30 Creative Ways To Compliment Someone's Outfit

Instead of saying it looks “flattering.”

by The Bustle Fashion Editors
Originally Published: 
A collage with a fashion compliment.

When commenting on other people's outfits, the word “flattering” is arguably one of the most commonly used descriptors. Finding clothing that flatters your body has become the ultimate goal, especially according to traditional media. But the term flattering is actually pretty problematic.

Usually, when people call something flattering, what they mean is: “that outfit makes you look smaller and/or more hourglass-shaped.” Therefore, using it as a compliment — whether we like it or not — implies that the best thing an item of clothing can do is create the illusion that you are thinner than you actually are. It also implies that thinner always equals better and that everyone should, and does, want to be thinner — something that is patently untrue. And that’s just not OK.

But don’t let that detour you. A compliment can brighten a person’s day, raise their self esteem, or change the way they view themselves — you just don’t want to inadvertently change it for the worse. If you appreciate someone’s style, definitely tell them — just try to leave the word “flattering” out of it.

If you’re looking for tips on how to compliment someone on their outfit or style, there are far ways to do it. You can talk about how the person likely feels in the clothes (“you’re glowing!”) or how the look inspires you (“I have to copy that.”). You can also liken them to celebs like Hailey Bieber, Rihanna, or whoever their favorite style icon might be.

If you’re looking for some more creative ways to tell someone you think their outfit is cool as f*ck (there’s another option), here are some compliments that’ll get the message across — without implying that the goal of dressing is to make your body look smaller.

“We need to go out tonight — more people need to see this outfit.”

This one’s my personal favorite.

“How do you always come up with such amazing outfits?”

A retroactive compliment.

“Everyone just turned around to look at you when you walked through the door.”

Not only do your friends love what you are wearing, but strangers noticed how great you look, too!

“I’ve been looking for a [item] like that everywhere.”

Not only do I love what you’re wearing, but it’s actually something I’ve been searching for myself!

“Excuse me, are you famous?”

Nothing like a case of mistaken identity to get you excited about your outfit.

“Wait, can I take a photo of your outfit? I’m gonna recreate it later.”

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

“I saw that exact look in a magazine yesterday.”

Not only do you look amazing, but you’re totally on-trend.

“You need a ‘fit pic.”

Useful and complimentary.

“I would have never thought to pair those pieces together, but I'm going to try it.”

A little plug of their creativity can go a long way.

“You look so confident/happy.”

When in doubt, focus on how your friend is feeling, rather than how they look. After all, clothing is self expression — it should make you feel good.

“That looks like something Rihanna would wear.”

Or Sophie Turner or Zendaya or Ashley Graham, etc.

“Who needs a little black dress, when you have that?!”

The go-to, wear-everywhere staple has been de-throned.

“I’ve never seen anyone look so ready to slay the day.”

According to science, the clothes you wear can actually affect your confidence. Let your friend know they've nailed the art of putting together a look that slays all self-doubt.

“I’m gonna steal that from your closet.”

Is there a higher compliment than telling someone you'd do anything to get the outfit in their closet?

“I’ve never seen something like that on you before! It’s so good.”

If you know the look is an adventurous style choice for your pal, don't be afraid to call them out on a job well done.

“You always inspire me to try new trends.”

The best compliment? One that shows how you've inspired other people.

“Your style is everything.”

Make it a personal style comment versus just focusing on one item.

“That color is perfect on you.”

Doesn’t even matter what the item is, it’s the standout hue that matters most.

“Every time I see one of your outfits, I just think: ‘they’re the sh*t.’”

Let your friend know how cool you think they are.

“I can really tell that you love what you’re wearing!”

An awesome outfit can make you feel like a million bucks — and that's something to celebrate.

“You’re absolutely glowing!”

It may or may not have anything to do with what you’re wearing, but you look incredible.

“You are my fashion hero.”

Not all heroes wear capes — though those are in style lately.

“You. Look. AMAZING!”

Sometimes simple is the best way to go.

“Tell me where you got every single thing you’re wearing right now. I need it all.”

This one compliments their current outfit and their impeccable shopping habits.

“The color of that dress is so stunning.”

Show them you admire their ability to pick a piece that stands out.

“You’ll be able to wear that everywhere.”

Not only does it look great, but it’s transitional as well.

“That outfit looks so good on you.”

Even with their incredible closet, they’re still wearing their best look yet.

“Where do you get your outfit inspiration? I definitely need to follow them.”

Help them support other creative people, too.

“I just saw Gigi Hadid wearing a similar look on Instagram.”

Tag them in the comments. They’ll appreciate it.

“Can we please go shopping together?”

And when all other options have been exhausted, use this excellent outfit as an excuse to buy even more clothes.

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