If you find yourself recoiling in horror at some hit fashion thing that's just landed online, then listen up: Feel the fear, and wear it anyway. After season upon season of maximalism and novelty style, the line between good taste and bad taste is about as blurry as it can be.
The trend has exploded so dramatically this season—in a whirr of stirrup pants, crystal and diamanté everything, logos, lamé and more—that what would have once been traditionally classed as diabolical now stands at the top of the sartorial tree. Confused? Don't be—it's a natural reaction to normcore and minimalism, so if you're not a denim-and-tee girl, now is your moment.
You can see the concept at Gucci, where magpie styling and retro references collide to a Little Edie–on-acid effect. Or how about Vetements? This is the highly influential fashion brand that has transformed the idea of incredibly "low-brow" elements—from DHL logos to Justin Bieber hoodies—into the most coveted pieces on any given rail.
Think of the proliferation of candy pink, all-fluffy everything and 1980s-style eveningwear for day. And let's not forget kaleidoscopic print mash-ups, white shoes and PVC party dresses… From the streets to the most respected A-list circles, the movement is clear to see—we've even noticed it coming through in the way Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion costumes are being referenced on repeat. Tacky and trashy? These terms have done a 180.
If you're unsure as to how to walk this tightrope, we've decoded it for you with instructional outfits and shopping picks below. And for extra motivation, remember that legendary photographer Helmut Newton once said: "I hate good taste. It's the worst thing that can happen to a creative person."
Style Notes: The Adidas three-stripe joggers continue their high-fashion domination—see how this street styler has them paired with very posh accessories? That high-low mix is key.
Style Notes: Once considered to be a signature piece of ladies of the night, anklets have found footing among a fashion audience lately. Add in the crazy-silly fluffy satin Miu Miu Crystal-Embellished Mules (£665) pictured here, and there's a double whammy of deliciously bad taste.
Style Notes: This one street style shot has it ALL going on. White shoes used to have a very poor reputation, but the fashion crowds are now wearing almost nothing but. Motif-laden hooded sweatshirts are also just as popular, being used by many in the place of a biker jacket.
Style Notes: Thought python-print pants were for Crocodile Dundee only? Think again. These H&M Studio styles sold out in a flash. If you want to dress them down, simply opt for a matching black roll-neck and shoes.
Style Notes: Even better if they're super ironic—like Gucci's collaboration with the Brooklyn-based artist Trevor Andrew. This is all about taking recognisable branding and turning it on its head—we'd recommend checking out the Instagram account of @avanope for some seriously ingenious iterations.
Wear one, wear them head to toe—wear as many as you feel comfortable with.
Style Notes: Once upon a time the connotations that came with wearing pink were frustrating for women—nowadays we've fully reclaimed the colour, and it's being worn boldly by strong ladies everywhere. We say best to do it the bad-taste way and go full throttle.
Style Notes: If you're looking for the very pinnacle of the bad-taste trend, this would be it. Balenciaga's 1980s-style stirrup sports-luxe trousers worn with Crystal-Embellished Pumps (£1695) on a regular day.
Style Notes: If it reminds you of Dolly Parton, it's in. And Alexa Chung agrees, choosing an elaborate western jacket to slip over her slinky slip.
Style Notes: Mary Katrantzou's wild Americana-inspired fur coats have been featured in many a fashion editorial, but on the streets a statement piece like this looks best dressed down with jeans and a sweater.
Style Notes: The linchpin of all women punk rockers' wardrobes everywhere, fishnet tights, both micro and jumbo, have crept back onto the streets again. If you're feeling brave, wear them with a real flash of leg and opt for a short hemline.
See more tights-wearing rules here.
Style Notes: Who cares if it's not summer and you're in Leeds—a Hawaiian shirt doesn't discriminate! Cheer up your wardrobe and wear one with tailoring for the smartest effect.
Style Notes: Vinyl, latex, PVC and high-shine metallic fabrics like lamé and lurex are everywhere we look right now—from high-street stores to the hippest party nights. We'd recommend taking this tack: fluffy jumper + shiny skirt. In fact, there's a Mango skirt in line with this look that's proving to be extra-popular.
Next up, the worst fashion trends of all time.