Does not compute: Fashion advice from Apple Store employees

Looking for fashion advice? Apple is hoping that soon you'll head to the nearest Apple Store for style tips. Teena Hammond shares her thoughts on the ludicrous concept.

Image: James Martin/CNET

Soon, when you walk into an Apple Store, you will be able to get fashion advice along with a new iPad.

Yes, it's true. Apple retail employees are being trained to give fashion advice to customers. The training is part of the company's Apple Watch launch next month, according to 9to5Mac. Apple is spending the next two weeks training retail employees on how to give fashion advice to customers to push the sale of the highly anticipated tech accessory, which will range in price from $349 to $17,000.

Fashionistas such as myself are simultaneously horrified and amused by such a concept, because most Apple Store employees are anything but style icons. As someone who has spent much of her life writing about fashion and style, I know that it's not something that can be taught in a two-week crash course. Learning about fashion is something that takes significant time to hone, just like any other skill. Ever heard of anyone learning how to write advanced code in 14 days?

As part of the training, employees are being told to suggest that customers wear a particular type of Apple Watch, and band color, to coordinate with their lifestyle or outfit. Apple is instructing employees to use a talking point such as the following, according to 9to5Mac: "You seem to have a fun style. I think the pink Sport band would match your style perfectly."

Image: James Martin/CNET

If I heard that line - or any variation - said by an Apple Store employee wearing a bland dark blue T-shirt or polo shirt with nondescript jeans, my likely response would be polite surprise. And I'd dismiss anything else they told me, considering it all part of a bigger marketing ploy to make a sale. It's not as if Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice president of retail and former Burberry CEO, would be the one giving me personal fashion advice. I'd listen to her.

If you're curious to find out how Apple is going to promote its watch, then head to an Apple Store on April 10. That's the day that customers will be able to try on the Apple Watch for 15 minutes and pre-order the device. The Apple Watch will be available to purchase directly in stores on April 24.

And if you want solid fashion advice, don't go to the Apple Store unless nerd chic is your thing.

Before becoming a tech editor, Teena Hammond spent much of her journalism career writing about retail, fashion and style at publications such as People magazine, W magazine and Women's Wear Daily.

See also:

Apple expert offers shopping advice for the new Apple Watch

Apple Watch: Everything you need to know so far, and hands-on impressions

A watch-lover's conundrum with the Apple Watch

Wearables have a dirty little secret: 50% of users lose interest

Wearables open new avenues for security and privacy invasions