Guest Post: Plight of the Fashion Blogger’s Boyfriend

Being “Boyfriend of Jean” comes with important duties — tasks such as taking blog photos and knowing when to say, “that makes you look tall.” But the number one responsibility that accompanies dating a shopping-happy 5-foot-tall lady is, of course, taking her shopping.

I’ve written this post to give a male perspective on a few retail establishments, partially in hopes of providing some guidance, but mostly to let all the fashion blogger BFs out there know: you’re not alone, dude.

Click below to continue reading…

(“Man Score” represents the maximum number of minutes a man can tolerate being inside each store. Having a smartphone is assumed. If not, divide scores by at least 2.)

Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrombie (kids), Hollister, Gilly Hicks, et al

This family of stores is decent at first, but quickly becomes nauseating. Literally. I have on several occasions walked out of an A&F; in desperate need of Tylenol and an airsickness bag. I would rather drink ten shots of SoCo Lime than spend an hour in one of these wood-shuttered, perfume-drenched, techno-pumping caves.

A few redeeming qualities: men’s stuff without a moose on it is usually OK, adequately organized, relatively inexpensive, and really good looking employees (Hooray for discriminatory hiring practices!).

Man Score: 15 minutes

Recommended plan of action: Ear plugs, nose plugs — any kind of plug would be helpful, really. Otherwise, hold your breath and try to get out before the 16-year-old behind the counter offers you a job.

Forever 21
The only store a guy hates more than a Forever 21 is a two-story Forever 21. Any purse-holding man who’s been made into a temporary clothes rack while following a woman around in tight figure eight patterns knows what I’m talking about. I’ve been to flea markets better organized.

Some stores are starting to carry a men’s brand, which seems like a lower quality H&M.; I forget what they call it, and I don’t really feel like looking it up because whatever it is doesn’t change the fact that when people ask me “Where did you get that?” I would have to tell them, “Forever 21.”

Man Score: 45 seconds

Recommended plan of action: Bad sushi, too much Indian food, ruptured knee ligaments, a severed limb — if you have any of these cards to play, by all means play them now. Your second option is trying to embarrass your shopper as much as possible. Try on women’s hats and sunglasses or wander off into the lingerie section and start dispensing unsolicited underwear advice. Sure, you might have to leave the Forever 21 with mall security, but you’ll have left, right?

Theory has a few things going for it. Firstly, it’s small, well organized and not crowded. This prevents aimless wandering (see: Forever 21). The music doesn’t suck (again, see: Forever 21, Abercrombie). Employees are friendly and know that a guy in the fitting room can help facilitate a purchase. Compare this to a store such as Forever 21, where fitting room attendants assume the only reason a man would need to be in there is for hanky panky or shoplifting.

Also, a nice touch is the men’s magazines Theory keeps on the benches around the store. Usually Details or GQ. These are magazines some men would rather not admit to reading, so we take secret delight in situations like this where we are “forced” to read them. However, the magazine bonus is nullified if you make us come here twice in the same month.

Man Score: 32 minutes

Recommended plan of action: Find a padded seat in a quiet corner, hunker down and start familiarizing yourself with fine Whiskeys and the dos and donts of boat shoes. This is as good as it gets, but look at it this way: at least you’re not at the Coach outlet.

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Leave a Comment


  1. I love this blog…Thank you for posting nice post..

    Posted 1.2.13 Reply
  2. This is a funny one! I had fun reading it. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Posted 12.30.12 Reply
  3. AmyC wrote:

    i love this. lol you are both a great team. hilar!

    Posted 6.16.12 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Im so glad I came accross this post – it gave me a much needed laugh. Thank you Nick and keep these posts coming!

    Posted 2.21.12 Reply
  5. sunshowers wrote:

    This is a hilarious post! I never take my husband shopping with me anymore, I can't stand his incessant complaining and he can't stand waiting and waiting. He would agree with everything you said, as Forever 21 and A&F;/Hollister are his two most hated stores. Forever 21 horrifies him since he knows I'll disappear into the labyrinth of racks for an hour at least. If I take him into A&F;/Hollister he complains that it's too dark to see anything, but he sees well enough to complain about being surrounded by "douchebags". *sigh*

    Posted 10.11.11 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    haha this is cute! i'm opposite when it comes to shopping… i can't even shop with girlfriends sometime because i don't like the feeling of being rushed/ waited on (if everyone else is done but i'm not). i mainly just shop by myself or with my trusty sisters for advice. i RARELY take my boyfriend to shop with me because i feel bad for him.. that and it's just awkward for me haha (although he does say he doesn't mind) 🙂 so even if your boyfriend hates it, i say good for you guys for being able to go it together still!

    Posted 4.24.11 Reply
  7. Amen brother. Need some analysis on LOFT and Nordstrom though.

    Posted 2.15.11 Reply
  8. isea wrote:

    hi extra petite! i just discovered your blog today and i'm positively thrilled; i have exactly the same measures as you do! i really enjoyed your bf's post but more importantly, i'm now interested in visiting F21 because if you shop there, surely something will fit me as well! glad to have stumbled here! 🙂

    ps. when out shopping with my bf, he gets an "assignment" to find cute outfits he'd like me to wear. seems to keep him relatively entertained; i haven't gotten complaints yet. 🙂

    Posted 2.9.11 Reply
  9. Rinny wrote:

    Haha I got a few laughs out of this post, because the "man scores" are spot on – my bf absolutely hates going to F21 with me as well 😛

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    Forever 21 gives me a head ache, and I rarely find anything worth while. Occasionally you can find a dress or shirt whose strings will come off after a few washes. Advice: say away from there for the sake of your bf and yourself. Great job with your blog by the way.

    Posted 12.23.10 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    DUDE GET OUT NOW!!!!!! I was once like u, it started with occasionally going with the gf to a couple of stores to make her happy and spend time together, then it became a RITUAL every single weekend. Next was going to the little parties and special viewings and trunk shows and fashions night out events. Fashion week tickets when it comes to town 2x a year and more events and read this blog and read that blog and oh honey the Sept issue of Vogue is here!. All of a sudden our closet became HER closet and we should look into getting Cali custom closets; no room for shoes; how about moving into a 2bdr; the damn dog wears designer crap now. . . .

    I'm pleading with you man GET out NOW!!!! The madness will never end!It's a disease my boyz warned me but I didn't listen!
    You still have a chance dude! you are only in the early stages. You can ESCAPE!!!

    Run for your life!!!!!

    Posted 11.8.10 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    I love this post! I want to go to a Theory outlet now – it looks so nice based that phoo. Haha, my boyfriend loves to see me try on clothes, but he always gets Annoyed when I take a long time… And he wonders why nothing fits me! You and I are very similar in size and shape, so it's so difficult finding anything that fits the first time! My bf is 5'7.5"-5'8", so all brands carry clothes that fit him.

    Men are so lucky ;/ I can stand f21 for the most part because their sizing has gone out of control! I'm so jealous of how guys can shop at most (if not all) stores and their sizing is consistent ;/

    Posted 9.15.10 Reply
  13. I. Phone.

    that device has probably saved marriages…
    or something.

    (And I never take him with me on *serious* shopping expeditions–
    that would just be unfair.

    He's a really good sport about it, all told,
    and he has a great eye for what looks good on me.)

    Posted 9.5.10 Reply
  14. Chloe wrote:

    Hysterical! Love this. Husband actually turns pale whenever we an encounter a Forever 21 together. Sheer look of panic on his face everysingletime.

    I hafta put up with football for five months out of the year, so the least he can do is humor me for five hours in F21. Right? RIGHT.

    Posted 9.2.10 Reply
  15. Rose wrote:

    My suggestion is to leave them at home.

    Posted 8.31.10 Reply
  16. Pamela wrote:

    This is a such a fun post! I think petite and non-petite BF or Hubs can relate to your BF!!! Spot on!! And that opening pic–nice touch! he's got some great balancing skillz! 🙂

    Posted 8.31.10 Reply
  17. gigiofca wrote:

    Hysterical. I totally love it. BofPAG must review more stores! Please alert me when there are new reviews 😉

    Posted 8.30.10 Reply
  18. Tiffany wrote:

    I just stumbled on your blog from Stephie's blog…I have to say 1. you are SO GORGEOUS (you actually remind me a lot of that beautiful Chinese actress named Liu Yi-Fei) and 2. your bf's post is hilarious!!! of course, these are all things already mentioned so perhaps my comment is a bit redundant but I wanted to share anyway and just say hi! I love your style, and I'm a shortie myself too so I'll be looking forward to reading your blog in the future 🙂

    Posted 8.18.10 Reply
  19. He is so sweet! What a great post. My BF would also follow me around and help me shop, but it makes him feel uncomfortable with the way I zip through the store, weaving through shoppers like a razor blade, so he waits outside

    He HATES any store with lots of stuff, like F21. I tend to shop on my own 😛

    Posted 8.15.10 Reply
  20. Revanche wrote:

    LOL poor PAG's BF!! I hate to out him, but PiC is a far more patient shopper than I, and will voluntarily go into those hated stores to poke around and find stuff for me.

    Since I will go with him to HIS stores, I think it's totally fair. But your BF sounds like my BFF – dude HATES women's clothing shopping and is often emailing me in boredom when he gets dragged through.

    Posted 7.28.10 Reply
  21. Kristy wrote:

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA How come I didn't get to this post sooner?!?!? Your bf is such a great writer (you too!) I enjoyed reading this post from beginning to end. I even read it twice 😀

    LOL @ his comments on A&F.; SO TRUE!!
    Say hi to from me 🙂

    Posted 7.21.10 Reply
  22. CynthiaC wrote:

    Different scents do different things to me. I can't stand AF, but I can tolerate Anthro…maybe it's because of the pretty clothes – LOL

    Nick, if girly clothing stores turn you off, I guess SEPHORA would pretty much kill, huh? LOL

    Posted 7.20.10 Reply
  23. kali wrote:

    LOL. I think your BF is lucky!! Being in a (unisex) clothing store is probably better than being in a makeup store since he can browse!

    It's so funny because he thinks a 2 story Forever 21 is bad. The one over here has 3 floors! Yea you heard me, 3 stories tall baby. Tell him to take you to SF!!

    I'm the same with Abercrombie -ugh I cannot stand the smell of that store. And I cannot stand the darkness in Hollister.

    Posted 7.20.10 Reply
  24. L wrote:

    LOL best post ever!

    Posted 7.20.10 Reply

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