.Style: What was I thinking?

How to avoid regrettable fashion

by Katie Rice Jones

Man perms, hair scrunchies, acid wash jeans, harem pants, Crocs, overalls, velour loungewear and platform tennis shoes are just some of the items contained within the halls of regrettable fashion. Ironically, these same cringe-worthy looks (and so many others) once posed themselves as edgy or extreme or trend-right.

And you bought it. However, with a combination of time, distance and honed taste level, you wised up and began to see the err in their fashion ways.

In most instances, those regrettable fashion choices that you once made are distant and laughable memories. But in some cases, well, they are not—like when you took a big fashion risk at a big life event. For those are the fashion mistakes that are recorded in photo detail, and those photos will be shared for a lifetime. Take that poufy Dynasty-styled wedding dress that my sister proudly selected for her 1986 nuptials.

In 2015, its styling now serves to mar her otherwise charming wedding photos and for that matter, her memories, too. What a shame.

While you will make most of your fashion mistakes when you are youngish, or when you are moving between life transitions (that same time that you are developing or navigating your sense of self), there is no time in your life that you are impervious to regrettable fashion. To avoid more “What was I thinking” moments in the future, you must figure out which fashion and dressing trends are going to be regrettable, in your present.

Over the years, I have come to find that those trends that offer a contrarian or ironic fashion perspective tend to be the worst offenders. These types of trends …

• fly in the face of the day’s dressing decorum
• suggest juxtaposing an outfit’s separates in style or formality (i.e., sequin jacket with twill micro-shorts)
• border on the edge of ridiculousness (i.e., any getup at Coachella)

The good news is that you don’t need to be a style expert to forecast regrettable fashion—you just must trust in your personal style, be skeptical of what the runway presents each season, step outside of your local trends and ask yourself, “Does this look stupid on me?” And lean to a more classic look for big life events like graduations, proms, pregnancies and weddings.

If all else fails and you think that you might be currently wearing regrettable fashion, just don’t take pictures!

Ask Katie what outfits she regrets at [email protected]

•Track pants with dressy top
• Hem-rolled jeans with heels
• Micro-shorts and blazer
• Super-sized top or jacket with slim bottoms
• Mustaches and beards
• Floral wreaths

Pacific Sun
The Pacific Sun publishes every Wednesday, delivering 21,000 copies to 520 locations throughout Marin County.


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