Let me say this right up front – some of these items can be worn VERY successfully by other women, so please don’t jump all over me if some of your favorites are on my list. This is MY PERSONAL stuff to avoid – nobody else’s. Although at least one or two of these are always going to be a challenge to virtually anybody…
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An oasis of sanity here.
Surely you are my baby sister. Ditto all, except perhaps leather and skulls, which play a small part in my Moto-Chic wanna-be fantasy ;)
I agree with most, but seem to have to revisit occasionally and make an expensive mistake. I keep trying leather, but find it isn't my thing either. I can handle designer logo's when they are very very understated. Another one I would add to my list is high contrast prints, one of the things I like on others but never on myself.
I have to agree with you on most of this, with the exeption of waterfall cardigans (because my favourite cashmere cardigan is exactly that shape – hopefully I'm one of those who wear it well), the colour yellow because it looks great on me, and leather (jackets). One of my definite no's are bold flower prints – I look like I'm wearing a curtain, but I can still appreciate it on others:)
I am so WITH YOU on all of this, with the slight exception of leather. I'm trying to rock a leather skirt, but I may end up agreeing with you b/c it's a tricky business. Thank you for this affirmation that I'm not crazy for not wanting a skull-print logo-adorned leather waterfall cardigan. XO
Gracey at Fashion for Giants says
Oh, what a fun post. I don't agree with all of them – I have a waterfall cardi that I love and would love to be tough enough to rock studs, but I so feel you on the toe-less boots (it doesn't make any sense) and the logos. I sort of like the black and tan pair of platforms but find the others horrendous. All in all, loved reading this!
I love every yellow item you have up there. Hee hee. But then I can't make a white button-front shirt work, and that is on everyone's Must Have list, and so is camel, which I look ghastly in. So fun to read this!
Great list even though I do like yellow. I also like my leather jacket, but I wouldn't be caught dead in either leather pants or a skirt. They look always a bit cheap. When I saw the first set of items I knew this would be a fun post!
C'est Moi says
here here on the skulls – personally i find them morbid to wear on my person but admit they can suit others nicely. also agree on the incomplete booties, don't understand them at all! can i add to the ruffles and waterfall cardigans – butterfly sleeves and batwing/dolman sleeves. anything with excessive fabric rarely suits (at least me). great list!
i too could never wear ruffles, not even as a toddler-tailored clothing only (hello, navy blue sailor dress!). my mother also taught me at a young age when i was lusting after a hugely logoed (sp?) shirt that if i was going to wear someone else's name/logo so obviously while walking around in public, they should pay *me* for the advertising.
Oh yes, I so agree with many of these! I just can't seem to see the logic in the whole "hooker shoe" platform thing nor the spikes. Unless you are on a Harley I don't get the leather thing either. Oh this post just made me smile today.
Tish Jett says
It's possible to add to your list, but not subtract. I think I would add reptile prints. They make my skin crawl and I know lots of women love them. And, of course, they're very fashion-y.
See you soon chez moi.
Big public hug,
Dearest Vivienne! I agree with everything on your list. I might make an exception for suede, although I don't own any now. I second the marvelous Tish on reptile prints. I thought I was the only one, but then I don't much care for animal prints either. I like yellow in principle, but look sickly in almost any shade of same.This was so much fun.
I'd keep the waterfall cardigans and the leather, but agree with you on all the rest.
Spiral Style says
Agree on most. I do love my leather jacket and I have a yellow leather handbag that is a lovely pop of color. I think I'm in agreement on everything else, especially footwear!
I agree also with everything here except the waterfall Cardigan. I do love those and also hope I am one who wears it well. If not, well I am fooling myself. Have toyed with the idea of a leather edgy jacket, but don't have one. Great posts, spikes on shoes? Ick. Continued thanks for the effort you put into to your blog that makes my day more enjoyable.
hostess of the humble bungalow says
I have a longer dressy cardigan in black tweedy fabric with a ruffled edging detail which I absolutely love and I have just purchased a yellow T shirt so I am in trouble yet again with The Fashion Police…
The great thing about fashion is it's about personal preference and what suits our bodies and how we put it all together.
I have come late to fashion as that gene passed from my mother to my daughter and I am having so much fun now that I have simplified my wardrobe to revolve around black and grey and white with a few LBD's, simple tees and tanks and cashmere cardigans and well fitting pants. Accessories are where I incorporate more colour.
I like your style very much and would love to see images of you wearing these outfits.
esme noir says
great list idea! i agree with all but three: maybe to the waterfall cardigan, ok to mustard yellow, and i do love a nice leather jacket. ooh reptile prints make my skin crawl too, as do real reptiles! on my NEVER list: shorts, miniskirts, short poufy sleeves, most heels, square necklines, and sadly, it's starting to look as though skinny jeans will be there too!
BB Kowalski says
Looking through this post, I found myself saying 'Yes!" again and again. I also have tried leather jackets on occasion and they never did anything for me. And I'm so pleased to find it's not just me and the waterfall cardigan! As an aside, may I add that your previous comments about the trench coat have been positively liberating. It appears on every list of essential wardrobe items, but everyone I have ever owned or tried on made me feel like the late English actress Margaret Rutherford (Blithe Spirit and some 1950 Agatha Christie movies including 4.50 from Paddington). As hostess says it is all about personal preference and in a way personal expression.
Thank you again for your blog which I always enjoy reading.
ditto, ditto, ditto!!!
I agree with most of these although I will admit to small logos on my Ferragamo Varas, and a few Polo tee shirts. I add gathered skirts to my personal list. They look good on others, but not me!
I agree with it all. However, I can't believe the comments supporting the waterfall sweater. Ladies, please look in the mirror! They aren't attractive on anyone.
aesthetic intelligence says
What you said!
I'm totally with you (except the yellow. For some strange reason I look really good in 'difficult' colors, like orange and yellow. I also love the yellow items you selected.
Great post, as usual.
I'm just glad I'm not the only one who questions Louboutin's often crazy designs.
I have to say I love McQueen scarves and wear mine all the time. It's the only "edgy" piece I have.
Jill Ann says
Right there with you on almost all these items! I like a leather jacket, but would be afraid to try pants or a skirt. Any logos must be teeny tiny in order to be tolerated. Hate, hate, those hooker shoes; can't wait till they're out of style! And have never liked ruffles. I will add puffy sleeves and ankle-strap shoes to my personal hit list.
I agree with almost all of these, though I have sampled some leather garments with success. I'm drawn to bright yellow, but it does not look like much on me.
Renee @ AddMoreChocolate says
Thank you for being the voice of reason! Once upon a time I liked the waterfall look until I realized…Why on earth am I adding more fabric to the one part of my body I want to minimize. Volume is volume, no matter how "flawy" it is.
I love this post and have found that there is much benefit from drawing up these type of lists. Personal style derives as much from, may be even more so, what you choose to refrain from as what you choose to wear. I've written about this before – just look at ladies known for their personal style. NONE of the are known form 'wearing everything' – to the contrary, they choose what they love and what looks great and they stick just with that! I like to think of the 'two hepburns', Audrey and Katherine. It's difficult to think of any overlapping items. They had their style edited to a gnat's eyelash.
That said, i can only go with about half of these :) love yellow, love open heel or toe shoes (hello, i'm eccentric), camo, spiky things (when i was a girl i'd wear fishing lures as earrings with the hooks still on), ruffles……but rest assured, i reject garments, trends, colors all the time! have fun, steph
I agree with most of this too. However, I love waterfall cardigans for my body shape provided they drape nicely. Ruffles I can enjoy if not overdone. And there is only one shade of yellow that is permissible for me to wear on my color wheel–I think I own it in a tank and I rarely, if ever, wear it. Otherwise, I am on the same page with you. xo Bliss
OOOH, I like your style! usually do…
I do like the beige, suede boots – but only to look at! My feet hurt just thinking about wearing them!! hee, hee!
I fully agree with your list. I never wore any of these items and never will!! Some of them belong to the bitchy trend in fashion : metal spikes, platfom shoes. I like well-cut clothes and true fabric (no viscose !!). I refer to the APC and Ages B brands ! And yes I am French !
By the way I love your blog and have started to built my 8 essentials in navy and light grey. I have difficulties to find knee-length dresses !
Lost in Provence says
Brilliant, as always. There are way too many things that I could add to this so I'll just leave it at that.
I am with Anonymous from France: where can we find knee-length or slightly below the knee dresses that are affordable and chic? I'm stuck on that as well as I build my not so crazy 8s. Please advise!!
Such a fun as well as helpful post. Yes, we should all draw up a list of our own personal "don't try this at home" clothing items!
I love this list. Great reminder about staying away from trends. This could also apply to hair and maketup. Please, less flat irons and bright red lips on the over 40 crowd!
I couldn't agree more with your choices–especially the waterfall cardigans. I have yet to encounter a woman whom they flatter. I might add one thing: the overdose of color this season. I agree a little pop can be a nice addition but I've seen some combinations on the street lately that took the message way too far and are almost 'clownish' in appearance.
I came across your blog a couple of months ago and now read it daily — it's great!
Did you read my mind? These are all the no-nos I keep away from
Susan G says
I agree with everything. I've considered a waterfall cardigan in the past, but I don't need a droopy front, especially with a full bust. And yellow? Shudder.
I really enjoyed this! I say YES to almost all! I still like yellow in accessories and clothes, perfect when I actually get a bit of a tan by the end of summer, the items you selected are not too shabby either. I also like hunting green but not top to bottom and never camouflage patterns…
Well…a few of your "NO's" are my YES's"…I too am a motorcycle chick wanna-be; I just made a fun Moto jacket, and I do like a leather jacket and some spiky shoes…what a fun reaction I get when I wear them! But I'm with you on the logos, ruffles, camo and yellow…
Like the way you've put these up as your own personal No-Nos and are not trying to impose rules. I'm like-minded on many of your Nos, especially on the shoes and the spikes, would also give a personal No to bags with lots of metal hardware/bling on them, apart from how they look, they make the bag too heavy – feels like you are lifting a ton, even before you put everything in it.
Love the yellows, they have such happiness and power, but sadly can't wear them either. I compromise when I feel the need for yellow by wearing a zingy bangle. Love the beige leather jacket, but think you'd have to be about the same dimensions as a runway model to look good in it. Agree about the logos too, only OK if they're very small and discreet. One of my other personal No-Nos are strange hemlines, especially ones that are a bit like the waterfall jackets. However, have a friend who is an sculptor who looks great in them – she also wears unusual and wonderful colour combinations. Also not keen on all beige combinations, to me they're very boring.
Agree with contributor who pointed out that trench coats aren't for everyone, and loved her reference to the incomparable Margaret Rutherford. So true. Katherine Hepburn, in her later years at least, wore quite a bit of camel, but she generally wore it with scarlet or black or both, eg a camel jacket with a red or black polo-neck underneath. She looked amazing. Camel worn with beige can just wash you out and isn't a good combination anyway.
This post and the responses certainly reinforce the fact that style and taste are very personal and individual, we shouldn't try to clone ourselves on what is on the runways, or what is regarded as elegant by the French or in New York or anyone else. Personal style and taste are not about what's in fashion at any given time, it's putting together outfits that work to suit the individual woman and her personality and make her feel good about herself. It's so important to feel confident and enjoy what one wears.
You HAVE to read this 'An Open Letter to Sandal Boots' by Allie Brosh (she is hilarious)
I wholehearedly agree with your list, but I thought I was the last person in the world who doesn't like platform shoes! Everyone's wearing them where I live, and just face it, it does not look good in reality if it looks dumb even in a fashion blog. Sorry platform shoes wearers but in a few years they're going to look ugly even to you.
Two exceptions: Yellow looks OK on me, not my favorite color, but I do agree that we should avoid colors that make us look bad. For me personally that is very pale colors, like palest grey and palest beige, guess they are too close to my skintone.
Leather jacket: I own a faux leather (black) jacket, my only 'leather look garment'. It looks classic, there are no silly zippers or spikes. It's so practical and great in windy climate.
By the way I have just discovered your blog and LOVE it. What other 'sane' fashion blogs do you know? Any recommendations? :)
So agree with your list. Except yellow, some people – not many – can wear it well. Waterfall caridgans seem like a good idea, but I have never seen anyone wear them well. Also skirt lengths that are uneven, shorter at the front than back. or shorter on one side, they just look wierd to me.
Love your list. Thank you for freeing me from those waterfall cardis. I thought I was the only one out there that hated them. Ruffled blouses, bleh.
I TOTALLY agree with all of it! SOOOO happy I found your blog.
I was very close to purchasing a waterfall cardigan. I actually thought it might be nice for my figure (large abdomen) as a camouflage. Will have to reconsider that. Hmmm…Maybe I should get one in Camouflage pattern, a spiky "statement" necklace and skull earrings and some yellow extreme platform shoes or boots. I was thinking of accessorizing it with a short black leather skirt, and a reptilian handbag. That ought to take the attention away from my midriff. ;)
Absolutely agree on every point, even though I keep trying yellow over and over, expecting a different result. Insanity! ;)
I like the tuxedo front cardigans, but I have to have the even hemline. No asymetrical hemlines for me…too 80s. I'm partial to the camo in little accent bits but I WAS a soldier. Never could do the ruffles, spikes, or platform shoes.
So agree with all of these. I would add shawls even though I'm in my 60's. They remind me of my grandmother!!!
Thank you. I feel
I'm so glad you published this. For years now I couldn't understand why women wear platforms?! Their feet always look like hooves to me.
I agree with everything and would perhaps add few more things. Cropped tops (what is the percentage of women with good looking belly?!), Killer heels (funny walk), short sleeve wool jumpers (what's the point?) trainers with high heels (point?), etc.
Thank you, for your blog it's been a great pleasure reading your posts ever since I discovered Vivienne files! Keep it going, you are wonderful.
I love this. Some I absolutely agree with you and others not so much. But that was the purpose of the post was what you didn't like and I appreciate your honesty. (I wish I could wear yellow, it's my favorite color, but I can't so I won't.)