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Fashion Faux Pas And How To Avoid Them

Jul 5, 2008
Fashion has been around for centuries, with many new images, styles and collections being developed continuously. There are so many TV programmes and magazine articles guiding people on the best way to dress, that it almost seems impossible to go wrong.

Our nation is swarming with fashion Gurus such as Trinny and Susannah, offering advice on what patterns, cuts and designs to chose for your particular body shape. Love him or hate him Gok Wan does wonders for many women's confidence, leaving them looking fabulous at the end of the show. His repetitive "ding, dong" may grate on you, but the guy knows what he is talking about when it comes to fashion.

Every where you turn there are billboards with stunning models, photos of what items look good together and how to accessorise. So, the ultimate question is, how can people go so wrong?

You only have to spend an afternoon walking through the city centre where you live to see some horrendous sights. It really makes you wonder whether they own a mirror at all.

I know we all have our off days and having been a student myself I know what it is like to have no money at all to buy the newest trends. Faded, slightly old looking clothes are sometimes an unfortunate part of life and a certain amount of scruffiness can be acceptable. It is also inevitable that when you pop out to the shops, looking a state, you will see everyone you did not want to see when looking so bad. Unfortunate, yes. Forgivable? Just about! There are some fashion crimes, however, that deserve to be mentioned in my fashion faux pas hall of shame.

I apologise in advance for those people caught out wondering the streets in dark shades, after a heavy night, committing one of my dress disasters. However, those of you who regularly leave the house in some of the ways i am about to mention. Be warned. The fashion police are on patrol.

First things first- VPLs. We all know that this stands for "Visible Panty Lines", however, it seems many people do not know that they should be made illegal. Please, when wearing fitted trousers make sure you have the right underwear, so as not to leave an unsightly view. If you are wearing white trousers skirts or dresses, don't parade around in red, black or mulit-coloured underwear, people can see them through your trousers and this is neither cool nor sexy. Knickers and thongs protruding from the top of your choice of a bottom half is also a big no, no.

Sitting behind a half exposed bottom is bad enough, but when a pair of mismatched pants are sticking out the top it churns my stomach. This really is a sight i could do without on my way home from work.

Whilst we are on the subject of underwear another fashion faux pas is dirty bra straps combined with strappy tops. This is unsightly. Particularly during the summer months there are too many women walking around with discoloured bra straps, which are usually far too thick to even be combined with a strap top. Once-white bras that have turned grey, or colours that have been change or faded in the wash are not accceptable. I'm not talking about those items that are just a little bit lighter than when you first brought them or have a twinge of another colour. Yes, this is bad enough, however, I'm talking about bras that have changed so badly that their original colour is unrecognisable- these belong in one place and one place only. The bin.

Ladies, please listen to Trinny, Susannah and Gok when they tell you a case of uni-boob or four boob syndrome looks ghastly. It takes two minutes to get measured and a decent bra will save you from being talked about.

So, the leggins from the 80s have returned. Wonderful. I am not being sarcastic when i praise them, i actually think they are a necessary wardrobe item. They look fabulous with above the knee dresses or combined with shorts and heels for a party outfit. They can also be worn with more casual daytime skirt, flip flop combos. However- this criticism i am about to make is inevitable considering the tone of my article- leggings are not acceptable with short tops. Too many people think they can get away with wearing leggings and strappy tops, or dressy tops that simply do not come much lower down than their hips. Who told them this looks good?

Leggings have returned but the day of wearing them as an entire trouser substitute have not. I have a vague memory of seeing the terrible stirrup leggings of the 80s- complete with a loop attached to the bottom, to enable each foot to slip into each one- in a shop a while back. I refused to acknowledge such a catastrophic fashion choice. Disaster. Please avoid them at all costs.

I could go on, however, i will save my final criticism for the out of date, Chav- style belly tops. Exposing your belly button is not cool, whether you have a severe muffin top or well toned abs. It should be avoided at all costs. My particular hate is when girls tie up their shirts on purpose. There is no need and it is not classy. I express my opinions loud and proud, even if i do sound like an old lady. Less is sometimes definitely not more.

If your clothes are just too small, it is time to buy a replacement. Don't worry about the size of the garment, just ensure it fits correctly. No unnecessary bulges from tight clothes or baggy bums needed and on that delightful note i will draw this article to a close. One final request this summer, please no socks and sandals, please no ankle swinging trousers with garishly contrasting socks- you are not Michael Jackson. Lastly, please, please, no tie dye.
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