man

Over the weekend, I was at a dinner party with Mr. Sweet Pants when one of the women talked about the compromise she and her husband had worked out regarding Anthropologie: If she let him (an amateur chef) choose their wedding registry flatware, he would promise not to complain when she brought him along on a shopping expedition to her favorite clothing store.

The conversation invariably moved to the question of what you should say to a woman who wants to know how she looks in an outfit.

A few of the guys in the room offered up suggestions.

"No matter what you think, the right answer is always, 'You look great,'" said one.

Another said, "If you didn't think it was the best outfit for her, you could say, 'I'm not sure everyone is going to like that on you as much as I do, but I dig it.'"

A third said: "I couldn't date a woman who was always asking me questions like that. Someone who is constantly seeking validation becomes tiresome pretty quickly."

Fair enough, but "always" is different from "on a shopping day," right? Plenty of us — guys very much included — like to have someone along for the excursion so we can get a second opinion. And with Black Friday looming in the very near future (ahem, this Friday!), it's all the more important to have someone there to help with those "is-it-really-a-bargain?" purchasing decisions.

Plus, plenty of us have had the unpleasant experience of shopping solo and convincing ourselves that something looks great … only to get home and realize we were high on the bubble-gum pop they were blasting at Loehmann's. That skimpy quilted skirt, or that pleather shirt, or those pants with the parakeet pattern actually don't look so fabulous after all.

I almost always go shopping by myself because it's just quicker and easier that way. Also, much as I like having new clothes, looking for them often makes me grumpy, and I wouldn't want to subject anyone else to that.

What do you guys think about shopping for clothes with our significant other? Do you like to do it solo, like I do? Do you want to have your significant other along as often as possible? Do you make sure to do it without him or her, because nothing is more likely to lead to a fight?

What Do You Think?