By Rill Hodari
There is a much touted book written years ago about five ways to express or receive love that comes natural for different types of people. The key is to understand how the target of your affection interprets and values certain behaviors and how you yourself can interpret the love signals that they put out. Being an avid clothes shopper and also an observer of shoppers, I have come up with my own list of ways to express or interpret love for the shopper in your life.
1. Get to know her style and if you really want to win him over learn how to dress to complement it.
So this is really about intimacy and extending yourself to get to know your loved one. I am not saying give up your own style to match hers or his. But what I am saying is that really getting to know and understand your loved one’s fashion taste can give you insight into their values and how they see themselves. Also on the appropriate occasion, such as attending a professional social event or a sports outing, you might dress yourself to complement or align with their style, which is affirming them in a very strong manner.
2. Learn their shopping fears.
Again this point is about intimacy. Does your loved one avoid v-necks because she feels too busty? Is he self conscious about his belly? How does he or she dress to accommodate this fears or insecurities and how can you either avoid tripping up on this trigger or find new solutions to alleviate the fears. Good relationships can develop us in positive ways that might evolve us out of our phobias.
3. Shop with her or him AND for him or her.
I love to see couples shopping together in clothing stores. Sometimes you see the passive guy on the couch outside the fitting room just wanting the activity to be over. Or worse there’s the dictator companion who quickly endorses or flatly rejects outfits without conversation with their partner or sales staff. The best scenario is the shopping buddy who is patient, encouraging, fully present (not on their phone) and gives feedback but still yields the decision to how the outfit makes the wearer feel in it. It is not about them. This shows your love one’s ability to prioritize your needs for a stretch of time.
4. Give them feedback that centers around their needs and not yours.
In that same vein I’ve heard guys in stores tell their girlfriends to buy revealing clothes because for them it is erotically pleasing. However, the dress or outfit might not be appropriate for the occasion it is being purchased for. Yes, every woman wants to be told she is hot by her mate, but that chemistry is not the focus of every dressing situation. By really helping her have a successful charity dinner, work presentation, networking event AND then turning up the heat when you two are alone, she will feel loved in a broader way.
5. Share your own fashion wants.
Most real shoppers love to shop. So sharing your fashion wants with a shopper gives them a mission. Even if it is a team jersey or favorite sneakers brand, letting her know what you like opens the door for her to show you affection in a another manner that comes natural and enjoys.
Happy new year and happy shopping!