The true art of dressing isn’t just about style – it’s about presenting yourself in the best possible way.
Before you side-eye the term “fashion faux pas,” know that this isn’t about dated fashion rules. I’m not here to tell you that horizontal stripes will make you look wider (a French girl’s classic) or not to wear white after Labour Day (hello, winter whites – my favourite!). Instead, I will outline the common fashion mistakes that will break any outfit.
Going under cover
Madonna may have made visible lingerie fashionable in the ’80s, but it has no place in the look of a professional woman in today’s world. For the workplace, keep your intimates intimate. However, a visible bra, under a sheer or ultra-feminine blouse can be beautiful if worn in the evening.
Pressing the issue
Wrinkles happen, and natural lines around the crook of the arm are no reason to stress. Plus, some garments have an intentional wrinkled aesthetic. But not pressing or steaming your clothes is a fashion faux pas, as it gives the impression that you don’t care about your appearance.
Not fitting the bill
Ill-fitting clothes are usually the result of a few things: recently lost weight, recently gained weight or not properly caring for your clothes. No matter how beautiful a garment is, if it’s too tight or too loose, it won’t look good on you. If it’s too snug, it can accentuate areas and make body parts look bigger than they actually are. On the other hand, if it’s too loose, you’ll lose your beautiful silhouette. It might be time to donate, consign, or see a seamstress. My tips on finding a great seamstress here.
Hitting below the belt
It is never – NEVER – a good look when private areas become a focal point. To avoid this fashion faux pas, take note of the fit. When buying pants and jeans, athleisure the inseam is a key indicator of comfort and good fit. A skinny fit should be on the legs, not the crotch area.
Valley of the dolls
Style is about what you’re wearing – not what you’re exposing. Be smart about your cleavage and how much you show. Button up at the office, even if you work in the fashion or in a creative industry. If you are at an evening event, it could be appropriate to show some cleavage (and incredibly sexy too!), if you don’t get the wrong kind of attention. Be mindful of the neckline and the back as well as the side panels, and under the arms, to make sure you are not exposing more than what you intended to.
The fashion industry is famous for pushing the limits with “trends,” but many end up as fashion faux pas. Too often these out-of-the-box styles look too loud and hide any sense of personal style. As much as street style photos show a cute, young influencer wearing socks with sandals, clunky granddad sneakers, an impractical micro-sized bag, and athleisure for work, these trends aren’t exactly trends. They’re fads…and fads fade.