A fashion faux pas is an intentional or unintentional item or idea on an outfit that robs it of its glow, cheapens it, or embarrasses the wearer. Ever felt bad for a lady or gent confidently strutting their stuff oblivious to a glaring food stain on their backside? Or that partygoer trying too hard to be cool in heels they can barely stand-in? You were glad it wasn’t you, and rightly so.
Fashion faux pas can have far-reaching implications. That unironed blouse can ruin what could have otherwise been a perfect job interview, or cost your company that sought-after deal. It could give the impression that you care less about an occasion than you do. You, therefore, want to do everything in your power to avoid falling foul of the unwritten rules of fashion.
Popular Fashion Faux Pas
You might want to know that not all fashion faux have a bad ending. Some of them have blossomed into trendy fashion statements paraded on the biggest catwalks across the globe. Have you ever bleached out your jeans by mistake? Those ugly white spots and streaks have now been turned into a denim trend that even celebrities want in on.
There has been a recent surge in fashion icons and celebrities spotted in that socks-and-slippers combo that traditionally never made it past the front porch. The tie-dye print shirts that were considered dead and buried after the 70s are coming back into fashion. But not all faux pas find reincarnation as fashion trends. Therefore, it is wise not to base your look on some of these quirky fads, which often prove to be fleeting.
Avoiding The Biggest Fashion Faux Pas
Here is a run-down of fashion faux pas that can be hit or miss:
- Sandal-Socks Combo– The jury is still out on this one. While some still consider it an absolute no-no, some big-time artists are still rocking the look in their music videos.
- Low-Rise Trousers Exposing Underwear– There are catwalks where you will still see this look, but only the most daring souls still want to revive it. R&B icon Aaliyah and other stars popularized it in the 90s.
- Over-Accessorizing– Big, glittering chains have always been a big thing in hip hop, but you will be hard-pressed to find a situation on a regular workday where this look won’t feel out of place.
- Fanny Packs– These were a thing in the 90s (remember Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?). Apparently, they’re back with more creative variations—all leather, over-the-shoulder slings, the works. A fanny pack can be a great way to look good while carrying the gadgets that have become an inextricable part of our lives.
- Sneakers and Suit Pants– The whole idea here is to wear comfortable shoes while retaining some semblance of a formal look. That being said, you can always opt for jeans or khaki pants if you must wear your sneakers.
- Clothes With Holes– Yes, Kanye West may have made a whole collection featuring tattered shirts, but some ideas are best left on the runway.
- High Heels That Are Too High– You don’t have to dress in excessively high heels to look classy. Prioritize your comfort, especially if you’ll have to stay in heels for the better part of the day.
You can steer clear of the more undesirable fashion faux pas by observing some simple guidelines. If you’re going for a retro look, shop for updated versions of those tops and bottoms so that you don’t end up looking tacky. Keep your accessories simple so that they complement, not dominate your outfit. If you want to add Gucci glasses to your work ensemble, go for frames that catch the eye but suit your environment. Also, ensure your clothes are clean and well ironed by the time you wear them.
Surviving Fashion Mistakes
What you wear says a lot about you to the world. Even if you don’t consider it the most important thing in life, fashion will always be a part of your day. When you wake up in the morning, what you choose to put on prepares you to look right or appropriate for the activities you have planned.
That’s why you should always care about your appearance to some degree and know how certain attire makes you come off to others. By keeping these fashion do-not’s in mind, you’ll be able to put your best foot forward in any situation and realize the true meaning of dress to impress.