Dear Sharon: My best girlfriend and I have a wonderful time together. She is fun, compassionate, and a true friend. Yet, she has the worst taste imaginable in clothing. Whenever we go out, she wears something that is just w-r-o-n-g! I feel completely embarrassed to be seen with her sometimes and my other friends have even commented on how poorly she dresses. Would it be inappropriate of me to try to give her a friendly makeover? –Shallow or Helper
Dear Shallow: My perfectly pretty, pert, pestilent princess, here is a fashion breakthrough: True friends are a lot harder to come by than a fabulous dress– you should never forget that! In the scheme of life, your most important concern here is that she is a dear friend. Whether or not she has great taste falls much later down on the list. However, if your friend seems open to a little style advice, you can try.
Here are a few friendly fashion tips to tell a friend that she has an embarrassing wardrobe:
*First, complement your friend on the things she wears that are attractive… surely there is something.
*If she admires something of yours, suggest she try it on. Tell your friend why it looks so well on her… casually spell-out what makes something a knockout and what makes it a fashion loser.
*Suggest “girls day out” shopping dates and politely guide her to items you feel would look terrific on her.
*Tell her about something you saw on sale that you think she would love… everybody’s ears perk up to a bargain.
*Show her fashion magazine articles, or this column, for instance, and point out some great items.
Through the veil of column anonymity, I can target style critiques, but absolute “in your face” style pointers can be abrasive and hurtful. If she appears the least apprehensive with your guidance, STOP! Do NOT hit her over the head with fashion advice… no one wants to befriend a style bully.
If you are soooo embarrassed by her attire, avoid activities where dress is a concern. Enjoy her company, not the clothes in her closet. Get over her lousy taste before she gets over your friendship. Besides, are all the rhinestones in your tiara always in place? Be kind, be accepting and be a friend.
However, if her skirt is caught in her pantyhose, her slip is showing, a button popped open or she has lipstick on her teeth, take her aside and politely tell her so – it would be very embarrassing to her if you did not.
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