Sweater Vests and Other Fashion Tragedies

By no stretch of the imagination could I ever qualify as trendy.  My idea of fashion is trying to stay with clothes bought within the last decade.  (Not always possible.)  I’m one of those rare females who was born without a shopping gene.  A trip to the mall is accompanied with much sighing and whining.  After three stores, I am outta there!

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions on what passes for fashionable.  Let’s start with some no brainers.  I don’t care what the stores sell or what the fashionistas say, bow ties and sweater vests (whether worn together or separately) are huge fashion NOs.  People tempted to wear either should save themselves the money and just slap a geek sign on their foreheads.  (And as a side note, pocket protectors are not acceptable fashion accessories.)  Sweater vests can also effectively disguise a truly deviant nature.  I have a theory, in fact, that a statistically significant number of serial killers probably had sweater vests in their closets.  I don’t have any hard data on that, but if your next door neighbor sports a sweater vest AND owns a chainsaw, I’d advise you to move.  Fast.

Now that we’ve warmed up, let’s tackle some thornier problems.  Hip hugger jeans and skin tight shirts look good on 1% of the population over age 13.  Most of us aren’t in that 1%.  Next time you see a member of the 99% wearing them, consider a citizen’s citation and issue them a ticket for crimes against fashion.  By all means, feel free to start with the designer.

Let’s move on to some general fashion rules of  thumb:  no skinny jeans on men.  Ever.  Nobody wants to see *that* package shrink wrapped 🙂  For women, when it comes to bared skin, less is definitely not more.  As a matter of fact, I have yet another theory (I know, I’m full of them) that the amount of skin you bare should be in direct proportion to the amount you could survive without if attacked by a crazed rabid warthog.  Think about that.  Shorts and a top?  Ok, we could live if the skin of our arms and legs got gnawed off.  Bare the chest and stomach too, and ooh, we’re definitely moving into unsurvivable territory.  Beaches, of course, are an exception because a)  There are no warthogs on beaches and b)  Fashion (and mirrors) have long been ignored there.  And with a high percentage of shark attacks actually occurring with people wearing full wet suits, obviously the animal kingdom turns a blind eye to bare skin in the vicinity of sand and surf.  We’ll call it a safe zone, but you may want to wear very dark sunglasses when you go.  (See ‘b’ above.)

I think we can safely agree that high heels requiring women to have surgery on their toes so they can comfortably wear them are a crime against fashion.  (And those women should also be seen to and chemically altered.)  Heels high enough to have women teetering around like an octogenarian too long at happy hour also qualify as fashion NOs.  High heels for men are fashion NEVERs, and this includes platforms.  As a general rule of thumb, if the heel is high enough to qualify as an assault weapon under different circumstances, it doesn’t belong on your foot.  (But if you don’t own a gun, you might want to keep the six inch spike heel on your bedside table in case a prowler shows up.)

Fashions that should never come back into style include go-go boots, mullets, anything from the 70s (yes, I’ve seen what’s in the stores, but I’ve been ignoring it and suggest you do the same), long flared sideburns for men, big hair for women, wash and go perms, mommy jeans, plaid dresses, house dresses and head-to-toe leather (dominatrix, anyone???)

I’m sure we’ll agree that bad fashion is something we all know when we see it, which explains the popularity of the People of Walmart pics that show up in our inbox occasionally.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish going through my closet and removing everything with shoulder pads….

What crimes have you committed in the name of fashion?  Are there any misdemeanors you’re still guilty of?  What fashion atrocity most offends your sensibilities?  

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29 Responses to Sweater Vests and Other Fashion Tragedies

  1. Liz Flaherty says:

    This is a hoot! My biggest crime–I think–is that I believe sweats are a fashion statement and should be acceptable attire everywhere, up to and including coronations, debut balls, and breakfast at McDonald’s.

  2. Betina says:

    Kyllie, I’m with you dear on the muffin top! Probably one of the worst and most common offense in all of fashion crime. I work with a lot of young gals and see a lot of that one. I’m with you on the shoes, too. Young women walking like a camel with a really bad case of hemorrhoids. And that’s supposed to be sexy? ::shiver::

    Another thing is low cut tops/dresses in the workplace. Don’t need to see that much of you, girls!

  3. CateS says:

    I hate hate HATE those ugly platform shoes that are 8 inches tall… stupid..

  4. Marilyn says:

    I was waiting for you to mention People of Walmart. We were discussing the site on our drive to our RWA meeting Saturday and concluded that if you buy it in the sleepwear section of the store, it should not be worn outside your house. And yes, that includes the adorable Garfield lounge pants you think are totally okay for a trip to Publix. Mesh is a no-no, too, especially when paired with anything spandex. Do these folks even bother to take a peek in a mirror ?

  5. leannebanks says:

    I miss go-go boots.lol I’m very big on yoga pants for just about any occasion. When on deadline, yoga pants can double as sleepwear and daywear. And no one needs to know.:) Fun post Kylie!:)

  6. Kylie Brant says:

    Marilyn, LOL on where you buy it…that is sooo true. Mesh…guffawing here! Hey how about mesh with nothing beneath it…for women! Thaaaat’s attractive!

  7. Kylie, I’m with you.

    Althoooo…one of the gentlemen who would be president has become known for his sweater vests. He’s to be forgiven because he buys them from Bemidji Woolen Mills, a small MN town that can use the publicity.

    • kylie brant says:

      I don’t care who you are, sweater vests *say* something about you…and none of it’s positive, LOL. Although I’m fairly certain the gentleman in question is not a serial killer. Almost certain.

  8. michelehauf says:

    I admit, I used to wear heels all the time, then the past decade I went completely opposite and barefoot has been my footwear of choice. But lately? I’m picking up more heels because they’re Just. So. Cute! And try to find them under 5 inch heels? Impossible. But I’ll limp a bit to wear my cute new leopard print pair. 😉

    Fashion faux pas? How much do I gag when I see the young girls with ‘juicy’ or ‘pink’ written across their butts? And often it’s a very giggly version of ‘juicy’. Oy.

    • kylie brant says:

      Michele I ruined my feet the last time five inch heels were in vogue. I draw the line at 3 inch simply because my catlike speed and reflexes are not what they used to be 🙂

  9. michelehauf says:

    I meant ‘jiggly’ not ‘giggly’. Heh.

  10. Can’t abide cruel shoes. Threw my platforms in the giveaway pile about the third time I turned my ankle back in the day, and I’ve never looked back. As for the stilt spikes, I admire women who can stride right out there without the slightest wobble. It must require extreme concentration.

  11. Kristina Mathews says:

    I hate the Ugg boots and miniskirt look. If it’s cold enough for the boots, it’s too cold for the miniskirt.

    I hate the baggy pants look. I think the reason Cowboys are so sexy is that they wear jeans that fit. Not too tight, but I like to see a nice butt.

    I also think anything I would have worn in the 80’s should be put in a cold war missle silo and left there for all eternity.

  12. loisgreiman says:

    Great post, Kylie, but…I still like sweater vests. I can’t help it. There may be something wrong with my DNA.

    I’ve gone through so many fashion ‘nos’ that it’s hard to pick. I’m going to go with stirrup pants though. Skin tight stirrup pants should not by worn by the human species. And…I think I still have some in my closet.

  13. kylie brant says:

    LOL, Lois I’m fairly certain that stirrups are just around the corner again. Better hang on to them! They aren’t much different than the jeggings and skinny jeans worn now. Oh and tights. Have to admit to wearing all of the above but in my defense my legs are the only skinny thing on my body so I let ’em shine.

  14. NL Gassert says:

    A little while ago I saw a grown woman in footie PJs get her mail from the mailbox way, way down her driveway. No quick dash-n-grab. Nope, she had to walk out into the world … in her footed pajamas. I had no idea they made those for adults. I almost drove my car off the road.

  15. Christie Ridgway says:

    Yep, sleepwear in public a no go, though I suppose one could argue that sweats or yoga pants are pretty much the same…

    I think there are some cute retro-looks from the 1970s, Kylie! But I live in California and a lot of beachwear hasn’t changed since the Beach Boys days of the 1960s. But shoulder pads…ugh. I hope we never see those come back!

  16. Kylie Brant says:

    There are shoulder pads and shoulder pads 🙂 The ones from the 90s would rival military uniforms for squaring off a woman’s shoulders and making her look like a football player. But I’m amazed to pull things out of my closet and find little shoulder pads in them! They snuck that no-shoulder pad change by me without me looking…..

  17. laurieg72 says:

    Bell bottoms especially the wide legged version, ponchos, high waisted jeans, stone washed jeans

    I disliked leisure suits and guru jackets and no I didn’t own any.

    My daughter says my whole wardrobe is a fashion faux pas.

    I love comfortable clothes. Give me t-shirts, shorts, jeans and sweaters when it’s cold and I’m good to go.

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