One person’s fashion faux pas is another’s style statement, or so the thinking goes.
But when it comes to men, apparently the lines are clear, there are some looks that definitely don’t get any tick of approval, no matter how ‘forward’ we might think they are.
A recent article in The Telegraph revealed seven fashion items that men hate, and it’s likely you own some, if not all in your wardrobe because naturally as women we will always wear what we want, not what men want.
‘Women’s taste in fashion changes and adapts but men’s doesn’t budge: they have a fixed shortlist of things that provoke a visceral negative reaction, and another list of things they like, without knowing why,’ wrote the (male) journalist.
Here, FEMAIL speaks to top Sydney stylists Donny Galella and Caitlin Stewart on the pieces to find out what the fashion faux pas really are.
Top Sydney stylists Donny Galella (pictured left) and Caitlin Stewart (pictured right) reveal the fashion pieces you should stay clear of
1. WOODEN SOLED SHOES AKA CLOGS
The humble clog hardly seems such an offender that it would top a list of most reviled items, but apparently men find them ‘genuinely disturbing’.
As it turns our Donny couldn’t agree more that both ‘clogs and Crocs should be banished forever’.
He comments that not only are clogs clunky, but ‘they can make your legs look think’.
His verdict: ‘Clogs should only be found in an Amsterdam souvenir shop’.
Caitlin is a little kinder to the humble wooden shoe, and although she agrees their clunky nature can cause a ‘strong reaction’, she concedes it’s possible to tone this by pairing with a feminine dress to contrast the ‘harsh edge’.
Her verdict: ‘Not many shoes offer comfort and a little height at the same time so they get my vote all the way.
The humble clog hardly seems such an offender that it would top a list of most reviled items, but apparently men find them ‘genuinely disturbing’
2. ‘MUM JEANS’ OR HIGH-WAISTED DENIMH
High-waisted jeans can look super chic and flattering. However, men aren’t so convinced because they believe to pull this look off, it’s necessary to have ‘a really small waist’ otherwise it just doesn’t work.
Caitlin’s take on the situation is a higher waist is generally more flattering – for all.
‘The jeans are nicely fitted and show off the feminine form and allow us to tuck in and accessorise with a cute little belt.’
Her verdict: ‘The ‘mum’ jean is definitely here to stay and there isn’t not a darn thing the boys can do about it, plus they are uber comfortable.’
Donny on the other hand, remains unconvinced, and said ‘I know mum jeans are trending right now, but not all trends are flattering.’
The fashion expert warns the jeans can be loose and baggy around the crotch. He says to ‘tread carefully with this trend.’
According to stylist Caitlin Stewart, ‘The ‘mum’ jean is definitely here to stay and there isn’t not a darn thing the boys can do about it, plus they are uber comfortable’
3. LEOPARD PRINT ANYTHING
This news is nearly enough to send women everywhere into an apoplectic fit, especially as there are leopard print icons such as Kate Moss who wear the print look in a stylish, chic and rock ‘n’ roll rebellious way.
Men aren’t quite as keen, apparently ‘this is one of things women like and men sort of go along with.’
While full leopard print anything can be a little overwhelming, Donny believes a touch of the exotic animal can create a little drama – in the right way, of course.
His verdict: ‘I don’t mind a little bit of animal print. Add a dash with a print heel or bag, or choose a sheer, floaty fabric so the print doesn’t appear as harsh and dominate your look.’
On the other side of the coin, Caitlin said the print can have ‘cougarish’ connotations – some of her clients have said this is the word that springs to mind.
But she doesn’t out right dismiss the lovely leopard either, and believes the best way to wear it is in small doses.
Her verdict: ‘Personally and professionally I’m a huge fan. When worn the right way it oozes sex appeal and the pattern clashes really well with soft florals or stripes.’
Leopard print: stylish, chic and rock ‘n’ roll rebellious or just too much?
4. LEATHER (OR PLEATHER) TROUSERS
We’re willing to concede wearing leather trousers can be a tricky to pull off, and even if this is something you do manage to get right, it’s not a look men understand, much less appreciate.
This is one item Caitlin stands her ground on, going as far as to call them ‘an essential in the modern women’s wardrobe’.
Her verdict: ‘They are just so versatile and are a trans-seasonal ‘must have’. For optimum style, the stylist suggests teaming with sneakers and white tee or heels for a night out.’
Donny also believes leather trousers are a great addition to any woman’s wardrobe and suggests pairing them with a denim jacket or black blazer for a sharp look.
His verdict: ‘Leather-look trousers get the tick of approval.’
Donny Galella believes leather trousers are a great addition to any woman’s wardrobe and suggests pairing them with a denim jacket or black blazer for a sharp look
5. DESIGNER ‘DESTROYED’ JEANS
Ripped jeans have been having a moment for a while now and while they can look particularly stylish, the look isn’t one that has many male fans (although a nick in the knee a la Meghan Markle is acceptable, apparently).
Donny is clearly in the ‘not a fan’ camp of the jeans, and thinks it’s time the trend died a timely death.
The stylist said, ‘Jeans that look like they are about to fall apart need to go to denim heaven.’
Donny also noted this style of jeans can be difficult to wear because it’s a feature piece and will draw attention to your body. He said those who feel self-conscious about their lower half, ‘avoid these jeans at all costs’.
Ripped jeans have been having a moment for a while now and while they can look particularly stylish it’s not a look that has many male fans
His verdict: A little rip or tear is okay, but some overly ripped jeans can look cheap (even though they cost more than non-distressed styles).
Caitlin revealed that she turned to her partner to get his take on the jean’s trend, to which he delivered a verdict along the lines of ‘they can make women look homeless’.
Homeless chic aside, the fashionista said there’s a way to team ‘distressed denim’ with a power blazer and some heels for a ‘laddered luxe’ weekend look.
Her verdict: The look is a little on the androgynous side, but when teamed with the right accessories it’s one that’s generally a fashion hit.
6. OVERSIZED JUMPERS
The oversized jumper can be a fashion minefield. If it’s too big, there’s a chance of it bulking you out, too daggy – well that’s its own crime, and nothing can redeem it.
Cozy on the other hand, is absolutely every woman’s friend. Caitlin believes ‘the more oversized and scrumptious the better’. While she notes men aren’t so sold on the look as ‘it can disguise the feminine shape’, the style star gives it the thumbs up on comfort.
Her verdict: ‘As much as we appreciate the term ‘beauty is pain’ there will always be those days when the daggy old faithful wins.’
Donny doesn’t quite see eye to eye with Caitlin on this one. In fact he outright states oversized jumpers ‘usually beige in colour, do nothing on a woman’s body’. Oh dear.
While he concedes the much-loved oversized sweater is both warm and comfortable he points out they can unnecessarily add bulk.
His verdict. ‘They do nothing for your frame and the beige colour can make you look washed out too. A double whammy.’
Oversized jumpers which are ‘usually beige in colour, do nothing on a woman’s body’. Oh dear.
7. GIANT SHOULDERED CLOTHING STYLES
In 2017, women are currently riding another wave of feminism (generally referred to as the fourth wave) and clothing is reflecting cultural shift in some way.
While we might be having ‘a big shouldered moment’ it’s not one that men are embracing. Both image consultants hedge their bets when it comes to commenting on the trend because while it makes a statement, it’s not one that works across the board.
Caitlin said she sits on the fence mostly because giant shoulders are hard to wear. Donny is also of the opinion, that while the power suit is in vogue, the look can broaden your silhouette in a way that’s not entirely flattering.
Their verdict: Caitlin advises women who want to look stylish without slavishly following trends ‘is to dress for your body shape. Choose your favourite features and wear clothing that accentuates this.’
Donny echos sentiment saying, ‘Always dress for who you are, your lifestyle and your body shape.
‘Trends come and go,’ he says.
‘Do not be dictated to by trends.’