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50 Fashion faux pas scenarios and how to avoid them

A guide on common fashion mistakes that we might unknowingly make in our clothing choices and styling and simple tips, and solutions that help us steer clear of these fashion pitfalls
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Do you tend to not do something simply because you’ve been told to?. I can relate to it but if you’re thinking about skipping the fashion faux pas mentioned here in that way, maybe not. A fashion faux pas is a french fashion term for a mistake made in fashion that is against acceptable standards. And you want to maintain your standard! So avoid these 50 clothing and fashion fails.

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Careless clothing fails

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Wearing creased, wrinkled-up clothes. And absolutely not, to the office. And never ever to office meetings. Iron or steam your clothes to create a polished, put-together look. Cotton and linen clothes wrinkle a lot. Knit fabrics and synthetics or blends are less prone to wrinkles compared to woven fabrics.

Wearing clothes with offensive slogans or graphics. Inappropriate logos or wordings can make you a party to the crime. Select clothing with uplifting messages or tasteful graphics that reflect your personality.

Not removing tags. Going out in clothes with the tags still attached is embarrassing and very careless. But a very understandable and regular mistake.

Wearing clothes that are too short or too long. Find the right balance between short and long hemlines, depending on your body type and the occasion and also the type of clothes. A skirt that ends just above the knee and below the knee are better than one that ends at the knee. A pant should not be longer than 3/4 inches above the floor when you are wearing shoes.

Wearing clothes with small thread snags. Cut off the small threads on the surface of clothes; they may look insignificant but can add to the look of shabbiness. Repair or replace clothing with holes or stains to keep your wardrobe looking fresh and clean.

Wearing clothes with pilling or lint. A clothing with pilling all over looks old and faded. Use a de-pilling remedy as soon as you spot this. And lint can be removed with a lint remover.

Wearing clothes with stains. Brush to remove the dirt and stains. If this doesnot work, use stain removers.

Ignoring dress codes that have been clearly communicated

Disregarding dress codes is considered a fashion no-no. If you are not dressed appropriately as per the dress code stipulation, you may be considered underdressed or overdressed. Definitely a fashion faux paus. Wearing too casual and revealing clothes when the dressing code says White tie. Under the white tie dress code, women should avoid short dresses or tops that show too much skin, and men should avoid wearing anything other than a black tailcoat, black trousers, and a white wing-collar shirt. ☝ Wearing athletic clothing or too casual dressing when the dress code says Smart casual. Under this dress code, avoid clothing with graphic designs or logos that may be too casual. Women should avoid overly revealing tops or dresses, and men should avoid shorts or sandals. Wearing clothes that are too casual, such as jeans or shorts, when the dressing code says Black tie. Under this dress code, avoid clothing that is too flashy or attention-grabbing. Women should avoid wearing dresses that are too short or revealing, and men should avoid wearing loud ties or overly flashy accessories. ☝ Wearing casual clothes like jeans and sneakers to even which is marked Business formal. Also, avoid clothing with bold patterns or colors that may be too distracting. Women should avoid short skirts or dresses, and men should avoid loud ties or overly casual shirts Wearing athletic wear or clothing that is too revealing, if the dressing code says Business casual. Avoid clothing with graphic designs or logos that may be too casual. Women should avoid spaghetti strap tops or dresses, and men should avoid shorts or sandals.

Read more about dress codes here.

Wearing clothes that do not match the occasion.

☝ Being too casual, for formal events. Choose formal attire that is appropriate for the event and venue. And by the same token, Don’t wear clothes that are too formal for casual events. Find casual clothing that is stylish and co-ordinated. Wearing clothes that are too flashy. Add a touch of sparkle to your outfit with tasteful jewelry or sequined accessories. ☝ Wearing clothes that are too dated. Vintage is fine but if everything is vintage, not so good. Mix vintage pieces with modern styles to create a unique, timeless look. Wearing clothes that are too revealing for work.Choose work attire that is professional and modest, while still expressing your personal style. ☝ Wearing clothes that are too casual for formal occasions like a funeral or wedding. Wear dark, formal attire for funerals to show respect for the occasion and the family. Find the right balance between casual and formal attire for weddings, depending on the dress code and venue.

Wearing clothes that are too casual for job interviews. Dress appropriately for job interviews by researching the company dress code. If you do not know, be safe and choose professional attire.

Wrong Footwear

Inappropriate footwear is definietly a step in the wrong direction – towards all kinds of fashion fails. The importance of right shoes on your whole presentation cannot be downplayed. Avoid wearing flip-flops with formal attire. Wear dressy sandals or flats instead of flip-flops for formal occasions. ☝ Don’t wear socks with sandals. Choose sandals or open-toe shoes instead of socks with sandals.

Pant Mistakes

☝ Don’t wear leggings as pants. They are not pants. And do not wear them as formal wear with shirts and short blouses. Wear leggings with a tunic, dress or long top. Don’t wear pajamas in public. Reserve pajamas for sleeping and lounging at home. ☝ Do not wear pants with belt loops without belt. If you do not plan to wear belts, remove the loops. Wearing pants with frayed hem. This happens when hem touches the ground. Do not wear pants which are longer than 3/4 inch from the floor (when wearing shoes). You are not there for sweeping the floor.
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Fitting fails for top wear

☝ Not wearing a camisole or slip under sheer clothes. If you are wearing clothes that are too sheer, layer with undergarments underneath to maintain modesty. Wearing jackets that do not fit around your waist when atleast one button is buttoned. ☝ Wearing short sleeved jackets or top if you have thick flabby arms. Wearing tight front-buttoning shirts with gaping in the front when buttoned. ☝ Buying clothes with saggy armholes or floppy ones. This happens to be the biggest crime in clothes fitting. Wearing clothes that are too baggy all over. Find the right balance between fitted and loose clothing to create a flattering silhouette. ☝ Wearing clothes with gathering or frill details in any area that you want to slim down. These details make the thickness of the area accentuated. Wearing clothes that are too tight. Too tight clothes can make one look bigger. Choose clothes that fit your body well and enhance your figure. ☝Wearing clothes made of fabric with too many patterns or colors. Experiment with mixing patterns and colors, but keep it cohesive and balanced. Light colors enhance and dark colors recede. Wearing clothes that are too revealing. Show off your assets in a tasteful, stylish way that still leaves something to the imagination
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Hair mistakes

Not getting a hair-trim every 2 months at the least. 6 weeks is what experts advise. Untrimmed hair is a strict fashion no-no. Get a hair cut that is easy maintenance – you should be able to style it or leave it without taking too much trouble unless you are in the show business.

Not re-touching hair color every 6 weeks

Wearing Cutsie/glittery hair clips and going to formal business meetings.

Wearing Long hair down if it is oily or not washed for days.

Underwear Slip-Ups


Visible panty lines or worse visible color of undergarment through clothes. Opt for seamless underwear like g-strings, or low cut panties, to avoid visible panty lines or the panties sticking out up the waistbands.


Weaing bras that are too tight or too loose.

Color fails

☝ Wearing full white without any other color. White suits all of us, but only in moderation. An all white ensemble can be a fashion fail. Wearing clothes that are too shiny. Shiny, light colored clothes can make you look bigger. Add a touch of shine to your outfit with metallic accessories or subtle sequins. ☝ Avoid wearing clothes that are too bright and flashy. Add a pop of bright color to your outfit with a bold accessory or accent piece. Wearing clothes that are too dull. Neutral colors are elegant but too much of it can make you look lifeless. Experiment with bold prints and colors to create a dynamic, eye-catching outfit.
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Accessory fails

☝ Wearing clothes with too many accessories. Use accessories sparingly to create a clean, sophisticated look. Wearing too much perfume or cologne. Use a light touch with perfume or cologne to create a subtle, pleasant scent. ☝ Not checking the shoes for scuff marks, cracks and also, if the sales sticker is still on the back of the shoes. Not checking if you have lipstick on your teeth. ☝ Overstuffing your handbag. Just carry the most essentials in your bag. One person’s faux pas maybe another person’s style. Decide on your own fashion faux pas in your style book and live your life. 
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Author: Sarina Tariq
Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
2 thoughts on “50 Fashion faux pas scenarios and how to avoid them”
  1. JM
    this is one of the best if not THE best articles I have read. NOW, let’s see if we can get some of those who absolutely

    This is the best well rounded article I have ever read. Grandmothers share with your Grand daughters & Sons, have a good quality time with them.
    Yes, Yes, yes, Good work Sarina

    Reply
  2. Sonia from Malta
    Hi Sarina, Thank you so much for this vital information. Will definitely share with family and friends. Lovely to hear from you again. Keep up the good work. Reply
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