You be the judge: should my boyfriend tone down his eccentric dress sense?

  Reading time 8 minutes

The prosecution: Priya

Akash will wear colourful Crocs with vibrant socks and call it ‘a look’. But I really detest it

Akash, my boyfriend of two years, is not the shy and retiring type. He’s always been that way and I do love him for it.

When Akash walks into a room you notice him. He’s a big personality and his dress sense reflects that. When we first got together, I noticed his flair with fashion straight away. He’d wear shirts that were bright and patterned and pair them with colourful trainers.

We are almost 30 and he’s becoming increasingly eccentric. Akash is now really into Crocs and has them in about 10 different colours. He doesn’t wear them on formal occasions but if we go for dinner in a chilled place, he will think nothing of wearing them with vibrant socks.

He even tried to wear Crocs to my sister’s graduation meal. I had to put my foot down. I pointed out that my family would be dressed up and that he needed to make more of an effort. He was fine with that, thankfully.

There have been a few other occasions when we’ve been getting ready for a date or a friend’s birthday and I’ve tried to gently steer him away from Crocs, as I really detest them. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. I prefer a cleaner, more simple look on Akash. I dress quite minimalist myself. He owns cream and orange-patterned cargo pants, which I hate. I always say “not those trousers again” when I see them. He just laughs, pairs them with Crocs and yellow socks and calls it “a look”.

We met during lockdown, when we were adjusting to working from home. We’d meet for a walk around a park or for a drink and he would wear a nice Parka, smart trousers, a shirt and trainers. He liked getting changed to meet me.

Now it’s Crocs with everything and oversized graphic T-shirts. There’s no differentiation between what he wears when working from home and what he wears on date nights.

I think it’s nice to get changed out of your work clothes and go out in something else, but Akash disagrees.

The defence: Akash

I love my eccentric colour palette and wearing what I want. The Crocs are going nowhere

I know that Priya doesn’t love my fashion sense, but I think it’s kind of funny. She really dislikes my Crocs, but they aren’t going anywhere. They are an absolute staple.

I got into wearing them when I first started working from home. Crocs are comfortable, lightweight, affordable and go with anything.

I’m a graphic designer and so spend all day drawing and working on projects. I have always loved experimenting with colour and style and am quite a creative person.

When I met Priya two years ago, I was doing graphic design on the side, while I worked in recruitment. My job dictated my style: I was dressing more formally, with less colour. But now I’m a full-time designer, I’m far happier and can also wear what I want.

I love finding vintage shirts from charity shops and wearing patterned, clashing colours. Being fully home-based now, I don’t see the need for any formal wear. Working in an office really cramped my style – I wasn’t comfortable in shirts and shoes. Now I can wear my graphic T-shirts, tracksuit bottoms and Crocs all day.

Priya thinks when we are going out on dates I should smarten up, but the best part about working from home is there’s no need to change after work.

I understand that there are occasions when I’d need to look a bit smarter, and of course I’m open to that. But I’m not a slob, I’m just a bit eccentric with my colour palette – and allergic to smart trousers.

Priya once got annoyed at me when I tried to wear Crocs to her sister’s graduation meal. It wasn’t an argument but she did say “I think you should change,” and so I did. Her parents were there in suits and her sister was in a smart dress, so maybe Crocs wouldn’t have been the right vibe.

But on a day-to-day basis, I love wearing eye-catching casual clothes. That’s my personal style and Priya needs to accept it. Life is way too short to confine yourself to outfits that are uncomfortable and don’t reflect who you are.

The jury of Guardian readers

Should Akash dial down his sartorial colour spectrum?

Priya says this is only about formal events but it seems she doesn’t like Akash’s fashion sense in general. He isn’t dressing eccentrically because he can’t be bothered to make an effort; he genuinely loves his style. If it makes him happy, let the Crocs stay.Vilna, 30

Akash should be more versatile. If he is creative and loves experimenting, he should be able to come up with evening outfits that are a bit smarter while also being very much him. Calling everything “a look” is a poor excuse for ignoring the right vibe.Clémentine, 29

Akash, the “Croc Monsieur”, has a flamboyant personality and is clearly living his best life as a graphic designer. It seems Priya prefers a more toned-down boyfriend but she does admit she wouldn’t change his colourful character.Gill, 73

More people should dress the way they feel. I understand why Akash is allergic to formal trousers, and I respect that. On occasion, however, it might be worth taking that antihistamine and ditching the Crocs for a smart outfit and shoes, as long as they still say “Akash”.Aine, 27

Priya should relax and try to accept that she’s powerless over what Akash wears. He doesn’t complain about her clothes. Akash listens to her thoughts and changes his look when appropriate, so how Priya feels is important to him. Trying to control things that just don’t matter too much usually ends badly. Hester, 42

You be the judge

So now you can be the judge. In our online poll below, tell us: should Akash do as Priya wishes and swap his Crocs and tees for smarter threads?

The poll is now closed

Last week’s result

We asked whether Simeon should stop taking out the sink strainer, as it annoys his wife, Clara.

83% of you said yes – Simeon is guilty

17% of you said no – Simeon is not guilty

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