Ask the Fashion Police

Summer Style Crimes to Avoid

Summer is a great time for fashion. Without the need to worry about having to stay warm by layering up in coats, tights and anything else you can throw over that that cute outfit to beat the chill, it can be a great time to experiment with summer style and have fun with fashion. The more relaxed atmosphere and less formal dress styles of summer, however, can also make it that bit easier to commit a style crime without realising.

Here are some common summer style crimes, and how to avoid them…

summer style crimes

1. Letting it all hang out

When it’s hot and humid out, it’s tempting to wear as little as possible in a bid to keep cool. We understand. Just because it’s summer, though, it doesn’t mean the normal rules of social behaviour and etiquette go out the window, and it’s suddenly OK to go to the store in your bathing suit (You may think we’re exaggerating here, but just last summer your Chief of Police witnessed a woman wandering around CVS in a bikini and bare feet, so trust us: it happens.). Even if there isn’t a sign on the door saying “shirt and shoes required”, it’s a good idea to wear your darn shirt and shoes, folks. Always. (Well, OK, unless you’re at the beach/pool, obviously…) Remember, too, that not everyone wants to be treated to the sight of your butt and boobs falling out of a tiny pair of shorts and bikini top: less isn’t necessarily more, so at least make sure your clothes fit properly, and at best try to remember that it doesn’t actually follow that the fewer clothes you wear, the cooler you’ll be. Actually, the more flesh you expose, the more there is to overheat: sometimes longer, looser clothing can feel cooler than short, tight outfits.

2. Skipping the pedicure

Not everyone was blessed with the kind of perfect feet that stand up to close scrutiny. That’s OK. Just because your feet aren’t perfect, it doesn’t mean you can’t wear sandals, but if you’re planning to put your toes on show, take a few minutes beforehand to make sure they’re fit to be seen. Chipped polish, broken nails or large callouses will all detract from even the prettiest pair of summer sandals, whereas a quick DIY pedicure won’t cost much, and will make a world of difference to your summer style.

3. Bad tans: both real and fake

A suntan is still seen as desirable by many people, and while we think your natural skintone should be nothing to be ashamed of, if you DO want to tan, make sure you protect your skin with the appropriate SPF, stay in the shade when necessary, and don’t overdo it. Not only will this keep you healthy (which is far more important than any fashion trend), angry, red, peeling skin, or lots of strange tan lines, aren’t exactly stylish either. Fake tan, meanwhile, may reduce your risk of sunburn, but beware the “Tango Tan”. Unless you’re an Oompa Loompa, your skin isn’t supposed to be orange, and it’s not supposed to be streaky, either, so if you want to hit the bottle, do it with care.

4. Visible bra straps

This one is often cited as a top summer style crime, and while we don’t think the unintentional slip of a strap is the end of the world, or anything to get worked up about, the fact is that many summer styles (Spaghetti straps and halter necks spring to mind) look odd with a bra poking out of them. If you must wear these kind of styles, and you can’t do without the support of a bra, it’s time to start investigating strapless or cross-cross styles, which will provide the support you need, but not detract from the look of your dress or top. Finding the right bra for these outfits can definitely be a challenge, but there are so many styles available now, designed with just this type of situation in mind, that you should be able to find something: if you’re struggling, head to your nearest large department store and enlist the help of one of the assistants in the lingerie department, who’ll be able to suggest the best bra for your requirements.

5. Socks/hose with sandals

The topic of whether it’s OK to wear hose with sandals is always a controversial one here: some people consider it to be one of the biggest style crimes of all, while others think bare legs are the true crime, and wouldn’t be caught dead without their hose. We continue to be of the opinion that sandals (especially strappy ones) are not designed to be worn with socks or tights, and don’t look right when they are. (We also can’t imagine wanting to wear tights on a hot day, but that could just be us.) We’d say that if you must wear hosiery in summer, it’s best to stick to a closed-toe shoe, but we’re willing to bet at least some of you will strongly disagree with that, so let’s find out!

What are your top summer style crimes?

Image: © Tracy Hebden |

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