Don't Fork With Me Do You Like My Boots?

Updated: Feb 24, 2020

Henry wears red bedazzled cowboy boots and asks Chidi if he likes them

I bought some red cowboy boots and asked my friend, How do I look, and he forking gave me shirty outfit advice and told me I’m pulling them off when in reality they looked like ash!

Chances are, you’ve been dishonest with a friend when they’ve asked, “How do I look” to spare their feelings. With the final season of NBC’s hit comedy, The Good Place, returning on September 26, we’re going to examine the consequences when one of the main characters hesitates to give honest but kind outfit advice.

Chidi, who is passionate about moral philosophy and ethics, finds himself in a difficult situation when his colleague Henry buys a pair of red cowboy boots and asks, “tell the truth, do you love them?”. Not wanting to hurt Henry’s feelings, Chidi dishonestly replies, “those are the coolest boots I’ve ever seen in my life!”. Misleading Henry backfires because henry buys Chidi the exact same pair of red cowboy boots as a gift for his perceived honesty and admiration of his fashion sense and personal style.

Scene from NBC's The Good Place when Henry gifts Chidi a pair of red boots

Now STOP and recall a time you were in Chidi’s position. How many times has a friend, family member, or even a stranger asked you for outfit advice, and how many times have you been dishonest to spare their feelings? Don’t worry, you're not alone, according to a study, 53% of us are dishonest about liking someone's outfit or fashion sense.

Is giving dishonest outfit advice undeniably bad?

Does lying about liking someone’s outfit or personal style make us dishonest monsters? No. But what if this harmless social nicety of dishonesty reaffirms their decision to purchase an expensive fashion accessory, style of clothing or even wear an unflattering outfit?

Did you know, the clothes we wear affect our confidence and behavior - this is called enclothed cognition.

Celebrity hairstylist and advisor to STYL, Shana DeAndrea, recalls an instance when she was younger. There was a time when I was going to one of my first weddings and I didn’t know you shouldn't wear any shades of white. I asked someone that has been to multiple weddings, “can you wear white to a wedding” and they said yes. I still do not know to this day if that was intentional or not.

Woman wearing a white dress and blindfolded walking on the beach

Well, son of bench! What the fork am I supposed to do when someone asks me for outfit advice?

If every lie told could prevent harm to another person, without any bad effects, it would make the answer to this question more clear. But in reality, falsely telling someone they look sharp in an outfit or style of clothing when they look terrible can result in more harm than good. Your dishonest sidestepping may save you from an awkward moment, but it may result in a social disaster for the other person, or worse yet put them at a disadvantage when deciding what to wear for an interview or choosing an outfit for a date night.

Celebrity Stylist and STYL advisor Cary Robinson's job is to make her clients dress better, feel and look good. Cary mentions a time when “I once had a client who insisted on wearing this awful pair of gladiator shoes with a look we were shooting for a magazine cover. Everyone on set told her they looked great. I had to be the bearer of bad news and tell her they looked kinda bad. Hideous to be exact. She was not very happy. But as a stylist that’s my job.”

The word no painted in pink and outlined in black on a wall

How to give honest but kind advice

We’ve built a friendly neighborhood loop of trust within STYL. Our community understands how anxiety-ridden it can be to share an honest moment of indecision, and we show our respect by helping others and not bullshirting you with dishonesty. Each time you make an ASK for outfit advice, you receive honest but kind outfit advice that’s valuable and helps you make confident decisions getting dressed and shopping.

From You to Me to We - We're a diverse community, we aim to offer honest but kind outfit advice while making a positive impact on others by helping everyone dress confidently, together. Fork being dishonest, we invite you to be kind, like us.

- Conor Sammartin & Krissy Lloyd are Co-Founders at STYL