Well, the results of our Fashion Crimes of 2007 poll are in, and so we can now announce - with very little surprise - that the biggest Fashion Crime of last year, according to our readers, was.... Crocs!
At the time of writing, we've had a total of 1367 votes, with the colourful plastic shoes attracting 35.8% of the vote. The top five in full was:
3. Harem pants
5. High waists
Putting the rest of the Fugly Five aside for the moment (we'll be dealing with them later), just why is it that we all hate Crocs so much? Well, for the benefit of those of you for whom the fact that they're brightly coloured plastic gardening shoes with holes in them doesn't answer that question, let's take a quick look at the phenomenon that is the Croc...
For me personally, the worst thing about Crocs isn't the fact that they're ugly: it's the fact that they seem to almost glory in being ugly. They are proud of their fugliness, constantly finding new ways to make themselves look even more repellent than they already are.
They're made of plastic.
They typically come in the kinds of colours you only ever see on an acid trip.
They have holes in the front.
And little jewels and badges to stick in the holes.
They have that weird, sticky-out bit at the back, which makes each wearer look like their shoes are two sizes too big for them.
They make your feet look enormous.
THEY'RE GARDENING SHOES.
And as if all that wasn't enough, they go and make them with fur trim and in boot form.
Despite all of this, Crocs have somehow managed to attract a huge legion of fans, most of whom seem to walk around (in PLASTIC GARDENING SHOES) telling everyone that they're SO! COMFY! and that their kids love them. These Croc lovers make two fatal mistakes:
Croc-lover mistake 1: The belief that shoes must be ugly in order to be comfortable, and that beautiful shoes always hurt
Most of the Croc-defenders I've spoken to seem to assume that there are only two choices when it comes to footwear: either ugly but comfortable or beautiful but painful. This is not so. There are countless pairs of comfortable yet stylish shoes out there. Ones that are not made of plastic, and don't look like one of Snow White's dwarves just kicked them off. Hell, even trainers are more stylish than Crocs, and trainers are rarely stylish at all.
Equally, of course, there are many "comfortable" items of apparel that just aren't appropriate attire for adults. For instance, I love my old pink dressing gown, but that isn't an argument for going out in public wearing it. The same goes for Crocs, which might be eminently suitable for gardening, or for children, but will make you look like a clown when you try to wear them to the supermarket.
The fact is, we're not asking you to wear uncomfortable shoes or damage your feet. We're not even asking you to give up your beloved Crocs. We're just asking you to accept that there are other choices of shoe that are just as comfortable, and that you don't have to wear clown shoes in order to be able to walk.
Croc-lover mistake 2: The belief that if your children like something, it must be OK for you to wear it too
This is the most puzzling defense of Crocs I've heard - and I've heard it a good few times, now. It happens when a Croc-lover, faced with the fact that other people think their shoes are ugly, blurt out the line: "WELL MY KIDS LOVE THEM!" Um, good for them. That doesn't mean you have to dress your entire family in them, though, does it? The fact that people actually do this - entire families all dressed in matching Crocs - is one of the main reasons Crocs continue to boggle my mind. Why would adults want to dress like kids? Especially when it involves smelly plastic shoes? Nope, I still don't get it.
Of course, there are those adults who like Crocs because they are FUN! And WACKY! And KERRAZY! To those people we simply say, "good luck". And also: here are some other wacky, crazy items you might like.
So, Crocs win the house cup as the biggest fashion crime of 2007. I wonder what horrors 2008 will bring?