The best and worst fashion trends of 2011.

Paula Joye

It was the year mullets became more than just a hairstyle, pyjamas were worn out to restaurants, and floral prints were a little bit of everywhere. The midriff made a comeback, retro was revived and Buddy Holly-style glasses became as popular as they were 25 years ago.

I chatted to‘s Paula Joye and asked for her thoughts on the best and worst fashion trends of 2011.

Here’s what she has to say:

The 3 Best Trends

1. Colour blocking

“The thing that was great about it was that it made people be inventive, try a bit harder with their wardrobe and use colour.  I think actually just using colour alone was one of the greatest things to come out of colour blocking. It was definitely the biggest trend of 2011 because it was (and still is) everywhere and in every shape and form.”

“What colour blocking is supposed to be is that you use two colours on the opposite sides of the colour wheel (eg: bright orange and bright blue). So you don’t put together green and navy blue. It is supposed to be colours that clash.

I think some people find it hard to wrap their heads around that concept and that’s why it sometimes goes really wrong. The Governor General and The Queen and Michelle Obama all did versions of it by using colours within the same family so it would be say, a light purple top with a dark purple bottom. That can look amazing.

Anything’s okay with fashion, it’s about finding your own voice.”

2. Ray-ban Wayfarer Sunnies

Wayfarers. Everywhere.

“You couldn’t walk down the street without seeing people wearing wayfarers. It was the year of the Wayfarers. That was Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan, it was Tom Cruise in Risky Business. They sort of started sneaking in and then they were everywhere; every single colour on every teenager and on every 50 year old.

Anne Hathaway at The Oscars

3. Man Style Tailoring

“2011 was an incredibly girly year. From the Lady Like ‘Mad Men’ trend to Boudoir Lace, floral prints to the Tom Ford driven Seventies Sexy look – it was a great twelve months to be feminine. But then there was Man Style Tailoring (my personal favourite for 2011) that saw the return of the sleek tuxedo jacket and cigarette pants. Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci, Jason Wu all did sexy, sequined, metallic versions of the male classic. And then there was Anne Hathaway in Lanvin at the Oscars.

You can’t look bad in a well cut tuxedo. Every woman should own one. Nothing is sexier or more versatile.”

The 3 Worst Trends

1. Jeggings

“They are not jeans and they are not leggings and they really are not flattering. Jeggings have got to be the worst trend of the year. There’s no redeeming features about them. I mean, I’m very big that leggings are not pants anyway, but jeggings – they’re just leggings with some stitching on it.


If you really need to have elasticized waists – I get that, I totally understand that, I will wear tracksuit pants happily all day. And I don’t mind wearing leggings out of the house, but wear them in a sporty way – wear them with trainers and a t-shirt and look at least like you’ve exercised. Just pretend you’ve exercised even if you haven’t.”

2. Celebrity tattoos

“I think tattoos have become ridiculously popular and this is where the MM community can scream and throw rocks at me. I understand that tattoos are a genuine form of self-expression and I would never pretend to understand the motivations for them because I have none myself and I understand people have their reasons for it and I have no judgment for it. Have I mentioned I don’t judge people with tattoos? If you want to tattoo your body go right ahead. I WILL NOT JUDGE YOU.

Alexa Chung in double demin.

But I think that they’ve become a little bit too mainstream to the point where I don’t think people are thinking through their decisions. Getting a tattoo these days is like getting your ears pierced. And also does everybody want to have Rhianna’s stars?

People are copying celebrity tattoos, that’s been a massive trend. The Nicole Richie anklet tattoo, all of David Beckham’s tatts, Rhianna’s stars on the back of her neck, the love heart that Lindsay Lohan has……they’re all everywhere. I always thought that people went and got tattoos for deep and meaningful reasons.I can appreciate that there are spiritual reasons or whatever behind it. But I think that when they’re just being bought off the rack like you buy a pair of shoes, it starts to become a bit strange.”

3. Double denim.

“Double denim was around as well – and it was literally as it sounds: putting denim with denim. It was a tiny trend – it just didn’t get taken up as much as the fashion industry expected. It’s very 80s and I think it should stay there.”


“Of course everything I’ve said above is simply my opinion. You may have a different one and I’m sure you do. Wear what you like. What makes you feel good.

I think the most important thing is that it doesn’t matter where your fashion inspiration it comes from, just as long as you’re inspired. So I think that with fashion, you just find your own temple. It’s not life or death. It’s just clothes.  Everyone’s of a different church so find your own place to worship in and take it where you get it.”

Paula Joye

If you want to hear more about Paula’s style tips, hop on over to her website. It’s full of fashion tips and inspiration, as well as Paula’s regular ‘What I Wore’ pages. You won’t regret it.

What were you most loved and loathed fashion trends of 2011? What did you really get into and what did you avoid in a big way?