It’s safe to say that our first edition of Girl’s Eye View divided reader opinion as much as the ladies we asked themselves. Whether you consider it a blessing or a curse (I’m still undecided), the women in my life are incredibly vocal about menswear and personal style.
Occasionally over-critical, occasionally foul-mouthed but always, always justifiable in some capacity, today our panel takes on the menswear most hated. From carrot fit to crushed velvet, diamond earrings to dungarees, the plague of bad apparel is an endless, bloodthirsty battle that can rope in even the sharpest of dressers.
I write about menswear every single day of my life, be it for my nine-to-five job or in my FashionBeans role – yet such immersion doesn’t make me exempt. Just last week, a good friend of mine pointed to the red string tied around my ankle and guffawed uncontrollably, joined by snorts of other comrades as I pitifully defended myself. It was all very Nurse Ratched if you ask me.
It was actually a gift I picked up travelling (a hideous stereotype, I know I know), but it just goes to show that falling into the sartorial snake pit is easier than you think. When you fall prey, some girls can devour you in moments.
Without further ado, feast your eyes on what the girls think are the biggest sartorial sins of our kind…
Suz, 28, Copywriter
Most Hated: Lens-less Fashion Spectacles
When it comes to her most hated piece, Suz from Surrey points the finger at lens-less fashion spectacles.
Considering them “the equivalent of carrying around a Nuts mag with a Socrates cover stuck on”, the ‘geek chic’ piece is a move of war criminal proportions. Lazy, often cheap looking and a little bit Reading Festival circa 2008, there’s no room for glasses without the glass.
Her reasoning? “Real geeks live and die for that literary sh*t; if you can’t be bothered to ruin your eyesight for real, get off the bus.” Enough said.
The Fix: High Quality Eyewear
If you want to add a touch of ‘geek’ to your look this summer, make sure you don’t forget the chic. Vintage-looking sunglasses are a great place to start, with brands such as Cutler & Gross, Illesteva and Han Kjobenhavn offering high quality frames combined with quirky, old school aesthetics.
Clear acetate frames and on trend rounded silhouettes are particularly great for this look – just make sure you take them off inside/at night please:
- Garrett Leight California Optical Wilson Round-frame Sunglasses
- Linda Farrow Square Frame Sunglasses 142406
- Garrett Leight California Optical Hampton Detachable-front Acetate Glasses
- Sheriff & Cherry Copper Disco G1 Sunglasses
- Illesteva Le Steel Round-frame Lightweight-metal Sunglasses
- Mykita Pelot Sunglasses
- Cutler And Gross Unisex Square Frame Sunglasses
- Linda Farrow Luxe Lfl234 Clear Round D-frame Sunglasses
- Cutler And Gross Unisex Circular Lens Sunglasses
Dimitra, 27, Online Editor
Most Hated: Super Skinny Jeans
Although my pal Dimitra may be from Athens, bad menswear is a global epidemic that we can all diagnose.
“Super skinny jeans are the worst,” she whimpers (unfortunately, I’m too inept to make an animated gif of her eye roll – it’s particularly devastating though). “Turned up at the bottom, they’re horrible.”
I must admit, spray-on denims are a fast route to throwing off a meticulously sculpted silhouette and can create all sorts of uneven proportions.
The Fix: Skinny/Slim Cuts
There is nothing wrong with the right amount of skinny, just ensure you give your legs a bit of breathing room.
Nearly every brand produces a form of slim and skinny cut these days, so take the time to find your perfect fitting jeans and be aware of your overall proportions when building outfits. Check out our lookbook inspiration below for some ideas:
- He By Mango Slim-fit Grey Alex Jeans
- Reiss Freeport Raw Selvedge Denim Indigo
- Allsaints Truxton Iggy Jeans
- Indigo & Maine Jimmy Slim Jeans In Blue
- Farah Vintage Slim Jean
- Lanvin Slim-fit Dry Denim Jeans
- Asos Slim Jean In Off White
- He By Mango Slim-fit Khaki Alex Jeans
- Paul Smith Jeans Garment Dyed 5 Pocket Slim Jeans
Helen, 23, PR Executive
Most Hated: Casual Waistcoats
Quick to tell us her love of navy tailoring in our previous Girl’s Eye View, Helen is even quicker to spout her hate of waistcoats with casual wear.
“You remind me of my year 10 History teacher. I unashamedly flirted with him yet on reflection, he was a man in his thirties that had caffeine shakes and was bored of his wife. Not something I want.” If you’re into looking unmatched, confused and very, very creepy like Helen’s History teacher, avoid this poorly executed ensemble.
The Fix: Smart-Casual Ensembles
If you’re going to wear a waistcoat, make sure you do it right. It can instantly make an outfit appear well put together, but it should be matched with smart-casual or formal pieces to avoid a jarring aesthetic:
- He By Mango Prince Of Wales Suit Gilet
- Topman Premium Light Grey Waistcoat
- Reiss Simmerson W Micro Texture Waistcoat Navy
- Topman Camel Plain Waistcoat
- Asos Waistcoat In Blue Dogstooth
- Vito Waistcoat
- Topman Black Flannel Waistcoat
- Reiss Garth W Classic Waistcoat Grey
- Rag & Bone Grosvenor Knitted Merino Wool Waistcoat
Martha, 23, Fashion Assistant
Most Hated: Statement ‘Fashion’ Necklaces
For Martha, it’s fashion necklaces.
“They’re a complete disaster, especially rosary beads because they’re just so ridiculous.” But her hate isn’t just limited to religious iconography – oh no, this passion is almost biblical. “Wooden beads with the horrific twine and tusk scream try-hard Cornwall wannabe. And gangster bling in any form is really quite silly, but I shouldn’t need to say that.”
If it’s hanging from your neck and making a ‘statement’, then remove immediately: simplicity is key.
The Fix: Minimal Styles
Avoid the brash, over the top styles and instead gravitate toward simple, timeless necklaces and pendants that epitomise your personal style.
If you are going to make a necklace one of your signature pieces, look to invest in high quality metals and premium materials so it doesn’t appear a cheap afterthought.
Understated and minimal is often much more of a statement when it comes to neck wear:
- Allsaints Clidean Necklace
- Miansai Silver Anchor Necklace
- Allsaints Lock Necklace
- A.p.c. Collier And Cube Metal Necklace
- Links Of London Mens Soho 2.6mm Box Chain
- Stephen Einhorn Spiga Necklace Chain
Lily, 23, Recruitment Consultant
After a summer viewing some of the very best (and the very worst) menswear pieces, Lily has grown to hate three-quarter length trousers.
“You know the type: a middle aged dad would wear them in Sharm El Sheikh. Ill fitting, too long, cargo-ish material – just so incredibly ugly.” As menswear makes leaps and bounds, some poor fellows are getting left behind and the three-quarter length trouser can be a recipe for absolute disaster.
If they’re ‘sporty’, incorporate toggles and are often worn with mid-calf socks, then I simply lose faith in all sartorial kind.
The Fix: Cropped Trousers/No Break
It’s time to ditch the three-quarter lengths and upgrade your style. For a sharp, summer-appropriate way of staying cool, consider getting your trousers hemmed with no break (or do it yourself). This way you will maintain your sartorial dignity yet will still be able to feel the breeze around your ankles when going sockless.
A slightly more adventurous alternative comes in the form of slightly cropped trousers, which are trending this high summer due to the UK’s unprecedented heatwave and their highly desirable Italian/Riviera connotations:
- Paul Smith Mainline Flat-front Cropped Trousers
- Paul Smith Mainline Flat-front Cropped Trousers
- Black Chocoolate Houndstooth Trouser
- Kolor Slim-fit Cropped Wool-blend Tweed Trousers
- Dolce & Gabbana Cropped Cotton-linen Trousers 146218
- Neil Barrett Cropped Tapered-leg Jersey Tuxedo Trousers
- Topman Black Sateen Cropped Stretch Skinny Jeans
- Gucci Slim-fit Cropped Brushed Cotton-blend Trousers
- Maison Martin Margiela 10 Men’s Cropped Chino Trousers
Jenny, 22, Media Executive
Most Hated: Ultra-Masculine
In true Yorkshire style, Jenny had plenty to say when it came to her hated menswear pieces. However, her shortlist included over the top military (almost to the point of costume) and low scoop/v-necks. “Tacky, cheap-looking and boring”, this combination of design aesthetic and jock-inspired apparel tries so hard to be masculine that it does the complete opposite.
And it seems we have one gentleman to blame for setting the standard so high: “if you’re not Ryan Gosling, you can’t pull it off.” Just another example of the man himself placing the rest of us in his shadow – where is your solidarity, brother?
The Fix: Timeless & Classic
Certain styles and key pieces will never go out of style – think crew necks, leather jackets, navy tailoring, khaki chinos and the like. Pairing classic, versatile pieces together will always create stylish, masculine looks without even an ounce of try hard:
Aleisha, 25, Advertising Assistant
Most Hated: Over-Branded Denim
“Over branded denim makes me feel sick,” Aleisha proudly proclaims.
Without pointing the finger at any brand in particular (just use your imagination), there’s actually nothing cheaper than an expensive pair of jeans that loves an all-over logo. Nasty, tasteless and beyond the realm of 1990s boy bands, any excessive branding is a wrong sartorial move.
Over-thinking and overdressing is an all too common problem.
The Fix: Minimal Denim
Don’t be a sucker for branding. The iconic denim labels of our time – think Levi’s, Nudie, Edwin, A.P.C, Acne et al. – always focus on product and manufacturing process, rather than over the top slogans, logos or patches.
Look for classic indigo jeans in high quality raw or organic denim as these will never go out of style and only get better with wear.
After all, a true sartorialist will always appreciate a selvedge edge much more than they would an oversized logo on your back pocket:
- Lee Jeans Cash Slim Tapered Fit
- Levis Line 8 Jeans 511 Slim
- Nudie Jeans Organic Long John In Twill Rinse
- Acne Max New Cash Slim-fit Denim Jeans
- A.p.c. New Standard Straight-fit Dry Denim Jeans
- Edwin Ed39 Straight-fit Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Edwin Jeans Ed-55 Relaxed Tapered Red Listed Selvage Burner
- Acne Roc Ups Slim-fit Washed-denim Jeans
- Levis Jeans 511 Slim Fit Clarity
Jacqueline, 48, My Beloved Mother
Most Hated: Shoe Trainers
It seems the mantra of ‘mum knows best’ rings true. As a woman that decked out her children in Converse and varsity jackets (god bless the 1990s), I needed to give my old lady a call…
“Shoe trainers,” she automatically replies. “You know those disgusting brown and black things with the thin laces and naff soles? They’re awful, aren’t they Murray?” Yes mum, they truly, truly are. Avoid this footwear like the plague if you have any fraction of self-respect.
So, there you have it, our rundown of frightfully poor menswear choices from the Girl’s Eye View. Every single piece is guaranteed to turn off a fraction of womankind and if you’re looking to craft a killer look, perhaps a feminine touch is most welcome. Men beware – we’re making mistakes left, right and centre.
What do you think of our list? Any other sartorial nightmares you’d like to add? Or perhaps you would like to take a stand and defend the condemned?
Let us know in the comments section…