Every season, designers perform Lazarus-like feats, reviving styles we thought were banished to style purgatory. But while this summer’s Lou Dalton and Topman Design shows may have made you regret binning those bucket hats and relaxed-leg trousers, there are certain pieces you can chuck safe in the knowledge they’ll never stand a chance of coming back into fashion.
Whether or not you’re with stupid, the only thing your T-shirt should tell people is that you understand the basics of fit and form. Slogan tees are supposed to show the world that you’ve got a sense of humour. They actually just advertise the fact you’re a douchebag.
Your tees don’t have to be plain (although it’s never a bad move). Graphic takes from designers like Kit Neale, whose designs incorporate motifs such as vintage Coke logos and airplane safety cards, wear humour more subtly. But puns or sexual invites are as inappropriate on your clothing as they would be yelled at strangers in the street.
Plus, there’s no such thing as a female body inspector. We checked.
The Fix: Plain Or Printed T-Shirts
- Zara Raglan Sleeve T-shirt
- Allsaints Folklore Crew T-shirt
- Reiss 1971 Cogg Printed Cotton Shirt Navy
- Sunspel Q82 Crew Neck Tee
- Sunspel 30s Crew Neck Tee
- River Island Blue Crew Neck T-shirt
- Uniqlo Men Heattech Short Sleeve Crew Neck T-shirt
- John Lewis Organic Cotton Crew Neck T-shirt
- Uniqlo Men Packaged Dry Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-shirt
Three-Quarter Length Trousers
You might think, from the surfeit of mankles invading the streets, that trousers deliberately cut off mid-calf would save you precious minutes rolling your cuffs. But rather than hinting that you’re a man so busy he can’t find time for a pinroll, they actually paint you as one wracked by indecision, whose inability to choose between trousers and shorts left him entangled with their bastard child. You’re only one step away from cargo pants with legs that zip off.
Look east, and there is a right way to wear cropped trousers. The key being that no one could mistake them for long shorts. A slightly relaxed, rather than calf-hugging cut, which ends just above the ankle – see Matthew Miller’s Marlboro trousers, or the Japanese-inspired styles in Topman’s new This Is Denim range – lets you flash your trainers without looking like you’ve been bathing in Miracle Grow.
The Fix: Cropped Legwear
- Allsaints Nile Trouser
- J. Crew Pleated Trouser In Italian Cotton
- Farah Cropped Trousers In Wool Mix Slim Fit
- Marni Slim-fit Cropped Cotton-gabardine Trousers
- Topman Selected Homme Crop Black Tartan Trousers
- Asos Slim Fit Cropped Smart Trousers In Camel
- Zara Technical Fabric Trousers
- River Island Navy Cropped Slim Chino Trousers
- He By Mango Slim Cropped Dark Peter Jeans
Deep V-neck T-shirts
If you’re not a washed-up porn star, former Jersey Shore cast member or Ronaldo circa 2007, then you’d better have the self-love to stop short of trussing yourself up in one of these. Coming to prominence around the same time as the ‘metrosexual’, these breast-baring slithers of jersey don’t so much flaunt your gains as bizarrely feminise them – no matter how much of a Lothario you think they make you look.
Instead, stick to classic crew neck tees. And if you really must show off the results of benching PBs, then muscle fit styles are fine.
The Fix: Well-Fitting Crew Neck T-Shirts
- Nike Classic T-shirt 708336-010
- Reiss Habit Flecked Crew Neck T-shirt
- Allsaints Brace Tonic Crew T-shirt
- Handvaerk Pima Cotton-pique T-shirt
- Sunspel Q82 Crew Neck Tee
- Saturdays Brandon Heavy Jersey Tee
- Reiss Bless Crew Neck T-shirt Green
- Uniqlo Men Heattech Short Sleeve Crew Neck T-shirt
- Topman Selected Homme Grey T-shirt
Like Halloween’s Michael Myers, these boxy, clunky, ugly – yes, ugly – excuses for footwear simply refuse to die. We’re not sure (read: don’t care) why they were invented exactly but despite how ‘smart-casual’ you think they might look, or how comfortable they might be, we appeal to your humanity to chuck yours and save our eyes.
Remember when Prada tried to make them happen? Nope? Exactly. If even Mrs. P can’t make these work, no one can. So, scrap them, and stick to time-honoured silhouettes like classic round-toed brogues, Oxfords and Derbies instead. Your feet will thank you, and so will we.
The Fix: Round-Toed Shoes
- Asos Oxford Brogue Shoes In Brown Leather
- Reiss Paul Monk Strap Shoes Black
- He By Mango Leather Oxford Shoes
- Paul Smith Adrian Leather Oxford Shoes
- John Lobb William Leather Monk-strap Shoes
- Churchs Oslo Leather Derby Shoes
- M&s Collection Leather Lace Up Brogue Shoes
- M&s Collection Airflex Leather Toe Cap Oxford Shoes
- Ami Derby Shoe
The ‘Going Out’ Shirt
Two misconceptions birthed this fashion monstrosity. First, that you’re never dressed up without a ‘proper’ collar (thanks for that, mother). Second, that you’ll make more of an impact on potential breakfast guests if you’re wearing something that stands out (thanks, misogynistic pick-up artists).
Hence the going out shirt: oversized, obnoxiously printed and unfailingly worn untucked and unbuttoned to near the navel. It’s less a wingman, more a sartorial wing-clipping.
But ugliness aside, the main issue is that you don’t need a wardrobe dedicated to ‘going out’. Dress for where you’re heading, not the fact that you’re heading there. We’re already drowning in dress codes. Don’t invent another for the pub.
The Fix: Minimal Smart-Casual
- Asos Slim Blazer In Harris Tweed
- He By Mango Textured Unstructured Blazer
- Reiss Kent Leather Bomber Jacket Black
- He By Mango Textured Chinos
- River Island Black Dylan Slim Jeans
- Levis Made & Crafted Jeans Tack Slim Fit Rigid
- Nn.07 Derek Button-down Collar Cotton Oxford Shirt
- Paul Smith Denim Shirt
- Topman Charcoal/grey Crosshatch Slub Chambray Long Sleeve Casual Shirt
Football shirts are lazy merchandise. The minor updates and array of home, away, and training kits are designed to part punters from their cash. Somewhere, a board is probably considering how to foist resort and cruise collections on their fans as well.
The athleisure trend should make this kind of sportswear more palatable, but stylistically, the shirt itself is drowned out by the club; football’s tribalism means your outfit is accessorised with whatever baggage the crest brings with it.
Opt instead for a neutral take on the style, like Henry Holland’s tongue-in-cheek ‘lad’ range, or the recently relaunched sportswear brand Admiral. If you must display your colours, try a subtler scarf or sock instead.
The Fix: Smart Sportswear
- Fred Perry Mahogany Twin Tip Polo Tee
- Reclaimed Vintage Harrington Jacket
- Adidas Originals Samba Black And Gum Sole Trainers
- Fred Perry Texture Mix Track Jacket
- Navy And Grey Cut And Sew Track Top
- Adidas Spezial Long Sleeve Polo
- River Island Navy Skinny Joggers
- Uniqlo Men Sweat Long Sleeve Shirt
- Acne Studios Johna Hoody
Regardless of how much you can squat, no one wants to see the results bursting out of your denim. Supposedly inspired by the ban on belts in the US prison system, sagging jeans were adopted as an anti-authoritarian statement by L.A. gangs and the hip-hop stars they gave birth to. Unless you’re either, letting your jeans drop below your buttocks is sartorially short sighted at best, cultural appropriation at worst.
Jeans should sit on your hips to let the legs hang properly against yours, while tailoring should sit nearer your waist to prevent an acre of shirt appearing between your jacket closure and trousers. If your trousers fall down by themselves, congratulate yourself on sticking to that cardio regime and promptly reward yourself with some that actually fit.
The Fix: Well-Fitting Jeans
- Topman Raw Indigo Slim Fit Jeans
- Cheap Monday Jeans Sonic Slim Fit Near Black Worn
- J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Slim Grey Selvedge Jean
- He By Mango Slim-fit Grey Tim Jeans
- Reiss Falls Slim-fit Raw Jeans Indigo
- Uniqlo Men Slim Fit Selvedge Jeans
- River Island Blue Wash Dylan Slim Jeans
- Acne Studios Max Slim-fit Overdyed Denim Jeans
- G-star Raw 3301 Firro Denim Slim Jeans
Gap Year Jewellery
Unless you’re Mãori or in a nineties boyband, there’s no excuse for jewellery made from puka shells, beads, pebbles of dubious heritage or fraying strands of rope woven by this amazing Indian spirit healer, who really showed you how to discover yourself. You have a job now. It’s time to let those pre-uni days go.
That’s not to say jewellery is off the cards. Bracelets, cuffs, necklaces and rings are all fair game. Just choose simple styles that are minimal, lightweight, and act as an extension of your outfit rather than upstaging it.
The Fix: Grown-Up Jewellery
- Asos Midweight Chain
- Chained & Able Silver Logo Medallion Neckchain
- Icon Brand Helius Apollo Necklace In Silver
- Miansai Casing Woven Leather And Silver-plated Wrap Bracelet
- Mulberry Woven Leather Bracelet
- A.p.c. Jarvis Bracelet
- Topman Ridge Band Stainless Steel Ring
- Le Gramme 7mm Brushed Sterling Silver Ring
- Seven London Life Feather Ring
Oversized Belt Buckles
Freud would probably have had something to say about this. Much like a Lexus LX or an extensive air rifle collection, the idea behind a brash and brassy oversized belt buckle is to let everyone know you’re packing. But in reality it does exactly the opposite, not only exposing your deepest insecurities, but also your godawful sense of style.
Leave the giant eagles, bull horns and ornate antique crockery-like styles to the cast of WWE and downsize your XXL belt buckle to something more run of the mill. Not only will your denim look better, people will stop mistaking you for a line dancing instructor too. Win-win, really.
The Fix: Classic, Understated Belts
- He By Mango Canvas Belt
- Reiss Kurzwell Slim Leather Belt Dark Brown
- Allsaints Bryant Belt
- Montblanc 3cm Black Leather Belt
- Tods 3.5cm Brown Woven Suede And Cross-grain Leather Belt
- Andersons Woven Elasticated Belt
- A.p.c. Paris Belt
- Andersons Waxed Canvas Woven Belt
- Uniqlo Men Stretch Mesh Belt
It’s almost false advertising: with a name like ‘Crocs’ you’d – if encountering these otherworldly objects for the first time – be within your rights to expect masterfully crafted footwear luxuriously finished with reptile skin. But what you actually get is a pair of ‘foam clogs’. Foam. Clogs. No part of this sounds like it’s going to look good, does it?
Initially taking off in the latter half of the noughties, Crocs were praised for their unparalleled comfort and purported medical benefits according to a number of (staggeringly unsuperficial) podiatrists.
Frankly, no one cares how good your feet feel in them – unlike the once much maligned Birkenstock sandal, these will never regain their stylish status. Mostly because they never had it in the first place.
Want something lightweight, comfortable and summer-appropriate? Try a pair of espadrilles or driving shoes instead.
The Fix: Espadrilles & Drivers
- Ted Baker Muddi Leather Driving Shoes
- Aldo Tornadri Driving Shoes
- J. Crew Sperry For J.crew Driving Moccasins
- Gucci Horsebit Grained-leather Driving Shoes
- Castaner Pablo Canvas Espadrilles
- Folk Canvas Espadrilles
- Mulo Suede Espadrilles
- Rivieras Cotton Mesh Slip-on Shoes
- He By Mango Suede Driving Shoes
Fashion is a funny thing: being cyclical in its nature, it’s little wonder certain fads resurface twenty years down the line. The above trends, however, are less out of place in time, more strange occurrences that we hope and pray will never repeat themselves.
Do you have any trends to add to the funeral pyre?
Put a stop to crimes of style by commenting below.