A faux pas literally means “false step” in French. In fashion specifically, it is best described as a blunder, error or major breach in style judgment. Now taking the role as purveyor of street style in Philadelphia, I’d say there are entire seasons that can be considered one big, prolonged fashion faux pas. Winter perhaps tops this list of seasons most susceptible to style slip-ups. Cold and snow is synonymous with winter and therefore, many use wintry weather as an excuse (one that is completely unwarranted) to bundle up in tasteless attire that is unbecoming of any true gentleman. Winston Churchill once said, “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.” So be wise my fellow SEEG readers. We all make mistakes but now is better time than any to learn and spring forward into the new season. Let us revisit and more importantly, renounce the most common fashion faux pas during winter. 1. Puffy Coat
Unless you’re planning to go skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing or partaking in any form of physical activity where you may or may not be immersed in snow, avoid this look. I may be one lady but I speak for all women, with complete confidence, when I say neither the Michelin Man nor the Pillsbury Doughboy tickle my fancy. These jackets don’t look good on anyone— the tall and thin, the fat and short, or the big and strong. Sure they might make you feel all warm and cuddly inside but on the contrary, others will silently presume you indulged in one too many cookies and pies over the holidays.
2. Toboggan hats
A toboggan hat is basically the old school term for a knit cap or beanie. The rule of thumb when it comes to winter hats is to avoid logos, patterns or (gasp) pom-poms. And not to mention the oversized knit beanies that make you look like a hobo. I know I know, I’m being a spirit killer with the whole no logo bit but seriously, must you advertise your love for the Eagles atop your head? There’s a time and place to spread your love for your sports team on your attire—and that my friends is called a tailgate. And pom-poms, really? If you’re trying to embrace your inner cheerleader, that’s your business. Gimme an “F”, gimme an “A”, gimme a “U”, gimme an “X”… Well you see where this is going...
3. Ski gloves
See the first faux pas for reasons to avoid. No snow, no ski gloves. They’re called ski gloves for a reason.
4. Sneakers as Boots
I’ve seen this faux pas an absurd amount of times. It is both unflattering and hazardous. Sneakers are not alternatives for boots guys. You probably will quickly realize that when you find yourself slipping and sliding in your New Balances and eventually eating pavement in the unsalted streets of Philadelphia. It’s not a pretty sight to behold. Do yourself and your bruised bum a favor and invest in a pair of winter boots.
5. Spring/Summer wear
This is perhaps the worst offender of this list. It seems like common sense, to wear weather appropriate attire but you’d be surprised. I’ve seen it all. Jeans and flip-flops, North Face fleece jackets and khaki shorts… the list goes on (unfortunately). Clothes should be properly coordinated with the season and weather. In winter it is especially important to remember clothes are not only worn for fashion but comfort as well. Wearing sandals and shorts in 45°F weather and shivering from the cold air does not seem comfortable and certainly not fashionable. When the temperature drops, the summer fashion stops. Please and thank you.