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Puffball skirts have officially been named and shamed as the biggest fashion faux pas of all time. The skirts – otherwise known as ‘bubble skirts’ – were first popular at proms and cocktail parties in the 1950s, and went on to be worn by the likes of Pepsi and Shirley in the mid-eighties.
Variations of the skirt continue to make appearances on catwalks and in high street shops – much to the disgust of a third of the 2,000 adults polled in the study by The Mailbox in Birmingham.
White socks worn with smart shoes also made the list as did wearing socks with sandals.
Tracksuits of any kind, but in particular velour, appear as the fourth worst fashion item, closely followed by high-heeled jelly shoes.
Tarah Hewitt, Marketing Manager at The Mailbox in Birmingham, which conducted the study ahead of Style Birmingham Live, a catwalk show taking place at the shopping destination on Saturday 29 September, said:
”What is and isn’t fashionable is always going to be debatable as it’s largely down to personal choice and opinions.
”But the top 20 list of fashion mistakes highlights some of the more disastrous errors people have made with their wardrobes over the last few decades.
”There are some items in particular, such as ponchos and cowboy boots, which should never have made it onto the catwalks, let alone into the nation’s wardrobes.
”Having said that, there will be some people out there who can carry off a poncho with ease and style – Kate Moss went on a hen weekend wearing one and looked great.”
Wide collaged printed shirts, dungarees and polyester high-waisted bell bottoms also appeared in the fashion disasters list.
Traditional ‘speedos’ – the skin tight swimming trunks worn by men – also received a mention with modern men tending to prefer baggier shorts for the pool than the tighter, sportier versions.
The top 20 list also includes fashion faux pas like bum bags, Union Jack shorts and any football clothing.
Eighties leg warmers, made popular by TV shows such as ‘Fame’ also feature in the list, along with Crocs, rah-rah skirts and shimmering shirts.
Even body piercings are now considered a fashion no-no.
Those polled admitted at least 5% of their wardrobe is filled with fashion faux pas, but 17% are hanging on to older items just in case they come back into fashion.
The average person also spends nearly £150 a year on clothes they never wear, after buying something and realising it looks terrible.
The items themselves aren’t the only thing people have to worry about when getting dressed, as the size, shape and style of clothing can also turn an outfit into a complete disaster:
- Seven in ten people say there is nothing worse than seeing someone squeeze into clothes which are clearly too small;
- Four in ten people hate seeing ‘muffin tops’;
- A third don’t like to see visible pants lines (VPL);
- 28% frown upon dirty shoes.
Other mistakes people make with their appearance include wrinkled clothing, wearing clothes which are too baggy, overstuffing pockets with keys and wallets and going over the top on cologne or perfume.
Indeed, a fifth of people admit to frequently making fashion mistakes themselves, with 45% often looking back on photographs and realising they looked awful in what they were wearing.
Tarah Hewitt added:
”People continue to spend money on items which they simply never wear.
”For example £150 could buy a classic piece of clothing or a stylish accessory which would stay in fashion for years.”
TOP 20 BIGGEST FASHION DISASTERS
1. Puffball skirts
2. White socks with smart shoes
3. Socks and sandals
5. High-heeled jelly shoes
6. Big, wide collared printed shirts
8. White cow boy boots
10. Polyester high-waisted bell bottoms
11. Leg warmers
12. Wide legged trousers
14. Bum bags
15. Union Jack shorts
16. Rah-rah skirts
17. Football clothes
20. Shiny shimmering shirts