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The MDK shipping department got a note on an order recently—well, I should say that I, DG Strong, got a note on an order recently—that very sweetly told me to feel free to second-guess the buyer’s color choices. “I trust you implicitly!” it said. I’ll admit this puffed my ego up about thirty extra sizes (alarm emoji!) but dear knitters: you should not do this.

It’s not that I don’t want to choose them for you; it’s that I simply cannot do it with any semblance of expertise. I am completely, utterly, one hundred percent red-green color blind. I can see red and I can see green but unless they’re really close to each other, I can’t tell them apart. 

If red stop signs weren’t octagon shaped (well, and also if they didn’t say STOP on them), I would think they were nothing more than taupe-ish shapes encouraging me to just step on it. Jealousy isn’t a green-eyed monster; it’s a vaguely greyish one (and therefore a more, well, neutral concept). I am not green with envy; I am muddy beige with envy. I am never red-faced with rage; it’s more that I’m moderately upset in a khaki sort of way. Detective stories are full of cardboard-box-colored herrings. The grass is NOT greener on the other side of the fence; it’s just on the other side of the fence. YOU GET THE IDEA.

When I was a child, I had a particularly bad habit of mismatching clothing and heading off to second grade looking like a pint-sized version of Tiny Tim (the ukulele version, not the Dickens version). After a few awe-inspiring get-ups, my father had to put all of my, er, more colorful clothes—pants and shirts mixed together!—in my top dresser drawer and all of my neutral ones in a different, lower, drawer. Each morning I was supposed to take ONE ITEM out of EACH drawer and that was my Costume for the Day. It was basically the Garanimals concept, but for people who didn’t know about Garanimals. 

Father does indeed know best: his newfangled system kept me from wearing any further disastrous outfits. Back then, I tended toward a look that is of course right-on-trend for modern times, but I still maintain Dad’s clothing storage system to this day. You’ll never see me in five plaids at once with three reds and two greens and a mustard cummerbund. Well, unless it’s a special day, like I have to take a trip to the DMV or something.

Wait, back to the original shipping note. Don’t worry; her order was filled by a non-color-blind person and her choices were approved and shipped off before I could get any big ideas about piping up with my opinion. 

In the end, it’s just yarn, not a tattoo; you can always change your mind if you don’t like the color choice you made. But seriously; don’t ask me for outfit advice unless you plan on joining a circus. Which maybe you are?

A Giveaway

The prize? Life in the Studio by potter Frances Palmer—an explosion of colorful, handcrafted beauty—no khaki.

How to enter?

Two steps:

Step 1: Sign up for our weekly newsletter, Snippets, right here. If you’re already subscribed, you’re set.

Step 2: Leave a comment letting us know about your favorite unsolicited outfit advice.

Deadline for entries: Sunday, September 19, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw a random winner from the entries. Winner will be notified by email.

And a Getaway!

Please join us in Nashville! We’re hosting our first-ever Knit Night at MDK World Headquarters. Saturday, Oct. 2, 3:30-7 pm. Festive eats and bevs, special shopping, and a visit with Kay, Ann, and Cecelia Campochiaro. To learn more and purchase tickets tap on over here.

About The Author

DG Strong took up knitting in 2014. He lives in Nashville with his sister, her rat terrier and a hound dog named Opal. He has a blog of drawings and faintly ridiculous rambling called The Psychopedia—there are worse ways to spend your afternoon.


  • Thank you for always Britain’s smile to my day, DG!

    • A friend who told me while shopping and trying to get me to change my usual habits said “all your taste is in your mouth”

      • “You look like Catherine Deneuve”

    • Crazy auto correct! Should be “bringing “!

      • Favorite advice? “It looks so you!” Never know what that means 😉

      • Shopping with a dear friend and when I popped out of the dressing room to get her opinion she said:…!

      • The ever popular: “Are you going to wear THAT?”

        • Do they expect you to go naked?

        • A friend always asks-
          “How come you’re dressed up?”

        • My all time favorite is You really know how to wear orange. I love orange!

  • Dear DG,
    This scene immediately popped into my mind. It happened many years ago. My nephew made the comment that “Aunt Julie wears some unusual clothes”. That day I happened to be wearing a favorite pair of jeans. The fabric had swirls of blue as white that twisted and mingled all over. I still have those jeans although it is doubtful I will ever be able to wear them again.
    My nephew has probably thought this many times over the years but that is the only time I know he voiced that opinion.

    • You must never wear white after Labor Day.

      • My sharp tongued but otherwise wonderful sister said in response to my question about what to wear to a funeral “just throw on one of your dowdy dresses”

  • Let me take you to a nice dress shop

    • When studying home economics at university, a good friend and fellow classmate and I had our colours “done”. We were declared “Summers” and given a little folder of fabric swatches to guide us in choosing what colours to wear (and presumably what not to wear). I considered my folder a suggestion but my friend considered it Gospel. For decades, she would say to me “but that isn’t one of your colours!!” with something akin to horror. I love all colours and if they appeal, I knit and sew with them and wear them with joy. I figure that if I’m feeling joy, I’m looking good.

      • Never wear white or black to a wedding!

    • My mother in law used to tell me that in Texas, you can never wear too much jewelry. Unsolicited, but welcome advice since she likes to give jewelry!

  • Didn’t you wear that yesterday or are all your clothes the same? My response. . . How kind of you to notice.

    • Actually sounds pretty smart! Don’t know if it’s true, but the story is that Einstein had a closet full of identical suits, shirts and ties, so he wore the same thing every day and didn’t waste time deciding what to wear. Modern braniacs do the same: Steve Jobs (black turtleneck and jeans), Zuckerberg (hoodie and jeans), etc. And isn’t a ‘capsule wardrobe’ trendy today for less waste and closet space, budgeting, etc?

      • Sorry! I laughed so hard at this! Great answer!!!

        • My high school home economics teacher told the class, “Blondes should never wear red by their face.” I happened to be blonde AND wearing my favorite fuzzy red sweater! Fifty years later…I would still wear that sweater if I had it!

  • From my mother: “Oh, is that what you’re going to wear to (fill in the blank). That’s an interesting choice.”

  • Do you think that works for your body shape?

  • Is that the only pair of socks you own? Said a girl sitting next to me in high school. Why she was concerned about my socks, I’ll never know.

  • You may want to look at yourself in the mirror before you leave the house.

    • Me at a men’s store with my husband: Do you have some good pooper jeans? I’m tired of him wearing the old man baggy ass jeans.
      The Woman at men’s store ran and scooped up 3 pair for him to try on
      Viola: he has enviable nice butt jeans now

    • My mom said upon my arrival home…don’t they have any mirrors in school?
      And DG, you make my day!

  • “That dress makes you look pregnant.” I was a slim teenager in a flow-y dress, and that was the end of my trusting my brother’s fashion sense.

    • “Oh you deceived to wear navy tights with a black outfit,” said in a very loud voice. “Yes I think it’s very French
      said the blind women PS that women was me.

  • Who are you making that for? It’s to bad we can’t wear those colors (speaking of some beautifully dyed yarn in wonderful autumn colors). . .I think of this advice now whenever I elect to wear anything with these colors. . .I also think of the book, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple”. . . and then I happily wear whatever color I want. Maybe this comment will exorcise the first part! But if it doesn’t, I shall still wear those colors happily!

  • NO MUFFIN TOP! No jeans so tight they squeeze my middle age “fluff” oy the top of my jeans like an exploding volcano and a top so short it looks the the opening curtain. That’s not a good look on anyone!

    • My teen has her own unique style. My mother-in-law, her grandma has a habit telling her how ugly the clothes are. She no longer wears anything but T shirts when she sees grandma.

  • I was told once that a bright yellow down vest made me look like “the trucker’s bride”. Really? What?!?

    • That makes me think of the great line in “Best in Show”: “She looks like a cocktail waitress on an oil rig.”

      • Love that movie to bits!

  • When my daughter was in preschool, she earned little pins for achieving milestones.”I know my name”. “I know my address”. “I was on time.” On the days she was creative in her style choices, I used to have her wear her special pin “I dressed myself”. She thought it was a prize, but I was denying any culpability. She grew up to be a rare red/green colorblind female.

    • I read that as “on the days I didn’t approve of her outfit because it was too _______ for my liking, I made her wear an advertisement that it was her choosing so that no one blamed me.”

  • Everything-absolutely EVERYTHING can be worn with jeans.

  • Co worker, male, perhaps a little compulsive, saw a label sticking out on the back of my neck and tucked it in without warning. At least he didn’t call the fashion police.

  • Is that hat your wearing?

  • You look much more like a cow in that outfit! (A comment my DH would still like to take back 30 years on!)

    • My mother told me: it’s alright to shop “bargain basement”, just don’t look like you do! Being the mother of 7 children she often shopped “bargain basement” but she never looked like she did.

  • My mother hates blue paired with brown/beige but I find myself wearing the combo all the time! She also paints every wall white and has mirrors everywhere to “make the room look bigger”. Why must all rooms look bigger? None of my walls are white and mirrors are in bathrooms only. Ha!

  • I know of what you speak, DG. My father was color-blind as is my son (all eyes on me carrying that recessive gene.) Whenever someone new finds this out the first question is always “what color is this?”as they hold up some random object. And then comes the explanation, much like yours, about how red and green look very very similar and then they describe the way color works as light refraction in the eye. At that point the person who asked the question is usually asleep or walking away.
    Thanks for shedding light on a much misunderstood condition. Oh, how about the time they played a football game on national tv and the players wore “classic” uniforms—one team was clad entirely in red and the other in head-to-toe green!

    • Yes! I wrote a similar comment …. amazing how misunderstood colorblindness is when there is a significant portion of the population that is technically color blind.

  • From my mother, years ago: ” You liked that shirt enough to buy it, huh??!”
    Yes Mom, yes I did.

  • Advice about the size of a garment I am knitting is more challenging than the colour. Positive/negative ease? I’m still confounded by that one. I tend to rely on the advice of a trusted person at my LYS but I continue to second guess that decision until the moment I put on the article of clothing…will I have enough yarn? Will I drown in the fabric?

  • Are you really going to go outside like that?

  • Our son was about 12 years old, when at the breakfast table he said to me, “ quite the fashion risk aren’t we this morning”. He wasn’t wrong

  • You usually dress like a hippie (not meant in a kind way). Why, thank you, I said while thinking evil thoughts

    • I get that comment too.

      • I dress like an “old hippie”.

  • Is that really what you’re planning to wear?

  • When my granddaughter was about 3 years old, she told me as long as the tags matched it was an outfit! Her favorite “designer” was Jumping Beans from Kohl’s.

  • I once had a yellow dress, someone told me I looked like a taxi!
    The only fashion comment I make is “That looks nice”. I’m often gobsmacked at the things people say….

    • I had a beautiful soft wool mustard yellow jacket that went with a plain black crepe wool skirt… With a black silk top, it was great for the office in wintertime. “You look like a bumble bee!” It was more comfortable than my dress suits so I kept wearing it anyway, and I loved it.

  • “Nana – it is better to wear two tutus!”

  • No one bothers to give me fashion advice anymore—I’m too old. And thanks DG for a terrific exposition of color blindness. What an interesting way to live.

  • “ Redheads shouldn’t wear wear”
    Advice which this redhead cheerfully ignores.

  • My mom doesn’t like black, so as kids, no black anything. I LOVE my black pants now. And my black tee shirts, the black cashmere turtleneck, black rain coat, tall black boots. All spiced up with my colorful hand knit cowls, scarves, hats, and sweaters. Just not all at once.

    • My mother advised, a floral print is always correct. Cheerful advice for all genders and occasions

      • If you only knew how long I have been sitting here thinking about how to respond! Lots of thoughts about the fashion of my youth but nothing specific besides comes to mind. Growing up the general theme / understanding in my home was that clothes should not be revealing or suggestive and heels should not be too high.

  • My father’s standard comment when I was a teenager in the mid/late 1960s: “Are you really going out looking like that?” This memory brings a smile to my face now, but at the time my usual response included slamming my bedroom door. Gosh I miss him!

  • One time I was dancing in a crowd at a music festival, in a blue top that was beautiful shade of blue, and a man danced up next to me, leaned in and simply said “always wear blue”, smiled and danced off. I think of that often!

    • love this!

  • I was descending the stairs after donning a modest mini dress when my 8 year son looked up and asked, “Mommy, where are your pants?”

  • Do not wear flood pants unless they are mad of linen.

  • My departed ex-husband would ask me who I was going out to (sleep with) if I dressed up a little for work or wore something that was even a little snug.

    • Yes, I heard that from ex, also. And a not so beloved Uncle once said ” you would not be wearing that if you were my daughter” to which I sweetly replied I AM NOT. I live with a nice man now! My reward for a life lived with class and verbal restraint!

  • ‘Aren’t you hot in that?’ No, no I’m not. Either dressed to freeze inside an office, or trying not to fry in the sun.

    • “You’re dress like a grandma!” “Thanks!” says I.

  • Huh. That’s certainly….interesting.

  • My maternal grandmother (was never accused of being too-delicate): ‘My dear, that *** does nothing for you.’ Can still hear that remark to this day. Loved her and her straightforwardness, but… yeah.

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    While teaching middle school I had a student ask in the middle of class, “Where did you buy those ugly shoes?” “The ugly shoe store. Next?” They were Dansko clogs and my mother asked the same question when she saw them.
  • Bless your heart DG (and I am not even a woman from the South) – you have described my son to a tee … BUT I must mention that he is not color blind. His most memorable combo was green/blue plaid shorts with an orange, red, and white tee shirt (who bought these clothes for this child you ask?). This prompted his younger sister to announce that she would not walk to school with him dressed like that. She has been his fashion consultant forever since As for me, I haven’t gotten a lot of unsolicited fashion advice – maybe that’s ‘cause I always wear black, grey, or navy on the bottom and bright colors on the top – like Garanimals for more mature women! Many thanks for always bringing a smile to my face!

    • Don’t wear white after Labor Day. My mother was a stickler about it, and even though I no longer agree with this contention, I simply cannot do it. White pants and shorts get put away in the attic until next summer.

  • “Is that what you’re going to wear?” Obvi, since I’m already wearing it.

  • Just put it on and walk it on out!

  • My niece said about my sister’s clothing choices, “she dresses like A giant toddler “.
    She wasn’t wrong but we still use that phrase to describe happy, brightly colored dressed people!❤️

  • “Oh… That’s not flattering…”

  • “Mom do you have any clothes that aren’t black, khaki or white?!” My response “but they go with everything.”

  • I’m not too old at 66 to wear distressed jeans, right? I just think they are COOL.

  • I wore a BRAND NEW SWEATER to work one day. A co-worker was distressed that the sweater tag kept flipping up and showing. She grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the tag out also cutting a huge gaping hole in the sweater. She tried to make it better by pulling a bit to close it. As knitters, we know this does not generally help the situation. I guess this tale of woe is also a great case for wearing only our own tagless hand knits!

  • As a pre-teen, I was leaving for a really special party. My mother reached out, smoothed back my bangs and said, “You look so nice. But you’re not going to wear your glasses, are you?”
    So I didn’t. And my friends thought I was stuck up, because I couldn’t see well enough across the room to greet them by name — a reputation that lasted until I got contact lenses in college, and really only left when I realized as an adult that glasses could be a fashion statement and I could be ME’

  • This was the late 70s. I was going to prom in a pale yellow spaghetti-strap dress with shirred bodice, cap-sleeved lace overjacket (to circumvent the parental prohibition against the “immodest” spaghetti straps), and a long, straight skirt. Mom took one look at me and told me to put a slip on because when backlit, you could see the outline of my legs through the skirt. (Did I mention this was prom? Where backlighting wasn’t a thing?) I put on a slip. Mom inspected me again. She could still see my legs. Reader, I wore two slips under that prom dress.

  • When my youngest child (daughter) left home for college, I bemoaned, “Who’s going to tell me if my outfit looks good or not?” Because I sure the heck couldn’t trust my husband’s judgment!

  • From my Mom: That shirt looks like you wrapped dead fish in it!

  • There is no such thing as too much glitz!

  • From my daughter, “Maybe you should brush your hair more often”. She was right, but…

  • Not so much advice as a kind upperclassman letting me know I was wearing my uniform skirt the wrong way. I was embarrassed, but grateful.

  • My daughter, aged 16, was sorting through her older clothes. DH, watching her, said: “That skirt looks like it would still fit you.” Younger brother piped up: “Ii’s a fashion statement she no longer wishes to make.”

    So in our family, the polite question when someone wears an interesting combo is: “Are you sure you wish to make that fashion statement today?” And we all laugh, every time.

    Note: she is now 42, a fabulous knitter, and I would trust her fashion judgment every time!

  • Great memory of when a customer asked me for a certain book with a grey cover which I wasted a ton of time looking for and eventually found it with a green color. Imagine my embarrassment when I said “ what are you? Colorblind? “ and he said “yes”. Ouch.

  • “Let your freak flag fly free.” Advice I freely give as well. My hubbin is my colour guy, not that I have trouble seeing colours, I just don’t care if others like my combos.

    • Yes mam.

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    “Wear what makes you happy”. My favorite color is purple so you can bet I have quite a collection of purple in my closet. One time I was out and realized my hoodie, t-shirt, backpack, water bottle, tennis shoes and bracelets all displayed my favorite hue. Excessive perhaps but I was definitely smiling
  • I had on a long wraparound silk skirt, Jean jacket and sandals. My friend said I looked like one of the characters from Home on the Prairie. I have not worn that skirt again.

    • That’s too bad because it sounds like a great outfit! And in the winter, just switch those sandals to cowboy boots. (I have a sharp tongue, because I would’ve immediately said if you don’t like it, you’re free to buy me something else… lol)

  • Friend: Go get dressed so we can leave.
    Me: I AM dressed.

    DG, thanks for the morning belly laughs. I loved this entire message today.

  • Once I could wear a size 6, my Mom introduced me to the nicer dress shops and I was good at saving money from teenage jobs to “invest in good classic pieces”.

  • Many years ago, during a family trip to the beach my sister in law (May she Rest In Peace) looked at me and said “vertical stripes are slimming” . I was wearing a bathing suit with horizontal stripes at the time of her unsolicited comment!! Sad to say unsolicited comments continued over many years, I think my response was typically “oh” or “huh” which did nothing to deter her.

  • I just love reading these posts as I am laughing out load and have a giant smile on my face. Thank you.

  • “That shirt hurts my eyes.”

    • Is that hand knit?

      • Red and pink don’t go together.

  • When I was in high school (early 70s) a male classmate commented that he hoped some of the girls would wear “atomic bomb” dresses. What are atomic bomb dresses, you ask? Why, they are dresses with “50% fallout”.

    • He was referring to prom dresses. Oops, I left that little detail out.

  • You really should wear blue instead of…

  • Love the method your dad came up with! I don’t recall any unsolicited advice from anyone except my daughter – I would expect it from her. I do value her opinion though.

  • this is about having no true friends…i wore a shirt inside out to work. i didn’t notice until lunch when i adjusted. i still beat myself up but now i double check.

  • “Nice boots!” I had accidentally pulled out and worn two different black boots from my closet…

  • Larger women don’t wear horizontal stripes!

  • Wear whatever you want. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong.

  • I was known to my cousin’s young-at-the-time daughters as “The Cousin Who Wears Wild-Coloured Socks”…which tickled me to no end.

  • “Oh, that’s an interesting combination.”

  • “Ha,ha,ha”, laughed my dad every time i asked how i looked. He claimed he was laughing at the look on my face that i got when asking.

  • My mother used to tell me that good girls didn’t wear jeans whenever I asked for a pair. Girls wore skirts. I must not be a good girl, because now I never wear skirts (except to synagogue, or whenever the situation doesn’t allow me to get out of it.)

  • That’s mighty bright lipstick you are wearing….

    • I still remember these comments — “Did you dress like that on purpose?” And “Do you always dress in the dark?”

  • “Vertical stripes are really slimming, aren’t they?”

  • My best friend told me that the wild color prints look better on the person then on the hanger. She wasn’t wrong. She inspired me to wear brighter colors with patterns and I started getting a lot more compliments when I did!

  • “You’re dressed like a Christmas tree!” said my mom to 5 year old me as I had chosen red pants and a green shirt (not colorblind).

  • My gay, drag queen friend and I decided that, for the next Halloween, we would dress as Lucy and Ethel. He immediately announced that he would be Lucy. When I protested, he pointed out that he wore heels much more frequently and better than I. Looking down at my well-worn Merrill’s, I had to concede that he was, indeed, correct.

  • Only wear one accent piece or pattern per outfit. No stripes with a pattern.

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I efficiently packed for a business trip to NYC so that I only needed one pair of shoes that would go with every outfit. Unfortunately that “pair” was one navy blue and one black shoe-didn’t notice til the end of the first day (and the black one was patent leather!) Now I don’t buy the same shoes in different colors anymore, regardless of how comfortable they may be. “Just because the dress fits doesn’t mean you’re not fat.”
  • My sister once told me ,”Don’t wear that!”

  • When I had a kid in day care and kid birthday parties every weekend (it felt like) a mom told me to buy craft supplies in bulk and make up crafting bags for gifts. It was freaking brilliant.

  • “Are you going to wear that?”
    – my father, Man of Few Words, to me as I open the door to leave (multiple episodes growing up) 🙂

  • “Never pair pink and green. It clashes ” -Mom
    “Green looks terrible on you.” – An EX-husband

    And I believed them for way too long!

    • Lily Pulitzer would beg to differ!

  • When I was a child I was always being told, “now just act as nice as you look”. This was confusing because I never felt I looked good

  • Thank you, DG Strong, for your marvelous diversions.

  • “Just because the dress fits doesn’t mean you’re not fat.”

  • Is that what you’re wearing?

  • You can’t wear heels with pants and especially with jeans.

    • Speaking of unsolicited advice. Yesterday I said to my DH, “Someday that shirt is going to disappear.” He has about 50 shirts in his closet, but the one I see him in the most is the 20 year old turquoise blue striped golf shirt. Over and over again. Even though I buy him new ones. But then I got to thinking how often I do the same thing. And he never remarks. Nice man! Time for me to go shopping.

  • “Your dress (black silk, screen printed, A-line, pull over your head style) is on wrong side out.” Said the lady behind me in the receiving line to meet the commanding general’s wife.

  • It is best to fasten the buttons of your blouse into the buttonholes directly across from the actual buttons

  • Advice I gave: you should wear a dress or a skirt! You have great legs and show them off!

  • Favorite line: I am never red-faced with rage; it’s more that I’m moderately upset in a khaki sort of way.

  • I tend to wear shirts and pants two days in a row, if they don’t get outright dirty on day one. A little neighbor girl stops by almost every day to visit my puppy. She noticed my fresh clothes yesterday and commented, “Oh, you have a new outfit today. It looks nice!” Subtle fashion advice.

  • My mom, sister, and I were very honest with each other about our clothing choices when we shopped together: “that color makes you look washed out,” “those pants emphasize your thighs (or rear end) too much,” “you look a little frumpy,” and “that’s too see-through.” It helped to avoid a lot of clothing mistakes!

  • I understand your dilemma entirely. I grew up with a color blind mother (yes, it is possible, though rare) and Youngest inherited the trait. I, too, could tell stories … especially relating to my (late) mother and make-up. Pediatric optomistrist questioned why I wanted my almost 4 year old tested for color-blindness (you know, read those numbers in a color bubble) and guess who was right?

    It can be a challenge …. when there is a significant portion of the (mostly male) population color blind and as textbooks become increasingly colorful… Youngest was fortunate to have two teachers who realized how he saw the world (and maps, and science graphs …)

  • were you dressed by your stylist?

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Don’t wear brown shoes with a blue outfit. Growing up we had many rules, skirt length was measured by inches from the floor.
  • My father, somehow roped into taking his teenage daughter (me) dress shopping, when asked what he thought about a particular try-on, pronounced that “all colors go together”. That was the first time I realized that men are clueless.

  • That’s a lovely dress – but isn’t it too good to wear into the office here?

  • Sometimes when I stare at my armload of bracelets, I remember Coco Chanel advising to take one piece off before leaving the house. I usually do!

  • My husband used to call me a fashion nightmare- back when I was half hippie and half wavo. (You guys remember Wavos, right? It was an 80’s thing.) No advice, just judgement. I do think he found it entertaining though.

  • I once bought some beautiful lavender suede short boots, and my friend, who was shopping with me, said, “Boy, they’ll be able to see you coming in those!

  • A popular bit of advice when I was young was “blue and green should never be seen”–a combo that today I think is glorious! As is the Frances Palmer book…..

  • I have simplified my clothes choices in retirement—- black leggings, a cami, a hoodie. Makes choosing easy and no mismatched colors. In winter the color comes from bright shawls, all of which go with black. Love your father’s system!

  • My daughter’s first complete sentence at age 15-months was “No want to wear that.” I set her up with a closet full of mix-and-match Gymboree and let her dress herself.

  • My mom used to dress me in pastels and frilly things when I was little, but later realized I prefer solids in richer colors. Since t-shirts and jeans are pretty boring and don’t fit every circumstance, I’ve settled on having just one element feminine and/or patterened: plain top with a pretty print skirt, or a gauzy hippy top with those jeans. For me, it’s a great compromise so that I look put together, but still comfortable! (BTW, hi neighbors! I grew up in Williamson County)

  • From my mother just about every time: aren’t you going to iron that?
    When she asked that, it really meant she didn’t like whatever I had on and wanted me to change it to something she preferred.

    • My great friend has told (& shown) me that she selects clothes from clothing store’s round racks; they hang things that are meant to go together. She knows I put colors together in unexpected ways. I can’t help myself!
      I adore her and her style. It’s hers. Wouldn’t life be boring if we were all alike?

  • My husband is also color blind, so any fashion advice from him is frowned upon and greatly discouraged.

  • clothing choices are a very personal thing. It depends on our mood at the time of choosing, who we are at the time. Sometimes I feel “artsy” and want to express that feeling in clothes, other times…not so much. But I don’t remember anyones reaction to my costume that has stayed with me. Love your articles.

  • My unsolicited outfit advice came from an unlikely place, my dogs! I had bought a pair of bright red NYD jeans for a bargain price of $10. I wore them out to see my doggies in the yard and all 5 dogs ran away and would not come close. I changed my jeans & the fear went away. Thing went back to normal. I could only assume they thought I had bloody legs. I never wore these jeans again. My buddies might have known something I didn’t .

  • I have brown hair and brown eyes, so my mother always dressed me in brown. She thought it suited. Brown is one of my worst colors and very hard for me to wear!! Give me turquoise, deep purples, and ruby red any day. She dressed in brown and rust a lot, and it didn’t suit her either. Oh well, she was still beautiful,

  • Well, it’s not *slimming*

  • When my son (who has a great eye, by the way) was a teenager he would give fashion commentary freely. When I had a classic button down shirt in bright yellow on he told me I looked like a crossing guard! A floral cardigan was described as made from an old person’s couch! I still think of his comments when I wear those pieces. I love him dearly and those brutally honest comments were hilarious.

    • When my son found out I was going to be a “field trip” parent for his class, he went to my closet and chose my outfit. He did not want my attire to be a topic for class discussion. The fate of a mom who had made an unfortunate fashion choice.

  • ERROR trying to sign up for your newsletter, so hoping you’re not too stringent about this step! “Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.”

  • Grandma looks nice but she’s all the time wearing the same clothes… said by my 3 year old grandson!

  • Outfit advice: my husband would prefer I wear none. Luckily, I ignore him.

  • I was in high school and I’d just bought a yellow knit summer dress with a cute ruffle at the neckline and I loved it. Then one of my friends told me that the color made me look like “death warmed over”. I haven’t worn yellow again to this day – and I’m 58!

  • As a high school freshman, I sewed a red-with-white-stars battle jacket and matching red and white striped pants. The high school style icon just laughed.

  • “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Apparently Coco Chanel said this, and I won’t dispute that she’s a legend.

    But I’m an unapologetic maximalist so I don’t take this advice!

  • I consider navy (blue jeans) to be a neutral, so any color goes with them.

  • You look nice.

  • knitting socks is my go to. small a portable

  • Me, upstairs, yelling to my husband, downstairs, my pants don’t fit (drawer jammed full and stuck). My husband yelling back upstairs, “we’ll eat more salads and that will do the trick”!!!!!

  • I was very young and had proudly dressed myself in my favorite floral print top and favorite floral print shorts. I came out for breakfast and my father kindly bent down and told me that while he was not known for his great sense of fashion, he at least knew not to mix patterns and therefore I needed to change one of the items I was wearing.
    In retrospect, the two florals were so wildly different in color and size I must have looked a sight! and he was so very kind in telling young me that.

  • from my mother (millions of years ago): are you trying to make yourself look ugly?

  • You look like a train wreck.

  • I recently saw a post about eye glasses that allow color blind people to see colors. You might want to check it out.

  • I don’t remember getting any unsolicited fashion advice – guess my outfits are so boring they don’t rate comments.

  • “Oh, Mom, surely you’re not going to wear THAT outside the house,” said my 3-year old daughter about my very ordinary jeans-and-a shirt going-grocery-shopping outfit. She, on the other hand, had just added six multicolored barrettes to her hair, all of which matched the print in her dress.

  • Less my favorite, but always with me. Because I have red hair, my mother never let me wear pink! As an adult I wear pink all the time in all its flavors.

  • Everything looks better with a smile

  • From my kind but blunt teenage son “mom you shouldn’t wear short shorts”. They weren’t that short, but not extra long like most are on my short legs!
    From my very tall friend on a hot day “You should have worn capris”. Me “I did”. Hilarious laughter from my tall friend! (My “capris” were ankle length…)

    • I had a similar conversation just this weekend… Friend on a hot day: “I have pants just like that, but mine are capris”. Me: “these ARE capris, my legs are shorter than yours!” It also ended with laughter.

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    As a child, I always wanted a pair of red shoes. My mother bought me a pair and they never seemed to wear out. I got tired of them after wearing them most Sundays to church. When I was growing up my sister was in High school and then college. The only colors she wore were black, grey, tan or white. She felt that those were the colors that other clothing went with. I think mother thought she should be wearing “brighter” colors, because she could wear them. I think she thought these were the only “fashionable” colors.
  • In my family, appearances were a really big thing. From my father when I decided to wear my hair curly, “You’re not really going to wear your hair like that are you?” From my mom about 6-9 months post-baby, “You know that dress really makes your butt look big.”

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    One time someone told me (as an impressionable teen) that black and brown should never go together in an outfit. I still feel like I look like a freak if I dare to wear brown shoes and black pants. I am not referring to any sort of dressy suit or something just everyday black jeans.
  • No white after Labor Day. !

  • If you wore a trend one time, don’t wear it if it comes around again. Hmmmmm……

  • When I was in college in the late 60’s I was sitting in a theater waiting to audition for a play wearing a light blue sweater with a lighter colored yoke in an angora like yarn that my grandfather had knitted for me. A fellow sitting behind me leaned forward and told me I had shoulders like Johnny Weissmuller (he played Tarzan the 40-50’s). I always wore that sweater when I studied late at the library.

    • Your GRANDFATHER knitted for you? Awesome.

  • So my husband and all his brothers and a nephew are color blind. It has been a source of many strange stories in our lives. One of which was 2 of the brothers in a woman’s clothing store trying to by a green sweater for a special girl friend (me). They attempted to ask several women for advice on a color and finally gave up and bought one in a size they thought would work. ( it did not on either area but the thought was very sweet. My husband still maintains there should be Garanimals for grown ups. some men who are not color blind might also benefit from them.

  • I stenciled and hand sewed an Alabama Chanin pattern – the A line dress. I love it and wear it lots. My dear mother, however, saw it and said oh! I have a dress like that, for wearing around the house. Facepalm. Love you, Mom.

  • I don’t remember any particular advice but, when I look at pictures from the Fifties and Sixties, I think someone should have. :-))

  • From a totally random dude in college who I did not know at all but who was in a couple classes with me:” You always wear one dull color and one bright color. That looks good on you. You should keep doing it.” He had never spoken to me before that and never spoke to me again, though he did occasionally give me a thumbs up when I had a random-guy-approved combination on.

  • “What is that garb you’re wearing?” From my mother when I was about 25. Yeah, I still remember.

  • The unremembered person who asked my 11 year old self, “Did you make that?” about my new dress. I still get that comment now, only they then ask if I’ll make them one too.

  • Wedding dress studio clerk, while looking at my fiancé—“Of course, dear, you will be wearing flats.” (Yes, I am taller than my husband.)

  • Oh please I’m always open to unsolicited outfit advice! Bring it!

  • Back in the days of mini skirts and poor boy sweaters, my mother once told me I looked like a slut.

  • Well by far the best outfit advice I get is when I show up for an event and my mom says “Oh, you’re wearing that?”. I’m 63 years old!

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Not really advice but a back-handed compliment from my sister. ”Those are cute sandals…much more stylish than the shoes you usually wear.”
  • “You look like you just don’t give a F_ _ _!!!”
    Unsolicited gushy exclamation from a neighbor when she saw me come home from work one day after critiquing my “look” from head to toe, including hair, make up, jewelry, every item of clothing I was wearing, including my boots. I was actually wearing one of my coolest hip to the scene ensembles that I own and I felt great all day.
    Some people just don’t know how to deliver a compliment 🙂

  • I can hardly narrow this topic down…

    Mortifying moment: On the subway with a friend (obviously with no sense of boundaries) when he spotted a young lady in a truly wild, garish getup and yelled out to her, “Oh Sweetie, I almost wore that same outfit today.”

    Typical comment from my grandmother: “She was dolled up like Mrs. Astor’s horse.”

    Excellent advice from a teenage daughter: “You can never go wrong with Converse.”

  • I enjoy these personal stories. That’s one reason why I buy from you rather than a big box store. Well, that and your yarns are much more beautiful!

  • “Wow, that coat makes you look like an orangutang!” Said the man I’d only been dating for a few months, when I showed up looking (or so I thought) rather stylish in a reddish-brown coat with (fake) fur trim.

    Reader, I married him. (That happened fourteen years ago, but he’ll never live it down.)

  • I never cared which cloths my son chose to wear to school. As long as there was a top and a bottom and a pair or not pair of socks. He usually wore matching shoes, at least for school. My husband, on the other hand, hated this.

  • Years ago I was considering a dress and my sister recommended against it, saying, “It doesn’t look like you.” The saleswoman responded, “Then you should buy it. People will never notice you if you always wear the same look.” Good advice for those who like to be noticed.

  • While dismissing our kindergartners from school, my partner teacher looked out and said ,”There’s Mrs. X. You would look just like her in jeans, if only you were taller.” she was tall, thin, and about 5’7”. I am about 5’3” and petite. We still laugh about it some twenty years later.

    • “I wouldn’t wear those shoes to a dogfight!!”

  • My daughter once told me when I was asking if I should keep a particular pair of shoes: don’t give away those – they’re the only stylish shoes you own!

    She also told me I should never where jeans with a denim shirt – no matchy matchy for her!

  • One of my favourite ever outfit comments was from a child I was teaching to knit. I was wearing a green hoodie knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan (remember that? If not, it is soft and bobbly )

    The child told me ‘I love your jumper.’

    ‘Thank you!’

    ‘It’s just like a bathmat.’

  • A friend once told me, “If I had boobs like yours I’d show them off too.” I went home and raised the neckline of that sweater.

  • These comments are hilarious. My favorite was when I was told, “It is good that you are so smart.” Trust me, when your outfit elicits this response, it is not meant as a compliment.
    I think you Dad is a genius. He found a way to allow you to express yourself and make your own choices while protecting you from the offhanded cruelty of elementary school children. Well done, DG’s dad!

  • From my 5 year old grandson: Grandma, that skirt is so pretty. You should wear that skirt.

    • So that was my favorite, but probably my least favorite bit of outfit advice was when I wore my new yellow and black bathing suit to the local pool. A woman I knew only slightly shouted over to me “You look just like a giant bumblebee!!”Never wore that suit again….

  • Oohh. I have to admit it was me. Remember those chintz dress with the poof sleeves, the full skirt, and the sash that tied into a bow in the back. They were all the rage but the only grown woman who could pull one off was, hmm, well, no on that I can think of.

    We were going to some sort of dress-up event and were meeting up at my parents house. I walked into the living room, took one look at my sister, and said “Nice dress. Who shot the couch?” She still hasn’t forgiven me.

    In my defense, I am a Sagittarius so my mouth moves A LOT faster than my filter. Also, my sister is 6’1′ and not what you would call willowy. Think more like Wonder Woman and her Amazon friends. She was also wearing 4″ white pumps. I was provoked, your honor.

  • The day I was wearing patched jeans, a ratty t-shirt and no make up and my boyfriend told me I looked great!
    26 years later I still don’t trust his taste in clothing…

  • I just remembered this article from the New York Times. Daniela, the four year old, is the daughter of a friend of mine. She has a grown up into a still-fashionable, wonderful woman. I love her quote at the end. “I have two pairs of cowboys boots,” she said and pointed to the tooling on the leather. “One has holes and one doesn’t have holes. Some cowboys wear holes, and some cowboys don’t wear holes.”

  • Looking back at pictures over the years I really truly needed someone to say “Are you going to wear THAT?” But instead I was allowed to go forth with my very questionable fashion choices and even be photographed in them. Yikes!

  • That shirt color makes you look dead.

  • “That’s a lot of look,” originally from Tim Gunn but used many times since to try to edit myself or others.

  • I wore the pearls that I wore most days for the first 15 years of my working life (starting in the early eighties) and a coworker (half my age because that’s a thing now) told me that is was tacky to wear pearls before 6pm

    • (The co-worker was just a year ago)(This clarification isn’t meant to be an entry)

  • I make my own work shirts. I have one that is a sort of psychedelic zodiac print. My friend who was fabric shopping with me said “That is the most hideous fabric I have ever seen.” I grinned evilly and said “Challenge accepted.” (I actually get a lot of complements on that shirt)

  • My most memorable unsolicited outfit advice came from a small child in the checkout line at Target (random child that belonged to someone else, not my own!). He told me that I should wear a hat always because then my [curly] hair won’t fall in my face. The same small child then proceeded to tell me all about his favorite hat that was on his head…a Blue’s Clues hat that had flappy EARS on it!

  • I must say, I really enjoyed reading everyone’s entries as I struggled to come up with something remotely clever. Sadly, I cannot. Like most everyone, I got the occasional “Are you going to wear THAT?”. But the one lesson I remember learning the hard way, when the forecast calls for a cold front to move in, take a coat.

  • When I put on a stylish pair of wide-leg summer linen pants and my husband told me they look like pajamas.

  • I was told never to wear horizontal stripes since I would look fat

  • My best friend loves animal prints and my favorite comment from her is “Needs more giraffe !”

  • When I’d gone to multiple stores with my four-year-old son in search of red sweatpants, which he’d decided he needed asap. We found some and I excitedly pointed them out. He mused for a moment and then said, “They’re the wrong shade of red.” A woman shopping near us looked at me and said, “Good luck.”

  • Wear what you are most comfortable in. A real friend keeps their opinion to themselves and most other people do not matter!

  • When I was a pre-teen I lived with my grandparents in a small semi-rural town, population 999. Occasionally we would take the bus (or sometimes drive) to the “large” town nearby, population 35,000. My grandmother was emphatic that we absolutely could not wear jeans to “town”. So, even though we lived in jeans most of the time, we would change into a dress or nice slacks/skirt and a nice blouse with flats. NO tennis shoes!

    I do miss my grandmother and I don’t think she even owned a pair of jeans up to her death in 1995 at the age of 90.

  • I didn’t realize that my father was also colorblind until just a few years ago. With that tiny tidbit of knowledge, at long last I could understand his extreme dismay at my color scheme to paint my first bedroom that I didn’t have to share with any of my siblings. I was going with light olive green walls with a deep blue trim (okay, it was the 60s). My dad was very skeptical of what he must have seen as my mud brown walls. He went ahead with the paint job, but he must have asked me a hundred times if that was what I really wanted. I was so sad when I left for college and he repainted everything plain old white.

  • My favorite outfit advice comes from the incredible Iris Apfel–“more is more and less is a bore.” I love it.

  • New haircut: “Don’t worry, it’ll grow.”
    New poncho: “You can wear it on Halloween!”
    New scarf: “You always have to make a statement, don’t you?”

    Ugh. Wear what makes you feel good, ya’ll.

  • I love to wear tye-dye t-shirts & tank tops & my Mom hates them. If we are going out together for lunch/dinner the question of who is paying for lunch/dinner comes up every time by my Mom. If she is paying, I go change my shirt. If I’m paying, I go as I am! Obviously just casual dining!

  • A co-worker said my sneakers with red and pink flowers looked like clown shoes.

  • In the sixth grade I was already making many of my clothes & though I am good with color there were other areas where I obviously needed advice. I used a beautiful thin wale corduroy paisley print to make a skirt & bolero vest. I wore it with a turtle neck & added a chiffon scarf in my hair. It was the sixties & I thought I looked cute. School had barely started when my teacher took me into the cloak room & informed me that I was to go directly home and change my clothes. I lived across the street. She said that if I didn’t learn to leave something to the imagination I might grow up to be a go go dancer. My skirt was a good bit shorter than the school limit. I learned my lesson in alterations that day.

  • When I would come downstairs and my mom would say “Are you sure you want to go out in THAT?”

  • “You look really comfortable.”, said in the sweetest & most sincere way.

  • While purchasing a hand knitted shocking pink sweater in Dublin, Ireland, a second store clerk walked up to me and said “we always wondered what kind of person would buy that sweater”. It was knitted by ‘Yovanne’. I wore that sweater to pieces. It was beautiful:)

  • My hubby is always giving me advice such as: Isn’t that a little too bright and colorful for your age?

  • Beat fashion advice: don’t dress like a teenager (from my tween daughter).

  • Years ago I was told to stop tucking tops into bottoms, let the tops hang over. It was unsolicited but very good advice for my “pear shape”.

  • Favorite constructive criticism . . . it’s not my favorite. Ouch! 🙂

  • I had strawberry blonde hair as a child and was told I couldn’t wear Orange or red. My hair has lightened to blonde with age so I have a whole new color palette to explore

  • My favourite unsolicited advice:

    “That colour looks nice on you .”
    The reason I appreciate this is because I have a slight colour blindness and am never quite sure if I have selected a good colour.

  • Fave comment from my mom: ‘Do you like that outfit?’

  • I have a sister that refers to me as her hippie sister. She also tells everyone that I actually wore black nail polish in high school. One of the many reasons she did not like hanging out with me (she does now).

  • current fav is that v-necks are very flattering on women. I tend to select for that now. Other outfit advice tidbit is to take off the last accessory you put on.

  • When my mother says “Oh look at your hair, aren’t you going to do something with it?”
    “No , that’s why I have a short shag Mother. I’m also 47, Mother”.

  • When my son was in second grade I had a meeting scheduled with his teacher. He looked at me and said “you aren’t going to wear that, are you?” I was in my regular mom clothes. Capris and a t-shirt. When I said “yes” he replied “can you least put on a scarf or a skirt or something?” The now-teenager still likes to dress nicely.

  • Comment from daughter several years ago: “You have pretty good style.” Now same 20-something daughter is known to “borrow” a few of my clothes.

  • I once made a dress out of lilac crepe material, not an easy task as it unravels when cut. I wore it proudly to school and was asked by 2 people if I felt okay. Not one person liked my dress. It got rolled up and tossed into the back of the closet. It was when I learned that some colors do not flatter my skin tone and just because they are pretty in the crayon box doesn’t mean it will look good on me.

  • I’m colorful. Always have been, always will be. Clothing feeds my soul and inspires my day. Recently, I had a customer where I work (a plus size clothing store) tell me that I am “so fun to look at”. Best compliment ever! But my favorite unsolicited advice came from my client who was trying to talk herself into being more bold with her wardrobe. She spoke to herself and said, “I want to wear a crop top.”
    There’s a great husband and wife boutique I follow and shop from called Freckled Poppy. I love this company for all the inclusivity and other things they represent. During a live when they were showing a crop top, I said that I was scared to buy it because I’m 51 with a big, lumpy tummy and short. The owner commented, “Janet, we are all perfectly imperfect. We are all beautiful. I’ve never understood why that stuff matters. Why it’s ok to have fat in your boobs or booty but not your tummy. What difference does it make where it is? You like the crop top, feel cute in the crop top, then wear the damn crop top!!!”
    I own 2 now, wear them, and get compliments in abundance EVERY TIME! Oh, I’m a 195#, 5’2”, size 14!!!!

  • I was picking up a few groceries on my lunch hour, dressed in my best pants suit. When I got to the cashier, she looked me up and down and said, “my grandmother would love that!”

  • “That looks like you!”

  • About to head out on the streets of London thinking I looked pretty cool in my Eileen Fisher harem pants, my mother told me I looked like I was wearing a poopy diaper. I wore them anyway and got tons of compliments. Always consider the source!

  • I bought a silk “jumpsuit” in deep purple. It was a designer item and a terrific sale. it fit well and was so comfortable. A colleague told me I looked like a grape in it. ( At the time I was slim and tall.) But, I never enjoyed wearing it again. Shame.

  • You look like a potato when you wear brown

  • Well, I guess it was indirectly about the outfit when someone asked when the baby was due? I wasn’t pregnant.

  • It has to be: “Is that what you’re wearing???”

  • My favorite outfit comment, made by my mother when I was a teenager:
    “You’re going to wear THAT?”

  • My motto: “always overdress”. Don’t know where I heard it…must have been unsolicited advice at some point early in my life. Needless to say, since COVID-19 it has become irrelevant.

  • When I was a teen, my dear mother who has been gone now for quite awhile, upon seeing me show up at the breakfast table before school, would look at me and say “Are you wearing that today?’ Very noncommittally. Well, OF COURSE I AM, I”M DRESSED. At the time I was usually insulted but as time went on I realized that she was just trying to help me judge my clothing choices which at times were pretty bad. I mostly realized that when I started doing it to my two teenaged daughters. The apple as they say ….

  • WHAT are you wearing?

  • After a wonderful evening about town, my dear friend commented that she felt my jewelry was too matchy matchy. I still speak to her.

  • Never leave the house without a cardigan.

  • I had bought a Christmas pullover that simply delighted me. I was at the optometrist looking at glasses when the woman next to me, who appeared to be in her late 50s/ early 60s, said she didn’t like a pair of glasses because they were “old lady glasses” Then she apologized to me! Gentle reader, I never wore that pullover again.

  • I tend to get multiples of clothing I like, especially jeans and tops that go with. I get a lot of “didn’t you wear that yesterday? Where did you spend the night??” comments because of this. I try, I really do, to wear tops slightly different in color, but sometimes there’s just nothing to be done! I usually just respond with something like “when I was growing up on the farm we didn’t have much money for clothing, so I’m used to wearing the same thing every day!

  • I can’t believe that “you” made that sweater! Compliment or criticism? But the sweater – I love it!

  • You should never wear that color!

  • “Please wear something different”- as a child, I wanted to (have washed) wear the same favorite outfit every day. I think my mom began to wish I went to a school that required you wear a uniform!

  • Even if You have red hair you can wear red, pink, and purple…but probably not all at once.

  • I never wore the outfit again in her presence after she said “Well, it’s a look”. I don’t want to upset people if I can help it, but I will wear what I want when I don’t know any better. Thanks for “Britaining” a smile to my day (and thanks to Nancy, too)

  • Advice given me years ago and has saved me from many embarrassing moments is “go with two main colors and only accent with a third”

  • Your slip is showing.

  • Stopping by a cosmetics counter when I was a young mother with little money and very few clothes, wearing one of my favorite blouses, the sales girl said, “You should not wear that color. It does not look good on you.”

  • From my husband: “Isn’t that a bit too tight?”

  • Always “Are you wearing that?”

  • I will be smiling at the image of you in five different plaids all day. I tend to rely heavily on solid neutrals–the concept of a capsule wardrobe was dreamed up with me in mind–and sometimes walk into the yarn shop looking like a back-up singer for Johnny Cash. I walk the line!

  • I can’t think of any unsolicited outfit advice I’ve gotten. But reading everyone else’s comments made me laugh!

  • A belt would make it look better!

  • Favorite advice is to organize your closet according to ROY G BIV: it streamlines decision-making and sparks conversation when your students notice the pattern. 😉

  • Love your column! My husband is slightly red green color blind as well, but was never diagnosed. Early in our marriage we had some award winning battles over outfits that were just off. He finally took a different color test and was diagnosed! We have a similar system now for matching shirts and pants!

  • My husband is blue green colorblind. I didn’t really get the impact of it until he asked me if I was really going to wear brown shoes with that outfit? My response was yes, brown shoes go perfectly well with this sage green outfit. His reply was, oh, I always thought that outfit was gray. So, there you go. He now asks what color I’m wearing if he’s not sure that something matches.

  • I inherited my grandmother’s color sense for matching colors, so when shopping, I can pick a yarn that exactly matches the blouse I have at home.

  • Well, THAT’s an interesting choice.

  • For a cousin’s wedding she put her attendants in a pleated dress with ruffled top. The color was light, shiny blue and at 5′ 11′ I looked liked a toilet brush according to my brothers. Hopefully those pictures have faded from existence. The only good thing about it was that the bride didn’t pick the green.

  • Black is slimming (thanks, Mom)

  • My favourite outfit comment is “oh, that’s interesting….”

  • Love your column. And thanks for all the good advice on movies, tv, music etc. My favorite unsolicited advice was from my first husband on a color pick. Realized later that he also had color blindness.

  • Never wear dark blue with black

  • I think, DG, you would be a very good person to ask about the aspect of color that I find hardest — the value. Successful colorplay in just about anything comes down to light and dark. On a related note, I think Kaffe Fassett’s advice is good: When in doubt, add 20 more colors.

  • Ha! My first serious boyfriend compared my “outfits” during trips sightseeing on an island unfavorably with those of his previous girlfriend, observing that she accessorized more, and that I didn’t “dress cute” enough. We were in Hawaii and I was wearing tank tops, skirts, and flip flops. LOLOL. Insert J-Law “yeah, okay, thumbs up” gif.

  • Hmmm, advice or not? Oh, I see you’re going to wear that dress 🙂

  • My dear mom, who herself had a penchant for wild 70s prints, would skirt around a critique by saying “well that’s different.” ❤️

  • Favorite outfit advice? “You have your father’s fashion sense.” Said father was a banker in suits M-F for many years, so on the weekends it was all black and white checked shorts, red and blue plaid shirt over a green tee with knee length black socks and sandals. Oh, and a NY cabbie hat. He dressed for fun, and so do I.

  • Me to husband: “Please don’t wear black sox with your sandals” He: grins slyly and walks out the door.

  • i learned what jaundice was when my mother explained why i could never wear yellow or gold with my skin tone. truth is she was right i did look sickly.

  • Unsolicited costume advice? Who would dare?

  • there is no such thing as mismatched! You do you!

  • When I get the courage to wear a knitted sweater….then someone asks “did you make that?” It never seems like a compliment to me if they can tell I made it. Although some have assured me it is.

  • Love your Dad’s colour system!

  • “When wearing a dress or skirt, don’t forget to shave your legs.” (said my Mom)

  • Mom, you’re not really going out wearing that are you!?!

  • I went for a job interview in a sweater that I handknit in the ’80s and my sister was horrified and said “OMG you didn’t wear THAT to a job interview?” I got the job.

  • My dear friend has told (& shown) me how she selects clothing from the store’s round racks; they put clothes there that are meant to be together. She knows I love to put colors together in unexpected ways. I can’t help myself!
    I adore her and appreciate her style. Wouldn’t it be boring if we all dressed alike?

  • My favorite unsolicited fashion advice: “That shawl makes your eyes glow” – in a good way! and it really did! I bought it on the spot.

  • “Oh, you made that, didn’t you!” I’m never sure if that is meant as a compliment referring to my knitting prowess, or a if it means, wow, that looks homemade!

  • Ah, a book recommendation: Oliver Sacks’ “The Island of the Colorblind.” Wonderful read!

  • I wear what I want, as every person should! No judgment here!

  • Think big. It makes look small!

  • Think big. It makes you look small!

  • 15 years ago, a friend (commenting on my brown rain jacket) told me that I looked like a UPS driver. The jacket went to the back of my closet. During COVID, I took the jacket out, and began wearing it every day. I’m proud to look like a UPS essential worker in brown!

  • My “favorite”: on the first day of school, 6th grade: “YOU are out of STYLE !”, from an 8th-grader. Literally the first thing someone said to me that day.

  • Be sure to check the back of your outfit in the mirror before you go out. You may change your mind

  • Be yourself

  • On Friday husband just returned from his annual week-long golf trip with his retired buddies and said to me: Why aren’t you wearing a pair of your knitted socks ? I had to inform him that I had spent my day watering our yard and that my “good” socks do not work out in the yard !!! I was amazed at him noticing that I did not have knitted socks on !! He’s a keeper !!

  • My advise: everything goes! Make your presentation like natures flower garden, goddess doesn’t make any mistakes! Love it.
    Susan, with aloha.

  • You’re not really going to wear that are you? Said my tactful sister!

  • One in 8 million females is red/green blind or deficient. I feel your pain!

  • A woman wearing a blue plaid flannel shirt and green paisley print pants talked smack about my pink loafers…the nerve!

  • I loved the. Cardigan and cows issue from this spring which gave me inspiration to try a new style.

  • Any fashion advice that starts with “women of a certain age”!

  • I can’t think of any unsolicited fashion advice but I am wondering why I don’t see more hand-knit items being worn by anyone when I go out. There are so many beautiful yarns and lovely patterns.

  • Wow!

  • A good pattern or print can help disguise figure flaws . Don’t be afraid of color either.

  • When I was 12 my mother told me, very kindly, that I probably shouldn’t wear brown. She never mentioned it again and of course I ignored her advice and wore it often. It was the 70’s and everything came in some lovely shade of brown.
    In the 90’s I bought a really nice fluffy brown sweater on a work trip. Once I was home I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror wearing it and brought it to work the next day and gave it away. Never worn brown again.

  • While meeting up with old highschool “friends”, one of them looked me up and down and said, “You look so…(awkwardly long pause while looking everone held thier breath for the the next word)…trendy.”
    …it was not a compliment

  • (When wearing a Dijon mustard-colored sweater) – I hate that color but it looks good on you.

  • Dress in the colors worn in the tropics. Dress happy and feel happy. You might even make others smile!

  • You know your shirt is on inside out.

  • I am notoriously bad at coming up with a matching outfit. When I was in college I had my first month of student teaching. Ever morning before heading out the door I had to get clearance from her before leaving. Over time we came up with a few appropriate go-to outfits.

  • Sounds like your dad was a problem solver!! What a great post, definitely had a giggle! For me, a hairdresser, that I had never been to before, asked me if anyone told me that I shouldn’t wear pink… Pft, I love pink and wear what I want. Needless to say that was the last time I went to him.

  • I was wearing a favorite patterned lavender dress and matching tights when my brother stopped cold and said I looked like an Easter egg! It was not said in a congratulatory way.

  • Wear what you like no matter how crazy it might be to others. Let your personality shine thru!

  • Keep a pet hair pickup roller in the car.

  • I love, love, love DG Strong’s columns, and the idea of a mustard cummerbund to finish off an outfit! My favorite unsolicited outfit advice came from Mom, 1,000 miles away in Florida, telling me I should absolutely not wear combat boots with my formal floor-length black dress for the company’s winter extravaganza. Her suggestion: formal high-heeled shoes. Two issues with this: there was a sleet storm that night that would dump about a foot of the snow version of oatmeal on the street. And who on earth would wear fancy high-heeled shoes with a full-length dress when there are comfy combat boots available? Madness. I love you, Mom.

  • Totally unsolicited and unappreciated from my sister when I was 22 years old breastfeeding my first child …..”if you tightened your bra straps you wouldn’t look so saggy” Did I mention my older, bossy sister?

  • “You’re not going out dressed in that?!”

  • My father, a man of few words, started chuckling when I came down the stairs in what I thought was a very fashionable black hat with a wide rim. “Ready for a day at a farm? Well, it will keep the sun off your face, anyway,” he said with a big grin.

  • Shopping with a friend and realizing that we both look good in the same top and we tell each other at the same time “You just have to buy that!” We own a number of the same things…pants, tops, sneakers and even bags.

  • My daughter tells me I dress like a gypsy! It’s the jewelry. I like rings and bracelets!

  • My favorite – “Well, as long as you like it.”

  • I had just gotten a haircut and was headed straight to a school meeting when my 14 year old son asked if I wanted to borrow his ball cap. It was a truly awful haircut and he found a relatively tactful way to try to help the situation.

  • Oh DG! How nice to hear I am not the only red/green challenged knitter out there. Regardless, my favorite projects are fair isle and anything with cables. Once, I was wearing a just finished sweater, so proud of the way it turned out: fit me well, loved the safe color (a rich dark brown) that was a joy to knit from the gate. An acquaintance came up and gently whispered “you should never wear that color, it’s the worst on you.” Still love the sweater… 🙂
    Susan M.

  • An ex once bought me a bunch of clothes for Christmas. They were all very boring, conservative clothes in boring colors that I did not like and didn’t look good on me. Not my kind of style at all. Needless to say I exchanged all of them and the boyfriend!

  • Early in my teaching career, a sixth-grader asked me why I always wear the same black pants. I told him I owned three pairs of black pants. Years later, a second grader raised his hand to politely ask why I wear the same earrings every day. I told him I wanted to keep the holes open. The trouble with this country is that youngsters are paying more attention to what the teacher is wearing than to what she is saying.

  • You need to show your knees. You’re too short to wear long skirts. This was when long skirts were in style and everyone was wearing them!

  • When I was pregnant with my first child, I bought a London Fog a-line raincoat in navy with a subtle floral pattern, thinking it would fit me through the winter. About 20 years later, a teenager told me his grandmother had a coat just like that! A bit of a shock, but fair enough… Another five or six years went by, and I saw a coat just like it in the vintage section of a super-trendy clothing store in town, and another one like it on a 20-something walking in the hip area of town. Everything comes around again. And I would still wear it if the buttons weren’t wearing through the fabric.

  • Wear what you feel beautiful in

  • My dad saying to me 14 yr old self who just proudly bought her first mini-dress ALL BY HERSELF:
    “When are you going to buy the other half of that dress?”

  • “Did you make that?” Sometimes you don’t know if it’s a compliment or criticism.

  • As a physician at an urgent care clinic, I always wear scrubs to work. Scrubs are moderately comfortable, easy care, and come in all colors. Consequently, I frequently wear them on days when I’m not working, as well. However, I feel a little sheepish when people say, “You must be working today”, and I have to say, “No, I’m just lazy”.

  • Keep wearing that style it suits you.

  • I was trying on shoes and showing a friend. A woman seated several seats away turned to me and said, “They look like Minnie Mouse shoes!” Of course she then slapped her hand over her mouth and apologized. With her comment in mind, I bought the shoes.

  • From my brother: that sweater makes you look like a potato with a string tied around the middle.

  • My favorite unsolicited outfit advice: “Wear whatever the hell you want, as long as YOU feel good in it (and you don’t violate any local laws)!”

  • Unsolicited outfit advice…. Hmmm. This was always from my mother, “Really?!” she would say. My response was always, “What?!” as I looked down and spun around to try and see what was amiss. She always let me go!

  • As a sensitive teen, my future sister-in-law told me, wearing my brand new necklace, “I didn’t know choker necklaces are back in style.” Never wore it again.

  • “Are you still working?” because I was fully dressed & accessorized!

  • Wear only black & white.

  • My mom says I look horrible yellow due to my blonde hair, so I never wear yellow. And I’m always kind of surprised when someone does, even though I love the mustard that is so popular now.

  • While shopping in a more`hip’ store, I was approached by a young sales girl who offered her help and added this statement: “I also specialize in age appropriate dressing.” I was so stunned I didn’t know how to respond. I was almost in tears when I made my hasty retreat. Now it just makes me angry! How about taking into consideration lifestyle and personality? WEAR WHAT SUITS YOU!

  • 1. I must know the nicest people in the world, because no one’s ever said the rude things some of the other commenters have heard!
    2. Growing up, my sister and I always had to wear a dress to church. Then I went through a long period of not going to church. Now a dress is my favorite thing to wear to church!

  • It’s never what is said, it’s that slightly quirked eyebrow … that faint widening of the eyes … or my all-time favourite — my Dad walking down the hallway and shaking his head as he goes!

  • My Aunt used to look me up and down whenever we met and tell me that I need to lose weight. Apparently she thought I didn’t already know that !!!

  • Always keep that sweater in your vehicle for an unexpected chili evening

  • I recommend keeping neutral furnishings to “show off” fabulous artwork. Similarly, I prefer somewhat neutral clothing to show off all of those beautiful, colorful hand knit items! Can’t go wrong!

  • For me, some surprisingly good advice from my mother: there will always be somebody better dressed than you. I.E., do your best but don’t angst too much over your clothing choices. At least *I think* that’s what she meant…

  • Oh girl, that suit looks good on you!

  • My style is a bit edgy. Yesterday I found the cutest pair of loose overalls made from what looks like old feed sacks. I loved them and tried them in. I told my husband, “this is so me!”. He didn’t really care for the , and said, “yes, a little too much you”. I bought them anyway!

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