Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

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Dress to Impress Your Husband

  • Kathi Lipp The Husband Project
  • 2012 8 Mar
Dress to Impress Your Husband

“I base my fashion taste on what doesn’t itch.” Gilda Radner

There was a time in the not too distant past where I was ponytail crazy. Between hitting the gym, running kids to school and activities, and trying to produce an income to feed and shelter four teenagers, my hair was the last thing on my to-do list. It was enough work just getting to my stylist, Franc, once a month to guarantee that I remained a redhead.

The problem was, I knew that Roger hated my convenient hairstyle of choice. He said that he loved it when I wore my hair down, loose and curly.

That’s when the inner monologue started. Perhaps you’re familiar with this little speech:

OK—fine, I get it. He likes my hair down (when I wear skirts, when I wear jeans instead of sweats, when I wear blue.) Doesn’t he understand that it takes time to do all that “girly” stuff? Oh sure, I could be perfectly done-up if I had a stylist and a makeup crew. All he has to do is throw on a pair of clean jeans and make sure there’s no visible nose hair. Who does he think he is? Well, if he helped out more with stuff around the house, then maybe I would have time to look like I didn’t just roll out of bed. I cannot believe how selfish he is!  

All this because he told me how pretty I looked with my hair down.

Poor guy.

Our husbands like being married to women. Not that we have to be dressed in Laura Ashley, looking like an extra from Little House on the Prairie in a flowered smocked dress. In fact, I get more compliments from my guy when I wear my leather jacket and favorite jeans than when I get all dolled up. He just loves when I make the effort to look like my full-time job is something other than ditchdigger.

Wearing my hair loose and curly, wearing his favorite color or the necklace he gave me last Christmas is just a little something to let him know that I’m thinking about him and care about his opinion.

Do a Little Research

Do you already know what your husband loves to see you in? If not, it may be time to do a little investigating, or even outright ask him.

The challenge here is that when you ask him, you also need to be prepared to listen to what he says. If he’s brave enough to tell you that he’s not a huge fan of the sweater with the feathers on it, then you need to respect him enough to stop wearing the sweater.

To ask and then ignore his opinion is much worse than never asking at all.

Beauty Without Vanity

Subconsciously, women may wrestle with wearing nice clothes or doing their hair and makeup because of feeling undeserving of such an Extreme Makeover wardrobe. Or perhaps it’s a struggle because we might consider ourselves unspiritual or self-absorbed if we spend too much time on looking good.

I love how Jill Swanson, author of Simply Beautiful: Inside and Out, opens her book talking about “Beauty Without Vanity”:

"Balancing beauty with humility is an ongoing struggle for today’s woman. None of us want to appear vogue on the outside and vague on the inside. If we were to be honest with ourselves, we would all like to look the best we can. Clothing and appearance affect how we feel and think about ourselves. They can lift our spirits and help give us confidence to face the real world.

"The body is God’s handiwork. We have a responsibility to take care of it and to present ourselves in a way that will compliment the Kingdom of God. How we appear on the outside reflects our integrity and competence. Through initial contact with people, fifty-five percent of our perceived credibility is based on appearance alone! First impressions lay the groundwork for establishing trust and believability."

Don’t Wait Until “The Next 5 (or 50) Pounds”

Then there’s the issue of putting off thinking about our appearance until we hit some mystical, magical goal.

  • When I lose weight
  • When the kids are in school 
  • When I go back to work
  • When I get a better job

The problem is this: If you feel undeserving at 170 pounds, there is nothing magical about getting to 150 that’s going to suddenly make you feel worthy of taking care of yourself. There is always someone thinner, taller, prettier, and who looks better in those jeans. There are millions of other women who, when you compare yourself to them, will leave you wanting.

The other side of this is that you’re the only one of those millions of women who your husband is married to. He wants (and may I be so bold as to say deserves) the best version of you, right now, that’s available.

I’m not saying don’t lose the weight or give up on your exercise program. I’ve struggled with these areas all of my life, and they most likely will keep me on my knees in prayer until the day I die. What I am saying is that there’s no reason to postpone being the best you can be, right now.

If money is an issue when it comes to clothes, you’re better off having three outfits that you know your husband loves you in, and you feel great wearing, than a couple of closets filled with things that are comfortable but make you look tired and dowdy.

Pay attention to what your husband responds to. Does he give you extra attention when you’re wearing a dress? Maybe it’s time to commit to wearing skirts once a week. My husband gave me the most amazing turquoise pendant necklace for Christmas. I now have three shirt, jacket, and jean combos that look great with that necklace. And when I get a compliment, I get to say (loud enough for Roger to hear me), “I know, I love this necklace too. My husband picked it out. Doesn’t he have great taste?”

Prayer for Today

Dear God, I pray my husband knows he’s special to me in every way—that he is worth the extra effort.

Getting Creative

  • Is your husband a sports fan? Maybe the sexiest thing you could wear is a T-shirt with his team’s logo on it.
  • The next time you’re shopping, think about your husband’s favorite color. Chances are it’s blue—lucky us! Everyone looks great in some shade of blue. Make sure to mention that you bought it with him in mind.

Project Reports

“I bought a new shirt a few weeks ago. Every time I wear it he says, ‘I like that shirt,’ or ‘That shirts looks nice.’ So I wore that shirt today, and occasionally throughout the day I remembered his comments and felt more confident. He did not say anything this time, but he has said it enough before that I know how he feels.”—Linda

“Today I will wear a pair of gold earrings my husband gave me. The card that he wrote when he gave them to me read ‘I love you more each day.’ So I call them my ‘I love you more each day earrings.’ (I’m not real creative!) He is impressed that I remember what he had written on the card.”—Denise

Published February 25, 2009

Adapted from The Husband Project (Harvest House, 2008). Copyright 2008 by Kathi Lipp. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking more than 45 times each year to thousands of women. Kathi and her husband, Roger, are the parents of four teenagers and live in California.