If you hope to provide fashion advice without hurting someone’s feelings consider buying the person a piece of clothing that you believe would improve the person’s look. Invite the person to shop with you for a gift you want to buy the person for an occasion such as a birthday or holiday and choose items that you believe would look good on the person. When you get to the store, choose an item as soon as you can because it will help establish a price range you were looking at and the type of item you intend to purchase such as a piece of clothing or accessory. You can also choose an item and present it as a gift if you are pretty certain about a person’s size.
Even if you generally don’t like someone’s fashion style, if you see the person fairly regularly you’ll notice there are pieces of clothing that you think look flattering on the person. Use the occasion when the person is wearing a color or a cut or a fit that you like and compliment the person on the reason you like that piece of clothing. Instead of simply saying, “I like that top,” explain what features of the top you like on the person. When you’re out in public with the person, you can also choose to focus on a clothing article someone else is wearing and indicate you think it would look good on the person.
Before you make a suggestion use the information you have about the person to consider whether the choices that person makes are based on budget concerns or perhaps issues about body image or a simple lack of interest in looking current. This information will allow you to address those concerns in your discussion by pointing out ways to accentuate features you like about the person or by focusing on locations that sell less expensive garments or even by talking about clothing features such as comfort or ease of washing.
Use the opportunity to share a fashion insight if the person you want to advise gives you a compliment on your clothing. If the person offers a compliment on a pair of slacks you’re wearing, you can disclose where you purchased the slacks and describe some of the other options available in the store. If the person compliments your slacks and you’d like to see that person in different tops, you can direct your response to the fact that you love the retailer and that the same place sells stylish tops.