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I recently walked into my office at work and after fuming for five seconds found I could not contain my annoyance any longer, I had to speak up. “Can I just say, that leggings are not a replacement for trousers. It’s just wrong.” My startled work colleagues, none of whom are guilty of this offence, but have witnessed it often, readily agreed. Productive work was suspended for the next five minutes as we shared with glee our fashion pet peeves. Here were the top three that got us chatting.

Leggings as Trousers

People should not wear legging without additional bottom coverage. The rule here is very simple; you can only wear leggings if you are going to wear them underneath something else. So you can wear leggings with a dress, skirt or a very long tee shirt. The reason for this rule is that when clad only in leggings the outline of both of your cheeks is very clearly defined, and no matter how cute, small and pert your derriere is, this is still unflattering. If you want your sweet cheeks to be fully appreciated give them a little more dignity and cover up!

Flesh coloured leggings for people who want to look naked without being naked

Long obviously fake nails Now I am the laziest person ever with my nails, they grow very quickly and are oddly resilient which means I very often end up with ridiculously long nails myself. I often get small twinges of nail guilt when I realise I should probably do something with them. I am clearly blessed by the nail fairies and have done so little with these ten sturdy blank canvasses. I should have painted them with a pink ombre effect or decorated each one like a different flavoured cupcake. But what is worse than my under-styled nails, or my friends bitten-to-the-quick nails are the terrifying long nails that people pay good money to have done.

Why? They look fake! They look uncomfortable and are impractical. Everything about them screams out “I make poor decisions.” I am told the appeal is in the outrageous fabulousness. And yes, I will admit they do grab people’s attention, but then again so does a screaming three year old.

 Leopard print

I acknowledge that animal print is meant to speak of luxury and wealth or animalistic feistiness, all principles I am fine with, however, every time I see leopard print all I can think of is Scary Spice. I am sorry this has forever been ruined for me. A sad consequence of growing up in the 90s.

I know in my head that leopard print can be worn in a tasteful way but my heart cannot let go of the Spice Girls connection. And the truth is I love the Spice Girls, my first musical purchase was a Spice Girls CD, I learnt the dance routines and bought the movie on VHS. The Spice Girls will always have a place in my heart, but sadly they have no place in my wardrobe.

You are not a Mannequin

At the heart of my fashion pet peeves is the belief that a person’s fashion should never overshadow the person themselves. The key to developing your own style is putting together pieces and make up that flatter you and accentuate your winning features. The aim is to use your look to reveal something about yourself, but when fashion is taken to the extreme all you see is the clothes and not the person.

Your nails might be fabulous, your dress daring and your shoes magnificent, but when people walk away they are supposed to remember you,not the clothes. You are not a mannequin created for advertising clothes, the clothes are there to advertise you. Any accessory or item of clothing that steals attention from you is failing its purpose. So pretty your nails up, wear bold prints and figure hugging clothes but never let your fashion steal your limelight.

So there are some of my fashion pet peeves. Which crimes have you picking up the phone to the fashion police?