5 Fashion Don’ts

posted in: Fashion, Lists 121 comments

The gorgeous Nicole of Moments That Define Life has a fun new weekly linkup – Listable Life. I’m a list freak, so duh, of course I’m going to play!

Especially since one of this week’s prompts concerns fashion.

The prompt? 5 fashion trends you wish you had not taken part in. 

I so wish I had pictures to go with this prompt.

Oh wait, I MAY have a gem or two lying around.

Just promise you won’t think less of me, laugh behind my back and wish you hadn’t met me.

Okay, you can laugh. I’ll wait.


The things I do for this blog.

Disclaimer: The outfits featured here may or may not have been trends. I did not read fashion magazines then. That much will be obvious.

Never, ever, agree to wearing an all-matching track suit in red. With a red tee-shirt inside. Even at 9 years of age. I apologize for causing your head to explode.

Never, ever wear tee-shirts that have the words ‘Beach Bum’ on it. Complete with graphic. Oh, and oversized? So 1991. I also apologize for the bad hair. I was 15. Talk about awkward.


Never, ever wear ugly shoes with a hot dress. I wrote a whole post about this outfit so let’s not rehash the horror. But those shoes, oh my.


Never, ever wear brown on brown. The velvet brown jacket, the oversized brown sweater – I look like I rolled in mud. And I remember actually being really pleased with my bargain find (the jacket cost only 10 British pounds!) and liking that sweater. But, I was only 20. What did I know? (clearly, nothing)


Never, ever wear tie-dyed shirts. Just.Don’t. (And my sister was even younger then, so don’t judge her poor choice of clothes. She’s a fashionista these days). I do like my Doc Martens though.

I promise you, no more track suits, oversized tees or sweaters, velvet jackets or tie dyed shirts.

Just yoga pants.


Also linking up with the fabulous Yeah Write (formerly known as lovelinks, a wonderful blogging community). You should totally check it out.

Now that I’ve completed my humiliation, I insist you tell me what YOUR fashion faux pas were.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

Latest posts by Alison (see all)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • January 25, 2012 Erica M

    Asymmetrical haircuts, mammoth shoulder pads, baggy black jeans with red Chuck Taylors, constant white t-shirts with everything. Oh and mock turtlenecks from The Limited.

    What do I win?
    Erica M recently wrote…maybe to make myself feel at home, I should rip the C key off my new keyboardMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      A trophy in the shape of shoulder pads?

  • January 25, 2012 Carolyn

    Acid-wash jeans and neon t-shirts.
    I can go on and on…
    Carolyn recently wrote…Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon OilMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      I had neon tees too!!

  • January 25, 2012 Diane

    I had that same tie-dyed shirt. I kid you not. Only I had matching pants to go with it! There’s a pic of me wearing it around here somewhere but I’m not sure I want to find it.
    Diane recently wrote…Ten Things That Give Me Anxiety…My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Oooh matching tie-dyed pants!!! Yee haw.

  • January 25, 2012 Carri

    Oh man, if I had a dollar for every time I wore a flannel shirt and boy’s shorts….
    Carri recently wrote…Instagram is My CrackMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      A picture. That’s what I need.

  • January 25, 2012 Leslie

    Two words…stirrup pants. ‘Nuff said.

    (In my defense, I was 11 and it was the tail end of bad 80s fashion!)
    Leslie recently wrote…{A Year of Parties} Vote Now!My Profile

  • January 25, 2012 Jessica

    Well, most of my worst fashion choices included the unfortunate trends of the late 80s and early 90s. I’ll boil it down for you: shoulder pads, big bangs, sports bras under sleeveless T-shirts. *shudder*
    Jessica recently wrote…To My Mommy FriendsMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Oh my, sports bras under sleeveless tees!! Very we, aerobics-inspired. 😉

  • January 25, 2012 Galit Breen

    Amen, to the yoga pants! 🙂
    Galit Breen recently wrote…Once Upon A TimeMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      WHAT would we do without yoga pants???

  • January 25, 2012 Kimberly

    You’d be impressed at the hideous pictures I could pull out for this topic. It’s sad. I should really bury the evidence.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Dreams Come TrueMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Well, of course I need to see those pictures now.

  • January 25, 2012 Krystyn

    The tie-dye is my favorite….reminds me of Hypercolor shirts (please tell me you know what I’m talking about)…oh, those were awesome.
    Krystyn recently wrote…Wii…in style | WWMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      I’m embarrassed to admit that I DO know what you’re talking about. Ahem.

  • January 25, 2012 Ali

    Oh come on! You look adorable as always. Especially in that jogging suit.
    Ali recently wrote…Random Ali Facts – Round 2My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Good thing I was only 9 in that picture, eh?

  • January 25, 2012 Elaine

    “Just yoga pants” – ha ha ha!! I had a rainbow tie-dyed shirt that I loved. What where we thinking!?!?!
    Elaine recently wrote…Thank goodness I have LOTS of photos…My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Um… we weren’t? 🙂

  • January 25, 2012 My Inner Chick

    —Mama A,
    I loved this post.

    I may copy it!!

    That dress is HOT & So Are you.

    Like I said before, I have those shoes,too!! Xx
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Ten Things I Love About YouMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Oh, DO this post, please! 🙂

  • January 25, 2012 Rach (DonutsMama)

    Does chopping my long hair off into a boy cut count as a HUGE fashion faux pas? And I wondered why nobody asked me out…
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently wrote…Back in the Kitchen: Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom GravyMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      OMG I did that too when I was 17!!

  • January 25, 2012 Mama and the City

    All the “bad” fashion around your life is well compensated by the big smile on your face. That is priceless and worth it. The best fashion right there.

    p.s. the brown on brown was not the problem, as you said, the lose on lose item was kind of an overseen detail. 🙂
    Mama and the City recently wrote…I Did Not KnowMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Hehe, I always try to smile in pictures, I look pissed off otherwise 😉

  • January 25, 2012 Tonya

    Fun post!

    Bangs was my worst fashion mistake… But there was also stir-ups, body suits, acid washed jeans, holey jeans, panty hose with sandals, stop me anytime!
    Tonya recently wrote…Dancing In My HeartMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      I too, had holey jeans. My mother used to say I looked like a homeless person 🙂

  • January 25, 2012 Sherry

    LOL! Great list! I love the doc martens. I actually dusted mine off recently…of course it was for a four wheeler ride but still…glad I kept them all these years.

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      I have no idea what happened to mine! (discarded with those ugly clothes, most likely)

  • January 25, 2012 Jessica

    I used to wear tie dyed shirts with floral skirts and no shoes. I was the fashion icon of the hippies.
    Jessica recently wrote…Kauai In PicturesMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      That’s because you hadn’t discovered cowboy boots yet.

  • January 25, 2012 Sarcasm Goddess

    Alison! I’ve never seen you look so…stunning! I can’t decide which look is my fav!
    Sarcasm Goddess recently wrote…Before I Die…My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Hah! Say you love my red tracksuit!

  • January 25, 2012 Coffee Lovin' Mom

    Doc Martins last forever! I may or may not have a couple tye dyes in the closet, they come in handy for halloween and road trips..also, I love brown.
    Coffee Lovin’ Mom recently wrote…Everybody has a Klout Story – What’s Yours?My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Heh, are you confessing you’re an 80’s fashion lover?

  • January 25, 2012 Ann

    What a fun, FUN post! I was a young adult in the early 80s…so there are a LOT of faux pas to choose from. But I thought the 80s were – Like – Totally Awesome, Dude!
    Ann recently wrote…Cauliflower Steaks with Olive Relish and Tomato SauceMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Haha!! In some ways, yes, yes it was 🙂

  • January 25, 2012 Blair Scheepers

    Was watching old home movies just the other day. Over sized tee shirts with horribly lame sayings and prints? What were we thinking?? Great list!

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      We were thinking we were awesomely cool. 🙂

  • January 25, 2012 Mirjam

    I’m not ready to give up yoga pants either 😉
    My fashion mistakes: purple tracking suits, jeans with flower, jeans with stripes, white jeans, shall I go on? I was a disaster!
    Mirjam recently wrote…ListenMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Haha! I’d love to see some pictures 😉

  • January 25, 2012 Jessica

    LOL. This made me laugh. I love all of your fashion don’ts and can admit that I have a fair share of my own. I think one of my biggest mistakes was thinking that “jeans-so-tight-you’ll-get-a-yeast-infection” were ever okay to wear in public. I also would wear my brother’s clothes in middle school. And, when my classmates would point out that they knew that “my” clothes were really “his.” I would deny it. Talk about embarrassing. Love this meme!
    Jessica recently wrote…About that quote in the mirror|On birthdaysMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Haha! Y’know, some people still wear those too-tight jeans AND men’s clothing. So I say you were just ahead of the fashion curve 😉

  • January 25, 2012 tracy

    I admit – I never pictured you as a Doc Martin kind of girl. 😉
    tracy recently wrote…What I Wore Wednesday – I’m From The Olden DaysMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      I’m a contradiction when it comes to fashion 🙂 (but I’ve not owned Doc Marts in years now, thank goodness)

  • January 25, 2012 Lola

    Let’s just call my fashion don’ts the “80”s. I don’t really think there’s a single “do” in that entire decade!
    Lola recently wrote…Cock-a-Doodle PancakeMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Good thing you’re a hot chick!

  • January 25, 2012 Jen Has A Pen

    I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I don’t see anything wrong with a track suit. 🙂 And, in 1991, your hair was awesome. I don’t know what you are talking about?
    Jen Has A Pen recently wrote…PersonifyMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      You’re just too nice to me 😉

  • January 25, 2012 Kimberly

    Doc Martiens and plaid shirt phase while listening to Nirvana like a bad ass was a not cool phase.
    Do you remember silk shirts with shoulder pads?
    Me neither 😉
    Kimberly recently wrote…And The Cows Rejoiced For This Is The Day A Child Was BornMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Two words that make me shudder – ‘shoulder pads’. 😉

  • January 25, 2012 Andrea

    Love the old pictures! Brings back LOTS of memories. I think we had the same amazing fashion sense. But don’t worry, in 10 years we’ll be doing a similar post of things we wore in 2012 😀
    Andrea recently wrote…Man Of The HouseMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Oh gosh I sure hope not!

  • January 25, 2012 Maureen

    I think we all did. Can’t blame us when we’re underage tho’ that’s our parents’ sins hahahaa. This is a fun post, Alison!
    Mine would be: The horizontal stripes t-shirts. OMG looking back now I am so embarrassed hahaha.
    Maureen recently wrote…Walk At Your Own Risk!My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Hahaha!! I’ll be surprised if NO ONE had non-embarrassing fashion faux pas 🙂

  • January 25, 2012 Alexandra

    No matter what decade, you look like a sweetheart.

    What a girl next door.
    Alexandra recently wrote…The Way I EscapeMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Aw, you’re just too nice to me!!

  • January 25, 2012 liz

    I refuse to take part in Uggs and leggings. Hell no, IMO.

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Same here! I could NEVER, ever wear leggings.

  • January 25, 2012 Christine

    So, I looked at your pictures over and over again and couldn’t quite find the faux pas (plural?) They are nothing compared to mine, but the pictures thankfully live far, far away at my parents’ house. My most memorable outfit consisted of white shorts, grass green tshirt w/ florescent pink button up over that and the sleeves rolled up to show the green contrast. Paired with triple scrunchy socks in white, green, and pink, and don’t forget the matching ponytail holders in guess….white, green, and pink!
    Christine recently wrote…Wordless Wednesday- Aummmm…My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      I’m guessing you were into matchy-matchy? 🙂

      And you’re too kind – there were definitely fashion crimes committed in those pictures!

  • January 25, 2012 Eric Storch

    Fashion, smashion. Wear what’s comfortable. That’s my motto.

    Then again, I’m a guy, and like most guys, I put on clothes that have been sitting in the hamper, so what do I know?
    Eric Storch recently wrote…Sometimes, your greatest writing influence isn’t a writer.My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Hah! My husband still has clothes which he still wears, from when he was 17! (and he’s 35 now, so there)

  • January 25, 2012 Ado

    You BRAVE and fabulous soul for sharing all those fashion faux pas photos of yourself thru the years!!
    I love that red track suit and you look adorable in red, it suits you and I DARE YOU to get one and photograph your preggers self in it and I bet you’d look adorable! (-:
    PS: I have to dig up my “corn-row hair braids” look. Oy, vey. It was a massacre.
    Ado recently wrote…How This Mom Feels About Joe PaternoMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      You are suggesting I commit fashion suicide knowingly??????

      (go on, dig up those photos of them corn row braids)

  • January 26, 2012 Trish

    Stopping by from Yeah Write…

    *sigh*. I admit…ugh….this is painful….I did actually have a haircut that …. was….awfully close to a mullet. I need to go slam my head in the oven door now. Thanks for bringing that back to me.

    Hilarious post, Ali…but don’t be fooled. Your beauty shows through in spite of the awful wrapping. 😀
    Trish recently wrote…M-m-m-m-My ConundrumMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thanks Trish! A mullet is a fashion crime punishable by extreme humiliation – which means you need to post a picture 🙂

  • January 26, 2012 francerants

    you cannot bash your fashion choices at 9 years old, it’s like wearing danskos in your 40’s…
    francerants recently wrote…Mother Inspired ArtMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Haha! Actually it wasn’t even my choice, I believe my mother chose that. And my sister had the same one in blue!

  • January 26, 2012 Natalie

    Oh these pics are great! Takes me back to the oversized t-shirt era. Seriously all my shirts back then draped on my bony frame. And I wore black Nike basketball shoes to complete the outfit. Yes I know…doesn’t it sound so beautiful…NOT! 🙂
    Natalie recently wrote…Here We Go–The First Recipes!My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Haha! Why did we try to ugly ourselves so often back then?

  • January 26, 2012 Barbara

    These are great! I have some doozies, but not any I would be willing to share on the internet! 😉
    Barbara recently wrote…Noah One MonthMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Oh come on, share!

  • January 26, 2012 JDaniel4s Mom

    I have to admit stirrup pants were my big clothing mistake. No one only 5’3″ should wear them.
    JDaniel4s Mom recently wrote…Just Looking at Pinterest Can Lead to CovetingMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      I think NO ONE should ever wear stirrup pants.

  • January 26, 2012 Mommy2¢

    I’d laugh at you but then I’d be a huge hypocrite. You should see some of the stuff my mom used to dress me in. It was a fashion tragedy!
    Mommy2¢ recently wrote…Unfashionably LateMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      I WOULD love to see them, actually 😉

  • January 26, 2012 Kristin

    You totally look like Sue Sylvester in that first picture! Ahahahaha!

    I also wore a lot of brown on brown back in college. Hey, it was the 90’s – grunge was “in.” 😉
    Kristin recently wrote…Little Girl LostMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Hahaha thank you Kristin. I think Sue copied my style.

  • January 26, 2012 Dwija {House Unseen}

    Holy cow, you are absolutely the best, even in all of your don’t moments! I don’t know if I could endure sharing my flannel nightmare of a 90’s wardrobe….
    Dwija {House Unseen} recently wrote…Webby Wednesday- Trees of the Field (with discount!)My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      You’ll be adorable, regardless 🙂

  • January 26, 2012 Jay- The Dude of the House

    I think Sue Sylvester wouldn’t object to the outfit in the first picture.

    Also, there’s nothing wrong with tie-dye. But tie-dye (made famous by hippies) with Doc Martens (made famous by British thugs)? That’s just an oxymoron.

    Thanks for opening your Hall of Shame for us.
    Jay- The Dude of the House recently wrote…My First 10KMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      I am a bundle of contradictions, I know. Did I mention those black jeans were Calvin Klein cotton brush? Yeah I know, I was so hip (not).

  • January 26, 2012 Dina

    Ahem, I had that same track suit. And I would like to add stirrup pants to the list. What was I thinking? That gravity was not enough to keep the hems of my pants where they belonged so I needed to secure them with a stirrup?
    Dina recently wrote…Beauty Secrets Revealed!My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Hahahahahaha that’s just the funniest comment ever.

  • January 26, 2012 Laura

    Yep, I am pretty sure we all have these lying around. Just think: the things we wear now will be the things we look back on and wonder what the heck we were thinking.
    Laura recently wrote…Back Pain Can’t Keep ME Down! Oh Wait, Yes it Can…My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Gosh I sure hope not. Yoga pants should be in still in 2022, no? 🙂

  • January 26, 2012 Emmy

    Oh the oversized t-shirts- I had many of those. Never had the red jumpsuit though. Love this post! Any of us that lived through the 80’s have horrible pictures.
    Emmy recently wrote…What To Wear On the 100th Day of SchoolMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Right?? I just love looking at them – a good reminder of how NOT to dress.

  • January 26, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    Haha!! Love these, Alison. I think we all have fashion disasters we want to forget. 😉
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Happy Birthday, AnnaMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Now that I’ve put them on the blog, I’m not likely to be able to forget, hah.

  • January 26, 2012 Nicole

    Whoo-hoo for the Yoga pants!! LOL. Love these flashback pictures. I think your shoes with the hot dress may trump my blue glasses with middrift….ok….maybe that’s just wishful thinking. The blue glasses were atrocious. LOL. Thanks for linking up! SO fun to see you through the years 🙂
    Nicole recently wrote…7 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self {Listable Life}My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Haha yes, the blue glasses coupled with the midriff CANNOT be topped 🙂 Thanks for a fun linky!

  • January 26, 2012 Kristen

    Oh my! Love the pics! You took me down memory lane of my own fashion mistakes. Those darn oversized sweaters…what in the world ever made us think they looked flattering?!
    Kristen recently wrote…I Have No Words…My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Stupid fashion magazines and designers? 🙂

  • January 26, 2012 Bruna

    C’mon! Anytime you look back on photos, we think we look like retards. During the time, it’s all good.

    Funny post though 🙂
    Bruna recently wrote…photo shoot + models + scarvesMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Hehe, thanks Bruna.

  • January 26, 2012 Missy

    Legwarmers. Big hair. Maybe I’ll do pics sometime too. 🙂
    Missy recently wrote…City Slickers and Your Best DayMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, DO IT!

  • January 26, 2012 Kimberly

    Wow. We’ve been through some fashion catastrophes in our lives, haven’t we? I remember all of those…and besides, does ANYONE look good in neon colors?

    I think not.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Tax Time DealsMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Neon = *shudder*

  • Personally loving 1997, thank goodness you have everything in pictures! We all have these photos. I have way too many “caught on camera” fashion incidents…and i always remember the ones where I remember thinking, this looks awesome:) So fun…
    Shannon from mynewfavoriteday recently wrote…If I could bottle this up.My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      I actually have worst fashion moments, I just don’t happen to have the digital photos. Yet. 🙂

  • January 26, 2012 Jackie

    I honestly don’t think the black dress would be that bad with those shoes if you lost the black pantyhose.
    Amen to Yoga Pants!!!
    Jackie recently wrote…A Friendly ReminderMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Sigh, what was I thinking when I put on the pantyhose??

  • January 26, 2012 Kimberly

    I am currently living a fashion nightmare. All clothing budget goes to the kiddos. They are growing. I am not. Well, depending on the time of the month. (You look good in the blue dress. Didn’t even notice the shoes.)
    Kimberly recently wrote…Wednesday’s Woman: Preventing Child Sexual AbuseMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      If yoga pants are considered a fashion nightmare, I’m living it to! (and thank you)

  • January 26, 2012 Leighann

    I think I participated in all of those fashion DON’Ts as well. LOL
    Leighann recently wrote…The Other Half of Mental IllnessMy Profile

  • January 26, 2012 Sweaty

    I’ve definitely committed most of those fashion ‘faux-pas’ back in the days, Alison. But then again, it wasn’t exactly considered ‘faux-pax’ back then… oh believe me, I know 😉

    The oversized t-shirt, the weird hairdo, the Doc Martens? Checked, checked, checked! LOL
    Sweaty recently wrote…Thoughtful Thursday Blog HopMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      Hah! We probably thought we were so cool.

  • January 26, 2012 deborah l quinn

    leggings, big men’s button-down shirt, high tops. Fancied myself *quite* the desperately seeking susan type. Think actually I looked like an overgrown toddler in her Hanna Andersons. Sigh. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to look back at now in equal horror. Hmm.
    deborah l quinn recently wrote…going on a bear hunt… (and it sucks)My Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      ‘Overgrown toddler’ – HAHAHAHAHA!! Thanks for the laugh, Deborah.

  • January 27, 2012 Lady Jennie

    These are not bad considering. I have so many “DON’T” photos that it’s sort of the norm with me. 😉
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Something to Show for ItMy Profile

    • January 27, 2012 Alison

      These are not the worst of it – they just happen to be the ones I have on hand 😉

  • February 9, 2012 Christa aka the BabbyMama

    Ahahaha I love the 1997 look because it’s SO 1997.

    • February 10, 2012 Alison

      I guess I was ‘trendy’ then!

I Write This Blog

Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

The Books I’m In (Buy Now!)

I Am On Google+

Oldies But Goodies