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Giving clothing advice at work

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Under what circumstances, if any, is it appropriate to give unsolicited clothing/style advice to someone of equal or lower rank at work? If appropriate, what's the best way to deliver the advice?

My situation: there's a guy at work I respect a lot who happens to be a couple rungs lower than I am on the org chart. His general appearance could be improved substantially with some small changes (e.g., better shoes, v-neck t-shirts, etc.). I'd like to help him out, but I don't know him well enough to be considered a friend.

Anyone have an experience to share?
post #2 of 30
Not. Appropriate. Ever.

Unless an improvement would actually guarantee a financial return, you should leave him alone (like if someone was openly passed over for promotion because he wears sweats in stead of suits).
post #3 of 30

unsolicited?  Don't do it.  No.  Don't.  no no no non onononononononono

post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post

Not. Appropriate. Ever.

That's my first instinct.
post #5 of 30
unless someone asks you for advice on clothing, never give it outright.. Also, don't make it known that you are that guy that knows everything about clothing and men's style.. Trust me, you will thank me
post #6 of 30

I generally agree with everyone above, but with one exception. If he is being openly criticized because of his dress, and there is an obvious/easy fix, let him know.

 

Example:

 

I was a runner at a law firm, and wore what I considered at the time to be business casual (button down and dress pants). Since I had been accepted to a local law school, I was regularly invited to lunches with the summer clerks. I was the only one without a tie. After a couple of these lunches, one of the younger attorneys told me that I needed to throw on a tie to avoid looking out of place. I was not at all offended.

 

Notice that it was a very simple suggestion - "wear a tie" - not how to coordinate colors, or to use collar stays, or something that's asking the person to change a style. Simply a suggestion to step up the formality a small notch. V-neck undershirts as advice is just asking for trouble, IMO. 

post #7 of 30
People are more likely to be offended if you gave the clothing advice which they didn't ask for, they will just think you are a annoying nip picking whore (metaphorically)
post #8 of 30
Unsolicited advice is rarely welcomed. Keep your mouth shut.
post #9 of 30

Never, in fact, if I'm asked, I give out incorrect suggestions.

post #10 of 30
Its not something a gentleman would do. Maybe an igent.
post #11 of 30

I would say there are some limited exceptions.  One of my peers recently lost a significant amount of weight.  He bought new clothes including two new suits.  He was very proud of his accomplishment, and we were proud of him too.  The first day he came in his new suit it was obvious that the trousers were much too long.  They hung in two or three folds over his shoes.  So I told him, and described the the fit of a traditional break or no break trouser.  He then admitted that he was not wearing his dress shoes when being fitted.  Though I think he was slightly embarrassed, I suspect it was better than letting him be criticized by other colleagues (behind his back).  I would add that this is the only time I have done something like this.

post #12 of 30
NEVER. Unless you are actually training or mentoring someone and their attire is pertinent to their job.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostron View Post

unless someone asks you for advice on clothing, never give it outright.. Also, don't make it known that you are that guy that knows everything about clothing and men's style.. Trust me, you will thank me

+1 Verbatim. Heed this advice well.
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
I have to admit that I'm a bit surprised by the unanimous opinion here. I've never offered any unsolicited advice at work either, and I don't plan to start doing it. I figured someone would pipe up with an example or two of an instance where things worked out well. Like I said, it's not a risk I'm willing to take with anyone other than a very close friend.
post #15 of 30

It may seem strange, but people (like myself) come to SF looking for advice/suggestions.  So you expect forum members to be free with their opinions.  In the work place?  Strangers at the airport?  Not so much. 

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