They love fashion, but should their men ever tell them what to wear?
After Frank Lampard reportedly vetoed Christine Bleakley’s sexy outfits, Kerry McKittrick asks if a husband should have a say in his wife’s wardrobe ...?
From Frank Lampard reportedly putting a stop to Christine Bleakley's sexy outfits on TV’s Dancing on Ice to Gwen Stefani saying that her husband prefers her with make-up on, it seems some men like to have a say on how their girlfriends or wives look.
Christine’s new wardrobe for the Sunday night show has been labelled frumpy and dull by fashionistas, with some observers suggesting that fiance Frank is behind her more demure look.
Certainly, there’s been no sign of the sort of plunging gowns that former host Holly Willoughby used to wear. Of course, those in a relationship want to dress to please their partner but a woman's dress often reflects her character. So, is it really ok for a man to dictate his other half's wardrobe ... or is it the start of a slippery slope towards him having too much control?
Gemma Garrett (31) is a former Miss Great Britain and TV presenter. She lives in Belfast with husband Andy Cosgrove (29), an alarm engineer. She says:
My style has changed over the years. I find that now I'm in my 30s I'm going for quality over quantity so I find I'm choosing custom pieces from boutiques as well as clothes from the high street.
My body shape has changed since my 20s and my principles have changed too. I don't mind showing cleavage but I try to show off my hour-glass figure by the clothes I wear rather than the clothes I don't. I think I'm more comfortable with the way I dress now. I used to go to weddings or events in really tight or uncomfortable dresses and I didn't pay any attention to how I would actually feel in the dress. I would end up in agony by the end the night!
I still have a wardrobe full of Herve Leger bandage dresses. They're lovely clothes but I don't know if I'll wear them again. I don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb. I tend to dress appropriately for the occasion. Instead of going shopping in massive heels I'll be out in flat boots — I don't think it's worth the pain any more.
I don't think women really dress for men — I think that we tend to dress for other women.
Andy is really complimentary. He thinks I'm wonderful anyway. There's nothing he doesn't really like although there was one dress he asked me not to wear. It was a black lace babydoll which is totally see through. It was when we first started going out and I think he was just uncomfortable that it was so revealing. It's the only time he's ever asked anything like that and I haven't worn it since. It's sexy but it shows off too much.
I know a lot of people don’t like what Kim Kardashian wears but I really like her style. Credit where credit is due, she has curves and she knows how to dress for them. She wears gorgeous dresses and wonderful jackets and jeans that really show off her bum.”
“I think Gemma dresses really well and has a good eye for clothes. She doesn't have to buy expensive clothes to look good.
She has a see-through dress I'm not keen on. I'm not one to make her cover up but it is completely revealing. That and wedge heels — I don't particularly like them but I don't think she knows that!
Otherwise I'm not fussy about what Gemma wears at all. I never tell her not to wear something — I'm not that insecure. At the same time, I know Gemma cares what I think. As long as she's comfy and happy that's the important thing.
If Frank is telling Christine to change her style then he must be quite insecure. I like Gemma best in a Vivienne Westwood outfit or bandage dress. Then again, Gemma has a fantastic body and she looks really well wearing those outfits.”
Julia Snodden (32) is a stay-at-home mum and lives in Bangor with husband, Cool FM DJ Pete Snodden (33), and their daughter Ivanna (2). She says:
“As I've grown older I tend to dress more for comfort than anything else. I used to wear dresses and skirts during the day but now it tends to be jeans and funky tops. When we go out to an event though, I like to glam up a bit. I think mums do that and my job when I worked as a scientist meant I had a dowdy uniform so the chance to dress up is great.
I don't really show off much cleavage — that sort of thing just isn’t my thing. I prefer to be lady-like and I show off my style by being a bit funky or edgy. I might wear a jumpsuit instead of a dress. I tend to buy evening dresses from boutiques or even get them made by people like Una Rodden. I think the events that we go to people spend a lot on what they wear so I like to be a little bit different, but I always try to be elegant.
My shape isn't particularly curvy — I tend to go straight up and down and because of that I think I can get away with wearing most things.
During the day I tend to go for clothes from high street clothes although I also like to add in the odd piece from high end stores like All Saints. I think pieces from places like that don't go out of fashion and wear really well. Even though you might spend a lot on them they will last you for years.
Pete has never criticised what I wear and before going out anywhere he has never told me to go and get changed. To be honest, I don't think I would do so anyway. As long as I felt comfortable in something then I would wear it out.
Pete's not big into animal print, but then neither am I. A bit on shoes or a clutch bag is ok but any more than that always makes me think of barmaids in EastEnders.
Generally speaking I dress for myself and then for Pete. You do want your husband to be proud of you and think you look nice — as long as you're happy with what you're wearing in the first instance.”
“Jules has always been very stylish since the first time I met her. I would call her style understated. She never goes too over the top with colours or cleavage or anything like that. I think she has a knack of knowing what suits her. Even when we're out shopping and she tries something on and I say it's nice, she still won't buy it if she doesn't feel comfortable in it — that's as important to her as how something looks.”
Jo-Anne Dobson (45) is the Ulster Unionist MLA for Upper Bann. She lives in Waringstown with her husband John (50), a farmer, and their children Elliot (21) and Mark (19). She says:
I've always liked fashion but I've never been a slave to following trends. By the time you get to my age you know what suits you. I don't try to hide anything or reveal anything, I just go with whatI know will look best on me.
I'm quite confident in my clothes. I studied interior design so I have a good eye for colours. I go for v-neck and scoop neck tops but without being too revealing. I always have knee-length skirts at work. I opt for dresses and suits while I'm there but I tend to be more casual at home.
The best days are when other women ask me about my clothes because they like the way I put things together.
I'm conscious of my age so I tend to go for classic labels like Hobbs and LK Bennett. Their styles are refined so they work for my job and it also helps that they have sale shops in The Outlet at Banbridge.
I still love to dress up for evenings out, though — I think everyone does given the chance.
I dress for myself and the audience. My job is 24/7 so I always dress appropriately for it but I like what I wear so that's fine.
John is very complimentary and likes everything I put on — except leopard print. It's not that he doesn't like it on me, it's just that he doesn't like it at all. He doesn't actually say anything but I can always tell.
He would never tell me that I couldn’t wear something. I think the only problem he might have with my wardrobe is the size of it. My oldest son has just gone away to university and I'm already eyeing up his wardrobe for my clothes.
I like to mix the low and high ends of the high street and I like boutiques too. I particularly like places like Zara and H&M. They're great for jackets, I need quite a few of them because I'm photographed so often.
I really don't get a lot of time to shop. Even Saturday mornings are usually taken up with events in the community.
If I get a chance on a Saturday afternoon, though, I and some friends will go out. If I visit boutiques the staff let me know if something has come in that they think will suit me.
As for role models, I love Michelle Mone, who created Ultimo. Her style is a mix of glam with a serious business edge.”
“Jo-Anne is very stylish — she always was. I've known her for more than 30 years and she's always been keen on fashion. She never seems to have any hang ups and is always confident and happy in her appearance.
The only thing I don't like is leopard print. There's something about it that doesn’t work for me.
I wouldn't tell Jo-Anne to take it off, though. I don't pull her up on anything she chooses to wear. I'm a farmer and not into fashion so what Jo-Anne wears is up to her.
Other stylish ladies? Tess Daly is one of the best dressed people around. She always looks very well turned out.”
Couples who dress together...
Kate Moss and her singer husband Jamie Hince often borrow each other's clothes. Jamie was recently snapped wearing a flowery scarf belonging to his wife while she sported his leather bomber jacket
David and Victoria Beckham hit the headlines a few years ago by wearing matching leather outfits ... to say nothing of their matching wedding outfits.
Kimye, (known as Kanye West) and his celeb squeeze Kim Kardashian often wear similar outfits.
Back in 2001, then-lovebirds Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake horrified the fashion world by turning up at an awards do in matching denim evening wear.