You Can’t Change Him, And Neither Can We

July 8, 2010

We get nearly as many emails from women as we do from men at Put This On.  We are more than happy to have lady readers (hi lady readers!), and we only feel bad that we can’t recommend a lady version of our blog (sorry lady readers!).  When these ladies ask questions on behalf of their boyfriends, though, it can be a bit tough. The reason?  You can’t help someone who doesn’t want help.

We are here for men who want to dress well.  Many of our readers already dress well, some aspire to dress well.  We try to inform and entertain these people.  We make a point of writing from a democratic perspective.  Unlike most media on this subject, our content is not driven by big-money advertisers who we can’t afford to offend. I write about inexpensive used and vintage clothes, we offer inexpensive product recommendations when we can, we write about buying the right things rather than the most things, we strive to have an editorial perspective that is lasting, rather than fashionable.  We try to make work that can be appreciated by both the novice and the aficionado.  I think we do a good job.

But you have to want it.  I can’t reach through the computer and make someone want to dress well, and I certainly can’t reach through the computer, then through an intermediary, and make someone dress well.

I don’t see our job as being “convincing people to dress well.”  I don’t care to be in an oppositional relationship with our target audience.  I only have so much energy to offer, and I don’t want to waste it on people who hate what I care about.  If you want to dress poorly, that’s your choice.  I can’t make that choice for you, and I wouldn’t presume to.  If you don’t like our perspective, it’s OK for you to move along.  I have found that there are plenty of men who are already skilled and enthusiastic dressers, or who are seeking guidance to become the same.  We’re not sweating it.  Your loss.

So to get back to the ladies: if you want your man to dress better, ask him to.  Tell him it’s important to you, if it is, just like you would tell him it was important to you that he quit smoking or cook more or read a book you liked or whatever you would like from him.  There are benefits for him, of course.  He’ll be more respected, he’ll be more attractive, he’ll be showing respect to the people around him.  Just don’t assume that he’ll see the light, and don’t ask us to show it to him.

And if you want to date a man who dresses well, find one, and ask him out.