Dear Uncle Sam,
My boyfriend has a terrible sense of fashion and I’m embarrassed to go out with him. What should I do?
Now I don’t claim to be an expert on relationships—but you typically see people who have plenty in common getting together. By this logic, I can conclude that if your boyfriend has a woeful sense of fashion, you probably do as well. So don’t get on your high horse, pathetically backstabbing him by writing anonymously to Cherwell for help. I’m willing to bet that your style is just as horrific. In fact, I’d go so far as to say you’re worse. I’d imagine that the contents of your wardrobe repulse him just as much, yet he has refrained from attempting to shame you publicly—probably due to the fact that he possesses at least a shred of moral integrity.
Why your other half wants to be committed to someone who treats them this way is none of my business, although I am deeply curious as to why they’d even consider dating such a snake. Never mind—it doesn’t matter. I’m supposed to be giving you advice on how to dress your boyfriend, as if he were a Ken Barbie doll or a cheap accessory for you to parade around. In the highly likely event that you require fashion tips as well, I strongly recommend applying these to your own outfits.
You should start by taking him to Topman, and purchasing one of their tacky, overpriced jumpers. This way, if you’re ever dissatisfied with the clothes on your lover—who is an individual with his own tastes, desires, and personality—you can force this top over his head. It may temporarily abate the sense of humiliation you feel around him, provided this emotion is caused by his dress sense, rather than being precipitated by some deep emptiness and self-loathing within you.
In the long term, I suggest subtly manipulating and coercing him into being more compliant with your fantasy of a ‘fashionable’ boyfriend. Burn all his disgusting clothes so they’ll hurt when he tries to put them on: if Pavlovian conditioning kicks in, he’ll soon stop wearing his (literally) smouldering shirts. Start making increasingly passive aggressive jokes about sleeping with edgier boys who don the brands and styles to which you’re attracted: if he’s any sort of partner, he’ll take the hint without being stupid enough to start an argument about it. Finally, steal any wavey garms which your man doesn’t own. Even though he won’t be able to flaunt everything you poach at once, it will prevent everyone else from doing so. As a result, your boyfriend’s dress sense will improve relative to the people who have had their nice clothes stolen.
I wouldn’t be any sort of life guru if I didn’t wrap this up without giving you a heads up about the latest fashion trends. First: discarded furniture. Find it. Hoard it. Harvest it. Anyone who’s anyone in the fashion world knows that shoes tailored from mouldy and decrepit sofas, tables, and filing cabinets are going to be the only thing worth having on your feet in six months’ time, so jump on this trend early! I’ve also been hearing chatter in the barber community that the mullet is due a comeback. I know your bae may be sceptical, so do it whilst he’s sleeping if you must, but ensure he’s rocking one of the sexiest hairdos of the 80s by the time the next hair season comes around. Lastly, taking offence appears to be in vogue at present. Capitalise on this: become the epitome of a hot student this summer by constantly challenging ignorant remarks, retweeting anything that belittles Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare in Congress, and no-platform speakers who don’t conform to your worldview. I guarantee you’ll both be Instagram material before you know it.
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