Ask Bee: ‘Help Me Deratchify My Friend!’

Dear Bee,

You have got to help. One of my best friend’s is really smart and kind — but she just can’t dress! She’s been a mess since college and dresses like a hoodrat. Like really hood. When we go out to the club she’ll wear a bra and shorts with a blazer and think that it’s okay. We’ve been actually been refused entry to clubs a few times because of the way she dresses. She’ll rock the long acrylic nails and constantly wears her hair in blonde box braids — overall she’s just a ratty version of Nu Nu from the movie ATL. How can I fix her style, Bee? How can I DE-RATCHIFY her?

Tired of Being Associated with Hoodrats


Dear Tired of Being Associated with Hoodrats,

ghettoFirst and foremost its admirable to see how much you care about your friend and her appearance. Some people would simply kick her to the curb and go about their business, but I can tell you are invested in this friendship. Bravo. However, you don’t want to find yourself constantly trying to improve the situations that she should want to change for herself.

It seems that your friend likes to wear urban clothes and maybe doesn’t have the best fashion sense about putting pieces together. One thing you could try is having a “girlfriends” day where you promise to style her for the night and let her relax. While putting her outfit together, you can tell her how much you like it when she dresses a bit more sophisticated. Hopefully she’ll take heed without you having to dump her entire closet in a river.

The fairest thing you can do in this instance is to have a real conversation with her. I’m not sure if the lack of money may be preventing her from buying new threads — however as a good friend, you definitely want to impart the idea that you care about her and you just want to assist in her self-development. Share ways in which improving your style has helped you personally, in your love life, etc. By opening up to your friend, she’ll be more willing to not reject your suggestions and may be compelled to change. Agree to doing a makeover with her. Your friend may just be scared of change and is hanging onto the only thing she thinks she has control over in her life – her style.

The other option is to take all her hood rat things and chuck them in the nearest river. However, that could create real issues (like legal action!) so I wouldn’t suggest that.

Praying for a Real Style Rx,

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