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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious to see how forum members would handle a situation where a friend shows up to a dinner, meeting, or some other event and is either dressed improperly or has committed a sartorial blunder. I have a friend that always fastens the bottom button on his suits - even though he has been told that isn't proper.
 

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I'm curious to see how forum members would handle a situation where a friend shows up to a dinner, meeting, or some other event and is either dressed improperly or has committed a sartorial blunder. I have a friend that always fastens the bottom button on his suits - even though he has been told that isn't proper.
I've done so on many an occasion.
 

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Usually better to broach such topics abstractly. It doesn't help to undermine a friend's confidence at a meeting or in a social situation and put him on the spot. If I remember, I'll bring it up over a beer when such things can be discussed without casting a klieg light on your friend. If he's a good friend, he'll take that opportunity to point out some of your peccadillos as well.
 

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No I would not. Especially if there are good-looking women around. That way I can point out his deficiency. Makes me look better at his expense. In this regard, friends are not only expendable, but very necessary :icon_smile_big:
 

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Unless it's a situation in which he would be embarassed (around his clients, etc.), I take great relish in pointing out blunders and generally mocking friends in a good natured fashion. Inevitably, the favors are returned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It seems to be a touchy situation. I remember a friend who bought a new suit and forgot to take the label off the sleeve at the bottom. He was wondering why people pointed at him ... until someone told him what was on there.
 

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It will depend on the closeness of relationship to the friend in question. If you know him very well (i.e. arm around his neck, punchy in the arm, etc) then I would just go and unbutton his bottom waistcoat/jacket button if I met him en route and if we were alone (while complimenting on his dress and then pointing out the error, etc). If we don't have such degree of intimacy and in a public place, then no I'd leave it.
 

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If he's a real friend, and not merely an acquaintence or co-worker, you ought to be able to make the point very directly and without embarassment to either party if you approach it as a joke.

In my experience, people take the most well-intentioned criticism quite hard (and often defensively) if it is offered in an earnest, serious tone. OTOH, anybody worthy of being your friend will have the ability to laugh at themselves.

One non-clothing-related anectdote springs to mind. I have a friend with whom I have played golf, off and on, for several years. Although he loved golf an almost unseemly amount, he was simply not very good at it. One of his great faults on the links was his posture: before every shot, he practically squatted by the ball, hunching his shoulders, dipping his knees, and curling his pelvis and lower back towards the ball. Many of us admonished him to "stand up more," to "keep a straight spine," etc. To no avail. He simply wouldn't listen and got defensive. Finally, I said, "God, man, it looks like you're getting ready to f*** a sheep!" After he quit laughing, he began working on his posture in earnest. Not long afterward, he did break 100 for the first time, which was a vast improvement over prior scores.

IOW, tell him, in the most offensive terms you can come up with, that he looks terrible. Just smile when you say it.
 

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I'm curious to see how forum members would handle a situation where a friend shows up to a dinner, meeting, or some other event and is either dressed improperly or has committed a sartorial blunder. I have a friend that always fastens the bottom button on his suits - even though he has been told that isn't proper.
It's sort of pointless, really.

It's just better to lead by example; if someone ever asks for advice, THEN you can give it and it might actually be effective.

DH
 

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Since I would expect a friend to help me out in the same way, of course I'm going to tell him. The question is when. Obviously it will be out of public earshot. If it's a problem that can be corrected easily and quickly I'll tell him right then and there. But if nothing can be done till he gets home there's no point in telling him immediately, it's just going to crank up his anxiety level the rest of the day. And I agree with CuffDaddy, keep it light-hearted and don't treat it like it's the end of the world. Because.....well.....it isn't.
 

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No . . .

. . . unless it was just something careless or unnoticed, like the label mentioned above or collar awry. Something you can help with that has been missed.

Calling attention to mismatched socks or (!) shoes (see United Airlines TV commercial: ), criticizing a matching-set tie and pocket square combo, or saying that the lapels aren't in the current mode is catty.
 

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I'm curious to see how forum members would handle a situation where a friend shows up to a dinner, meeting, or some other event and is either dressed improperly or has committed a sartorial blunder. I have a friend that always fastens the bottom button on his suits - even though he has been told that isn't proper.
Who cares? Get some perspective. What's more important--a friend or your sense of etiquette?

Embrace diversity! You might learn something.
 

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Once, at the pre-prandial drinks for a black-tie dinner a friend was hosting, someone dressed in a lounge suit wandered in and spoke to one of the staff. Not recognising him, and assuming he'd just blundered into the room, I made a joking comment about him being woefully underdressed.

Of course as it turned out he was a last-minute guest who didn't possess a DJ but had made an effort with a dark suit. Naturally I felt quite guilty and endured a fair bit of ribbing from my friends. There's no need to be rude, especially when the recipient of your opprobrium already stands out like a sore thumb.

As for friends, the best way to approach it is along the lines of "that's a really nice jacket, but it looks better to undo the bottom button" or "that shirt suits you, now please put on some trousers".
 

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I have a friend I work with who has recently lost a lot of weight (over 150lb) and has sunsequently made an effort to dress better. I constantly remind him to get to a tailor to have his pants hemmed to a proper length (they're too long) and to tuck in his damn shirt (I explained that when its untucked he looks bigger than he really is as the shirt blouses). He still insists on wearing his trousers very low on his waist as he insists its just "more comfortable" so I leave him alone about that.

Having said that, he's a good friend, and I'd never do it in front of anyone else, and I do it in a humorous way (unless after weeks of me reminding him he still doesn't-the pants being hemmed) then I still do it privately but more seriously. I'd say something like, "Dude, you've done so well to make yourself look great losing so much weight and buying nicer clothing and you go ahead and dress like a slob in it!" I'd never embarrass him publically as I'm quite proud of what he's accomplished and wouldn't want to jeopardize our friendship.
 
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