male female, complimentary



Men and women are not supposed to compliment each other, ever. That’s what I’ve been noticing anway. Compliments like: “that suit looks good on you,” “nice earrings,” or a generic, “you look good today,” are considered inappropriate.

To be sure, when I’m walking down the street, and some random man leers at me and does the “looking good” thing, it’s just irritating.

That’s some random guy though, and I neither want nor appreciate his commentary. But when a coworker, friend, or casual acquaintance, of either sex, compliments me, I always appreciate it.

I even like the occasional, compliment from a total stranger. When a man sitting next to me in the subway, turns to me, sees my eyes and tells me they’re beautiful, if his attention is polite and stops at that, I’m grateful. 

Should women never compliment men they aren’t married to, or haven’t given birth to?

I would argue that if done with sincerity and respect, and without ulterior motives, it’s always appropriate. Is it a question of whether or not the compliment is coming from a man or a woman?

Maybe women are just more comfortable accepting compliments from other women? What if your gay? What if she’s gay? It gets complicated. Venue is important of course.

Gushing over a friend’s outfit at a funeral, is probably never the thing to do.

I think maybe we’ve just become a bit crazy about what should be simple, civilized, human behavior. In my world, we would be free to compliment each other no matter what sex or sexual orientation, almost anywhere at anytime. I say spread the compliments around! 


Rei Kawakubo

Brother Vellies

Found, Brother Vellies shoes and bags.


There was a Brother Vellies sandal all over social media and in magazines this summer, and I became intrigued by the brand. Founded by Aurora James, Brother Vellies shoes and bags are made in South Africa, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Kenya. 

They use everything from marabou feathers, to kudu leather, springbok hide, and fox fur. I admit to some squeamishness, when I see the beautiful hides and feathers of exotic animals I know virtually nothing about besides that they’re “cute,” being used to make pretty things for me. 

Needlesss to say, this brand is not for vegetarians.

However, when we talk about “exotic animals” we need to be careful. While these animals are exotic to me and you, they’re not to the people who live with them, eat them, and eventually make things with their hides; that’s a livelihood. 

You can read about Brother Vellies and sustainability on the website. For now, check out this gold boot. It think I’d feel invincible wearing this. 


And this little bag is unbelievably soft. 


Marie Clairemc

If you haven’t looked at a Marie Claire magazine in years, or ever, you might want to pick up this August issue anyway. In it you’ll find a lot to read about slow fashion and the people at the forefront of the movement, more than I’ve ever seen in any one issue of a mainstream fashion magazine.

There are short pieces about the less well known as well as the more visible activists. One of those people happens to be Aurora James, the founder of Brother Vellies. If you’d like to learn more about who’s “fashioning the future” and why, get the August issue.

Not sure about that top on Jessica Biel though…




  • Melanie says:

    Leering is never good, but I am rarely if ever the subject of leers. If the compliment is genuine, I think it’s bordering on bad manners not to graciously accept one. That has been the rule.

    One reason I slowed my street style blog is because I noticed more people getting angry that I was complimenting them on their style. That didn’t stop my compliments though – I still lob them around the city like little F-bombs. ???!!!

    • Anita Irlen says:


      Yes! I’ve always had a hard time accepting compliments, and then one day someone kindly pointed out that it was a bit rude not to acknowledge and accept them, point taken. Taking pictures on the street is very tricky, one could write a few posts on that. All sorts of variables complicate the whole pursuit. I still love it though. xx

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