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STYLE GUY: When Good Fads Go Bad

The Style Guy was a monthly column that appeared in Birmingham Magazine for nearly ten years.  It was written each month by Sanctuary owner and stylist Todd Cargo.


At almost every turn we are confronted with what's the latest greatest, hottest fashion trends of the moment, but rarely does anybody let you know when it's time to put those trends away. When I go to the store and I buy a jug of milk, there is an expiration date stamped across it. I think trends should come with one as well. There are so many old fads, expired trends, and tired styles that we all encounter each day that I thought I would take this month to relay a few looks and fashion faux pas that really need to stop.

               Let me first start with Uggs. I know is Spring here so you would think that no one is wearing them now, but I spotted someone the other day in a pair and I almost ran her over with my car. Let me say it loudly and clearly: Uggs are OVER. Please stop wearing them.  Burn every pair you own. In fact, remember the days when all of those anti-fur people tossed paint on fur coats? I think we should all start carrying our own cans of spray paint and commence with defacing people's feet when we see a pair of Uggs on them. But that's just my opinion. I know some of you out there still want to cling to your Uggs , but believe me, they have exhausted their charm. It's time to bury that look and its headstone really should have 2008 engraved on it.

               The ultra skinny brow from the 90's made a comeback last year, but it was one fashion trend that should have remained on the red carpet and not become emulated by the public at large. Celebrities have personal makeup artists who can fill in the gaps and draw on the perfect arches, but for the regular woman going to the office, the PTA or the grocery store, it just looked weird. You don't want your brows to look like they belong to a wildabeast, but you also don't want them plucked bare and drawn on with a Sharpie either.

               Uggs and brows aside, I think the most commonly committed fashion sin is just over accessorizing. The usual rule is to put on all of the jewelry that you plan to wear that day and then remove one of the pieces. But sometimes I think it should be more like two or three. Remember, you aren't a gypsy woman about to read a fortune, so go light on the accessories. 

               After Uggs, my most despised fad that I personally wish would go away is Ed freakin Hardy. I cannot tell you how wretched I find these men's clothes. They were cool for about 45 seconds and then it stopped. I'm sorry, but like most trends--when it starts being worn by a 50 year old podiatrist, it has lost it's hip-factor. The Ed Hardy fad also falls under the category of dressing younger than you are. It's nice to present a more youthful and energetic image to the public, but sometimes you can just look downright ridiculous. I mean, why not go all out and wear a T-shirt with Justin Bieber's face on it.

               One more thing I'd like to see stopped, is people wearing J-Lo style track suits, or any type of track suit,  if they have no intentions of going running.   It's great to be comfortable, but if we are just going to totally abandon the function of clothes just to be at our most comfortable, then I am going to start coming to work wrapped in 500 threadcount sheets. 

               Sometimes we explore new fashion trends and new ideas, and then sometimes we have to be protected from them. Since designers do not attach a label that says, "Expires On..." or "Wear within 60 days of purchase and then throw out" it's up to us to understand that every new trend has a limited life. Otherwise we'd all still be bombarded with girls running around in lace bras and Madonna jelly bracelets all up and down their arms. Wait! I saw a fourteen year old girl doing that the other day, so i guess it's coming back--but only if you're fourteen.