Why you should not (always) listen to friends’ advice when it comes to style

by Sylvia

Why you should not (always) listen to friends' advice when it comes to style | 40plusstyle.com

We all know that having dear friends is hugely important.

But they are not always so useful when it comes to your style.

If you ask their opinion about an outfit, they will definitely try and give you their best advice, but it may not necessarily be the best advice for you.

I wrote before about my blogger friends advising me to wear more figure flattering clothes and my response to that. Although they may have a point, if you can’t be yourself in those clothes, it is still the wrong advice and you should ignore it.

Here is another example.

You are shopping with a friend and try something on. Your friend loves it and encourages you to buy it. You are not so sure, but with all the encouragement and rave reviews you decide to buy it.

Sometimes this works of course, but often these buys that were encouraged by friends, suited their style preferences more rather than yours. The result may be that these items never get worn.

Shopping with friends can be fun but it will often lead to wrong buying decisions, so beware and bring your do and don’t lists!

Another example.

My friend Greetje recently asked readers to give feedback on her clothes and let her know which ones we felt were dated or did not suit her and which ones were classic (or still good).

The result?

Lots of different opinions which made her even more confused. Most of us could only agree on one outfit not looking good on her.

It became clear that we all have our own tastes and that style and fashion is very subjective.

Only Greetje herself can determine if an item fits her style personality and if she feels great wearing it.

That is why it’s so crucial to be clear on your own style preferences!

Getting advice and shopping with friends is fun. They will often give you a new perspective, encourage you to buy new things that you had not thought of before and may open your eyes to new solutions for any style issues you may have. I’m definitely influenced by them and sometimes will adjust my own style preferences.

But they can also lead you astray. They will all have their own taste and although they may factor in your style preferences, they will still be influenced by their own.

That is why there is no better person to judge and decide on your own outfits but you.

An outfit has to suit YOUR style, YOUR preferences, YOUR body, YOUR personality and make YOU happy!

Want to get started with a free challenge?

The 5 day FREE Find Your Style challenge will take you a mini style journey so you can get clearer on your style. It’s fun and I promise you that you will learn a lot!

You can sign up here.

How clear are you on your personal style preferences?


{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Oceanblue Style

Great topic. I hardly ever shop with friends. Why? Not necessary. I know what I am looking for and totally enjoy spending time on my own. My own thoughts, struggling thru my inner debate, should I take this, does my bum look good in this etc. 🙂 Not saying its no fun with friends. Just different. Thats the kind of shopper I am. A drifter. Need to go here and there. Would not be possible with someone else by my side. Thats what strolling is for…Sabina | Oceanblue Style


2 Sylvia

I find it easier to shop on my own as well certainly if I’m really looking for something. Shopping with friends is just for fun and more for socializing which is great too!


3 Greetje Kamminga

You are very right. I get hugely influenced by friends. And you know I shop with friends A LOT. It most certainly is a risk. And I know more or less what suits me and what is my taste. If you don’t, it is even harder. When I shopped with fellow blogger Dan in Italy I came home with lots of feminine clothes. When I am with my colleague friends Sabine and Anke I will get home with funky stuff. Fortunately I have a broad taste haha.
My mother suffers most I think. Whenever she shops with me, she comes home with stuff that might look good on her, but she never wears them. So I have stopped encouraging her.


4 Sylvia

Yes, that happens when I shop with my husband and try to get him to wear modern trendy stuff. He will never wear it, so I really have to go with his particular laid back and comfortable style.


5 Rebecca

Such true words, Sylvia. There are many women whose style I love and think is great but when I think about it, few of their looks would work totally for me. I have your 2 earlier style courses and have learned a lot about personal style from them. I am looking forward to your new 21 Steps course.


6 Sylvia

Thanks for joining in Rebecca. I look forward to connecting with you there!


7 Suzanne

I don’t mind shopping with friends and I like to choose clothes for other people (as you know). I know instinctively though when something feels right to me and when it doesn’t.

I do think that through association with friends who have different styles from our own and constant exposure we are subconsciously influenced by those around us. After hanging out with all of you in Sept I came back home and was okay not showing my waist all the time. It sometimes takes a while for our minds to view ourselves in a different way.



8 Sylvia

Yes very true Suzanne. That is why it’s also good to shop with friends. Perhaps better to try on a lot when you are with friends and let the new ideas sink in and then when you are ready try to incorporate some of those into your style later on.


9 beate

all my friends know that i have a very special “taste” in clothes and wisely stay away from any tips 🙂
but my husband is a perfect shopping partner – he has a very good eye – even the size is right when he´s suggesting something. we mostly shop second hand or vintage and i can feel a bit overwhelmed in such shops. but he finds great treasures that are exactly “me” AND fit!!!!!
greetings from saxonia switzerland! xx


10 Sylvia

wow sounds great. How wonderful to have a husband with such a good eye!


11 denton

Hah, that’s exactly me. My wife is either a US6 or a US 8 depending and I can always tell what will fit her properly if I have the piece in my hand (as opposed to shopping on line, which is harder). I don’t understand men that have a problem with this. You have a visual of your wife in one hand, in the other, a garment. You look at the garment while thinking about your wife. This is hard? lol.


12 Lisa

I actually enjoy shopping with my almost 16 year old daughter. I feel like we both encourage each other to try things we wouldn’t have thought of, but at the same time, we both have our own sense of style and are willing to reject advice.


13 Elaine Lascher

I usually shop by myself and sometimes I get good suggestions from the shop employees. Recently I made an exception and shopped with a friend in a unique shop that carries both vintage and local designer clothes. We both bought a couple of items and encouraged each other to try on some things we would not have tried on our own. It was fun. I bought 2 spring/summer printed tee shirts that were locally designed and made and that they are one of a kind. So sometimes shopping with a friend works out well.


14 Ann

Interesting topic. I usually shop alone, sometimes with my husband. Even though we work together and our taste is very similar creatively, he often chooses items that would look good on his sisters. So strange but really kind of humorous!
I honestly think photographing ones self is the best way to see what and outfit looks like. I’m still wearing many of the outfits combinations from my blogging days.

blue hue wonderland


15 Glenda Bibbero

I hadn’t thought about it much but I think that might be why I have so many clothes in my closet that I won’t wear. LOL New rule for me: Don’t buy when shopping with friends or family. Think on it first. Thanks for the tip!


16 33

I shop alone because I know what I like and what would look good on me from 30 years of shopping. Having my own outfit blog really helps with defining style and fit. If an outfit or an item doesn’t look flattering on photos, it won’t be taking up my closet space.

Also, after 40, most women don’t experiment much anymore. I know what my friends wear and like are different from what flatter me. We hardly ever buy clothing items for each other’s b-day and Xmas since turning 40. Gift cert is good enough to let them buy what they like.


17 Jodie filogomo

I’m on the side of shopping with a friend…now, I think the key element is making sure it’s the right friend. One who pushes you outside your box, but still is truthful about what looks good and what doesn’t! Besides, we don’t see ourselves the same way others do especially in mirrors (psychological fact)…and I can’t say I always trust the salesperson….so a good friend it is!!! Jodie


18 Petra

The last time I shopped with a friend was about 25 years ago! And she was a great friend who knew me well. Now, I shop with my mum but unfortunately she has a different style to me because of her body shape and she’s 83, so we do disagree more often than not. She is not very “modern”! My husband loves to go shopping with me, but he has unusual taste, and unfortunately, not my taste. My 13 year old son is fun tho’, and definitely has his likes and dislikes for what I try on. I find I’m happier when I’m on my own 🙂


19 Petra

Oh, I might also point out that I’m much, much better at finding clothes/styles to suit other people than myself. I like the idea of dressing other people lol 😉


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