NOTE: This archive only contains Carolyn Hax columns through March 2011. Her more recent columns are located here.

How many clues does one need to give an overly sexy dresser?

(Nick Galifianakis for The Washington Post)
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Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 12, 2011

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My 22-year-old cousin is living with me while she completes an internship in my area. She hopes to be hired at the end of the year. But she dresses . . . kinda slutty: knee socks paired with plaid miniskirts and tops that are way tight and way low cut. My other roommate calls it "12-year-old sexpot."

I offered to take Cousin shopping, explaining how I knew it could be hard to amass a "grown-up" wardrobe. I held up a series of button-downs and tailored pants, but she didn't buy any of them. She did, however, buy a pair of thigh-high boots.

Am I absolved now? Or do I come out and just say, "Honey, you look like a sleaze?"

Anonymous

No, but you can say, "I think your sexy clothes might be working against you."

You're under no obligation to, and I could argue that it's not your business - but your cousin would be in your debt if you made the extra effort. If her response to warmly phrased concern is to get defensive, then she has bigger problems than protruding parts.

Re: Cousin:

There is a girl in my office who is very smart and competent but for some reason wears extremely low-cut tops, skin-tight miniskirts and spike heels. This has held her back from other opportunities and she's kind of an office joke. I know her only by sight and wish she had a woman in her life who had a clue and would share said clue with her.

D.C.

Maybe said woman has, and the clue was returned unopened. You never know.


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