5 Fashion Faux Pas You Should Stop Making Right Now

The worst sartorial faux pas you can make is looking like you are trying too hard.

Giorgio Armani

Fashion faux pas are like a crazy uncle’s bad joke: although mildly amusing, we are usually left rolling our eyes and shaking our heads. And the guilty parties usually fall into one of two categories: 1) Those who obviously don’t own a mirror and 2) those who own a mirror but don’t care what it’s telling them. Either way, it is the rest of us who suffer the most…because we are the ones viewing the unsightliness first hand.

There is a fine line between exhibiting a personal style and just getting it all wrong, especially in Vancouver, where personal style is often defined by which Lululemon pants or which white Converse you choose to wear that day. Having said that, there are actually some pretty stylish folks wandering the streets of Vancouver; you just have to find them amid those who try, but ultimately fall short.

As we head into Fall and Winter, here are the top five Vancouver Fashion Faux Pas:

1. Socks With Sandals

It actually doesn’t matter which season we are talking about; this combo is never good. Think about it: sandals are for letting the feet breathe; socks are for suffocating and protecting the feet. It’s a fashion oxymoron. Unless you are living alone in an isolated forest cabin, wool socks and Birkenstocks should not be allowed out of the house.

2. Flip Flops

Perhaps because of Vancouver’s relatively temperate climate, many believe that flip flops are OK – anywhere, anytime. Wrong. Unless you are within 50 metres of a beach or a pool, flip flops are simple unnecessary. And if you are going to do it, make sure it is within a week of your latest pedicure.

3. Fluorescent Bras With White T-Shirts

This was a pretty cool look…for about a week. And then it became a little tired. Then it became a little trashy, as well intentioned women of all ages and body sizes caught the wave. But all waves eventually crash. When it comes to fashion, sometimes you have to leave a little for the imagination. When it comes to style, sometimes you have to remember the power of subtlety.

4. Yoga/Athletic Pants With Heels

Thanks in large part to Lululemon, yoga pants are as ubiquitous as beards in Vancouver. But unless you wear heels to the gym or out for a jog, this combination is a no-no. Ironically, simple black leggings are half the price and twice as classy

5. Brown on Brown

Pulling off matching colours from top to bottom is one of the toughest accomplishments in fashion. Even using different shades, it’s the equivalent of a milk-flavoured milkshake: bland. Brown on brown is the worst culprit: it is bland on bland. So unless you work for UPS, or plan on dressing up as a paper bag for Halloween, find some colour for that outfit.

Fashion faux pas will always exist. But, don’t worry – there is still hope! Although Vancouver is the home to more than a few fashion blunders, there still exist some quality local stores where you are safe to shop, faux pas-free. Here are some of our current favorites:

  • Neighbour, a men’s and women’s fashion shop founded in Vancouver
  • Still Life, a men’s and women’s fashion retailer with locations in Victoria and Vancouver
  • CNTRBND (Contraband), a destination shopping experience for men in Vancouver and Toronto


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