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I Want My Beloved to Be Fashionable

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So you've fallen in love with the shy girl with glasses, or the Lovable Nerd, or the frumpy Nice Guy. And they're the absolute apple of your eye, except... The Glasses Gotta Go. And maybe you can get them some nicer clothes; that Rummage Sale Reject outfit belongs in the trash. They'll look great with a little work, so it's perfectly OK for you to insist on The Makeover, right?

This trope is where falling in love kicks off a burning desire to change the beloved (for the better!), usually by making them stand up straight and color-coordinate their wardrobe. It sometimes occurs as a result of Underdressed for the Occasion, and the subsequent embarrassment. Truth in Television.

The changer genuinely wants the best for their beloved, and this can have practical, important benefits — for instance, a rich young lady wants to give her poor boyfriend a wardrobe upgrade so that her disapproving parents will see the same fine young man that she does. However, it may easily backfire if the change-ee feels that their sweetheart is revealing new depths of shallowness, and an unwillingness to accept the change-ee for who they are — not to mention the sticker shock!

Opposite of the Pygmalion Plot, where a burning desire to change someone results in falling in love. May still result in Pygmalion Snapback if the beloved likes being a frump. Compare with Significant Wardrobe Shift, which is usually (but not always) a more gradual change coupled with some Character Development.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle:
  • Boys over Flowers: Rich jerk Tsukasa gets a crush on average girl Tsukushi and has her kidnapped for an impromptu makeover.
  • Butterflies, Flowers: Director Domoto harasses Office Lady Choko into dressing more genteelly.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: While Sakura is by no means 'unattractive' (and only 10 years old), her crushing Best Friend Tomoyo still feels the urge to stuff her into a new (lovingly hand-made) costume every episode and record her running around in it. Then re-watch the recordings. For hours. And she's visibly upset when she misses an opportunity to make Sakura try out a new outfit.
  • Non-romantic example in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: In Chapter 119, Kei goes out of her way to make sure Shirogane doesn't embarrass her at her school festival, either by standing out in his high school uniform or by looking like a middle schooler with his terrible sense of fashion. Seeing how her classmates are smitten and impressed by her brother when he shows up, she can't help but smile blissfully.
  • Non-romantic example in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's: Hayate Yagami is not impressed by her Guardian Knights' sense of fashion (which boils down to pure combat functionality) and designs new, colorful outfits for them that emphasize their beauty (for Signum and Shamal), cuteness (Vita), or handsomeness (Zafira). That she is a Cosplay Otaku Girl with a mind of a dirty old man means that these outfits are fanservice-y as hell—but the Knights don't even realize that: to them, their new outfits are a symbol of the unexpected kindness their master deigned to show them, so Vita, at the very least, grows violently protective of hers. Incidentally, this act also serves as a catalyst for the Knights' gradual defrosting.
  • Konoka in Negima! Magister Negi Magi sometimes likes to do this to Setsuna. Pretty much Setsuna's entire wardrobe was selected by Konoka (she normally just likes her school uniform).
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, Tamaki (and the twins) constantly attempt to get Haruhi into pretty dresses. This is a rather odd example, since Haruhi is hardly unattractive... but hardly attractive in the manner of most girls.
  • George and Yukari's relationship in Paradise Kiss is all about this; he falls for her partly because she's exactly the kind of girl he wants to design clothes for.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, Ruby tailors one of his spare outfits into one for Sapphire as a thank you gift for her for saving his life, not to mention that he's somewhat horrified that she normally wears a leaf bikini.
  • In Shinozaki-san Ki wo Ota Shika ni!, Akina befriends Kaede to save her from her otaku lifestyle, finding that her cuteness is wasted on such a life.
  • Yasashii Sekai no Tsukurikatta: The first date between Yuu and his student Haruka starts on a science note and ends up with Haruka picking clothes for Yuu.
    Haruka: Honestly, I've thought this for a while now, but your casual clothes are so lame!
    Yuu: But this is normal over in America...
    Haruka: Look, foreigners can get away with a T-shirt and jeans because they have the body for it, but Japanese people can't!
    Yuu: Ah... but...

  • One ElfQuest: New Blood story has Ahnshen, the weaver and tailor of the Sun Folk, wanting to give Moonshade a makeover. It's tied up with his idea that she should be a "gentle flower" rather than a "savage and frightening" huntress. Seeing her all dolled up is what convinces him he was wrong.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Harry comments that M.J. should stop wearing glasses because she looks "way hot without them". M.J. counters that she looks "way hot with them". The reader's probably going to side with M.J., particularly the way David Lafluente draws her.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Inverted in Casino Royale (2006): James Bond and Vesper Lynd are upgrading each other's wardrobes before their relationship has gone very far past strictly professional.
  • This is what appears to be happening when Lily hooks up with Julius in Circus. She completely overhauls his wardrobe and personal grooming to transform him from a nerdy accountant into geek chic. However, it turns out to be another con within a con.
  • The Fly (1986) has an example where the makeover makes its subject less formal. Veronica notices that she's never seen the dorky scientist Seth in anything other than a single, nice-but-not-chic suit. It turns out that it's one of five identical outfits he owns, because he doesn't like expending mental energy on choosing clothing. Very shortly after this conversation their professional relationship escalates to a personal one, and the next day she goes shopping to get him some casual clothes (a plaid shirt, leather jacket, etc.). These are all he's seen wearing from that point onward, suggesting he's happy with the change, especially given how much he cares for Veronica.
  • In Geek Charming, Dylan takes Josh shopping and gives him a makeover to make him popular like her.
  • In Irma la Douce, Irma, a prostitute, wants to make sure Jack Lemmon, her new mec,note  wears the nicest clothes to show how much she loves him.
  • In Patriot Games, Jack Ryan's wife insists that he get some fancy suits when they visit England.

  • Animorphs:
    • There's a non-romantic example when Rachel (a terrifyingly efficient shopper, Action Fashionista and sometimes Bulletproof Fashion Plate) often drags her best friend Cassie (who works with animals, and thus never wears anything that can't get dirty) to the mall to "dress [Cassie] up like her own personal Barbie doll".
      • In one case, she does this after informing Jake he will be taking Cassie to the school dance, causing Jake to lose his composure when he sees her afterwards.
      • In another, Cassie jokes that she'll go to the beach in her mom's big, striped Bermuda shorts (Rachel getting a look of combination disbelief and horror). Then run into Jake on the way back, Jake stammering a lot and heroically looking her in the eye and nowhere lower.
    "He thinks I look dumpy," I muttered to Rachel under my breath.
    "Cassie, you are so hopeless. What you know about guys could fit on the head of a pin. Good grief. That is not a 'she looks dumpy' look. That's a 'whoa, she looks hot, but I better not show any reaction or she'll get offended' look.'"
    • Yet another after Cassie becomes more interested in colors after allowing herself to remain trapped in morph as a caterpillar, undergoing metamorphosis and emerging as a butterfly, having lost all sense of sight to make a deal with a Yeerk. Which means, of course, a total wardrobe renewal (according to Rachel).
    • Rachel also has a romantic example, when Tobias has an appointment with a lawyer to meet with a long-lost cousin actually Visser Three in disguise. Thanks to Rachel dressing him in all-designer clothes, Tobias is able to wave away the question of how he's been fending for himself (his aunt and uncle don't care that they haven't heard from him in months).
    • When Erek's hologram suddenly shuts down in public, Rachel leaps to the rescue by going on an emergency twenty-minute shopping trip for clothes to cover up his android body... including, in the heat of the moment, designer underwear.
    "Oh. Maybe I'll give them to Jake."
  • There's a form of this in A Brother's Price. A princess who fell in love with Jerin Whistler invites the Whistlers to go to court, where they find that absolutely staggering amounts of money are regularly sunk into the fancy outfits that people, particularly men, wear to various occasions. The royal family arranges a purse for them so they don't beggar themselves or appear to be poor, and gets them a tailor.
  • Non-romantic example: In Jeeves and Wooster, Jeeves keeps Bertie's clothing within certain guidelines, sending back, giving away, or utterly destroying anything he - that is, Jeeves - doesn't like. Since Jeeves is Bertie's valet, this would seem natural, except that it's Serious Business and leads to high levels of dramatic tension (Played for Laughs) between the two. If Bertie insists on wearing something of which Jeeves disapproves, the latter's reactions range from frigid and distant to utterly heartbroken.
  • Mary Crawford, a Romantic False Lead in Mansfield Park, falls in love with Edmund Bertram but refuses to marry him unless she can get him to choose a more lucrative profession than the clergy. She can't.
  • In Ovid's The Metamorphoses, Apollo falls for the nymph Daphne, who spends all her time running around in the woods, sees her loose hair, and immediately thinks, "What if it were pinned up?"
  • In Georgette Heyer's Powder and Patch, the heroine rejects her childhood sweetheart because he isn't fashionable enough. This backfires on her when he goes abroad and comes back witty and fashionable, but also (seemingly) affected and heartless, and she realizes she liked him better before.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Pryia did this to Leonard in The Big Bang Theory, taking him shopping for better clothes and insisting The Glasses Gotta Go. Worth noting it was portrayed as a bad thing, ultimately leading to Pryia demanding changes such as removing Penny from his social circle. Penny herself has given Leonard fashion advice, but it's usually more in line with what (not) to wear to a formal event and good natured ribbing at the expense of his trademark hoody.
  • The Korean Series Boys Before Flowers shows us Lonely Rich Kid Jun Pyo giving Ordinary High-School Student Jan Di a complete wardrobe change for a weekend tropical trip.
  • In the Cheers episode "My Fair Clavin", Cliff encourages a nerdy girl he's been seeing to wear makeup and change her wardrobe, but it ends up backfiring on him when she suddenly becomes popular with other men. He tries to convince her to go back to the way she was, but she's not willing to do so because she's become more confident in herself and likes how she looks now.
  • The Reality TV series Extreme Makeover is completely made of this trope, as is How Do I Look. The series Ambush Makeover is more like "I want random strangers on the street to be fashionable".
  • The Inbetweeners boasts a minor example; Simon's brief girlfriend Tara sees him not just as a boyfriend, but a fashion project. During a trip to the local shopping centre, she dresses him up in a ridiculous (yet somehow still fashionable) outfit.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): During Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt's Falling-in-Love Montage in the series premiere, one of their dates includes Louis (who is a Sharp-Dressed Man) bringing Lestat (whose outmoded garments from Europe are relics of the 19th century) to his tailor so that the Frenchman will have trendy new suits befitting an upper-class man in 1910 America. Costume designer Carol Cutshall has stated in this interview that Lestat learning from Louis how to modernize his attire is an early source of bonding in their budding romance.
    Cutshall: When they first meet, they have very distinct looks, and then Louis pulls Lestat into the present day. They have this moment — it's like their first honeymoon moment — of their friendship where Lestat is very influenced by Louis' fashion and he's going to Louis' tailor. They really feel in sync.
  • Killing Eve: After Villanelle (who is well-established as having a deeply obsessive fixation with Eve) breaks into Eve's suitcase, she's disappointed to find Eve only ever wears comfortable-but-frumpy outfits that aren't the least bit flattering. What's a Woman Of Wealth And Taste to do? Why, steal her crush's clothes and replace them with brand-new, extremely expensive, extremely stylish ones instead, of course! Eve is suitably creeped out, but she does keep the clothes. She also sends Eve some fancy perfume, and when she covertly spies on Eve trying on a dress, she picks out a belt to go with it and leaves it for her to find.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Therese does this to Anthony in For Better or for Worse. Fans were meant to hate Therese, for this among many other things. There are reasons people might side with Therese instead.
  • Liz, Garfield's veterinarian and Jon's official girlfriend in recent years, has taken this upon herself in order to not have Jon cause a commotion wherever they go together on dates. It's not so much she wants him to be fashionable; she just wants him to not be literally horrifically tacky. She's certainly got her work cut out for her.

  • In the number "Take It Like a Man" of the musical version of Legally Blonde, Elle Woods takes Emmett Forrest to a department store for a makeover so that he can look professional for the upcoming court case.
  • Wicked: When Galinda and Elphaba decide they can stand each other's guts after all, Galinda's first order of business is to bust out into the song, "Popular," and completely change the way her green friend looks and acts. Granted, this is a friendship-oriented example, but the amount of Les Yay between the two might allow it to qualify.

    Video Games 
  • Claire gave her fiance Hershel a top hat for his new promotion as it marked his transition to a gentleman, and he needed to look the part. And so the world was blessed with Professor Layton.

  • Dorothy does this for/to Walky, in Dumbing of Age. She then reciprocates by saying he can buy her anything for her to wear... Cluelessly, he does not pick lingerie.

    Web Novel 
  • Can You Spare a Quarter?: When Graham brings Jamie to a clothing store to find better clothing rather than the worn-out clothes that Jamie wears, the boy initially suspects that Graham just wants him to look more attractive when Graham begins with underwear. Subverted when Graham next asks him about shoes and the boy realizes that Graham is actually looking for proper clothing and not merely for an excuse to make the kid look more attractive to him.

    Western Animation 
  • Non-romantic example in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Rarity's interest in fashion and spirit of generosity means that she often tries to set her friends up with elaborate and fashionable costumes, most notably in her first encounter with Twilight Sparkle and when she realised her friends lacked fancy outfits for the gala to which they all had tickets.
  • In the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "Song of Mystery," Velma tries to get Shaggy to wear tighter, smarter looking pants. At the end of the episode, he states that he prefers the way he normally dresses.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Date with Density," Lisa takes her crush Nelson Muntz shopping for spiffier clothing. "I feel like such a tool," he says, seeing himself in the mirror with a collared shirt and sweater vest.