Have you ever noticed if a couple looks different after a few times together? Recently, couples took to TikTok to show off what was described as the “girlfriend effect” – it’s how men seem to upgrade their fashion sense under the influence of their girlfriends.

According to the videos and many content creators, dating women influenced the fashion sense of men. But the trend saw a pullback after some argued that men were suppressing their styles into one “Instagrammable” look.

One content creator, who mostly shares cultural commentary on TikTok, critiqued the uniformity of many men’s “after” outfits compared to how their styles used to be before the relationship. 


  • 86.27% stated that dating women influenced the fashion sense of men.
  • Men should not give up on their styles for the sake of being “trendy,” according to 85.91%.
  • 35.03% support women prioritizing their preferences and controlling their partner’s fashion choices.

Girlfriend-Influenced Fashion Sense

TikTok users are debating whether dating women give men “fashion glow-ups” after the hashtag #girlfriendeffect went viral and amassed more than 11 million views in seven days.

Dating women influenced the fashion sense of men, as many girlfriends started to share pictures of how their boyfriends’ fashion tastes elevated after dating them. Moreover, boyfriends also stated that the “girlfriend effect” is real and shared a few images claiming that their girlfriends are the reason behind their fashion glow-up.

44.8% were well aware of the trend, 35.07% were vaguely familiar, and 20.13% hadn’t heard about the trend before.

The majority believed that dating women influenced the fashion sense of men. The survey showed that 47.23% somewhat agree, 39.04% completely agree, 8.66% somewhat disagree, and 5.07% completely disagree.

Male Grooming in Dating

However, the trend has seen some negative comments, as critics have argued that this trend is leading men to sacrifice their individuality in the pursuit of a generic “Instagrammable” look. In response, 44.28% express partial alignment, 22.56% strongly align, 25.34% partially disagree, and 7.82% strongly disagree with this perspective.

Wildlin Pierrevil, a content creator on TikTok, argues men subjected to the ‘girlfriend effect’ demonstrated more individuality in ‘before’ than ‘after’ pictures. 85.91% believe that men should not give up on their individual styles for the sake of being “trendy.”

Specifically, 53.58% believe men should absolutely stick to their own styles, 32.33% think men probably shouldn’t give up on their styles, 8.81% are inclined towards “probably not,” and 5.28% firmly assert “absolutely not.”

Figure 2: Survey respondents to if men should stick to their own styles

Pierrevil said, “There’s a difference between helping men develop their tastes to execute their own styles vs asking them to abandon their personal styles in favor of their partner’s.” 35.03% believe that it is right for women to prioritize their own preferences and control their partner’s fashion choices; 34.41% weren’t sure; and 30.56% are opposed.

Figure 3: Agreement with women controlling their partner’s fashion choices

Overall, 35.58% claimed that the “girlfriend effect” was a positive fashion trend, 34.92% were neutral about it, and 29.5% stated that the relationship impact on fashion was a negative trend.


Survey TitleSurvey on If Dating Women Gives Men “Fashion Glow-Ups”
DurationOctober 14 – October 21, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.