(True) Crimes of Fashion
- Next1 of 8Bettmann/CORBIS
- Previous Next2 of 8Jill Stuart Spring 2012, Imaxtree; EM43 / Splash News
- Previous Next3 of 8Karl Prouse/Getty; AnnaLynne McCord: Mike Coppola/FilmMagic
- Previous Next4 of 8Y-3 Fall 2010, Imaxtree; Pharrell Williams: David Thompson/FilmMagic
- Previous Next5 of 8Betsey Johnson Spring 2012, Imaxtree; Elle Macpherson: Ian Lawrence / Splash News
- Previous Next6 of 8Les Copains Spring 2012, Imaxtree; Larry Ellis/Express/Getty Images
- Previous Next7 of 8Louis Vuitton Fall 2010, Imaxtree; Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
- Previous Next8 of 8Salvatore Ferragamo Fall 2011, Imaxtree; Marie Hansen//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
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Arresting Styles1 of 8
By Shannan Rouss
Most crimes of fashion—denim on denim, head-to-toe shimmer—are minor offenses. But with the latest brouhaha over PJs and Uggs (in public—heaven forbid!), we decided to review fashion's rap sheet. Check out these seven controversial trends—and the runway looks they continue to inspire.
Banned: PJs in Public2 of 8
Recently, a potential ban on wearing your pajamas beyond the bedroom made headlines. One Louisiana official defined pajamas as "a garment sold in the sleepwear section of department stores," meaning that the latest sleepwear-inspired looks from the runway are safe. (Sigh of relief.) Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, comfort dressing has also come under fire, with one middle school has banning Ugg (and Ugg-style) boots. The reason? Students have been stashing their cell phones in the fuzzy footwear.
Banned: Message Tees3 of 8
While students cry freedom of speech, the Supreme Court declined to take up the case of a Texas high school student who was barred from wearing a T-shirt with (what else?) "Freedom of Speech" printed on the front and the text of the First Amendment on the back. Luckily, teens can express their feelings on politics, Twilight, boys and more with message tees on the weekend.
Banned: Saggy Pants4 of 8
How low can you go? Not very low, according to legislators in Connecticut, Atlanta and Louisiana, who sought to prohibit low-slung pants in 2007, stirring up plenty of debate. During the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama said that laws banning underwear-exposing pants were "a waste of time," followed by, "Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants." Even with the president's plea, you can still see plenty of pants worn below the waist—both on the runway and in the real world.
Banned: Exposed Bra Straps5 of 8
In 2008, one southern Louisiana town's ban on the public display of undergarments (meant to put an end to saggy pants) also made exposed bra straps a no-no. Plenty of schools and businesses throughout the country have similar dress codes, but on the catwalk, showing off your underpinnings is still an accepted fashion statement.
Banned: Miniskirts6 of 8
After decades of demure styles, the '60s marked the birth of the miniskirt, with designers taking hemlines to new heights. By 1967, a major mini backlash was brewing, and legendary costume designer Edith Head reportedly banned the style from the Academy Awards. When designers (led by Dior) returned to the midi, mini devotees revolted. While Bergdorf Goodman required salesgirls to wear the new length, groups such as GAMS (Girls Against More Skirt) protested the covered-legs look. The mini has held on though, proving its staying power.
Banned: Snug Sweaters7 of 8
During the '40s, wartime rules banned pleats, pockets and ruffles, all to save fabric. When women started wearing sweaters to work in factory plants, fitted knits were added to the don't-wear list. According to the book Making War, Making Women: Femininity and Duty on the American Home Front, a 1942 government report suggested to employers, "Lay down the law... No sweaters allowed. If a pulchritudinous girls wears one, she can usually demoralize the plant in ten minutes."
Banned: Zoot Suits8 of 8
Perhaps the most controversial trend of the last 100 years was the zoot suit. The style emerged from the jazz world and became popular in Los Angeles' Mexican-American community in the '40s. With its broad shoulder cut and full pants, the zoot suit was perceived as extravagant and brazen by the servicemen stationed in the area. Eventually, tension between these two groups led to the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943, resulting in a ban on the style. While the traditional zoot suit has yet to make a full comeback, iterations of it—the loose fit, the pocket chain—have never fully gone away.
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