Fugly Fashion: Fashion Forward or Faux Pas?

fugly fashion
Latest posts by Georgie Gough (see all)

We have all seen them. Whether it’s the student wearing an ‘ironic’ t-shirt, or the guy viewing the world through Harry Potter specs with no lenses, they are a fashion fugly breed which resides in every city. But are these people the height of thrown together fashion, or simply in need of a prescription?

When it comes to fashion choices, I whole heartedly applaud the innovative, the bold and the brave. It’s how street fashion portrays social identities, creates new styles and even influences what appears in high street stores and on the catwalk. However, I have increasing disdain and annoyance for the individuals who wish to adorn themselves in hideous apparel with the mantra ‘it’s so ugly my look is ironic and therefore fashion forward.’

The only ironic thing about said aesthetic is the painstaking effort these people put into finding and creating these ‘effortless’ looks. Diving through charity shop bins to find the most garishly printed long sleeved shirt, accessorizing with a thick chain salvaged from a ‘cash for gold’ collection point, and completing the look with painted on jeans, baseball cap and the aforementioned empty frames. They will probably also be sporting an ironic tache and have last year’s festival bands rotting on their wrist, but I hate to stereotype.

Please don’t get me wrong – I’m a fan of recycling clothes, be it charity shops, vintage shops, hand me downs, or that jumper at the back of the wardrobe you can’t bring yourself to throw away, then low and behold a few years later it’s suddenly bang on trend. I’m specifically talking about the guys and girls who seek out the ugly to give off the impression they are beyond fashion. They scoff at trends and put immense effort into making sure everyone around them also believes they are too cool for all that, they’ve reached a higher plain. I celebrate individuality, but don’t use your look to play reverse psychology on your peers, as we all care about our appearance and the impression we make. You can absolutely ignore and subvert trends, but you can’t fight human nature.

fugly fashion

It’s not only the sight of these self proclaimed ‘fashionistas’ which is, to be honest, ridiculous, but their attire is rarely weather appropriate. The classic – oversized vest which reveals bullet nipples as the fabric is blown from their body in a violent September gale. Another favourite – the ones sweating it out in bright skinny jeans tucked into boots, with a t-shirt and woolly beanie in the height of summer. Or the moth eaten tweed blazer worn three sizes too big with too short chinos, brogues without socks and an ‘ironic’ school rucksack. The list is endless.

Perhaps some blame for bad taste should be placed on the fashion industry itself. The recently instated Mens Fashion Weeks provide some gorgeous (models) and some…special designs. This year saw men in the pictured examples of designer fashion, including pub carpet prints and pulled up socks on exposed shins…

fugly fashion

Maybe my view of fashion is passé, but I don’t understand the concept of wearing ugly, ill fitting clothes. Fashion to me is all about the beautiful. Beautiful fabrics, beautiful colours that ‘pop’ on the wearer, shapes which highlight and accentuate the body, and styles which reflect mood, personality and attitude.

Fugly fashion should be avoided at all costs, and if you’re an offender, don’t be arrogant and think those are appreciative, admiring glances people are throwing your way. They are thinking WTF, not ‘I wish I was that cool’. If you want to look good, it helps to wear clothes that are visually appealing. If a trend doesn’t flatter you, don’t buy into it. If you’re going for coffee, don’t wear a bow tie and brogues. If you have never needed to go to Specsavers, for God’s sake, don’t wear glasses.