It's time to lock up these style crimes for good


Fashion Editor, Louise Heller investigates

Louise Heller, Fashion Editor for Magpie Style


If there is one mantra that I live by as a stylist, its that we should be able to wear whatever we want, if it looks and makes us feel amazing.

But let's be honest, there are some styles that have been hanging around New Zealand wardrobes for far too long that likely shouldn't have been there in the first place.



The Drop-Crutch-Stripy Track Pant

When did lounge pants become acceptable to wear with heeled boots and a dressy top to the cafe, restaurant? I’ll tell you when.. NEVER!

These deliciously comfortable pants are best worn at home, on the couch, cosied up with a good movie and bag of popcorn. I’ve seen too many women hide away their curves and shape thinking they are “covering up” but in actual fact, they are just drawing attention to the one spot they really don’t want to.

There are some fabulous styles of pants out there that will enhance your shape, whilst still allowing comfort and ease, it’s just about talking to the right people who can steer you in the right direction (yes, that's us!)


Sheer Batwing Tops

Not many people know this about me, but I suffer from a bad allergy.

When I see a Women's figure in all shapes and sizes, wearing bright sheer over-sized bat-winged tops, my body starts to go into anaphylactic shock. Now I know you might think it hides your “worst parts”, but time and time again when I point out to clients that it actually makes you look bigger than you are - it’s like a light-bulb moment.

So let’s bring your wonderful body that you were given out from underneath, as we can all see it anyway and start wearing more flattering styles in shapes that move and flow with your body rather than against it. There is a plethora of beautiful tops in bright prints and colours available, just as long as you keep the tassel necklace away, which brings me to my next offence.


The Tassle Necklace

In the mid 2000's, these sparkly-tassel-danglers released their way into almost every New Zealand boutique. Women went crazy! I saw TREES made of them. Bought up large up in every colour possible, this then gave birth to great oversized metal ones.

There are countless designs of beautiful jewellery that will do a similar look or feel. But for now, tassels belong on curtains and university mortarboards. So, go on... have a count up and put them to rest.

It's time to donate these dazzlers to the kids dress-up box - once and for all. 



The Furry Loafer

I get it, it’s all about the hot new “it” shoe. Did I want some… yes, you can bet your sweet nana’s scones I did.

That said, where is the sensibility and practicality in winter shoes that are sooo dreadfully susceptible to rain. A disaster waiting to happen as a mere drizzle of water reduces your beloved loafers shoes into a wet cat - at any given moment

When Gucci initially launched this style, it set off a global street-style phenomenon.  But it didn’t take long before every Tom, Dick and Harry started producing knock-offs in lesser fabrics. This is where it all went downhill. As the quality plummeted, so did the look.

As a rule, when you’re teenage daughter, niece starts wearing the trend, exit stage left.


Ripped Denim Shorts (on women over 35)

There, I said it. Women over 35 should NOT wear ripped denim cut-offs on the streets as a wardrobe staple. Ever.

There’s a certain skin patina we get as we age from the mid-thigh and up, and no one should be forced to look at this out of their own free will. To be honest, I don’t want to even see it on anyone over 20-25 in the mall, on the street or in a bar.

The only exception to this fashion rule is the beach, when you are tanned up, wearing over your togs and merely wearing round the campsite OR you are home decorating and these are the shorts dujour because you don’t mind getting paint on them.

Recently, a dear friend of mine and her husband were following a young woman on an escalator and were accosted unwillingly by pair of cut-off denim shorts with a bottom hanging out. What did they do you ask? Nothing! But they now have an image burned into their memories and something to tell their young daughter on the perils of breaking this modesty law. 

Pictured: How short can you go...Ask yourself, is this really a good look?


The Zip Wedge Sneaker

Dear Girlfriends, I’m sorry for what you’re about to read.

Around 5 years ago this shoe style arrived on our shores, and if there is one thing that us kiwis love, it’s to make sure we are unique but still look like everyone else because we actually don’t like to stand out .
"Flowers, Flowers, get your Tall Poppies here!”. They took off nationwide, Yummy Mums wanting to add height while still looking casual and chic, lengthening their legs to make their already amazing bodies leaner whilst still managing to look heavy in the shoe area.  They came in silver, gold, white or black so they went with everything. And NOW they come in millennial pink… Millennial Pink!!

Why are these shoes are not attractive? it's because they make a woman's foot look heavier than they are.

Look around my fellow shoe lovers, there are so many fabulous options for shoes that will fulfill your casual lifestyle requirements.



Woolly Capes and Poncho’s

Did someone just say “Jump in the Ute, Sheena - we’re off to get the sheep in”.

On it's own a wool poncho or cape is the definition of warmth. But this shouldn’t mean you wear them as a fashion statement in the city, or worse, with all of the above.

My very clever and beautiful Mum hand-knitted one for me when I was pregnant with my first born, 14 years ago, to wear over my growing body. But once he was out, that thing was banished - I hated looking like a pregnant women when I was no longer.

Keep it aside for visits to the cousins farm where you can look yonder over the rolling hills in your faux-farm get-up while whistling at the sheep.


Jackets: Worn hanging off your shoulders.

Forgive me Fashion Father, for I have sinned. I did this myself in a bid to fit in with the street-style set...But I ended up looking like an absolute fashion-fail.  My husband and I were at a super impressive Christmas party when I stepped back, fell down a hole and managed to fall forwards, Music screeched to a halt, jacket on the floor and everyone laughed! (I think they were just super impressed that I didn't spill my cocktail.) 

Now this trend has traveled far-and-wide, nationally, internationally and across genders. Last week while in Sydney I counted at least ten dapper looking men wear this trend with their trench coats, leather and denim jackets over their shoulders. What is it that we are all trying to do here? just look cool maybe?

It’s not fashion forward, because if you look back round, it will just fall off your shoulders anyway. I say enough with this, lets take a stand and just put our arms through the sleeves and be done with it.


We've all had some fashion fails through the years, If you still have some faux pas lurking and you would like advice, follow our link below to get in touch.

We would love to hear from you - what is your worst crime committed in the name of fashion?!


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Glad to see you ditched the video. That was fashion shaming and a bit nasty to be honest

— Marilyn Revell

Ditto above comments.

— Karen

I’m so pleased everyone is different.
My name is Marilyn and I love my zip wedge sneaker and my ponchos. I even have some tassell necklaces and batwing tops
There I said it
I agree about the drop crutch pants and the ripped denim shorts though

— Marilyn Revell