Every good women’s retailer knows about the husband chair. Having a wife and two daughters, I am very well-acquainted with it, since any free time in an outing can explode into a two-hour shopping diversion. The husband chair is the place where the husband sits and watches the wife’s pocketbook and packages while she shops. The more comfortable the husband chair, the longer the wife can shop without disturbance. Usually, the husband chair is near the dressing room so that the wife can easily come out fishing for compliments in her prospective new clothes .
The husband chair is not to be used by boyfriends. During courtship, the boyfriend must follow the girlfriend around the store (holding the pocketbook, packages and “maybe” selections) and watch her go through every item on the rack, saying “yes, you would look stunning in that” and “no, you’re not too fat to wear that”. (The girlfriends then reciprocate by attending sporting events and asking lots of questions as if they’re interested.)
Some of the best husband chairs are, of course, in furniture stores. I particularly like Restoration Hardware and Urban Archeology, where husbands have a wide selection of couches with Architectural Digests to read. Even better are the shops of haute couture designers, where the husbands not only get luxury seating accommodation, but also get offered espresso and biscotti and can watch videos of fashion shows. But it is critical that the wife understands that trying on the clothes is for entertainment only.