The Husbands Take Over

Erinn had the brilliant idea [and I’m using this term loosely] to have the guys dress us for a week as a fashion experiment.  The rules were simple: we were allowed to veto if things didn’t fit, were inappropriate for work, or if their choices were too ridiculously embarrassing for public consumption. Other than that, we could give no advice and no hints.  So here’s how they did…

Day 1 for MB:

Dave went into this kicking and screaming.  He started the outfit with this shirt [I’m guessing because it was literally the first thing he saw hanging].  Then he stood in the center of my closet, aimless and frustrated, repeating, “Where are your pants?  I can’t find your pants.”  When I told him that I have pants in a few different locations, I thought he was going to explode.  After narrowing down the options to “black pants,” I asked, “skinny or wide leg?” and he froze.  Like I had asked him to pick the red or blue wire to diffuse a bomb.  In exasperation, he Googled the following search terms: “flowy shirt with flowy pants?” After scrolling through whatever images the algorithm of such a query provided, he concluded that “most flowy pants seemed to go with non-flowy shirts.”  He was so flustered by this lesson in women’s fashion, that I didn’t even ask him to pick out shoes.

He decided on skinny jeans. Top-Zara [sold out, similar here and here] // jeans-Old Navy // boots-Sam Edelman for Nordstrom // watch-Olivia Burton for Nordstrom
My verdict: I’m glad he picked skinny pants! I think he did a good job finding a fairly casual work outfit. I would have probably thrown on a black vest or a blazer just to break up the pattern, but I was completely comfortable all day in this.

Day 1 for Erinn:

Mike tackled this one much like he does everything else in life. It’s either black or white. He either does all out or not at all. In this case both those statements truly apply. He started pulling out pieces from my closet and made me try them on as he assessed their quality. He went at it full force. On this first day, he wanted me to look more professional and then he said the rest of the week would get increasingly more casual. And so he went with a blazer, white shell and black jeans. I love that he chose my wildest pair of shoes to mix up the black and white concept. I actually had totally forgotten about these! I did not realize it on this day (nor by day 3), but Mike had a theme: he went black and white and variations of this all week.

Blazer- old, similar here and here//Black Jeggings- Old Navy//Booties- old, similar here//White Shell- Old, similar here and here

Day 2 for MB: 

I don’t know what Dave Googled this time because I was putting our toddler to bed, but Dave came out of the closet with this sweater and said, “here.”  He refused to look for pants again, insisting that I just tell him what colors I had available.  I started going down the list, and he said, “do you have anything in burgundy?  If so, wear that.”  Done.  Again, he couldn’t handle the shoes, so I chose those.

sweater-Dry Goods [old, similar here and here] // pants- Old Navy [old, similar here and here]// boots-Cole Haan // watch-Michael Kors // earrings-The Mexican Shop in Evanston, IL [similar here]
My verdict: There’s nothing like a fresh set of eyes on your closet. I haven’t worn this sweater in forever and kind of forgot I had it. I have also never thought to pair it with this pair of pants, though I’ve had both for like four years. Dave’s bold choice in pattern and color-mixing totally impressed me.

Erinn’s Day 2:

So I absolutely love this look, because Mike and Kain picked this one out together. They actually were out shopping and my little man pointed to this and said, “Mommy would look cute in that.” I totally agree! It’s clear too that Mike was really thinking about how things would fit my body and what would flatter. He paired it with black tights and once again, lined up shoes for me to try on to see which would look just right.

Dress-Mossimo for Target//Booties-1State

MB’s Day 3:

I think Dave has had it by this point.  He tossed this jacket on the bed, grumbling, “Here.  With black pants. Skinny, because this is flowy.”  When I told him I needed a shirt too, he stomped back to the closet and pulled out a navy top.  About ten minutes later, he comes back, picks up the top and holds it against the jacket, mumbling, “Actually, I don’t think I like this.”  He found two substitutes and spent a considerable amount of time weighing each, mostly focused on whether the lengths would work with the jacket.  He was adorable.

He still can’t handle picking out the shoes. Jacket-Nordstrom [old, similar here and here] // pants-Zara (similar here) // top-Target [old, similar here and here] // booties-Vince Camuto for Nordstrom
My verdict: again, I was really impressed with Dave’s choice in color combo! I feel like white, black, or grey would have been easy to pull (and I have those all in abundance), but I found his careful deliberation to be endearing.

Erinn’s Day 3:

So at this point, I finally figured out that Mike had a theme…only because he told me! I guess that’s pretty much my personality. I forget to pay attention to the details and Mike is constantly pointing out the small elements that I miss. Mike said that this one is my “rugged” look and once again had me remembering pieces I had in the back of my closet. This shirt was one I bought when I was pregnant last year and I eventually couldn’t button it so I think I relegated it to the back of the closet. I’m super excited to bring this back into rotation.

Shirt-Zara, old, similar here//Jeans-Nordstrom//Booties-old, similar here and here


MB’s Takeaways:

  • Dave’s resistance to this experiment and his indecision really surprised me, as he’s totally into clothes and fashion.  Maybe he only cares about his own closet, or maybe he was worried he’d pick something I didn’t like.  Which means Dave may care about my opinion more than I realize.
  • Once Dave figures out a “rule,” he really sticks to it.  After the whole flowy pants/shirt debacle, Dave learned that “flowy” tops need to be balanced by narrower pants, and that is the pattern he kept me in every day.  No dresses, no skirts, no “non-flowy” tops. And, actually, this makes sense.  For men in the corporate world, clothing is quite literally a uniform: dress pants and button-up shirt.  Every. Day. For thirty years.  This made me grateful for how much freedom I have to dress the way I want at work; I think I’d feel somehow stifled in Dave’s shoes.
  • You know how when you see something mundane through a child’s eyes, it becomes more magical, like rainbows or Christmas lights?  The same is NOT true of seeing your clothes through your husband’s eyes.  I realized just how overcrowded and overwhelming my closet really is.  Everything is organized by category and color, but I realized that you can’t actually see anything.  On two of the three-day experiment, Dave picked pieces that I haven’t worn in over a year.  That’s insane.  I feel like [gasp] maybe I need to downsize my wardrobe…

Erinn’s Takeaways:

  • I already knew this, but I feel like it is even more solidified now…Mike doesn’t do anything halfway! If he is going to do it at all, he goes 100%. This whole idea was actually his and he was excited to try to pick out my outfits for the week. And like he does with life, he put his all into it. He examined my closet in great detail and then pulled out several options for me to try on. He got really serious about it, wanting to make sure it was the right choice. I actually liked trying stuff on for him and seeing me through his eyes.
  • For me, this was much harder than I thought. I think I am more of a control freak than I previously realized. So there’s that. Not super excited to learn this about myself, but it definitely became clear on Day 1, when I immediately made faces about his choices. So maybe, just maybe, I need to let go a little bit.
  • Lastly, I had a very similar realization to MB…I have WAAAAAY too much in my closet. I’d be lying if I said I could find things in there easily, because, let’s be honest, every morning getting dressed is a struggle and putting things back once I’ve taken them out is even more of a chore. It was pretty clear to me that my system is a failure when Mike broke several hangers just trying to put things back where he found them.

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