What happened when I let my husband pick my outfit

A few weeks ago, I was complaining to Terry that I didn’t have anything to wear.

No, seriously. Not a thing. Not one single thing.

“No wonder you can’t find anything to wear,” said Terry, rolling his eyes. “You have more clothes than the mall. It would probably be easier for me to just pick something for you.”

Then his eyes lit up. “Actually, maybe I should do that!” he said. “Then I’d get to leave the house on time for once, and you could write about it for your blog.”

“Nah,” I said. “That’s been done before. “Also, you’d definitely dress me like a stripper: don’t even try to deny it.”

Terry DID try to deny it, though, and, well, its been raining for roughly three years now, so it wasn’t like I had anything else to do: why not see what he came up with?

So Terry headed off to the dressing room for what he thought would be the easy task of picking out an outfit. A few minutes later, he was back.

“I’m bored with this already,” he said. “Why do you have so many clothes? No wonder it takes you so long to find something to wear!”

“Aha!” I said, triumphantly. “Not as easy as you thought it would be, is it? I don’t get to give up, though, so you don’t either. Back you go!”

So back he went – and this time I went with him, to act as tour guide to the wonderful world of the dressing room. The following conversation then ensued:

box of clothes and shoes

TERRY: Where are all the glamorous dresses? Like, the ones Audrey Hepburn would wear?

AMBER: Well, there’s this…. [Holds up dress.]

TERRY: No, that’s too pin-up. I want Audrey Hepburn. And glamorous. And where are all the bodycon dresses?

AMBER: [Successfully hides her surprise that Terry knows the word ‘bodycon’.] Audrey Hepburn didn’t really wear bodycon stuff: fitted yes, skintight, not really. But here’s a bodycon dress… [Holds up dress]

TERRY: That doesn’t look like it would be very tight, though?

AMBER: [Starts to see where this is going.] Here’s one I never wear, because it shows every lump and bump: is that the kind of thing you mean?

TERRY: [Looks at dress suspiciously.] That’ll do. Where do you keep your bolly rolls?

AMBER: The hell? Where do I keep my what now?

TERRY: Your bolly rolls. Like shrugs, or whatever you call them.

AMBER: Boleros?

TERRY: Yeah, that’s what I said: bolly rolls. Where are the bolly rolls?

AMBER: No, it’s “boleros”.

TERRY: Like Ravel’s Bolero?

AMBER: [Gives up.] I don’t really have a lot of bolly rolls – I mean boleros. Here’s a shrug, though.

TERRY: [Looks at proffered shrug with obvious disgust] Do you not have, like, a furry one?

AMBER:  Er, no. Here’s a gold one, though?

TERRY: No, I need a furry one.

AMBER: Have you ever seen me wear a furry shrug?

TERRY: You wore one at our wedding?

AMBER: THAT WAS A WEDDING. AND IT WAS A CAPELET.

TERRY: So where is it?

AMBER: [Presents Terry with a box full of faux fur scarves, trusting that he will not know the difference between scarves and ‘bolly rolls’.]

TERRY:  That’s what I was looking for!

AMBER: Those are scarves.

TERRY: No, they’re bolly rolls.

AMBER: Scarves.

TERRY: Bolly rolls.

AMBER: [Glares]

TERRY: So why do you always refer to that furry scarf you wore at the wedding as a shrug, then?

AMBER: Because that WAS a shrug! Well, actually, it was a capelet, but let’s not complicate things. I didn’t wear a furry scarf to get married, though!

TERRY: Yes you did.

AMBER: IT. WAS. A. CAPELET.  These are scarves. But they can also be worn a bit like a capelet.

TERRY: Point proven. You wore a furry scarf to our wedding. How could you?

dressing up

The “bolly roll” debate raged for quite some time, while Terry made me try on and then discard various outfits, occasionally stopping to express his frustration at my lack of certain items. Like mint green leather elbow-length gloves, for instance. And, well, all the bolly rolls, obviously.

“See,” I said at one point, after he’d made me try on every hat I owned, without finding any he was completely happy with. “NOW you know why I have so many clothes: because sometimes you put together an outfit, and it just needs that ONE little thing to make it perfect, and if you don’t have that ONE little thing…”

“You’re not getting those Louboutins,” Terry interrupted. “Although I have to admit, it’s amazing the difference a pair of shoes makes!”

Before I had the chance to get too excited by this revelation, however, it was time for the big reveal.

what happened when I let my husband choose my outfit

Now, the idea here was that Terry would choose an outfit for me to wear on a date or similar. He had to choose something he genuinely thought looked nice (as opposed to just deliberately trying to make me look stupid on the internet: I’m not saying I was confident that wouldn’t happen anyway, of course, but at least I’d know it wasn’t deliberate…), and there was no agenda other than curiosity to see what he would come up with.

As far as style goes, Terry is pretty good at identifying the kind of clothes I like, but he has no real interest in fashion at all –  in fact, almost every item of clothing he owns was a Christmas or birthday gift, and when he DOES shop for himself, his guiding principle tends to be, “Well, I’ve never seen anyone wearing one like THAT before!” He also favours bright colours, bold patterns and anything he considers to be “quirky” or “unusual” – this is all, of course, the complete opposite of my own style, so yeah, I was a little bit worried about what he would come up with.

On the other hand, though, it wasn’t like he was going into a shop and coming out with something I’d never laid eyes on before: he was choosing from my own clothes, and, well, I happen to like my own clothes, obviously, so how bad could it be? Let’s find out…

My husband picked my outfit

Jacket: Dorothy Perkins*; Shoes: Topshop; hat & gloves : both gifts

First up: outerwear. Because the man likes to be thorough, and he said he “didn’t want me to be cold” – aawwww! (Yeah, I know my legs are bare: he did consider black tights, but decided against them. Good call, Terry…) As you can see, Terry is not the matchy-matchy type, and has gone for three different shades of green, which is something I’d never have done on my own, but surprisingly don’t completely hate. He was very insistent on the hat, which he felt provided the extra bit of interest the look needed: this one actually has huge ear flaps, finished off with faux-fur pom poms – I can’t describe how relieved I was when he tied the flaps behind my head. I mean, I’m sure it would’ve looked pretty … interesting… from the back, but not as interesting as the ear flaps would’ve been with the ladylike dress! Speaking of which:

what happened when I let my husband pick my outfit

Dress: River Island (old)

So, the main point of interest here is that I’m wearing two belts, one layered on top of the other (which I’m wearing back-to-front). Terry felt one belt wasn’t “funky” enough, and although I don’t totally hate it either, left to my own devices, I’d probably just have stuck to one. Other than that, though, I have to admit, I was pretty impressed: I mean, when I decided to do this, I was sure he’d have me looking like a cartoon character at the very least, but take away a belt, and I would totally wear this: oh, and it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to attack the brooch to the neck of the dress, but I quite a like it, so maybe you’ll be seeing that on a REAL outfit post, soon.

Conclusion? Well, I’m probably not going to let Terry start choosing my outfits from now on, but I gotta say, he did a much better job than I expected (I mean, I fully expected to be hiding my face for real in these photos…), and I think he deserves a huge pat on the back for being willing to give it a go –  three cheers for Terry, everyone!

As for Terry himself, meanwhile, he has a new understanding of the intricacies of putting together an outfit – and of the vastness of my wardrobe. “I mean, you have something you think’s going to look great,” he said, “But then you put it on, and it’s just ALL WRONG. And it’s not just colours, either: it’s the shape of stuff, too. It’s a minefield!” Spoken like a true fashion blogger, I’m sure you’ll agree.

He’s still not totally clear what a “bolly roll” is for, though…

what happened when my husband picked my outfit

37 Comments
  1. This is brilliant! I’ve suggested Ben do this before for me when I’ve been completely stuck on what to wear (fresh eyes and all that), but I don’t think he dared to even start looking at my clothes, oops! I may try and persuade him though as this is awesome. And Terry didn’t do a bad job at all, go him!

  2. I think he did pretty well! I very occasionally let my husband pick a dress for me to wear, but never a whole outfit. He’s a) colourblind, and b) doesn’t understand the proportion/silhouette thing sometimes. I have been doing a massive clear out though and asked him to go through my dresses and pull out some I should get rid of, 2 of which I agreed with and 1 that I vetoed because it looks like a sack on the hanger but is actually fabulous on. Maybe that’s Terry’s next challenge? X

  3. I’m well impressed by Mr. Terry. I tend to keep things fairly simple when getting dressed so it can be really nice to have another perspective on things. I may be tempted to remove one of the belts OR the brooch but only because my brain itches if I think things aren’t matching enough (but that’s my issue!!)

    1. It did bother him that the brooch wasn’t the same colour of green as the rest – he just couldn’t understand why I didn’t have brooches in every colour of the rainbow! It’s going to be so much easier to justify new purchases now 😉

  4. Hi Amber, I don’t think he done that bad – the boy did good! I should ask my husband to do that one day. I love it that in the photos you’re trying not to laugh. xx

  5. This post was so much fun to read. And it kind of had me thinking that I should let my step-kid choose my outfit sometime. But then again, for the sake of my well being, maybe that’s an idea that should stay as an idea and not become reality./love Ida

  6. I loved this post so much – maybe because I was picturing having a similar conversation about bolly rolls the whole way through. That is such a ‘regular man with little interest in fashion’ thing to say (tarring them all with one great big sweeping brush). I have to say, I wouldn’t usually put different shades of the same colour together either, but I do quite like it too! He did good. I’m now amusing myself by wondering what my boyfriend would dress me in if similarly tasked… He would no doubt complain about the fact I don’t own any short skirts…

  7. If this was a series of posts I would read every one! Like Terry has to meet a certain goal, such as an outfit using a particular pair of shoes, or for a certain occasion. And then maybe for funsies, he has to let you dress him in whatever you want. Just a thought 🙂

  8. Man alive he is GOOD at that!! You look absolutely stunning and I love that everything goes together. I might have to get my other half to do this for me, he has an amazing eye for colours and fashion!! x

  9. This is hilarious. I’m impressed by the amount of thought he put into this. Sounds like a conversation that might happen in my house, but for now I will leave you with this one:

    Me: What should I wear to my audition? I need to look slutty…
    Hubby: Just wear what you wore yesterday.
    Me: I thought you liked that outfit?!
    Hubby: I did. 🙂

    Lisa
    wwww.prettylittleshoppers.org

  10. This post is hilarious! The bolly rolls nearly killed me!! Such a brilliant post….AND he didn’t do the worst job in the world. Very impressive!

    B x

  11. This is so cute! I love the whole bolly rolls discussion. My husband would have it pretty easy because I’m such a boring dresser, but he’d probably pick out an outfit I’d worn the previous day because he wears the same four or five outfits on rotation, haha. I think he did a pretty great job, and it’s interesting how much he actually knows about women’s fashion (even if not always with the appropriate terminology).

  12. I think it looked abit OTT with the green jacket, the gloves and the hat. But without all that outerwear, it’s actually a pretty good look! He put a lot of effort and some of it payed off, so kudos to him!

  13. Hilarious! They actually all look pretty good. The first outfit looks like something a Bond girl might have worn in one of the 1960s movies!

  14. This was amazing. Bolly rolls? After impressing with the word bodycon? (Though to be honest, boleros and shrugs seem very similair to me 😉 ) I was worried at first what he might put together, but I’m starting to think you’d look cute in a burlap bag 🙂

  15. That was hilarious. Lol. I was dying at the wearing a furry scarf to our wedding. I also wore a capelet at my wedding (beaded not furry ) and I think my husband knows the difference. Also i kind of dig the two belts, and the kelly green with the navy.

  16. Wow! He’s definitely into the “more is more” aesthetic. 🙂 I like the 2-belt look, but it probably looks weird from the back. The “bolero” discussion had me cracking up.

  17. That’s so funny. I had and aunt with Alzheimer’s and my uncle loved her so much that he took hairstyling lessons from a professional so he could get her dressed and styled to go out. Mind you, he was normally a guy who loved hunting and football, but they had been madly in love for over 50 years and totally devoted to each other. My husband says he’ll do my hair and dress me if I’m ever debilitated. I am afraid, so very afraid!

  18. My husband asked what a “bolly roll” is so I showed him a Google image search. His response (boisterously exclaimed!) was “Oh! That’s that stupid little jacket that covers what dresses miss!”

  19. Great job Terry! I think this outfit turned out really cute and I love that he took some creative liberties with accessorizing! What a fun post. I totally want to try this with my husband now!

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