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A Man's Guide To The Crazy, Confusing World Of Women's Clothing

Nov 17, 2007
Clothes make a wonderful gift because they show a man's interest in a woman's personal style and can wind up being prized items like a favorite sweater or beloved purse. The problem is buying clothes for a woman can be an overwhelming, difficult, and frustrating experience - especially if you don't know where to begin. So, keep reading for tips on how to buy clothing for women.

1. Color and Style: Before you set out, really think about the clothes that she wears. Does she like light colors or does she opt for black? Does she wear pretty dresses and frilly skirts or do you only see her jeans? If you're drawing a mental blank, take a peek in her closet and look at the clothes she wears most often. Note the style and the color and never pick anything that's too loud or trendy - let her take her own fashion risks.

2. Size: Since you're already rooting through her clothes, don't forget to check the sizes on her labels. If you can't do that, you could ask her to write down her sizes for you or, if you want the purchase to be a surprise, make an educated guess.

If you plan on guessing her size, always save the receipt and pick items that come in Small, Medium, or Large - these are easier to fit than numbered sizes. If you're dead set on a numbered size you should know how they fit. Basically, sizes come in different formats. First you have your junior fits which come in odd numbers from 0-13 and are made for a youthful figure. For a curvier fit, choose missy fits which are even numbers from 2-14. Then you have plus sizes and petite sizes (for shorter women).

If you're really stuck, ask a salesperson for help. Be specific and honest about your recipient's size and shape, but don't be crass and never ever mention thesales-woman's body (eg: "she's like your size, but with a bigger bust and smaller thighs").

3. Labels and Fits: Try to get an idea of the clothing labels she normally wears and likes. Often women like to stick with a few designers or shops that they feel compliment their personal style and shape. Again, if you can't root through her closet, try asking a female friend for suggestions. If she knows your gift recipient then she'll have a very good idea of what your lady likes.

Remember, always get a receipt and if you're really stuck for ideas, a simple and chic black cashmere sweater usually does the trick every time.
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