the "girlfriend effect"
when girlfriends influence men's fashion sense
We’ve all watched a couple pick up some habits from each other after dating for a while. But what about influencing each other’s fashion sense? The “girlfriend effect” has been used to describe the phenomenon where men’s fashion sense improves under the influence of their girlfriends. This trend has gained popularity on TikTok as creators share their own examples of the effect. However, the trend has also been criticized for taking away individual styles and creating one “Instagrammable” look. Let’s look at how creators and stylists are embracing (or not!) the trend:
A STYLE EVOLUTION
Gabe Escobar (@gabesco) has been credited for starting the trend when he went viral with a video sharing a series of photos depicting how his style has gradually evolved since he started dating his girlfriend more than a year ago. Escobar had come across another creator on TikTok, @lashehole1, talking about "girlfriend air," a theory that after spending time with a girlfriend, men pick up behaviors from them that improve their appearance or lifestyle, which inspired him to share his own journey. Before, it was band tees and hoodies, now it's sharp suits and sleek haircuts. Gabe credits his partner with encouraging him to experiment with fashion and embrace a bolder look.
COUPLES SHARING CLOTHES
Stylist Erin Eagle takes the trend a step further by saying the couples should even share clothes. While sharing a sweatshirt between a couple might be a universal experience, Eagle recommends sharing more clothing items. "With the rise of streetwear and that kind of style, baggy clothes are in," Eagle said. "Unisex fashion has become trendy and practical, and men's and women's styles are blending together." Sharing clothes also might be a smart way to save money or be more sustainable. A win-win!
STYLE STEALING OR ELEVATING?
Other creators, such as TikToker Ash (@velvteenrabbit), share criticism of the trend. The fashion student and blogger says, “A lot of these women are just taking away any personal style that their boyfriends have at all.” While some feel it is cramping personal style, others feel the issue is the negative way girlfriends are speaking about their significant others. Even those who question the trend can admit that in many cases the girlfriend did elevate their partner’s personal style