At some point in the last 20 years, HR departments codified their sexual harassment rules and banned "unsolicited compliments" from the opposite sex. Thus, if I I look nice, the women on my teams can all agree that I look nice, and the men stay silent, as if they cannot see past the impenetrable HR burka.
If I see my friend has shaved his beard and looks 20 years younger, I have to keep quiet, but of course I don't.
I mean, I've been the target of the "nice blouse" compliments. I know compliments can be creepy. But most of the time they're nice. I think there should be an exception of some kind for old friends. Or perhaps a facial hair codicil.
(I didn't get in any kind of trouble for my compliment, and my friend took it graciously. But still, it felt odd that I was lobbing compliment bombs across the male/female border.)