The 5 Worst Fashion Crimes & How to Avoid Them

There's bad fashion, and then there's those looks that are so wretched they nearly render us speechless. Yes, you've probably caught yourself gawking at someone sporting one of these terrible ensembles on the street or maybe you've crept down one of these failed paths yourself. Never fear. These 5 rules will help keep you on the right side of the fashion police. Don't miss 4 more helpful rules here.


  • IRONIC GRANDMA DRESSING: We love our grandparents, we really do. They give us cake, tell us stories, and pat our heads when we are sad. They don't commonly, however, serve as our fashion muses (unless, of course, Jane Birkin is your grandma). And that's okay; leave grandmas alone. Also, and this is vitally important, if you are a single girl about town, you will never get a date dressing like this. Housedresses, chunky shoes, and glasses do not say it's sexy time.
  • ALL-LEATHER LOOKS: Yes, leather is in. For example, Yves Saint Laurent was having such a leather moment that designer Stefano Pilati turned it into both a bodysuit and a jumpsuit. But leather is best used wisely. If you wear a skirt, tone it down on the top. A jacket? Jeans or trousers. But never wear the whole lot together, because the dominatrix should stay in the bedroom (if you're inclined that way, of course), not the boardroom.
  • OVERSIZE BAGS: If the Olsens are over this look, you should be too. Nobody has that much to carry unless she's going away for the weekend or is the littlest hobo. A bag as big as your body? That's a body bag.
  • RUNWAY LOOKS HEAD TO TOE: One of the season's most photographed looks was the fetching red velvet brocade coat Miuccia Prada designed. It was accessorized on the runway with a large pair of waders. During the show, they looked wondrous. On 57th Street during rush hour, maybe not. Find a seasonal piece that speaks to you and make it work. That coat would look just great with jeans, wouldn't it?
  • THE '80S IF YOU'RE 80: The first time around you were 50, and it didn't make sense then, either. Leave the resurgence of '80s looks - the shoulders, the minis, the Dynasty sequins - to the twenty-somethings who were born then. They think shoulder pads are new and exciting. The only workable alibi? If you were one of the girls in Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" video and you've shopped your closet.

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