Style On Trial

Honey, I Shrunk the Fashion Models…


oversized white shirt

oversized grey sweater

shirt / sweater

So, the over-sized look is “in”, we guess. And, just in case the giant orange dress from our last post wasn’t enough of a clue about that, ASOS helpfully bring us the type of shirt and sweater that make the model look like’s she’s been the victim of some kind of hilarious “shrinking” experiment, but hasn’t had time to shop for clothes in her new size yet.

We present these more as a ‘Style Trial’ or a simple trend alert than as a fashion crime as such – although we certainly think there are ample opportunities for this particular look to stray into fashion criminal territory. In the shots above, for instance, the items in question aren’t so much “overisized” in a cute-n-comfy kinda way, as they’re oversized in a “they were actually designed for adults, but they’re being worn by children” kinda way. Or a “they got reeeeeaallllly stretched out in the wash, but I’m wearing them anyway,” kinda way.

That makes the effect more comical than casual for us, but we think many of you will disagree, and it’s true that there ARE ways to make this look work. Done right, it should create the same kind of effortless, “I just threw on my boyfriend’s sweater because it was the first thing I could find: I can’t help it if I automatically look amazing in everything!” kind off effect that you’ll also get with a good pair of boyfriend jeans (Note: we said a GOOD pair of boyfriend jeans. Unfortunately, a REALLY good pair of boyfriend jeans is hard to find, and all too often, THEY stray into fashion criminal territory, too). It’s all part of that “I totally don’t care about my appearance, I was just born beautiful” effect that’s so very on trend at the moment, but which so few people can pull off.

Done wrong, however: well, you end up with a ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Fashion Models’ scenario.

What do you think of this look? 

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

We’re, like, totally obsessed with this orange Valentino dress

orange Valentino dress

Valentino orange silk dress, $3,700

We’ve always hated it when people use the word “brave” to describe someone’s fashion choices. Not only is it something of a back-handed compliment to give someone, (“Oh, that’s such a BRAVE choice!” is generally fashion-speak for, “Wow, what a hot mess!”) it also leaves you with no way to describe things that are ACTUALLY “brave”. If wearing clothes is “brave”, how do you describe someone who runs into a burning building to rescue a kitten, for instance? You’d have no words, would you?

(See also: people who use the word “OBSESSED” when what they actually mean is “I glanced at this, and I quite like it, but I’ll have forgotten all about it by the time I’ve moved onto the next photo on my Instagram stream. “OMG, I am, like, SO OBSESSED with this jacket!” No, you’re really not. And if you really ARE obsessed with a jacket: seek help. Seriously. But we digress.)

Where were we? Oh yeah, this dress.

So, we hate it when people use the word “brave” in connection with fashion, but we’re nothing if not inconsistent, so we’re going to do it anyway, and declare that you’d have to be pretty brave – or at least to genuinely not give a damn what people think of you* –  in order to wear it. For one thing, everyone’s going to assume you’re pregnant, you can take that as read. Now, that might not matter to you  – we’ve read that it’s unfashionable to care about whether your clothing is flattering or not – but we reckon most non-pregnant people probably DO care just a little bit when people repeatedly ask them if they’re in the family way. For another thing, people are probably also going to assume you’re a Buddhist monk who’s lost their way – or are in costume as a Buddhist monk, which could be just as awkward. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a Buddhist monk, obviously, but if you’re NOT one, the constant questions could get old after a while…). For a third thing, you’re going to be the centre of attention aaalll night. Because you’ll be the person in the giant orange dress, obviously.  (You might like that, of course. It’s hard to know why you’d wear something like this if you DIDN’T want to be the centre of attention.)

Oh, and finally: your bank account will be almost $4,000 lighter, and this is what you’ll have to show for it.

So, whaddya think: would you wear it? 

(*This is as opposed to the type of “not giving a damn” in which the wearer of the clothes works very hard to cultivate a “don’t give a damn” attitude/appearance, whilst actually caring very much indeed what you think of their outfit. Fashion: it’s like a whole different language, isn’t it?)

Crimes of Fashion, Skirts

The Story of a Skirt

bucket shaped skirt

So, here’s what we think happened: it was The Clothes Ripper. Yes, AGAIN.

This poor model was obviously just walking around, minding her own business, as you do. In a $160 bra. Well, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? Maybe everything else was in the wash that day, who knows? Anyway, she’s minding her own business, as we said, when out he pops: THE CLOTHES RIPPER! And he makes off with her trousers/jeans/skirt/whatever she was wearing before this skirt took over.

So there she is, poor thing: alone on the street, with just a powder blue bra for cover. What does our quick-thinking model do? She pops into the nearest convenience store, buys herself a cheap plastic bucket, a pair of scissors and some string, and there you have it – a cleverly made skirt, which, OK, doesn’t exactly LOOK great, but which will, at least, protect her modesty until she can go home and change!

OK, that ISN’T what happened. Actually, the skirt costs $570, and is inspired by “children’s cut-out drawings”. So, if you were to say it was designed by a child… you’d be wrong: but you’d be on the right lines.

Absolutely nothing about this outfit looks even remotely comfortable to us (and, again, we’re left wondering what kind of occasion it would be deemed appropriate for), but, of course, that’s presumably not the point, and we’re definitely not the target audience, so what would we know?

Given the choice, though, we’re not sure we wouldn’t choose the outfit above over the one below:

model in toddler outfit

Toddler attire at its finest. Or NOT at its finest, as the case may be. Will the Dress Like a Toddler Trend ever end? Not while there are people willing to spend £370 on things like this, it won’t. And, looking at the height of that crotch, we’re not sure how comfortable THIS would be, either…

Crimes of Fashion, Outerwear

Can’t make up your mind which winter coat to go for?

asymmetric coat in two colours

[Buy it here for $928]

For most of us, winter coats definitely fall into the category of “investment purchase” – and that means choosing one can be tricky.

Because winter coats tend to be one of the more expensive clothing purchases you make all year, and also because you know you’re going to be wearing whichever one you choose every day for weeks, you really don’t want to make an expensive mistake. But what style to choose? Should you go for Dull-But-Sensible black or navy: the workhorse coat, which will go with everything, but never really make you excited to wear it? Or should you go throw caution to the wind, with the Pop-of-Colour coat? Sure, it might clash with some of your wardrobe, but it’ll be a statement all on its own, and it’ll cheer you up ever time you look at at.

Of course, you COULD always get both, but if that seems a little too extravagant for you, rather than buying two separate coats, why not buy ONE coat in two different STYLES? Genius!

This orange and navy mix combines both the Dull-But-Sensible and the Pop-of-Colour Coats described above. It’s just… you only get HALF of each style: so one half of your body will be wearing the long, navy coat, and the other half will be wearing the short, orange version. It’s a compromise, in other words.

Is it a compromise you’d actually settle for, though? Well, considering that you could actually buy two cheaper coats for the price of this single hybrid coat – and wouldn’t end up looking like a victim of The Clothes Ripper in the process – we’re going to guess many of you will answer “no” to that one. Then again, many more of you are “edgy” and “unexpected”, and might just love the chance to prove it, with this unusual, and undoubtedly creative coat. And we have to say, we kinda like the navy strap on the back: does anyone else think it looks like the coat is putting its arm around the model’s waist? Awww!

Fashion Police

Would you buy a £600 bra?

Agent Provocateur bra

Agent Provocateur bra, £595

“Heeeeey, nice bra!” we thought, when this gold lace number popped up in the “new in” section at Net-a-Porter. And then, “Whoooaaa! Expensive bra!”

Normally the lingerie section is one of the few parts of the Net-a-Porter website that we might actually have a chance of affording something. Not this time, though. At £595 (Which works out at around $950), Agent Provocateur’s Soirée Zarrinia metallic beaded lace underwired bra is as expensive as a pair of designer shoes, a leather handbag, or many, many other items we could name  – both fashion-related and otherwise.

This leaves us with the obvious question: can a bra EVER really be worth £600? To be clear, this isn’t one of those “made from solid gold and diamonds” gimmicks that the likes of Victoria’s Secret produce once a year: it’s an actual, designed-to-be-worn bra, and the colour may be gold, but the composition is actually 50% viscose, 33% polyamide, 11% metallized fibers, 5% silk, 1% elastane.

Now, don’t get us wrong: it’s a really nice bra, and given the showgirl tassels, we’re fairly sure it’s the kind of lingerie that’s designed to be seen, as opposed to tucked away under a sensible jumper. Ditto the matching thong  – which is only slightly less expensive at £395. So, in other words: £990 for a set of undies. To justify that price, we’d have to wear it OVER the rest our clothes.

Here’s what else you could get at Net-a-Porter for £595:

mulberry handbag

A Mulberry handbag. Not quite as exciting, perhaps, but a timeless classic which you could easily own for the rest of your life, and use every single day.

Christian Louboutin shoes

A pair of Louboutin heels.

cashmere sweaters by J Crew

Three cashmere sweaters.

Of course, while these items would possibly be a little easier to justify than the bra, they’re all pretty extravagant in themselves, so perhaps you’d prefer to spend your £595 on something else? A mini break, perhaps? A down payment on a new car? Your rent?

What would you spend £595 on today, Fashion Force? This bra… or something else? 

Crimes of Fashion, Trousers/Pants

Help fight these terrible trouser crimes

Please note, Fashion Force: this is not a drill. These are not simply expensive Halloween costumes – even although they look like they are. These are actual fashion items, designed to be worn in your day-to-day life. Tell us, though: would you wear these?

sheer trousers

[Buy them here for £432]

It’s testament to the length of time we’ve been in the fashion crime-fighting business that our first thought upon seeing these wasn’t, “OMG, see-through pants!” but “Well, at least they’re not TOTALLY sheer…” And they’re not. There are some embroidered sections to, er, protect your modesty. Just make sure you wear your best undies with them: we’ll know if you don’t.

ugly ripped drop crotch jeans

[Buy them here for £165]

We’ve been fighting the good fight against dropped crotches and heavily distressed denim for many years now: these drop crotch capri jeans combine both of those crimes, in an appalling double-whammy. In related news, we’re also thinking of issuing an amnesty on Birkenstocks. If you wear them for non fashion-related reasons, you can feel free to keep at it, but if you bought a pair of Birkenstocks just because they were “trendy”, and you can’t stand the thought of not being “bang on trend”, surely you must be wondering if you’ve been the victim of a long-running practical joke by now? We’ll set up a safe place, you can all bring your ironic Birkenstocks (“But they’re so comfy!” you will cry, just as people did with Crocs and Adult Onesies…) and we’ll say no more about it: deal?


ugly trousers

[Buy them here for £55]

If these were pyjamas, we’d wonder who on earth would buy them, given that there are so many other, cuter, options out there.

They’re not pyjamas.

Our question still stands.

What do you think of these crimes of fashion? Are there any you’d wear? 

Crimes of Fashion

The Foot Snatcher Strikes at Haider Ackermann

The Foot Snatcher is a dangerous fashion criminal who snatches the feet of unsuspecting fashion victims. The Snatcher’s usual weapon of choice is a pair of overly-long pants, however, as these poor models discovered, there are other ways to snatch feet, too:


Buy it here for £1650

We THINK that’s a skirt, but it could also be long pants. Or it could simply be a blanket wrapped around the model’s waist. What we DO know is that it surely has to be hard to walk with all of that fabric swirling around your feet ,no? Hard, and also kinda filthy. Imagine the hems of that skirt/trouser/whatever it is after a short stroll along the average city street. Now imagine them after a quick trip to the average public restroom. We hope you weren’t eating while you were reading this.

(We guess people who can afford to spend £1650 on an item of clothing probably don’t use public restrooms, OR walk along city streets, for that matter. They’re probably carried everywhere on a litter or something. Nice work, if you can get it…)

The same issues apply here:

too long pants

[Buy here for £1245]

This image at least solves the mystery: they’re definitely trousers. And they’re so long the hems protrude far beyond the tips of the wearer’s toes, for maximum ‘I’ve Had My Feet Snatched’ effect.

Now, look: we don’t object to long coats, maxi-length dresses, or trousers that just about touch the floor. We do, however, have a problem with having to actually walk on top of our clothing, which, apart from anything else, can’t possibly be good for it, can it?

If Foot Snatching is your jam, however, you may be interested to know that The Snatcher has a new accomplice these days. Introducing The Hand Snatcher!

oversized sweater

[Buy it for £460]

For that slouchy, relaxed look. And also for those days when you don’t actually have to use your hands, we assume…

Crimes of Fashion, Knitwear

Not Your Average Sweaters

It’s sweater weather! No doubt you’ll have already seen a million fashion editorials, and a million-and-one blog posts helpfully informing you of this very fact. Gone are the days when the humble sweater was the “sensible” choice for a cold day, however. No, today’s sweaters are fashion-forward, edgy and unique. And probably not much use on a cold day, come to think of it. Take a look at this suspect, for instance:

strange cutout sweater

Costume National Wool Vest, $999

We guess you could layer something under it if you actually wanted to beat the chill in it? You’d still look and feel like you were in a cocoon, obviously, but maybe that’s the point?

Along somewhat similar lines, but with fewer cutouts, and a much brighter colour, we have this suspect:

Christopher Kane neon sweater

Christopher Kane neon sweater, £995

We’re so blinded by the colour we almost didn’t notice the strange, ruffled cut-outs on the arms, but when we did…well, it didn’t make it any better, let’s just put it that way. Of course, if we were a REAL police force, we’d declare anything in this particular shade of neon green to have automatic fashion crime status.We’re not a real police force, though, so moving on…

ashish sweatshirt

Ashish tulle and cotton jersey sweatshirt, £665

This one seems almost tame in comparison, doesn’t it? We’re soothed by the soft grey jersey and the, er, bright pink tulle. And if you want to pay £665 for a cotton sweatshirt, then that is, of course, absolutely up to you.


stella mccartney sweatshirt

Stella McCartney rope-detail sweatshirt, £610

We’re filing this one under ‘Craft Project Gone Wrong’. Also under ‘Snakes On a Sweatshirt’, because that’s what this looks like to us from a distance. Oh, and maybe also under Those Tassels Look Ticklish. Because they do, don’t they? £610 gets you this one – but you’ll have to be quick, because it’s almost sold out!

Don’t forget to follow our editor on Twitter!
Crimes of Fashion

Would it sell on eBay?

We’ve been here before, we know:

Jeremy Scott patent lace-up trousers

Jeremy Scott patent lace-up trousers, £1110

Well, not here EXACTLY, obviously. Thankfully we don’t see too many pairs of pants like this as part of mainstream fashion collections, (When we do, though, Jeremy Scott is often responsible…), but there was a trend for patent skirts last winter, and it looks like some factions of the fashion world are attempting to resurrect it for winter 2014.

The trousers at the top of the page are a fairly extreme example of this look, but here’s another version, this time from Christopher Kane:

patent leather coat

Christoper Kane coat, £3,460

This isn’t nearly as bad as the pants (although the fact that we can’t help but imagine them together will surely give us nightmares tonight), but… look, here’s the thing: on this post, Claudia commented that if she’d listed the suspects in question on eBay, they probably wouldn’t have attracted any bids, and that basically sums up our feelings on a lot of what passes for OMGDESIGNER fashion these days. We’re thinking, not only of this patent/plasticy look, but of things like the cereal packet handbags, and almost everything Jeremy Scott has done for Moschino lately. These items had RRPs which sometimes run into the thousands of pounds, but we’re willing to bet that if you removed the designer labels and stuck them on eBay, or put them into a thrift store, without telling anyone what they were “worth”, you’d have a hard time selling them – other than as Halloween costumes, that is.

Are there REALLY many people looking at this stuff and thinking it’s worth investing thousands in? That it’s the kind of clothing they’ll own and wear for years? Or is it really all about the designer label, and the wish to have the latest thing – regardless of what it actually looks like? Taste is subjective, style is personal, and everyone has the right to spend their money on whatever they like. We, however, can’t help but wonder if blindly following fashion blinds people to the idea that this £1,500 dress

plastic look dress

… looks like it’s made from plastic.

Would it sell on eBay? Would you buy it if you found it there? Its a handy way to work out whether you REALLY love that item of clothing, or whether you’re in danger of becoming a fashion victim. Thanks, Claudia!

Jeans, Style On Trial

Style Trial | Unusually embellished denim

We realise we’re fighting a losing battle here, but we firmly believe that denim is almost always at its best when its kept nice and simple. We don’t object to a bit of distressing, and it might surprise you to know that we don’t even TOTALLY hate the look of ripped jeans. (Just as long as it’s not taken to ridiculous levels…) What we can’t really bring ourselves to love, however, is THIS kind of thing:

House of Holland ripped jeans

House of Holland ripped jeans, £195

Now, we’ve seen worse, we’ll give you that. Especially from House of Holland. In fact, to be completely honest, these are really quite restrained from House of Holland. They’re also veering dangerously close to ‘subtle clown costume’ territory, and that’s certainly enough to trigger our fashion crime radar, although whether it’s enough to actually get them arrested is up to you.

Also up on trial today are these £535 pearl-embellished boyfriend jeans:

pearl studded jeans

Tu Es Mon Tresor pearl studded jeans, £535

For us, the main appeal of boyfriend jeans is that they create a “not trying too hard” look. Stitching hundreds of pearls onto your legs would definitely count as trying quite hard, as we think it kinda ruins the simplicity of the look, but if you disagree (and plenty of people obviously DO), these ones are selling out fast despite the high price tag, so you better grab ’em fast.


marc by marc jacobs cartoon jeans

Marc by Marc Jacobs cartoon jeans, £370

We’re guessing many of you will be too young to remember the late 80s/early 90s (lucky you!), but there was a trend during that time for “cartoon jeans”, which, as the name suggests, had giant, tacky cartoon figures stuck to them. (In a plasticy, applique material, which would gradually start to peel off with each wash: nice!). The Flintstones were popular, we seem to recall. Anyway, they looked almost exactly like these Marc by Marc Jacobs creations, and were also worn with high-top sneakers, complete with giant, puffy tongues, which had to stick straight up in the air, as in the image above. We’d hoped those times were gone for good. We were wrong.

What do you think, fashion force? These items are all On Trial: are they guilty or innocent? 
Crimes of Fashion

A contender for the Fashion Criminal of the Year Award

fashion criminal of the year

Buy It

First things first: there IS no Fashion Criminal of the Year Award. Because we don’t believe anyone should be allowed to profit from crime.

If there WAS an award for the fashion crime to end all fashion crimes, however, we reckon this jumpsuit would definitely be a contender. Where do we even start with this one? Let’s see…

01. It’s a Stuck-Together-Clothes Crime. On multiple counts. A shir, stuck a sweater, stuck to leggings, stuck to stirrups… Speaking of which:


03. Leggings are not pants: never, ever forget…

04. The Unacceptable Use of Animal Print. We’ll overlook animal print on shoes and other accessories – maybe even on the odd coat, if we’re feeling generous. We cannot however, overlook animal print leggings: it would be more than our job’s worth…


06. What on earth did Yves Saint Laurent do to deserve this kind of treatment?

07. An £850 price tag makes us suspect this is ALSO a case of Daylight Robbery.

So, there you have it, fashion force: we have this jumpsuit up on seven counts of fashion crime. We’re sure we could probably think of some more if we really wanted to, but we’ve spent more time thinking about this item of clothing now than anyone should really have to, so we’re going to leave it at that. If any of you would like to speak in this item’s defense, now’s your chance…

Crimes of Fashion, Skirts

The Emperor’s New Miu Miu Mini Skirt

Miu Miu see-through mini skirt

Buy It

Well, well… looks like the Empress has been doing some shopping!

This is by Miu Miu, it’s £2,295, and if you’re thinking it’s probably somehow less revealling ON than it looks in the photo, well, you’d be wrong:

miu miu transparent mini skirt

Seriously. Someone needs to explain this to us. (Preferably in a patronising way: we like that…*) We GUESS we could POSSIBLY see it as some kind of fancy swimwear, but … who pays £2,295 for swimwear? And this model is wearing shoes: we don’t think she’s going swimming, somehow.

There’s also the option that you’re supposed to wear a slip of some kind underneath it, with the “skirt” becoming a kind of embellished over-layer for your regular clothes. That would make much more sense than the way Net-a-Porter have styled it, and it would also make more sense than the way it came down the runway:

transparent skirt on MIu Miu runway

Wear your transparent mini skirt with a chunky cardigan and lurex bra!

Still, we all know runway fashion isn’t “real life”m and neither is the styling you see on retail websites, so when Net-a-Porter include the metallic blue briefs (a snip at £175) in their “how to wear it” section, we’re sure they don’t mean LITERALLY. Er, do they? How WOULD you style this skirt? Where would you wear it? Mini skirts, as we’re sure you know, are being touted as a big trend for this winter: we’re assuming (or hoping, rather) that most of them WON’T be £2K and completely see-through, but perhaps it’s better that we be prepared…

P.S. If you’d like to see some GOOD fashion along with the bad, don’t forget to check out our sister site,, the home of shoes, style, shopping, and a capsule wardrobe collection for (almost) every occassion…

(*We don’t, but it does make us smile…)

Crimes of Fashion

(Fashion) Criminal Damage & other crimes of fashion:

This look is by Criminal Damage, which is a good name for the brand that brings us this:

Criminal Damage chocolate wrapper sweatpants and top

Buy It

This “I made it by cobbling chocolate wrappers together” look is yet another step forward for the “clothes that look like food packets” trend.  We never would have thought there would come a time when there would be a ‘Food Packet’ trend, but it’s here, and it’s growing: we must be ever vigilant. We’re not sure we’d have been on board with this outfit even if it DIDN’T depict chocolate wrappers, mind you, but if you love it, you can buy both sweatpants and top at ASOS.

Elsewhere around the web, and arguably ALSO counting as (fashion) criminal damage, our officers unearthed this:

fashion crime: window skirt

Buy It

It’s been a while since we arrested a window skirt quite this… windowy… and we’d actually hoped the look had died out. That turned out to be wishful thinking, obviously, but we’re hopeful that this skirt is the leader of the Window Skirt Movement, and that without its guidance, other similar skirt criminals will surrender peacefully. As for this one, it particularly attracted our attention because the little “modesty” panel at the top looks shorter than even the shortest of mini skirts, making it seem particularly difficult to actually WEAR…

Finally, along similarly confusing lines comes this apron skirt by Cheap Monday:

apron skirt

Buy It

As with the window skirt, this isn’t a new idea. That doesn’t stop us wanting to arrest it, however, and nor does it stop us asking the question: why can’t fashion designers just let skirts be skirts? Why do they insist on trying to keep on “fixing” something that isn’t broken? And when – WHEN – will this trend for ugly shoes ever go away?

What do you think? Can we send this lot straight to the cells, or would anyone like to enter a plea on their behalf?

Crimes of Fashion, Jeans

Crime of Fashion? Ripped knee jeans take over

Ripped jeans have been around since… well, probably since the first person who ripped their jeans by accident and thought, “Hey, this doesn’t look half bad! Kind of edgy and fashion-forward, in fact: I’ll keep wearing these, by God!”

There is, however, more than one way for jeans to be distressed (There’s more than one way for The Fashion Police to be distressed, too, actually: this blog is proof of that!), and we’re sure you can’t have failed to notice that the current most popular way looks like this:

ripped knee jeans

All jeans: Topshop

One very narrow, very precise slit, cut right across the knee of each leg, while the rest of the denim remains untouched. They’re ripped-knee jeans, and they’re everywhere: to the extent that it’s becoming hard to find a pair of jeans that still have their knees intact. There’s going to be a lot of people walking around with very cold knees this winter, is all we have to say.

Actually, no, that’s NOT all we have to say. Of course not! You didn’t think we could let this tend go un-commented on, did you? You also probably didn’t think we’d actually LIKE this look, and you’d be right on that score: in fact, all we see, when we look at these jeans, is denim SO tight the wearer was forced to cut slashes into the knees, to allow their legs to bend. Oh, and depending on the jeans, we also sometimes see a little smiling mouth on each knee. Please tell us we’re not the only ones who can see that? Wouldn’t it be tempting to draw a little set of eyes right above each “mouth”, so you’d have two little tiny faces on your legs? Try UN-seeing that, now that we’ve put the image into your minds…

What do you think, fashion force? Do you love the split-kneed jeans or hate them? Are they crimes of fashion?
Crimes of Fashion

Well, this is awkward.

Some fashions are ugly. Some are just plain awkward. Others, meanwhile, manage to be both ugly AND awkward. Which category would you put this one in… if any?

designer patchwork cape

Buy It

It kinda looks like this Peter Pilotto cape (£790 at Louisa Via Roma) has basically jumped up and grabbed the poor model, who, on the plus side, is surely keeping nice and warm under her blanket-like cape.

What about this example?

trousers with attached apron

Buy It

Trousers. With an apron attached. These are a throwback to the “skirt over trousers” look that was briefly popular in the late 90s, and which always made the wearer look like she REALLY wanted to just wear the skirt, but was too scared to show her legs, so decided to just double-up instead. Our philosophy has always been that you either wear a skirt OR a trousers: never both. We’d honestly rather see leggings under a skirt than trousers, but ultimately we’d rather not see clothes being stuck together AT ALL. Free the stuck-together-clothes!

curse shirt

Buy It

Well, this one is REALLY awkward. It’s awkward that there are people out there who think cursing is, like, really cool and edgy, for one thing. It’s also awkward, however, in the “where could you wear it, without fear of insulting someone” sense? Seriously: who’re YOU calling a *&^**^ ?!

And then there’s this:

patched up trench coat

Buy It

$4,500 to buy a coat which has been cunningly crafted to look like it’s been pulled out of a dumpster, and patched together with duct tape and any old rubbish you could get your hands on? Now that really IS awkward…

What do you think of this collection of style suspects? Are you happy for us to drag them all off to the jailhouse, or would you like to speak in their defence?

Crimes of Fashion, Swimwear

Still time to buy the amazing crocheted swimsuit!

crocheted swimsuit

Buy It

Summer may be over, folks, but the fashion world isn’t ready to move on quite yet, and this crocheted swimsuit is currently available at Net-a-Porter, where it’s £190.

It’s … really quite something, isn’t it? And we know the “if ya got it, flaunt it!” school of thought is very prevalent amongst the fashion criminal fraternity, when we look at this…

model in crocheted swimsuit

… we’re not thinking, “Wow, look at her amazing figure!”* so much as we’re thinking, “Wow, how does she even MOVE in that thing?” And also, “Let’s hope she’s wearing a super high SPF, otherwise she’s going to end up with some serious tan lines in that thing….”

Maybe it’s just us (probably), but even if we DID have abs of steel, we just can’t imagine ever feeling comfortable in something like this. It would be the closest you’d get to nudity while still TECHNICALLY being fully clothed, wouldn’t it? One wrong move, or one stronger-than-average wave (Not that we’re assuming the person who wears this is going to be focused on swimming, mind you…), and you’d basically BE nude, too. Unless, of course, you were using double-sided, waterproof fashion tape to anchor it to your body. Honestly, nothing would surprise us.

We’re probably being unfair, though. We haven’t tried this on, after all, and if we did, it’s perfectly possible it would turn out to be the most comfortable and flattering garment ever, and that we’d never want to take it off ever again. We somehow doubt it, though.

What do you think? It looks like a lot of work went into crocheting this one-piece: is it enough to make you want to buy it, though, or are you just glad the weather’s cooling down, making it less likely that you’ll have to see it in action?

* OK, we ARE thinking that, too. Obviously.

Crimes of Fashion

How Not to Layer | A lesson in layering from Zara

Why do fashion bloggers all love fall? Is it because of the crisp air? The golden leaves? The fact that they’re all working from the same Fashion Blogging Rule Book, and rule # 10 states: Thou Shalt Begin Every Post in the Month of September With the Words, “Autumn Is My Favourite Season?”

Well, it’s all of those things, really. But it’s mostly about the layering. Here’s what we think of when fashion bloggers start getting excited about the OMGLAYERING:

how not to layer

fashion and layering

a lesson in layering

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Not all layering is like this, obviously. In fact, what the fashion world likes to call “layering”, as if it’s some kind of complex technique, is what the rest of us simply call, “Getting dressed when it’s cold out.” So, you know, you might wear a cardigan over your dress. Or – and brace yourselves for this one, fashion force – a COAT. Over your regular clothes. That, friends, is “layering”, and that’s really all there is not it. It’s not particularly challenging, or even particularly interesting. How, then, we wonder, did ZARA manage to get it so wrong in the outfit above?

No, seriously, how did this happen? It’s like someone threw the model a box of clothes and challenged her to wear them all at the same time. It’s layering gone badly, badly wrong, but there are some important lessons to be learnt from it, about the fine art of “layering”. For instance, from this outfit alone, we learn that:

1. A sensible cardi isn’t the answer to EVERY sartorial dilemma.

2. Dresses over jeans should be left in the 90s, where they belong.

3. Particularly MAXI dresses, over SAGGY jeans.

4. Lots of very loose, baggy layers will make you look like a badly-wrapped parcel. Wear loose layers over structured ones, instead.

5. For the love of Gaga, learn how to cuff your jeans properly, people: there’s “effortless” and then there’s “no, really, I didn’t make even the slightest effort…”

OK, that last one has nothing to do with layering. It’s just annoying.

What are your thoughts on layering, style sleuths? Are you shrieking with excitement at the very thought of FINALLY being able to do what most of do without giving it a second thought? Or are you with us in thinking it’s totally fine and practical, but not a reason to be popping the champagne?

Crimes of Fashion

Five knitwear styles to avoid this fall

September starts on Monday, which means some of you are probably starting to think about your autumn/winter wardrobes, and, in particular, knitwear. There’s nothing quite like snuggling up in a cosy sweater on a chilly day, is there? Except, of course, the sweater in question is one of these…

cable knit sweater

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We don’t know about you, but for £1.085, we’d want the whole sweater, not just the parts of it someone managed to hastily cobble together after it was attacked by The Clothes Ripper. We’re guessing this is an attempt to make the chunky cable sweater in some “edgy”, by use of the now-familiar technique of ripping holes in it to ensure visibility of body parts. Question: is it still “edgy” if everyone does it? We’re not edgy, so we don’t know.

moschino hoodie with attached handbag

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God knows, it’s not like we’ve come to expect better from Jeremy Scott’s work for Moschino, but this is not only one of the most blatant Stuck-Together-Clothes crimes we’ve seen in a while, it’s also a Visible Logo crime. We’ve long considered highly visible logos to be the height of fashion criminality: guys, Moschino should be paying YOU £1,1710 to be a walking advertisement for them, not the other way around!

furry cardigan

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feathered sweater

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This model asked to remain anonymous. Probably because she has part of a bird strapped to her chest. This one costs almost £2,000, too: better get saving, fashion fans!

split sweater

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We’ll probably never know exactly what happened to this sweater, but we’d put money on The Clothes Ripper being involved somehow. How else would an innocent-looking stripe sweater find itself split almost in half? That’s why we always advise you to run, don’t walk, from this dastardly fashion criminal…

Crimes of Fashion, Shoes

Has Marc Jacobs taken the trainers trend too far?

Sportwear – or “sportswear luxe”, as the fashion press have been terming it – has been big this season: and it’ll continue to be big long into NEXT season, too. Even those who normally wear heels for the thing most people wear sneakers for, have taken to wearing sneakers for the things most people wear heels for… er, if that makes sense?

For many of you, of course, this has been a really welcome development in fashion. At a time when dress codes have all but died out (Once again, we cite the continuing trend for pyjamas/onesies in public and the large number of Google searches this site receives for the term “Is it OK to wear jeans to a wedding?” as evidence of this…), and you’re considered “overdressed” if you wear heels or a skirt of ANY description, we’re slowly having to accept that people just don’t like to get dressed up for anything but the very fanciest of occasions. “But they’re SO COMFY! is the clarion call of our generation, most often spoken in defense of Uggs, leggings, and the various other items of clothing which are generally considered to be “ugly”, but which people wear anyway.

It was only a matter of time before casual dressing became a trend in its own right, and once that happened, it was only matter of time before someone decided to take it too far. That person is Marc Jacobs, designing for his Marc by Marc Jacobs line:

marc jacobs sneakers

[Buy them here for $566]

We’ll just say here that we don’t hate sneakers: regular sneakers, we mean. In fact, we’ve actually been quite enjoying their current status as “fashion” items (as opposed to being just what everyone wears anyway…), and we really think some people have been making them look almost as covetable as the heels we normally prefer. But these look like expensive clown shoes, no? The colours, the patterns, the crazy soles… we can’t really imagine seeing these on someone and thinking, “Damn, those shoes are stylish: must get some!”, but that could just be us. Probably is, actually.

What say you, readers: you do love or hate these sneakers? Would you wear them?