I have a dress at home hanging on my rail that I will probably never wear again but am incapable of throwing away. It is what my boyfriend Chris and I refer to affectionately as my "'Slag Dress" -- a bright pink, one sleeved body-con number that I once had the misplaced confidence to actually wedge myself into, back when we were first "dating" (I use this term loosely).
I remember buying it, thinking that it was going to knock his socks off. And it did, he loved me in it, and I felt sexy and hot and like some kind of special superhero with the special powers of being able to make the man I wanted turn to putty.
After that night out, he asked me to wear it again and again -- I think I did maybe once but I didn't want it to lose it's magic. It was relegated to the rail, where I look at it every now and again and remember how FABULOUS I felt in it.
I don't really remember prior to that moment, ever feeling so great in something I was wearing, and about 98% of that was down to my partner's reaction in seeing me in it. That buzz of feeling like you're really, truly desired is priceless -- a feeling that I personally seek to recreate as often as possible.
As such, I purposely buy clothes I know he will like. I know he likes me in bright, printed dresses, which are my favourite clothes to wear anyway, luckily, and prefers me with my hair down. This isn't to say that he actively dislikes me in anything else, I just know what he likes seeing me in and I guess I kind of tailor my wardrobe around that.
Before Christmas, I tried on a pair of tight silver trousers that I instantly fell in love with, but when I stepped out of the changing room and saw the horrified look on his face I knew I wouldn't buy them. Before anyone goes cray in the comments saying I should buy the things I LOVE and wear them -- I do -- I have plenty of items that I have bought knowing that he hates them, but I prefer the feeling of pulling something on and knowing that he loves it and will find me super-attractive in it.
It works both ways, of course. Most mornings he will ask me what he should wear to work. I love his style, but I definitely have favourite items in his wardrobe that I will encourage him to wear over others. Sometimes I'll accidentally pull a little face if he chooses that shirt I don't like that he bought when I wasn't looking, and involuntary shudder if he wants to wear his Beer Lao vest OUT IN PUBLIC. I can't help it! I am a terrible person.
I read yesterday that according to a survey, one in seven women will secretly throw away clothes that belong to their partners, because they don't like them, or feel that they don't suit them. Now THAT seems a little mean. I had a think about it -- had I ever thrown something of Chris' away?
No, however I have hidden some choice items. There's the Arsenal scarf that offends my eyes so much whenever I see it that I always chuck it in the spare room -- or "the shit room, the place we chuck all the stuff no-one wants" and hope he won't find it again. There's the pair of black Levis that are so faded and have such a variety of stains on them that I stuffed them at the back of the wardrobe behind an old duvet.
I may or may not have "stored" some of his old underwear that he refused to throw away in a drawer somewhere, never to see the light of day again. I have a feeling his Mum did the same, as when we were living back with his parents before we moved out, clothes he liked but his Mum hated would mysteriously disappear, never to be found.
In particular, I remember this shiny jacket that we got on a whim on a day trip once -- it looked a bit like a bin bag. Chris' Mum HATED IT and surely enough it got snarfled away somewhere.
I know we spend a lot of time telling ourselves that we dress for us, or for other women even, but really, if you REALLY think about it, how much do you actually dress for your partner?
Is there a top that your beloved likes you in because they can see every sexy lump and bump? A pair of jeans that you'd probably chuck out except that every time you wear them, you get a little more attention from that one person you want it from?
Is this whole article going to get me totally lynched because I like wearing stuff I know my boyfriend likes? Be honest in the comments!
Snarfling goods on Twitter: @Natalie_KateM