I love that my boyfriend is stylish.
Contrary to what society seems to mandate, he has opinions on clothing – both his and mine. I don’t mean in the sense that he tries to control what I wear. He is fully supportive of my being as sexy or conservative as I like. But he has developed an eye for esthetically pleasing fashion that I respect. In fact, in situations where I don’t have access to a mirror, I feel comfortable trying things on in front of him and going with whatever outfit combination he likes the best.
There’s a few reasons why this is so. First, we live in New York, where men aren’t punished for taking an interest in dressing well. In fact, there are too many shops that cater to the dapper man, from the stores stocked with vintage leather motorcycle jackets to the Chelsea boutiques selling items for the high-powered gay man. (Yeah, he’s shopped there, too. Let us know if you find an affordable man skirt, yeah?)
On a personal level, he’s the least homophobic man I’ve ever come across. He’s confident in his sexuality, and as a Latin guy, he’s most comfortable in a Speedo. He often gets hit on by gay men (I mean, just look at how cute he is), but he just laughs it off and/or takes it as a compliment. One of his favorite stories to tell is the time he was in line for a show, and a guy turned around, dropped his jaw and said, “Oh! I want to climb you like a tree!”
He’s also very tall and skinny, which means he has to take an interest in fit and labels, or else he looks like a schlubby dork. Finally, as an architect/DJ, he has an interest in dressing well. I mean, he spends a lot of time studying the gorgeous intricacies of Japanese charred wood siding and molded concrete – why not apply that same eye to wool and cotton? And when he DJs, he likes to wear something a little off kilter and edgy.
I’ve noticed lately that he and I have started dressing alike. Straight-edged jackets, skinny jeans, lots of black. Look! We’ve even both gotten into wearing Nike trainers around.
We have a ton of fun shopping together. Last fall we spent a day wandering from vintage store to vintage store looking for a motorcycle jacket for him. (The best selection is at Ten Ft. Single by Stella Dallas in Williamsburg, FYI.) When we discovered a place in Williamsburg called Soot & Tusk that carried little-known designers, we did some real damage. I got a zero-waste knit and draped vest, he got a badass cape that looks pretty cool on me, too. In Chicago, we had a ball exploring a store that sells American brands (that’s where he got the jeans he’s wearing). I’ll send him men’s brands I think he’ll like, and he’ll give me feedback when I’m trying to clean out my closet.
A few months back, I complimented a woman on her necklace. “Thanks,” she said. “It’s actually my husband’s. We keep it in our androgyny drawer.” I love that.
If you don’t have a partner who is open to fashion, I suggest you change that. It makes dressing easier, more collaborative, and – dare I say it – more sustainable. Having a stylish boyfriend has helped me cut down drastically on dumb purchases. And sharing necklaces, t-shirts, and socks is a more efficient use of resources. But really, it’s just more fun.