Thursday, October 12, 2006

Helping a fashion-backward friend

Don't we all have friends and relatives who are in need of a fashion intervention? Do you ever show up to a party and realize that your buddy is way underdressed--or worse yet, her ratty thong is sticking out from her jeans and she seems oblivious to it?

I'll admit it: I'm a libertarian for the most part. My motto is live and let live. If someone is committing crimes against fashion, it's their choice, their freedom, no matter how silly they look. (That doesn't mean I'm not going to skewer them on this blog though. Heh.)

Seriously, you can't make someone care about their appearance all of a sudden, and it's not your job anyway.

But if a fashion backward friend asks for you advice, or if you can tell that their whining about their lack of a proper job or boyfriend is directly related to the 1980's hot pink pantsuit-with-shoulder-pads they wear to interviews and/or clubs, give your friend some gentle, helpful advice.

First off, approach them kindly to see if they have an interest in fashion at all. Be gentle.

If they do, direct them to us. We can help. It's what we do.

You can also try casually watching What Not to Wear and other fashion TV shows together.

Whatever you do, don't make them over in your style or image. Let them develop their style into something that truly represents them.
If your style icon is Audrey Hepburn...

and your friend's is Betsey Johnson, learn to be okay with that.

And when appropriate, give the gift of fashion fun: spend time together looking at clothing, accessories and jewelry; find special things they would want to wear--things that would flatter them, not you. Help a friend figure out what colors and styles flatter her--you'll have a fashionable friend for life!