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Women’s Fashion Faux Pas (and Things That Are Just Plain Fugling Fugly)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

*Before I get going on this, I realize I’m going to have to throw down a couple of provisos:

1) I am not trying to imply that women should be only dressing for men.  I realize that some women would rather be comfortable in their clothes than anything else, and that some clothes that look good aren’t comfortable, and that’s fine.  What I’m going to be talking more about are clothes that women think look good but don’t, or else look so bad that it doesn’t matter how comfortable they are, they should never, ever be worn outside the house by any self-respecting person; and

2) Many men also dress horribly too, I know — I’m not trying to absolve them of their failures.  If anyone wants to write a post about male blunders in the wardrobe department, be my guest.*

The problem basically boils down to this: there’s a huge difference between ‘style’ and ‘fashion,’ and many women don’t know the difference.  ‘Style’ means knowing what looks good on you based on your body type and shape and knowing what doesn’t, and understanding when a certain piece of clothing really is ugly; ‘Fashion’ means whatever the magazines are telling you to buy this season.  Obviously, these two concepts don’t always coincide with each other.  ‘Style’ is good because it takes an individualistic and thoughtful woman to be able to realize that some things, regardless of their popularity, don’t look good and don’t need to be purchased and worn just because everyone else is; ‘Fashion’ is bad because it simply involves purchasing and wearing whatever everyone else is because the magazines told you to.

The faux pas discussed here will mostly involve the latter, and will focus on current trends (hopefully ones which will die out soon, seeing as they are trends), but also just give some advice on what to avoid in general.

Anything That Makes You Look Like An Animal

You ever notice how so much of women’s clothing is derived from the animal kingdom?  And you ever wonder why, considering how horrible they mostly look?  Take the feather dress up above . . . I mean, why would any woman want to make herself resemble a peacock that’s been sucked through a jet engine?

Or those ‘ruffle dresses’ and tops that are currently (and previously) in fashion; whenever I see them, I tend to make this comparison:

Or there’s this look — the baggy ‘boyfriend jeans’ paired with an open-toed heel, which unfortunately is very reminiscent of:

(I know these aren’t the best pictures to use, but it’s hard to find perfect examples — the main point is that if the jeans are baggy enough and rolled up, and the shoe has a small front opening, when seen from the side it completely resembles a pig’s leg and hoof).

Maybe I just have an over-active imagination, but these are the associations I make when I see women wearing clothing like this, so I say avoid at all costs.

(Exception — Cats are perfectly okay).

Anything That Makes You Look Unintentionally Fat Or Like You’re Hiding A Tumour

And this is where we bring in the harem pants.  I mean, this should be self-explanatory, right?  I get that they’re probably comfortable, and some can be okay if they aren’t too voluminous and they’re shiny (shiny makes everything better), but in general they look really stupid, and check out the ones above — those are just ridiculous.

And then there are also those really baggy jumpers, like at left.  First, don’t even get me started on the colours here, but also just the shape and cut of the outfit in general.  Even if a woman has a nice figure, this outfit would completely hide it, making her hips and butt look larger than they are, and, unless she has a large bust, completely hiding that as well.  It just seems counterproductive to me to choose to wear something that is unflattering; but as I said before, I understand that life doesn’t always have to be about showing off . . . just realize that wearing something like this will not make you look good.

Anything That Makes You Look Either Really Young Or Really Old

Again, it just seems like common sense that a young-to-middle-aged woman should not try to dress either like a child or a grandmother, yet that so often happens.

Basically, anything in bright, gaudy colours, or with bows, or with Hello Kitty, or any other cartoon character, on it — anything ‘cute’ — is what little girls wear; ergo, women should avoid trying to dress in the same way — basically, like children.

Plus, things that you usually associate with an ‘older era’; are plain; are overly ‘wholesome’ like the flower dress at the top; or just look like something your grandmother might wear, are also not good.

So what is good?  Easy to sum up.  To me, the apotheosis of a perfect woman’s style was Catherine Zeta-Jones in Ocean’s Twelve:

Everything about the way she dressed here screamed the three things she was in that movie — Smart, Sexy and Sophisticated.  If you’re looking for a style to emulate, you can’t do much better than that.

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