The Campaign To Find Britain's Worst Style Crime

We are now at the semi-final stage. Cast your vote now

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Britain's worst style crimes
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British men are among the best-dressed in the world.

From the shores of this tiny island global style icons have emerged, counter cultures that have shaped menswear history have sprung and one of the fastest-growing men's fashion industries on the planet continues to thrive.

And yet.

A walk down any British high street from London to Newcastle confirms that blind spots still exist: basic sartorial slip ups that are as painful to witness as they are easy to fix. 

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They are the style crimes letting us down. The fashion mistakes that impede our path to glory. And it is time to put an end to them for good. 

Step one: read about the eight worst offenders below. Step two: vote in our knock out rounds of Twitter polls to identify which crime is the very worst. Step three: start spreading the word.

Our nation's future depends on it.

ROUND ONE

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BAD SHOES

A bafflingly pandemic swept Britain in the 1990s that, sadly, shows little sign of abating. We're talking about the winklepicker brogues and square-toed loafers – often with visible seams – that masquerade as formal shoes on British high streets.

The saddest thing about the cheap formal shoe, aside from the fact that it achieves the exact opposite effect to one it is going for, is that today we live in a world where quality leather oxfords are more affordable than ever, meaning there really is no excuse.

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PLEATHER JACKETS

In truth relatively few men can pull off a real leather jacket without looking like a Top Gear presenter, so where anyone got the idea a cheap imitation would propel them to rock star status is difficult to fathom.

Most commonly made from polyurethane, they are extremely flammable - the only aspect of the pleather jacket that could be described as dangerous, edgy or indeed 'hot'. 

ROUND TWO

Flip flops
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FLIP-FLOPS IN THE CITY

No one denies wearing flip-flops is pleasurable. But then so is walking around in only your underwear. The reason you don't do it is out of consideration for others.

Slip-ons, loafers and trainers are available in stylish, light-weight varieties that will keep your feet cool in the summer months. Hell – lose the socks and bare a little ankle, if you must. But those hairy toes, yellow nails and crusty heels? Do the moral thing, and keep them hidden unless you're in the only outside area where near-nudity is acceptable: the beach.

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'PERSONALITY' POCKET SQUARES

British men have a long and proud history of dandyism, stretching from Beau Brummell to Tinie Tempah. Unfortunately, like most matters of good taste, it has been misappropriated by the slovenly and the misguided, manifesting itself in garish pocket squares, eye-scorching socks and – worst of all – hats worn by men who think an eccentric detail on their outfit equates to an interesting personality.

The worst aspect of this style crime is that it is perpetrated exclusively by those who believe they are very stylish indeed.

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ROUND THREE

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RED TROUSERS

In recent years the mauve chino has become synonymous with the more witless members of the upper class. The garish, fire engine / salmon-toned trousers are British elitism writ large, as obnoxious as a dismissively wafted fifty-pound note in a waitress's face.

Various attempts to rehabilitate the look have failed, including a brief adoption by hipsters that only made things worse. File them alongside boat racing and East Africa as something the English aristocracy has ruined for generations.

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DEEP V-NECKS

The British male's capacity to convince himself that his cleavage – no matter how sculpted – is attractive to anyone other than his own sweaty reflection in the gym mirror is a national shame on par with our rampant alcoholism.

They may even be related, for what could drive the rest of us to drink quicker than being confronted with two fleshy crescents of man pec on every street corner? Keep it for the changing room, gentlemen.

ROUND FOUR

Frayed jeans
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FRAYED JEANS

The torn, scraggly hems of an over-sized pair of jeans as they are dragged through the puddled streets of British towns and cities is a depressing and – to the weaker of constitution – stomach-churning sight.

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Quite aside from the untidiness, it denotes a lack of respect for the most basic tenants of dressing well: good fit and care for materials. The fact the wearer is doomed to spend his whole life tripping over is both this style crime's only redeeming quality.

Grown man in hoodie
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GROWN MEN IN HOODIES

While in America the hoodie is an item steeped in working class culture, in Britain they are strictly for moody teenagers and students on their way to Londis to buy cider.

And yet, bafflingly, British men as late as their mid-forties seem to think they are turning back the years by going to the pub in a Billionaire Boys Club hooded sweater, making them more tragic than the alcoholic in the tatty blazer bothering people by the bar.

SEMI FINAL 1

SEMI FINAL 2

What do you think?

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