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Wayne and Wanda: When clothes make — and threaten to break — the relationship

Wayne and Wanda

Dear readers,

It's no secret that Alaska has been skewered for its fashion tastes. In 2012, the ABC Travel blog slammed our "flannel shirts, heavy parkas and furry ear covers." Apparently, sometimes fashion and function don't meet. But Wayne and Wanda have recently heard from a few readers who are taking issue with their partners' appearances. Read on:

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

My girlfriend "Jenny" is gorgeous. We met at Koot's and have been dating ever since. The problem is how Jenny dresses when we go out. Her fashion choices haven't changed from that night we met. Back then, she was single and trying to meet a guy. But now she has me, yet she still wears really revealing, cheap-looking clothes. She says she is only young once and wants to show off her body. I tell her I don't want my girlfriend to look like a hooker and she shouldn't want all that male attention if she's happy with me. Is there a resolution here? Shouldn't she tame it down now that we're together?

Wanda says: Your first mistake is assuming your girlfriend is dressing a certain way because of how men react -- that the moment she snared a mate, she'd tuck away the pleather and satin and bust out the Laura Ashley dresses and cable-knit sweaters. Fact is, some women just like the trashy club look. She may really enjoy shedding her daytime work clothes and putting on an outfit that makes her feel sexy.

But women make mistakes too, and too many of us wrongly equate "sexy" with "skanky." There are all kinds of sexy in this world, and looking drop-dead hot doesn't have to involve skimpy outfits and synthetic fabrics. Rather than criticizing her choices that you don't like, try complimenting the ones you do. Tell her how sexy (keyword) she looks in her regular clothes, and mention specific outfits that make her look beautiful. Maybe she'll come around.

Wayne says: You told your girlfriend she looks like a hooker and she didn't immediately kick you to the curb? Wow, she's hot and empathetic, too. So, strike one, buddy. Not sure if you're going to get three strikes if that's the way you speak to her and if your insecurity is that intense.

Since she's keeping you around for now, you might want to dial down the anxiety and enjoy the fact that you are actually dating a hot woman. Not many men are so lucky. And let her keep her swag. It gives her confidence, it makes her feel happy and sexy, and really, it's not your place to say anything anyway -- you were perfectly cool with how she dressed when you met, after all. If you can't handle other men looking at her, that's a you problem, not an exposed midriff problem.

Besides, I highly doubt you stopped using the lame body spray you were using when you met her, so there's that, too ...

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

My girlfriend recently lost a lot of weight but still wears all her old clothes. That's mostly yoga pants and sweatshirts, maybe leggings and a T-shirt. I bought her a gift card to Nordstrom thinking that might get her to buy some clothes that fit and don't hide her body. She thanked me, but the card has sat on the kitchen counter ever since. What can I do to get her in some clothes that match her newfound hotness level? As it is, she pretty much looks like she's just gotten done camping or working out. Advice?

Wanda says: Even after people lose a significant amount of weight, they may not see the change others are admiring. It can take the mind -- and the self-esteem -- some time to catch up with the reality. Be patient. The gift card was a great move! If you have any idea what size she is now, I'd suggest you buy her an awesome outfit, lay it out on the bed with some flowers, surprise her with the new duds and treat her to a night on the town to a show or a nice dinner. A fairytale night fit for a princess can do wonders for one's confidence.

Wayne says: Wanda's right. Congratulate her on her achievements. Prop her up instead of adding pressure. And yes, a celebratory dinner outfit is the perfect way to transition her into a new wardrobe. Wine and dine her ... Actually, make that "water and salad her." She's probably watching what she eats now, too.

But Wanda is way off on having you doing the shopping for her classy-night-out outfit or any other pieces of her wardrobe. If you are anything like me and 98 percent of other men, you'll be in way over your head. Write down her new sizes and give them, along with your credit card, to one of the amazing ladies working at Nordys, then get out of the way and check your fantasy baseball stats or something. If you think her yoga pants are bad, I'm betting your shopping choices will do more damage than good.

• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at wanda@adn.com.