Fashion faux pas

Ellen Freeborn

The best way to avoid making an awkward fashion mistake is to know your body type and dress appropriately. There are plenty of books, articles, blogs, etc. dedicated to this subject matter, so no one has an excuse.

Here are a few of the most awkward fashion faux pas:

Wearing leggings with the wrong underwear.

Wearing leggings as pants is usually a risk itself. But wearing the wrong underwear is inexcusable. To avoid making the mistake, choose a top that’s long enough to cover your bum. If you’re a risk-taker at heart, make sure you’re at least wearing the right underwear! This should be obvious. Even if you don’t think your panties are noticeable, they are. Someone who just happens to be positioned at the wrong angle is getting a nice view of your God-given rear. Otherwise, save the leggings for the comfort of your own home.

Wearing no pants.

On the other hand, we would all prefer to see the wrong legging/underwear combo over no pants at all. For people daring enough to walk out of the house looking like “Risky Business,” wearing an oversized T-shirt or men’s dress shirt as a dress, just know that people are probably assuming you’re on a walk of shame.

Wearing a tent.

Clothing that swallows the figure rarely works on anyone who weighs more than 90 pounds. If you want to rock the “emaciated artist” look, emphasize your thinnest feature, and let the rest be a mystery. Show off your skinny legs, wrap a belt around your waist or let your arms or collarbones see the light. Wearing a tent isn’t even normal in the most conservatively dressed cultures. Complement your favorite oversized piece with something form-fitting underneath.

The overstuffed purse.

One of the most awkward fashion mistakes I’ve seen is the overstuffed crossbody purse. These bags are usually made for just a few items. If you pack it full of whatever crap you would put in a large tote, you’re slowing down your daily life, plus you look like a hoarder. Replace it with a larger bag or consolidate.

Too many words.

Finally, you’ve found a shirt that really captures your personality. Whether it’s a subtle allusion to your snarky sarcasm or a tribute to the Queen of England and your own form of relief, wearing too many words will only lead to people squinting at your chest for far too long.

Here are a few of my favorite awkward T-shirt slogans:

“Dress like you’re going to meet your ex-boyfriend” — Wearing that shirt seems to have the opposite effect. Don’t give away your secret, girl!

“Do I look like a people person?” — You’re hoping someone will read the shirt and think you’re cute, right?

“I’m not anti-social, I’m just anti-stupid.” — And you’re mean.

“Called for Duty. Army of the Lord.” — Maybe people will think you’re just wearing a nerdy gamer T-shirt, and then take a second glance and realize you’re subtly trying to convert them. Either way, it’s awkward.

“Bae ain’t bae if bae don’t pray.” — A culturally relevant way to announce that you won’t date a nonbeliever.

A good rule of thumb: Let your actions and words speak louder than your T-shirt.

Contact Ellen Freeborn at [email protected]