Shocking smocking: ugly dresses and other crimes of fashion

We begin our weekly crimes of fashion roundup with a public service announcement on the subject of ugly dresses, specifically, SMOCKS.

Smocks look good on no one. We don’t often make such blanket assertions, it’s true: normally we try to couch our proclamations of fashion crimes in the language of “some people look fantastic in them!” and “if you love them, wear them: you go, girl!” Not today. No, today we’re going to have the courage of our convictions, and say it again: smocks look good on no-one. Case in point:

shocking smocks: two ugly dresses from ASOS

Ugly dresses, or totes adorbs? Find them here and here.

Two gorgeous models. In smocks. And while the models look cute as little buttons, that’s because… the models are cute as little buttons. If you look good in a smock, it has nothing to do with the smock: it’s because you’re the kind of person who looks good in everything. We hate you.   The smocks, meanwhile, don’t look cute. Universally unflattering, they have the ability to make everyone who wears them look like they’re either a) about to paint their ceiling or b) are three years old.

In other words: we hate smocks. They’re the ugliest of ugly dresses, and the only thing that might make them look worse, would be if they were worn with something like this:

white boots with multiple straps

Acne ‘Salma’ boots, £850

This is what we think of as a “skeleton boot”. As in, it’s the skeleton of a boot. It’s also going to be really freaking annoying having to fasten all of those buckles every morning (unless, of course, there’s some kind of zipper on the back that just isn’t visible in the photo. We don’t think so, though.) The good news is that these are convertible: you can unbuckle the “leg” part and just be left with the shoe at the bottom. The bad news is you’ll still be left with a fug shoe. So, really, it’s ALL bad news, isn’t it?

But back to the ugly dresses:

ruffled dress in three colours

Too many ruffles spoil the dress [buy it]

This looks like what would happen if you woke up one morning to discover that all of your clothes had mysteriously vanished in the night … with the exception of a handful of skirts. What do you? You need to leave the house, but all you have is three (four) skirts: no underwear, no tops, nothing. So what do you do? Well, you take those skirts and you layer them cunningly, to create the impression that you are NOT wearing all your skirts at the same time, but are, in fact, wearing a very ugly dress.

The only problem with this, of course, is that you WILL still look like you’re wearing all your skirts at the same time. Even although you ARE actually wearing a very ugly dress.

Let’s just say you actually ENJOYED that feeling of being out in public wearing clothes that aren’t actually suitable for being out in public, though. What to do THEN? Why, simply buy this, of course:

mesh top with leather leggings

Top, £137

Just be sure to wear it with exactly the same attitude as this model: a bit of a sneer, and a “slap-a-mah-thigh” pose. We’d also recommend a bra of some kind, but, you know, up to you.

But what to wear WITH this top? Those leggings are just far too modest, aren’t they?

They sure are. We’d suggest these instead:

mesh trousers with shorts

Trousers, £600

Well, we’d recommend them for anyone who has a burning desire to spend some time in the fashion police jail, anyway. If that sounds like you, then be our guest – literally. It’ll only cost you £600, too.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s roundup of ugly dresses, shocking shoes and see-through clothing. Are these really crimes of fashion, though? Tell us in the comments…


  • March 22, 2013


    Amber, why no coverage of the see-through yoga pants recall? I still don’t have a good explanation why they didn’t just sell them as sh-oga shants instead. From mistake to OMGFashion in one press release!

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  • July 16, 2014


    I’m actually in love with the blue smock dress I’m not feeling the one on the left though because I’m not into checked printing I love the style

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