Puffball skirt tops fashion faux pas poll

Caroline Cassidy

The puffball skirt, made famous in the 1980s, has been named the biggest fashion faux pas of all time in a poll.

puffball skirt the biggest fashion faux pas
puffball skirt the biggest fashion faux pas

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A third of the 2,000 adults surveyed by The Mailbox said they were horrified to see the bubbly style nightmare was still appearing on catwalks and in shops.

The poll, conducted ahead of the Style Birmingham Live show, revealed the nation's top 20 most embarrassing trends, and while the puffball led the way, there were plenty more garments we'd rather forget.

Finishing in second place were white socks with smart shoes, closely followed by the dreaded socks and sandals. Tracksuits, particularly of the velour variety, high-heeled jelly shoes, wide-collar printed shirts, dungarees, white cowboy boots, Speedos and Polyester bell bottoms were also named and shamed in the top ten.

But leg warmers, ponchos, the useful but unflattering bum bag, another '80s classic, the rah-rah skirt, and Brit abroad favourite, Union Jack shorts, all made the top 20.

Tarah Hewitt, marketing manager at The Mailbox, told the Daily Express: "What is and isn't fashionable is always going to be debatable as it's largely down to personal choice.

"But the top 20 list of fashion mistakes highlights some of the more disastrous errors people have made with their wardrobes over the last few decades.

"There are some items, such as ponchos and cowboy bots, which should never have made it on to the catwalks, let alone into the nation's wardrobes."

Despite our recognition of past fashion fails, those who took part in the poll confessed that they had a style disaster or two lurking at the back of their wardrobe.

And almost one in five insisted on hanging onto a few garments in the hope that they would come back into fashion.

Nevertheless, most Brits are only too happy to turn their noses up at others' mistakes. Seventy per cent couldn't bear to see someone squeezed into too-small clothing, while 40 per cent were turned off by the 'muffin top'.

Little wonder then that the average adult in the UK spends nearly £150 a year on clothes they realised all too late were a style no-no.

Tarah Hewitt advised: "People continue to spend money on items which they simply never wear. For example, £150 could buy a classic piece of clothing or a stylish accessory which would stay in fashion for years."

What's your worst fashion faux pas, and what do you hate to see on others? Leave your comments below...