For today, I have decided to do a little piece on style and what better not to wear (in my humble opinion, of course). Style, and the perception of what is stylish, are very subjective matters. We all dress daily (hopefully) and our ideas about what we toss on with the initial purpose to keep us warm (and dignified) vary greatly.
For some, clothes are just that, clothes. They keep us warm, make sure we’re not naked and fulfil our general human duties within a civilised society.
Now, for others, getting dressed goes far beyond the need to stay warm or prevent public humiliation. For them, it is a daily choice of assemblage and matching, of fabrics interacting with patterns, of shoes communicating with accessories and bags and a daily quest to create the perfect outfit.
Neither preference towards style is wrong or right, obviously. Fashion – as is the posh term for garments and their proper matching – can be a hobby, even a life, yet it doesn’t have to be.
I don’t judge people by how they dress (OK, I totally do) and I would rank myself somewhere between the two above given extremes. I love clothes. I love feeling invincible when I dress up and I get annoyed with people who suggest clothing doesn’t make a difference – simply because it is wrong. Innumerable social experiments have proven that clothes, indeed, make people and I can also say from personal experience that I feel much more comfortable wearing a posh skirt with a great blouse and high heels compared to wearing ill-fitted jeans, a lousy jumper and Converse shoes. I do. Clothes can be like a daily armour you put on to protect yourself from the bad in the world out there, and it is not surprising people like to put them on – especially if they’re in positions where they have much to lose.
However, the issue of what kind of impact clothes can have on our lives would digress far too much, so I will tend to the actual topic. Whether you have style or not, whether you’re interested in fashion or not, there are some absolute agreed on Don’ts which have never been, are not and never will be in fashion. “Styles” which are so horrid I have to suppress to hurl every time I see someone sporting such atrocities, so here are 5 Things Nobody Should Ever Wear.
1. Legwarmers with trousers
I suppose legwarmers first came into fashion during the Jane Fonda era; however, they are dancers’ garments to keep their legs warm during practice and nothing else. I see them repeatedly and repeatedly pulled over jeans, leggings or tights and it simply looks terrible! I mean, I have lots of legwarmers, but a) I used to dance a lot and still do some it and b) I probably wore them when cycling to work in winter to protect my tight-clad legs, but at work I would take them off.
Legwarmers cropped down at your leg make you look short-legged and somewhat sloppy. However, the most HORRIBLE way to wear legwarmers is pulled over jeans with Converse shoes underneath, DON’T DO THAT! Especially not in winter because Converse are a lot from overpriced to practical, but they are certainly no winter footwear. I mean, Converse shoes should actually deserve their own rank in this list, but I see their point in some ways, which is why I have omitted them, but listen now. Converse are no real shoes. You wear them in a teenage phase and probably in your early university eco-phase, but then you grow up and buy proper shoes. Sure, you can keep that one pair for practical reasons (if you’re moving house or something), but these then are a) matching shoes because only children can get away with wearing two different shoes, b) not scribbled on because only complex-ridden students scribble on their shoes and c) don’t have any holes in them because you are now old enough to afford shoes which don’t let the rain in.
But let’s return to the legwarmers (even though I was on such a run). The ONLY exception I would make is if you wear legwarmers in winter under boots and you can spot the rim of the legwarmers lurking out of the boot but other than that they do nothing, I repeat nothing, for your legs (except for warming them, obviously) and it will only make grown-ups laugh at you, roll their eyes and think ‘oh lord, someone’s got issues growing up’.
2. Wearing sweats outside the gym
I don’t know where this trend came from, but, as with most trends, I guess it sneaked its way up from the working class.
Suddenly everyone was wearing sweats when not going to the gym. You would find them wearing sweats at the cinema, when meeting with friends and even at night when going clubbing (because I have extensive knowledge of that…). Wherever this trend came from, it should instantly return to its little hole it crawled out because it makes people look horridly stupid, especially if they’re matching their sweats with too much eyeliner (mostly the girls) and a slutty top or white sneakers which MUST NOT get dirty (mostly the boys) and big bling bling jewellry (mostly both).
Thankfully, it seems to return to certain class standards (I’m not a classicist but just relieved not so many people are doing anymore, in case you were worried) instead of spreading further out, but I tell you what: as with legwarmers, sweats belong to the sports department and there they should remain.
3. Thong bikinis
I generally have a strong aversion against thongs but what happens in each’s panties is their business, not mine. If they actually agree with a horrible string of fabric cutting off their arse and exposing their bum to the rough jeans material, so be it; however, I really don’t want to see that and, upon reflection, I don’t think anybody does.
Now, thong bikinis aren’t such a big thing in Northern or Central Europe; however, they seem to still conquer Miami or Florida each summer. I reckon some guys think it’s ‘hot’ to literally show off your bum in the public, but I think it’s just cheap. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no prude. I think seeing butts or boobs in public should be no problem; however, these thongs are just a pseudo-way to go – just show all or cover it up, but it looks really stupid, does nothing for the shape of your butt and will leave a really weird tan-line to be stuck with until winter comes.
4. Boots with loose trousers
Again and again, I see people wandering the streets, primarily when the cold seasons hit, wearing knee-high boots with loose trouser. I don't know how anybody could look in the mirror in the morning with such an outfit and not think "hey, I look like a person from the 19th century going for a horse ride". Because it SERIOUSLY looks like a person from the 19th century going for a horse ride.
We all remember the movies - men flouncing up and down the yard, the crop patting their shiny leather boots above which a wide, weird-looking pair of riding breeches seems to try to escape the tightness of aforementioned boots. If you are such a strutting, riding man of the 19th century, go ahead, wear you tight boots and loose trouser, but if not (and I hope you're not), please refrain from it and remember: with boots you should only wear skinny jeans or tights.
5. Summer shorts over tights
For some reason, this was a huge trend a couple of years ago (I guess it's actually been quite some time, as I was still a teenager when that fashion catastrophe roamed the schools). You would wear a pair of tights - preferably in a colour which would set off an epileptic fit in anybody (mine were a neon-pink, in case you were interested) - and over that, you would wear shorts. And don't get me wrong, I know you can wear short trousers over tights, but they have to be designed for winter or autumn (consult picture), and the tights should be exclusively black or in an autumnal colour (like dark red or dark blue). But don't wear your summer shorts over neon-coloured tights, all you will do is end up giving people a stroke.
I don't know if this came from a longing for summer days or because the economy was low and people had no money to buy clothes, either way, it was a trend best to be forgotten and to be never revived again.
However, even today I still keep spotting individuals sporting this style and I flinch every time I do. Not only because it reminds me how old I've got, but also because it looks really stupid. Please people, invest in long trousers for the winter! It's worth it.
Thank you for reading and if you want to share what is, in your opinion, the worst fashion mishap ever, let me know here in the comment section or on Facebook.
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