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DEBATE: Should your other half ever buy you clothes?



Two ShortListers lock horns on the issue of unwrapping an item of clothing chosen by the other half.

Judy Cogan
Deputy Editor of ShortList

A couple of years ago on Christmas Day, my fella handed over a large gift-wrapped bundle accompanied by a “I really hope you like it” smile. I have to admit my stomach lurched. “It’s clothes and whatever it is, I’ll have to wear it today,” I thought, guiltily. But as I pulled off the wrapper, I exhaled. A beautiful winter coat from Sandro – one of my favourite shops. It fitted perfectly. “I love it!” I declared, practically jumping for joy.

I loved it not just because it was an expensive coat but because he’d taken a risk. A big risk. And pulled it off. He’d spent time thinking about what I might like, had faced the shops alone, wrapped it up and, in thoughtful anticipation, kept it a surprise too – and all with a potential “You don’t even know me do you?!” at the end of it.

Now I know Christmas isn’t just about the presents – really – but what’s wrong with keeping hold of an element of surprise, that sense of occasion of opening a present someone you love has put some thought into? Even if your man gets it totally wrong – and I’ve been there too – what’s the big deal? So you have to exchange it. It’s unlikely your New Year’s resolution is “I’m never going shopping again”. By letting him choose you something to wear – you may just be pleasantly surprised.

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TanIa Kreindler
Business development manager, Dubai

I’ve asked my Santa for a fridge this Christmas. I think that’s perhaps the best testament to my faith in his ability to buy me clothes unassisted.

I have a slightly awkward body shape and tend to opt for an outfit that hugs me in the right places and disguises the rest – but I would never buy something before trying it on.

For instance, I don’t own a single pair of jeans and the only time you’ll see me in thigh-hugging attire is at the gym – which means no more than 12 times a year. My other half always compliments me on my epic dress collection, but if he were put in charge of buying me something without any hints, I would either end up with something unsuitable for the public eye from the back section of La Perla or an ill-fitting backless number with the gift voucher attached.

Although the idea of being surprised with a dubiously wrapped dress is exciting, returning a gift is always a painful experience. Try doing that in January, during the sales. No thanks.

I believe the ideal gift from your special someone ought to come in a either a jewellery box or a shoe box to be worn with self-chosen clothes. A girl can never have enough sparkly jewellery or red-soled pieces of art.

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