How To Dress Your Boyfriend: Brainwash Him

FLARE's Andrew Lovesey dishes on men's fashion each Monday as he breaks down the trends and how everyday men can wear them. But first, some tips to get you started.

Dressing your boyfriend (or husband) can be tough. Some of you may have lucked out and scored a style-minded mate, but face it; most men don’t like being told what to do—let alone what to wear. And we can’t have them all walking around topless like the gent above, so this is why—for my first column—I decided the most important thing to discuss was not pocket squares and dinner jackets, but brainwashing. Or, rather, stylewashing.

Now, stylewashing is not easy. It takes perseverance, dedication and a certain type of savvy and gumption that most of us sadly don’t possess. A good stylewasher doesn’t let their target know that they are being washed, they subconsciously embed fashion prose, indirectly reconfiguring a wardrobe. Lucky for you, I have simplified the process into five short (but tricky) steps.

1. Subscribe him to mens magazines

Don’t give your boyfriend a heart attack by throwing down an issue of some avante-garde publication. Start subtle and ease in more titles over time. Try Sportsnet: simple, macho and concrete—everything he wants. Subscribe him, wait an issue or two, then tack on a GQ subscription. When it arrives, mention that it was a free bonus subscription included with the original purchase. Repeat with other titles, sneakily slipping them into his briefcase, or leaving them around the house.

2. Only watch films with stylish male actors

What better way to subconsciously reinforce your mandate than exposing him to well-dressed Hollywood hunks? I’m not talking about Josh Duhamel in Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! Think, Ryan Gosling in his new flick Only God Forgives. His rugged appearance coupled with the adrenaline-fuelled storyline will keep your man enthralled. (Besides, who doesn’t want to see the latest Ryan Gosling movie, even if there are some ulterior motives lurking about.)


3. Make comments about another man’s outfit

Jealousy can sometimes be the best motivator. You heard it ladies (just don’t mention from where), men do get jealous, generally more often than we let on. So go ahead, make a comment about Gosling’s get-up while sitting in the theatre, or better yet, ogle over a random passerby on the street.

4. Disguise wardrobe picks as presents

Everyone loves presents but nobody loves, let alone wants, a pity gift. This is why all style suggestions and wardrobe picks must be disguised as a thoughtful present. He might think Christmas has come early, or he might think you’re trying to make up for something, but little does he know with each gift you are secretly piecing together his new closet.

5. Out with the old, in with the new (toss ‘em!)

As the instruction suggests, start making space for new pieces by getting rid of the old—slyly, of course. Slowly toss away the old (gnarly) chambray shirts and ultra-wide ’70s ties. If he asks, just tell him that they got snagged in the dryer and were so tattered they just had to be thrown away.

Alright, now get on with it. Start stylewashing your boyfriends today, because next week we jump right into it as I dissect menswear for you.