Fashion Mistakes That Are Complete Turn-Offs

There are no real "mistakes" when it comes to fashion. That's because it all comes down to personal preference and how you decide to express yourself. That said, the first step to making a good impression and representing yourself externally in a way that authentically shows who you are almost always comes down to your clothes. Fashion has the ability to make you feel comfortable and confident in any situation, as well as allowing people to better understand who you are and what you're about — sometimes even before you open your mouth.


As stylist Henrietta Shirazu put it while speaking to Stylist, "Based solely on your outfit, people will ascertain how you feel about yourself and your body, how much influence you have over people, how smart you are, how much power you have." She added that, from there, people will then subconsciously make a decision on if they want to get you know you or not. 

With that in mind, it's vital that you're not accidentally doing things that could give people the wrong impression about you. There are countless ways to accidentally make fashion faux pas that can turn people off, and, although they may sound tough to sidestep, there are simple ways to avoid them to ensure you're always presenting your best self to the world.


Underdressing may give the impression you don't care about the event

Many stylists recommend being overdressed for an event rather than underdressed, as the latter can give the impression you don't value the event you're attending or the people you're meeting. Personal stylist Peter Nguyen told Vox that he always advises being a little more overdressed, particularly in important situations that could determine the rest of your life (think the workplace when you're vying for a promotion or an important networking event). "You can always pull it back a little bit and wear jeans and a nice sweater — you don't have to roll in a T-shirt and shorts even if your boss does. It's all about where do you want to go with your career and how seriously do you want to be taken?" he explained. Stylist Christina Stein also recommended leaning towards overdressing rather than underdressing when she spoke to Today.


Keep in mind that it's usually easier to make a formal outfit casual than it is to try and dress up something that's too relaxed. For example, if you're wearing a dress with more upscale jewelry, you can take that off for a more laid-back feel. But if you turned up to a formal dinner party in sweatpants, they're much harder to try and make look fancier. And you'll probably get a few eyebrow raises if you tried.

Visible underwear can give the wrong impression

The exposed underwear trend (aka purposefully showing your undies under sheer clothing) has been big for a while. But that's not the kind of visible underwear we're talking about. Instead, we're referring to undergarments that are showing unintentionally, such as rogue bra straps or the top part of underpants popping out under low-slung jeans. It can also be something as simple as inadvertently showing your black bra under a white top (remember, it's a red bra you need in these situations!).


The reason why this can be a turn-off is because, in a lot of situations, it can give the wrong impression about who you are. On a date, for example, it's more fun and sophisticated to tease what you may (or may not) be wearing under your outfit rather than allowing your date to see the top of your bra before you even get to know them. Equally, having your undergarments on full display sometimes suggests you didn't put a whole lot of time or effort into your appearance and just threw something together at the last minute. That can subconsciously give people the impression you weren't that invested in your plans and didn't try your outfit on beforehand to check that you're properly supported.

Wearing clothes that are too small can affect self-esteem, and that can be a total turn-off

Another trap many of us fall into is wearing clothes that are too small. They may have fit once, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea to keep them even if you intend on fitting into them again one day. As stylist Jenny Greenstein told Betches, our clothes and their sizes should change with our bodies. "It puts an unrealistic (and unnecessary) expectation on us to be someone we're not," she explained of holding on to small clothing. After all, it's near impossible to feel good about yourself if you're worried about sizing up, and that's going to be obvious to those around you — as well as being a total turn-off at the same time.


Another reason so many of us rock too small clothing is because it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that sexy and empowering bodycon items require to size down rather than getting the right size. But the issue with wearing small clothes is that they can be uncomfortable and unflattering. In fact, even the most expensive tight clothing in the world can end up looking cheap when it doesn't fit properly. We totally get that it can be pricey to buy a whole new wardrobe when it's time to size up, so it may be worth getting in touch with a tailor or seeking out more sustainable ways to revamp your wardrobe without spending thousands.

Uncomfortable clothing will make you uncomfortable

It seems obvious, but it's important to remember that uncomfortable clothing will make you feel uncomfortable. Too many of us (us included!) have made the mistake of wearing something out just because it looked good, not felt good, but the issue here is that it's really hard to be your best self when you're out of your comfort zone and potentially in pain. This includes the likes of wearing cute shoes that give you blisters or squeezing your body into too tight pants. The latter in particular may actually end up causing health problems. Neurologist Dr. John Michael Li told CBS News that tight pants can cause Meralgia Paresthetica, which is when a nerve actually gets compressed due to uncomfy clothing. It can also result in heartburn or excessive burping. And we're sure we don't have to tell you why that can be a turn-off.


Equally, if you can't get comfy and have to continually keep adjusting your outfit, you're not going to be on your best form for whoever you're around. For something like a bra with painful underwire or a top made from itchy material, you're sure to get some strange looks and endure some very awkward moments if you're spending the whole time trying to fix the problem.

Not removing stitches that aren't supposed to be there will make it look like you don't know what you're doing

A lot of new clothes come with temporary stitches in certain places in to keep the items in pristine condition while they're shipped to you. You may notice this in places like the pockets (which can sometimes be sewn shut) or on things like the back vents on jackets, as they're designed to make them more comfortable and flexible.


Let's be honest, we've all missed these small details before, but it's important to remove these before you step out in your new clothes. If you don't, you run the risk of looking like you don't know what you're doing when it comes to your outfits. It also suggests to those around you that you're too lazy to remove the excess stitching or didn't even think to check your outfit before putting it on. Though it's easy to laugh off if you're amongst close family or friends, it can make for some embarrassing moments if you're in a group of new people or a high-stakes situation, such as a date or job interview. So next time you're wearing a new outfit, put your hands in your pockets before you step out to make sure there's no stitching that shouldn't be there.


Wearing too many logos can make you seem too into your appearance

It can be tricky, but there's a fine line between putting effort into your appearance to look polished and chic, and going overboard with wanting to be perceived well. On the opposite end of the spectrum to not caring about your appearance is caring too much, and that can manifest in wearing too many logos. Of course, there's nothing wrong with enjoying quality pieces. In fact, investing in items that are made well and will last for decades is actually something we should all do more of to ensure we're doing what we can to keep the planet green. However, wearing too many expensive logo-emblazoned pieces at one time can give off the impression you're too invested in making other people think you've got a lot of money in the bank. That in itself can be damaging to your own self-esteem and can also make you appear vapid, materialistic, or shallow, which, yeah, can be a total turn-off.


Taking pride in purchasing branded clothing you've worked hard for is certainly not a fashion mistake, but it's a good idea to stick to just one obvious logo per outfit so you're not overdoing it. That way, you'll put less pressure on yourself to always have to pay out for big brands, and you won't give the impression you need designer items for validation.

Not wearing appropriate colors is a bad idea (browns and grays can be turn-offs)

There are several theories about what colors are considered most attractive when it comes to clothing... and which ones aren't. One of the worst colors to wear if you don't want to turn people off, though? Brown. Laura Wasser, relationship expert and chief of divorce evolution at, told Best Life that brown doesn't have particularly exciting connotations, making it a particularly bad choice to wear on a date. "Brown can be perceived as dull or too conservative, which may not convey the excitement and anticipation typically associated with the beginning of a potential romantic relationship," she explained. And as if that wasn't bad enough, the shade Pantone 448C, which is a muddy, yellowy brown, was actually a color some people associated with death in research conducted by Gfk Bluemoon (via Standard).


Jessica Alderson, relationship expert and co-founder of dating app So Syncd, also put gray in the do not wear column for something important like an early date. That's because the color doesn't exactly demand attention and won't exactly work in your favor when it comes to keeping people interested in you. "It might come off as too neutral or even indifferent. It can send a message that you're not particularly excited or enthusiastic about the date," she told Best Life.

Wearing broken or ripped clothing suggests you're not interested in looking presentable

Of course, ripped jeans that are supposed to be ripped can be stylish when worn for the right occasion. But when it comes to things like pants that are frayed at the bottom from being too long, shoes with scuffs and holes, or underwear with broken claps or loose elastic, damage can be a big turn-off.


Although it's good for the environment (and your wallet!) to wear clothing as much as you can before recycling it or donating it, wearing damaged items can have a number of negative connotations socially. It can give the impression you don't care about your appearance (and may even have poor hygiene as a result) or aren't willing to spend money on necessities to replace things when they're no longer working for you. It can also suggest that you're generally messy or unkempt person, which aren't exactly things a lot of people value in friends, family, partners, or employees. Or anyone else in their life, for that matter.

Relying too much on fast fashion suggests you don't care about the environment

Fast fashion certainly has its benefits and, sometimes, the very reasonable priced items can be the only option when it comes to buying new clothes as the cost of living soars ever higher. But if you can afford to buy more sustainable, well-made pieces that you can re-wear for years to come but you choose not (therefore rejecting the idea of embracing circular fashion), you risk turning people off.

Advertisement reported that the average U.S. consumer ditches 81.5 pounds of clothing every single year, which results in 85% of textiles purchased going into landfill. And that's having a devastating effect on the planet. That's why, if all your clothing is fast fashion and you're constantly buying new outfits every time you step out that you never intend to wear again, or you throw out after a couple of uses, it suggests you're more invested in your appearance than doing what you can to help protect the earth.

Wearing too much vintage clothing could give the wrong idea about you

Unless vintage clothing is very much your thing and part of your personality, stylist and costume designer Tiffany Hasbourne told Business Insider that wearing too many vintage pieces at one time can give people the wrong idea about you. In fact, she explained that pairing several vintage pieces together can make you look like you're wearing a costume and playing a character rather than being your genuine self. That's not what you want when you're trying to make a good impression and let people know what you're about.


Instead, she suggested mixing vintage clothing with new ones to give a better idea of your personality and style. That may mean wearing just one or two vintage pieces you really like alongside something like a sequin top, which is totally on trend. That will let people see that although you have a passion for vintage, you're still a modern person with your own personal style.

Too many accessories can be distracting

If you find yourself layering on necklace after necklace and stacking up bracelets on your arms, you may be unintentionally making your look too cluttered. Too many accessories can suggest you don't really know what you're doing when it comes to putting an outfit together, as well as being super distracting. Part of the problem with that is that it means those around you will be less able to pay attention to your personality.


But it's not just the person or people you're with who can find themselves distracted by your outfit. A big collection of shiny accessories can scream 'Look at me!' even if you're not intending to. That means all eyes will be on you wherever you are and that can sometimes trigger nerves, which is not what you want if you're in an already nerve-wracking situation, such as a date. Particularly if you're not the kind of person who likes a lot of attention too, this can also give the people you're with the wrong idea that you always want to be the center of attention and will wear whatever it takes to get it — and that can be a turnoff when you're getting to know someone.

Focusing too much on trends can make you lose your own personality

Another fashion trap it's easy to fall into is wearing clothing that doesn't really fit with your personality just because it's considered on trend. While there's nothing wrong with following the latest trends you personally like (such as a statement belt or a statement coat), blindly buying items to wear just because they're popular right now could mean you end up losing your own sense of self and style. Whenever you're dressing in a way that doesn't truly resonate with you, that will be obvious via your body language. You may start to feel and show signs of being self-conscious or uncomfortable, even though there's absolutely nothing physically wrong with your outfit.


If you're not truly feeling your look, that could manifest into other people being turned off because they can sense you're not being your true self. A good way to sidestep this problem is to try incorporating just one trend into your outfit at a time, alongside something that feels more on brand for you. That way, you'll feel more comfortable and like yourself. That could mean, for example, trying out the Sporty Spice athletic aesthetic on your top half, but pairing it with the staple black jeans you've had in your wardrobe for decades.