How my husband took my clothing choices in hand

I have always paid a certain amount of attention to what my husband likes in the way of clothing, and these days I pay more, but he didn't force me to do this. Before we went on holiday this year, for instance, he told me he wanted me to get a new swimsuit, because the one I had “makes you look too matronly,” he said. I think he meant it made me look fat, but even my husband, though not normally given to being tactful, knows how dangerous it is to suggest a woman looks fat.

Well, I said he could choose the suit he wanted for me, and he chose a plain turquoise one which was not the one I had my eye on. When I tried it on however, I realised that he had chosen better for me than I would have for myself, and that the plain one suited me better than the more flamboyant one I would have chosen.

It occurred to me that this was a perfect microcosm of how a Taken In Hand relationship is supposed to work. He didn't ignore my tastes and wishes, he chose a suit in a colour he knew I liked, and he didn't pick one out in too revealing a style, which he knew I wouldn't be comfortable with. He considered my tastes, but he made the final decision. In other words, I trusted his judgement, and it worked.

I was rather thrilled about this. But the point is it was by mutual consent. He didn't use steamroller tactics. You need to think about what your partner wants as well as what you want. You might cut up her dress and then find it's one she really loved. Women don't get over that sort of thing easily. You don't need an instruction manual to tell you how to have a relationship, you need to find out for yourselves what works for you.

Louise C

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Soft limits..

It's funny how we seem to acquiesce so much better when it's something we wanted anyway. Gary and I have often talked about limits. I told him it hasn't been hard to do as he told since I agree with it anyway. And of course I get that standard reply 'Since when do you think you had a choice'. But where the going gets tough, is when he makes a decision I completely don't agree with.
What if that bathing suit was nothing was you wanted. Then that becomes the 'hard limit'.
Would it be as easy to submit then?
There was an incident about a year ago. I wanted an independent job that Gary really couldn't monitor. Initially he said a blanket 'no', and I was crushed. I really wanted the job. But he recognized my disappointment and the next day we discussed it and rearranged it so it suited us both.
But that first night, when I had to accept the no, that was a very difficult limit to accept. In fact it was the first 'hard limit' he had installed. I had to keep repeating to myself that he loves me, he wants what's best for me. And with that calm voice in mind, I was able to discuss my newest desire and my want for him to change his mind. And that alone got me much closer to being successful which I was in the end.
So my point is, when the limit is something we agree on, it's easy to submit. But what happens when you don't like it all. Do you still submit with grace?......Blush

What if it's not what you want?

That's a tough one. I'm not sure how I would react if He Who Must be Obeyed made a decision I really really hated.

As regards the swimsuit, I was a bit nervous because he does have a tendency to want me to wear the sort of clothes I wore when I was much younger and thinner than I am now, and I did wonder what I'd do if he picked out some outrageous garment that I would feel totally embarrased wearing. I did feel slightly mutinous when he picked a plain suit rather than the one I fancied with a garish swirly pattern and gold glittery bits, but then I found that he was right about that, and the plain one was better. Would I have worn an embarrasingly revealing suit if he'd chosen one? I don't know. I wear the kind of underwear I'd never choose for myself otherwise because he likes it, but underwear is different, I mean nobody else is going to see it.

We haven't actually been in a Taken In Hand relationship for very long, and so far the situation of him making a decision I really don't like hasn't arisen yet. I mean, I suppose you could say in a way that his curbing of my ebay habit was a decision i didn't exactly like, but I knew it was necessary, I was guiltily aware of having spent far too much money there, and having him take the decision away from me was a relief rather than anything else.

I'm glad you and Gary were able to resolve the question of your job, but so far a similar situation hasn't arisen in our relationship, and I'm not sure how I would cope if it did. It would be interesting to find out.


Why does he decide no? If it were the other way around, would he take a NO from you?


Interesting topic.
Were I in a Taken In Hand relationship, and he was choosing my clothing, I would expect my husband to keep in mind that the clothing I wear now is worn for two reasons: ease and comfort. I refuse to wear clothes that press on my scars or unnecessarily compress surgical areas. I will not wear anything skin-tight as I feel ugly and gross in them, and no amount of compliments will change that.
If hubby were choosing my clothes, he would have to keep in mind that, while he may enjoy looking at me in them, if they cause me pain or discomfort, he is violating my security, and I certainly won't enjoy that.

OK but if your hubby gets mor

OK but if your hubby gets more turned on by you in something you are wearing then you are both going to get the benefits.
If you don't wear, at least once, something he has bought for you then that is downright rude on your part.

Compromise is the Key

It seems to me that although your husband is head of the household he does know how to pick something that is a nice compromise between what you would pick and what he wants to see you in.

So that makes it easy to give in. For myself, no one picks my clothes but if he wanted to pick some of them, I wouldn't care. However if I were told I couldn't take a certain job, no, I wouldn't care for that and there'd be trouble.

And if I were never to pick my own clothes again without his input? I would not care for that either. Most men have their taste in their mouths. You're lucky your husband is different.


This was why the incident gave me such intense pleasure, because I trusted him to make the decision, and it worked. he didn't take advantage of my offer to wear what he chose to make me wear something that he would like but that I would find embarrassing to wear. In a Taken In Hand relationship, the man is supposed to make the final decision, not to ignore his wife's needs and desires, or to force her into doing something she would find distressing. This was when I thought "Wow! This can really work!" It was a tremendous thrill for me.

He doesn't own me!

I have trouble with the idea of my husband picking out my clothing. He gives me input as to what he likes, yes. But it is my body, and I decide how to dress it. He has the say in things regarding safety, what's best for the family, and general respect and behavior. But clothing? No, thanks. He doesn't own me....he is the head of the household.

He doesn't own me

I have never thought of my husband as owning me, and he doesn't think of himself like that either. When he said he wanted me to get a new swisuit, I said he could pick it out for me. This was my decision. What gave me pleasure about the incident was the fact that he didn't use the occasion to take advantage of me or ride roughshod over my feelings, and that he thought about what I wanted as well as what he wanted. This is how I understand a Taken In Hand relationship is supposed to work.

He certainly doesn't try to tell me what to wear on a day-to-day basis, since my daily routine mostly consists of trying to stop two small boys from trying to kill each other, and clearing up the horrible mess they make, I need to wear simple, comfortable clothes, and I do. For me, the significance of the incident was that if I could trust him to make a decision in a minor matter like that, then I could trust him in more major matters like the wellbeing of the family etc.

Perhaps I view the incident differently than you do because clothing has always been relatively unimportant to me, I tend to buy clothes and wear them until they are dropping to pieces, clothes shopping bores me and I grudge spending money on clothes that could be spent on more interesting things, like books.

Nice to read


I loved your article. I still have little nagging doubts about letting go of control completely. It's not exactly that I don't trust that he has our well being in mind. I don't know what it is exactly. Maybe just how forgetful men can be has something to do with it. Or maybe how much he likes 80's clothing (GAH!).

In any case it was wonderful to hear about your experience. It must have felt really good to get that kind of thoughtful reassurance.

Best Wishes!

Nagging doubts

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the article. It was really nice when he did this, it was very early on in our Taken In Hand relationship, and I wasn't entirely sure that he took it seriously and didn't regard it as some kind of joke. The fact that he put serious thought into choosing a swimsuit that was acceptable to me as well as him reassured me that he did understand and that he did take it seriously, so my nagging doubts were laid to rest.

Underwear is the most important thing to him, so long as I wear the kind he likes he doesn't really mind too much what else I wear (he would actually prefer it if I wore nothing else apart from underwear I think).

I hope that everything goes well with you and your husband.


Taking Clothing Choices In Hand

I happen to love the fact that my fiance has taken my clothing choices in hand. I have never had a man who cared about what I wore; he has taken the time and energy to really know what I like and what my tastes are and that to me says so much about him and our relationship. At this moment I am very much looking forward to an outfit that he has so thoughtfully purchased for me. I trust his taste in clothing and we shop and choose things together. Yes it is all about compromise and yes he does have the last say in everything. I would not have it any other way.