Summer Fashion Don'ts and Don'ts

Avoid joke T-shirts, cargo shorts, bindis and personifying the #FreeTheNipple hashtag

By Hugh Upsher

I’m not a fashion tyrant but… Sometimes people need to be saved from themselves. You know, like the dude with the goatee so long that he plaits it, or the girl who sports old Mad Dogs sweaters ironically, or anyone who thinks a fedora hat has a place in this world... There are so few rules left in fashion today, yet somehow people still manage to go out of their way to upset me.

Joke T-shirts

They make great gifts but the buck stops there. Wearing T-shirts with catchphrases or obscure Internet references in public will almost always attract attention for the wrong reasons. Best case scenario, someone will come up to you and tell you your T-shirt is funny, then stand there awkwardly for a moment before turning away. Worst-case scenario is people will squint at your T-shirt from a distance before assuming that some poorly dated meme sums up your entire identity.

Cargo shorts

It breaks my heart to type this but three-quarter cargo shorts are not a vibe in 2016. As practical as they are with their stupid amount of pockets and earthy tones, the world is not ready to take them back. I would pack them neatly away in the back of your closet while patiently awaiting for the Y2k revival with bated breath. We’ll know that they are truly back when Fred Durst comes out of hiding to do a globally sold-out arena tour with Limp Bizkit. Personally, I can’t wait, unless they never actually broke up and no one noticed...


If you are not fully familiar with the cultural significance of wearing a Bindi, you probably should be steering clear of it, regardless of how shiny it may be. If you are not yet aware of the pitfalls of cultural appropriation, now is a good time to open up a new tab and type ‘why cultural appropriation is not cool’ in the search bar. You can thank me later.

Going top nude

I’m as confused as you are, dudes are walking around in public with no shirts? Thankfully it’s not a widespread phenomenon in my parts, but I want to nip this one in the bud before it catches on. I’m not talking about okes jogging on the side of the road, I’m talking about okes walking down Kloof Street, in malls and public parks. They somehow think it’s OK to parade their hairy nipples for everyone to avert their eyes away from. 

As someone who tries not to judge anyone on his or her appearance, it takes quite a bit to offend me. Maybe you’re wearing Uggs because of a medical condition? Maybe you’re wearing a Ramones T-shirt because you actually listen to and appreciate music from the New York punk scene of the late seventies? Pretty unlikely for a seven-year-old, but who knows? Like it or not, everyone is judged by how they choose to represent themselves on the outside. Do yourself a favour and step away from the crocs.