Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fashion moral dilema

I think I actually asked this question on here before but I can't seem to find it.

Do you tell someone you know when something they are wearing isn't flattering?

I am not talking you don't like their shirt. I mean something they are wearing is doing bad, bad things to them. Hey they might not know.

I know I don't. HA. It take a wardrobe photo for me to see and go OMG WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME to my husband. To which he replies "I thought it looked cute" or "I was afraid of what you'd say"

Please weigh in on this issue I really want to know what you think.


Katie said...

I am always tempted.

And if we're still in the dressing stages, then I will usually suggest another outfit rather than outright saying, that, that doesn't do you justice.

I get flack from my family a lot about things I wear that aren't the most flattering. And I see, days later, when I go back and look at my photo, that they were right. It's not pleasant, and sparingly, it can be constructive.

If it's all the freaking time, it can be degrading.

For instance:
One of my friends just told us about a coworker who wanted help losing weight b/c she kept getting asked when she was due. And right after that, when checking out, the cashier asked her the same thing.

My friend wanted advice to tell her CW and this is all the info I had. I suggested that if she has a predilection towards babydoll tops, hold off for a while and define the waist.

Turns out she actually does wear the loose, babydoll tops a lot.

heather said...

oh, i don't think we can. not at that moment. we can certainly encourage things that look great on our friends, but unless you are REALLY REALLY best friends and talk about fashion a lot, you can only reply to questions. and if they say later 'why didn't you say anything?!' say you didn't feel it was appropriate but you will in the future if they want you to. then you agree on what you will say. i suggest something like 'the crow flies at midnight'.

of course, considering your fashion, your husband has no excuse. he should speak up! he knows what you like and should speak up when you miss it!

Eyeliah SS said...

um no, unless it is my best girlfriend and we haven't left the house yet, that is the only way. I go by the, if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it all. oh, I will also tell my husband before leaving the house.
when he doesnt like something he says 'i dont know' its hilarious, i always know what that means!

hillary said...

I don't think it has anything to do with not being nice. Hell if your letting something is see thru or makes someone look pregnant if say your being nice. It's the clothing version of spinich in your teeth.

Anonymous said...

Like Katie says, I think that it is contructive if you use it sparingly, back it up with a compliment and know this person fairly well. Using the spinach analogy - I would be mortified if a near stranger pointed this out (grateful, but mortified!). If this was a close friend, I would just be thankful.

With fashion it is a little harder, but I think there is a tactful way to do it and a hurtful one.

D'Rae said...

I say go for it, cause I would want to know.

Lesa said...

I think you should, but i am a huge chicken, so no I wouldn't...like D'Rae I would want to know, but then i would feel so bad I'd have to take a sick day...hmmmmmmmm.

Sal said...

It's a tough one, and I can't say it's something I'd do with anyone besides trusted friends. But if you couch it in terms of, "That shirt is darling! I bet it would look fantastic with a blazer on top," or similar, you might get the message across in a non-hurtful way.

Heather said...

I understand the 'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all' viewpoint and have often followed that but I also think there is a right way and wrong way to phrase a comment that might be walking the negative/postive line. I think I'd like to know someone's honest thoughts and to be honest if it came from someone I know to be a generally honest and positive person then that would make a difference. Phrasing something in a nice way is good too - 'I really love those pants and that top but not necessarily together - how about...insert suggestion.' If coming from someone I know to be a nice person and someone who has a real interest in me or in fashion in general, then I'm going to listen to that in a positive light. However, if the comment is framed negatively or surrounded by a backhanded compliment then I'll like dismiss it and continue along my merry way! The point really is that I should feel confortable and like what I'm wearing when I leave the house - what other people think about me isn't as important to me as what I think about me. Does that make sense? Everyone wants positive reinforcement but really if you feel confident in your sense of style and like to experiment outside of your box (I wish I had confidence for this) then the person should do that. I'm rambling...what was the question?

Anonymous said...

I think it completely depends on your relationship with that person and how they take what you say to them. I have two very good friends who constantly make poor fashion choices for their figures. One of them just is going to do what she wants anyways, so I've given up telling here. The other actually listens, and she's been one of my BFFs for almost 20 years....so I tell her. Unless it's a close friend, I don't say anything.

Sometimes, I will say things like "If I wore that, I'd have to hem it a little so it didn't make me look like a bag lady!" or something, hoping they get the hint.

Kelly said...

I don't usually. I realize it would be helpful and ultimately nice, but I just can't get over the awkwardness and the potential hurt feelings. If I'm shopping with someone, then I'll tell her before she buys it. And if anyone asks my opinion, I'll tell them the truth. But I pretty much won't offer anything up without being asked.

Anonymous said...

Weighing late in the game BUT for any form of critique, I use a trick I learned in art school. I like to call it The Compliment Sandwich. Compliment, critique, compliment.

I don't generally say anything about a friend's clothing if we're out and about, honestly. But a lot of my friends like me to go shopping with them so I will definitely tell them why something is not working on them and then help steer them towards other choices. I don't really critique in w_r, mostly because I feel like it's such a positive community that I would be rude to damage that at all. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's how I feel about it.