especially when going out (think wearing high-top sneakers and flannels to nightclubs). I guess that was the result of not feeling like I had to try so hard to attract the opposite sex with what I was wearing. It was really the birth of my casual/sporty/tomboyish style.
"My relationship also gave me more confidence in what I felt I could pull off. My boyfriend’s style is very streetwear/skater/Cali-inspired. If he wore, like, tailored suits and dress shirts, I probably wouldn't wear ripped skinny jeans with Timberlands and an oversize chunky-knit sweater (or I just probably wouldn't be dating him, but you know what I mean)." — Patty, 25, on her relationship of two and a half years
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"I wouldn't say that my style has changed, but I think through being with him, I have become more comfortable in my own skin and therefore more comfortable wearing exactly what I feel like. I don't dress for anyone but me anymore, and it feels AWESOME." — Lauren, 23, on her relationship of one and a half years
Shop an item that reflects Lauren's current style, below!
"I think I used to put a lot more-interesting outfits together before getting into a relationship. If I had to psychoanalyze it, I would say that perhaps because I now feel so comfortable in my own skin, as well as safe and secure in my relationship, I don't need to make such a strong case for myself to the world via my style—like announcing, with my clothes, THIS IS WHO I AM, WORLD. I have someone who accepts me as I am, so I'm less desperate to do that now.” — Alina, 29, on her relationship of five years
Shop an item that reflects Alina's current style, below!
"Surprisingly, I wouldn't say my relationship has changed my style; it has actually made me embrace it and feel more confident about it. My boyfriend never asks me to dress a certain way—he is totally okay with my tomboyish look—and that makes me feel even better about how I dress!" — Maddie, 21, on her relationship of seven months
Shop an item that reflects Maddie's current style, below!
"While there have been too many Lululemon oversize sweatshirts to count over the years, I think dating someone who is equally as (if not more) sartorially minded than me has definitely improved the way I dress. If I’m not mistaken, my boyfriend, Matt, actually got included in the style pages of our high school yearbook!
"Part of this evolution is definitely just maturing (and realizing that 'jorts' aren't my only summer bottom option), but I can't deny that some of my style choices are directly influenced by his overall aesthetic and interest in fashion. I’m probably lucky because he isn't afraid of some of the usually man-repelling items, and he actually enjoys unique style, which makes me want to branch out [more] myself.
"It's also always funny to me what he doesn't like (the aforementioned jorts, for example), but when I do put together a cute shorts-and-tank combo, it’s nice to get some affirmation for the actual outfit rather than just for showing off some skin (but that can be nice too, to be honest)." — Maggie, 24, on her relationship of seven years (on and off)
Shop an item that reflects Maggie's current style, below!
“I don’t really know if I’m influenced by my relationship. I do know that I go through different phases depending on what I’m currently finding inspiring or appealing to the eye. I trust my boyfriend’s opinion and appreciate his suggestions, and there aren’t many clashes, because we’re usually on the same wavelength. But I’ll still buy things he doesn’t necessarily like, and sometimes he changes his mind about them!” — Ana, 29, on her relationship of three years
Shop an item that reflects Ana's current style, below!
Rachel Antonoff & Other Stories Statement Sweater ($70)
“From the moment I laid eyes on my now husband, it was love at first sight—with his outfit that is. It was my first day in Nice, France, and he was the most stylish backpacker I had ever met. He had the whole Jack Kerouac bohemian vibe going on, with unkempt shoulder-length curls, a vintage rock tee, and worn-in cowboy jeans complete with belt buckle. Coming from a small beach town in Queensland, Australia, I had never seen anyone quite like him. Needless to say, this had a huge influence on me, and for the first few years of our relationship, I was kicking it in suede cowboy boots, distressed denim, and concert tees. I have a photo of us both in matching cowboy hats outside a thrift store in Arizona. Such a crack-up! Of course, my style is completely different now.” — Sacha, 35, on her marriage of eight years
Shop an item that reflects Sacha's current style, below!