Chances are you know someone who commits the ultimate in fashion faux pas. Maybe you are guilty of a few of these yourself. In either case, trust me when I tell you, I have been wanting to shout this list from the roof tops, as they involve the bare minimum in Image 101, and many individuals just have absolutely no clue. So here goes…

1. Sweatpants – Pants made of sweatshirt fabric: sweatpant

This is number one in my book. Unless you are a female college student wearing UGGS with your hair in a bun on your way to the nail salon, the sweatpants look is likely not for you. Should you have the need to wear them, it is better to wear them in your house where no one can see you 😉  If you would like others not to take you seriously, or if you want to be labeled as ‘that creepy guy in the sweatpants’, then by all means wear them to the mall!  If comfort is what you are searching for, there are many other options out there. You can check out Sports Authority, Modell’s, Dick’s, Eastern Mountain Sports or a similar retailer, and replace the sweatpants with any other comfortable looking pant that you can locate, such as these Adidas Men’s Track Pants… Make sure the bottoms are not elastic! Women definitely have more leeway here as there are variations of the style that are actually on trend, such as these:

e4e808509ccc50f437108cfb9509d044 front-pocket-sweat-pants

2. Sneakers – With anything but athletic wear (or scrubs): sneakers and jeans We’ve all seen them….the guy in the ‘dad’ jeans with white sneakers, or the woman in a work suit with stockings and gym socks with sneakers. Not a good look. Again, if comfort is what you’re searching for (maybe you have to walk to and from the office from the train station), there are many choices in footwear that offer both comfort and style, such as these Men’s Johnston & Murphy leather casual booties. Truthfully, even certain Easy Spirit shoes would be better than sneakers and jeans or sneakers and stockings in a skirt. Here are two more examples of alternatives: shoes women comfort2013_most_comfortable_fashion_casual_men_shoes

3. Pant Length:

suit-pants-length-too-shortPicture it….a great smile and a great suit.  Then, you get to the bottom of the ensemble and lo and behold, there they are….the ‘flood pants’. This is one faux pas that has some pretty clear guidelines so it should be relatively avoidable. A men’s pant should never ever be above the ankle, under any circumstances. The lengthPantsFit_Breaks of a pant should usually be at a half ‘break’. If you are unclear about the various types of ‘breaks’, here is an image with a clear visual description. It has been my experience that a full break can appear a bit sloppy, so I would recommend a half or quarter break. I would almost never recommend no break at all. Again, lucky for us, women have more leeway here because there are capri length, ankle length and boot cut bottoms to choose from. However, as a general rule of thumb, ladies, unless you are wearing ankle cut skinny jeans, a half break should be the goal specifically for a dress pant.

4. ‘Mom/Dad’ Jeans:

Firstly, nothing against moms (I am one) or dads (I have one), but there are too many of these types of jeans available to the public. I mom-jeansam convinced there is a secret mom/dad jeans store that exists somewhere. Following is a list of criteria. If your jeans meet one or more of these, it is time to get rid of them.

  • 1. Does the butt area sag?
  • 2. Is the wash of the jeans a faded light blue ‘lived in’ finish or even better, are they stonewashed?
  • 3. Does the waist go up so high that the space between your chest and the top button of your jeans is minimal?

Finding the right pair of jeans can be a daunting task for some. However, finding a pair that is the appropriate brand, cut, budget and style is possible.

5. Sandals with Socks:

birkenstock_and_socks_flickr_cc_stevenjudeThere is not a whole lot to say about this one. Sandals and socks do not belong together. If it’s hot enough to wear sandals, you don’t need the socks. If it’s too cold not to wear socks, it’s time to put the sandals away for next season and break out the fall/winter shoes.