10 You’re overdressed
Once again you’re the only person at brunch in a full ball gown. With a tiara, fancy gloves and shoes that cost more than your monthly rent. The problem with setting your fashion standards high is that once you’ve made a benchmark, you need to live up to it. Even if it means getting strange looks when you’re wearing a bespoke suit in the supermarket buying tea bags and biscuits.
9 You’re underdressed
It’s hard to be more self-conscious than a person wearing jeans in a room full of suits. You can try to pull off rock star ambivalence and it is unlikely anybody will be so direct as to voice your inner fears out loud, but that doesn’t stop you from feeling like a wild bird that has flown in through an open window. As cool as you try and play it, you’ll flutter around drawing attention to yourself and instead of just discreetly exiting, will make such a flap that you’ll probably have to be escorted out. Possibly with a broom.
8 You have a different definition of casual
Blame the ambiguity of the invitation. It said casual. How were you supposed to know that a fluffy owl onesie, flip-flops and a straw hat are not everybody’s definition of casual. If that is inappropriate attire for an out-of-office work training day, then the wording of the email should have said so.
7 Twin style
Having basked in the warm praise of your new top for the first half of the party, it seems a shame to have to hide behind a door for the second half because somebody else is wearing the exact same top. But if identical clothing meets at a party, as everybody knows, a very bad thing can happen. We’re not sure what exactly, but think it is probably the same sort of universe-melting rift in reality that would happen if you travel back in time and meet yourself.
6 Wardrobe malfunction
It’s just as embarrassing for the people who see you with flies undone or toilet paper stuck to your shoe as it is for you. We once sat through an entire meeting with a colleague who had missed three buttons on his shirt avoiding having to explain that to him.
5 Odd shoes
Is there anybody out there who has not run out of the door in the morning only to realise that by the time they get to work, the shoes on their right and left feet do not match? There is? Just us then. If truth be known, it happens a few times a month and we’re close to making it a fashion statement, so we don’t need to keep explaining.
4 Hoarding clothes
There are items in your wardrobe you’ve not dreamed of wearing for at least five years, but you can’t just throw them away. For starters, they were the first designer labels you had to sacrifice food to be able to afford and if you hold onto them just a little longer, fashion will come back round again and you’ll have high-waisted denim flares ready to roll out as vintage.
It’s hard enough for most of us to pick out items of clothing that vaguely look as if they were designed for the same species, never mind paired together and with those shoes. For the fashion-conscious hardcore it’s important to also select items that are going to blend well with décor, friends’ eyes, the food they’re going to order, the roof of their taxi and their mobile phone screen saver.
2 Returning clothes
The serious fashion enthusiast doesn’t bother trying on clothes. They know they’ll be shopping again next week so can always return items after they’ve tried them on with every possible combination in the comfort of their own home. Though, the problem is slightly more pressing when you only buy from obscure online boutiques that will only deliver to an international PO Box address.
1 Repeat wears
You’re not a supermodel and a trendsetter at the cutting edge of the fashion industry. So if you wear the same get-up to two events in the space of a fortnight it really doesn’t matter. So long as it doesn’t have kebab juice down the front, nobody will really care.
Will Milner is a regular contributor. He wrote this in pyjama bottoms and a suit jacket.