Corsets, Khakis and Platforms: 5 Women Face the Trends That Scare Them

Though I do not consider myself a particularly adventurous person, I have no qualms about experimenting with a previously unexplored trend or style of clothing. Similarly to how people proclaim, “It’s just a haircut! It will grow back!” I like to think, “It’s just clothing! You can take it off!” This philosophy has resulted in many a dressing room disaster, but for every 10 failures, there is generally at least one success, and therein lies my firm belief that you should never say never when it comes to trying something on, even just for kicks.

In the interest of spreading the gospel, I posed the following question to my colleagues: What’s a trend or article of clothing you’d never wear? Having collected their answers, I proceeded to convince them to let me make a few suggestions about how to style said trend or article of clothing and give it a go. Best case scenario they would love it, worst case scenario they would hate it; whatever the outcome, I figured we would still have fun, and in that sense there’s really no worst case after all. Keep scrolling to see them face their style fears and read how it felt.


Kate told me she would never wear a wool bra. I called in one that looked more like a crop top than lingerie and suggested layering it over a turtleneck and high-waist pants so it wouldn’t feel like an intimidating style departure so much as a seamlessly-incorporated accessory.

Why wouldn’t you wear this trend?
It didn’t occur to me that I could layer it over something else, so I was more intimidated by the idea of wearing something that showed my midriff, not so much because of my body (the older I get, the more I love my body), but because I just haven’t done that before? Except for maybe in the heyday of low-slung jeans, with a billowy cropped top. For some reason a fitted cropped top felt like it was too much of a “look” for me to feel comfortable in. However, if I’d known it would be layered over something I still would have been intimidated because my only real previous experience with layering was wearing sweater-vests over button-downs in middle school, and I wasn’t thrilled with that.

How did it feel to wear it? Did you like it? (Be honest.) 
I did! Everything felt great and I loved the pairing with the pants and turtleneck. I think the combination of me not knowing what to do with my body when I’m being photographed and the wider straps of the top gave me a broad-shouldered look in some of the pictures that I did not love, but overall I felt very comfortable both physically and in how I looked.

Would you wear it this way again?
For sure. Can I have that top?


Erica told me she would never wear khakis. I called in khaki-colored Kamm pants with the intention of combatting khakis’ dorky middle school associations with a modern, slightly funky, thoroughly grown-up silhouette. 

Why wouldn’t you wear this trend?
I had to wear a school uniform from Kindergarten allll the way through 12th grade. In high school, we no longer had the plaid skirts from junior high. Rather, we had shorts and pants in two color options: navy and KHAKI. These then had to be paired with polo shirts in either navy, white or red. Now, whenever I see khakis, all I can think about is that not-so-flattering uniform, the cringe-y yearbook photos… and how my friends and I would try to trick people shopping in Target into thinking we worked there if we all happened to pair our khakis with red polos that day.

How did it feel to wear it? Did you like it? (Be honest.) 
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking the look! I definitely felt “off” when I looked in the mirror because I haven’t seen myself in that shade for a decade, but the shape and cut of the pants were so flattering — the complete opposite of the baggy, draw-string contraptions I had to wear in high school — that they won me over. Consider me a convert.

Would you wear it this way again?
I would! I believe that I personally can never have too many pairs of pants, especially high-waist ones, so what the heck, let’s throw a voluminous khaki pair into the rotation.


Jasmin told me she would never wear “dad” sneakers. I suggested styling them with feminine pieces like a midi-length slip dress, sparkly gold socks and a tailored blazer to provide contrast and circumvent the possibility of looking like Seinfeld (unless that’s your thing, in which case I fully support).

Why wouldn’t you wear this trend?
As a naturally small person, I could never get on board with the whole Dad sneaker thing because they always look and felt too clompy to me and thought they would look very out of balance on my frame.

How did it feel to wear it? Did you like it? (Be honest.) 
I actually loved my outfit, definitely something I’d wear, but though I think the sneakers look really cool in the pictures it still doesn’t feel like me. I was, however, incredibly comfortable.

Would you wear it this way again?
The outfit and the sneakers individually, yes, but not together. I’d likely wear the outfit with a pair of calf-length boots and the sneakers with leggings but together it didn’t gel for me as something I’d wake up really wanting to wear.


Patty told me she would never wear platform shoes. I called in platform *loafers* and suggested wearing them with striped socks so the aesthetic leaned more in the direction of “cool art teacher” instead of Lady Gaga circa 2009. 

Why wouldn’t you wear this trend?
Other than a short but enthusiastic stint with a pair of cable-knit platform clogs in high school, I’ve always dismissed platform shoes as too theatrical for my needs. An unnecessary hindrance. I assumed the all-around elevation would slow me down, trip me up, and/or make me feel like I was walking around in Moon Shoes (remember those?!).

How did it feel to wear it? Did you like it? (Be honest.) 
I felt like myself, and that was surprising. I love that they are a lace-up loafer, which made me feel strapped in and secure. And at just an inch or two the platform was less the Spice Girls tribute I imagined/feared and more of a gentle, cushioned lift.

Would you wear it this way again?
Would totally wear again. Would also like Harling to pick out my socks every day.


Haley told me she would never wear a corset. I suggested styling it with her usual uniform of Levi’s vintage jeans plus an oversized white shirt dress so the look wouldn’t feel too body-con.

Why wouldn’t you wear this trend?
I tend to avoid anything that hugs my waist or boobs — not out of self-consciousness or modesty, it’s just not my personal style, like how five-inch heels and maxi skirts aren’t my style. I even prefer cotton T-shirts a size or two up. Suffice it to say, I’ve stayed far away from corsets.

How did it feel to wear it? Did you like it? (Be honest.)
It was…interesting. And I don’t mean that in the mom way when she’s pretending to like your new boyfriend. I mean it really was interesting to have something tight around my waist like that when the rest of my outfit was baggy. However, tbh, I wasn’t really feeling myself in this look.

Would you wear it this way again?
I’d probably never wear it. Maybe it was my jeans and shoes? In which case it’s my fault. Anyway, SORRY HARLS. And love you, Tibi!

Your turn: What’s a trend or article of clothing [you think] you’d never wear?

Photos by Edith Young. 

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  • Erica Kan

    I’m literally loving each and every one of these outfits. When I see or hear the word, “khaki,” I cringe and immediately think of a private school uniform. I’d literally replicate Jasmin and Patty’s outfits, like 10/10 would make it my own!

  • Isabela

    I get you, Erica! I NEVER wear white and navy together because the combination reminds me of my high school uniform. And I would never wear a bodycon dress or skinny jeans with fitted T-shirts/sweaters/whatever.

  • Never say never, but slouchy boots would probably be my “never purchase” item.

  • I looooove those leopard pants!! Where from??

  • Kate

    I will never do the one shoulder/asymetrical/shoulder cut out tops or dresses. No. Shoulders are not an area of interest for me. Leave them alone. Also i love the 90s trends comeback, and use every day as an opportunity to dress like my babysitters i idolized but i will never get behind overalls.

  • Aleda Johnson

    I’m so afraid of investing in a pair of those crop flair pants that every fashionable woman ever is wearing right now. They give me flashbacks to the goucho trend in 2005.

    • Abby

      I bought some and the first time I wore them a co-worker told me she “omg loved those gouchos!” which gave me a lot of pause, but I still like and wear them.

      • Aleda Johnson

        Which ones did you get? Maybe if I just find a lowkey pair, I can do it.

        • Abby

          The Everlane ones, they’re very well made and comfy.

          • Ma

            Have been eyeing these for MONTHS, good to hear from a real person that they are good, thanks!!

    • Kamm pants are the BEST!! If you get a pair make sure to buy them in person so you can try them on. The sizing is kind of odd… but they are worth every penny!

      • Amelia

        These are my #1 “i am afraid to splurge but i know they’ll be worth it” item right now

    • Lizzy

      I’m afraid once I buy a pair they’ll be out of style that instant.

      • jr

        Oh my gosh same

  • Loving every single look! Not sure if I dislike a specific trend…

    x Mariya

  • Hannah Nichols

    let me just say that I am a high school art teacher and I LOVE the fact that at least once a week there is a reference to a “cool art teacher”

    • If I had to sum up my style goals it has ALWAYS been high school art teacher!

  • xenxen525

    WHITE PANTS. Maybe I’m just prone to the classic spaghetti-sauce disaster or petrified I’m gonna get my period in them. My legs are also not pencil thin and long. But I can’t help but look longingly at the cool girls or the Hamptonites who can pull them off…

    • Amelia

      +1 on the period thing… even though i don’t really get my period anymore THE THOUGHT STILL HAUNTS ME

    • DATowpe

      Ditto. I’m the type of woman who attracts dirt and I’m not particularly skinny from the waist down.

  • elif

    hiya! love all the looks! May I ask where Patty’s coat is from?? <3

    • Patty Carnevale

      Thank you!! It’s from Trademark 🙂

  • Erin O

    My ‘never’ tend it’s boob everything. I get it. Boobs. Feminism. Taking ownership of our bodies. When Gravel and Gold did it, it was something. Everyone else down the line? I’m over it. Not that exciting, too “on the nose.” If you’re really a feminist and want to show it; be well read, take care of the females in your life (both up and down), vote.

  • Elizabeth

    Firm nevers: White jeans or cold shoulder tops

  • Laura

    shoulder pads

  • Allegra

    Biker shorts for sure. Though this may be an editorial/Kim K trend only – I have never witnessed them as a part of an actual outfit on the street or at a party!

  • Bella Zaydenberg

    FEEL YOU, ERICA. Khakis + my tush = secretary butt, and not in a cute way.

  • Olivia Lauren Hawk Moore I feel like those sneakers are **BARELY** dad sneakers though. When I think dad sneakers, I think these. Which are definitely my never ever trend.

  • Ma

    It’s funny how my school uniform shaped my style (and how I had never thought about – until now!): it comprised of blue pants (or jeans on days we didn’t have PE), white t-shirt and neutral (blue, black, gray or white) sweaters. I do wear other stuff, but when I’m packing for a trip (and therefore don’t know what I’ll feel like wearing), or when I just don’t-know-what-to-wear, I go straight to blue pants and neutral sweaters – ohh, now I’m all nostalgic :’)

  • liz

    Would never pick out or put on anything one-shouldered, especially with a long sleeve on the other side. It’s so senselessly asymmetrical and seems like you would never be the right temperature.

    Also I have so far always stayed away from peplums, but I think a subtle drapey 1940’s style one could be ok but I have personally never come across such a garment IRL.

    I also don’t think I will ever again willingly wear a polo shirt because of school uniforms.

  • AML

    I love Patty’s socks where are they from?

  • Caroline Christianson

    INFO ON THE STRIPED SOCKS?!?!?!!!!!!?????!!?!????? #panicked

  • Amanda Orlando

    “I believe that I personally can never have too many pairs of pants, especially high-waist ones…” <– that is my exact fashion philosophy! xx

  • Áine Hegarty

    “It was…interesting. And I don’t mean that in the mom way when she’s pretending to like your new boyfriend.” Hahahah that made me laugh outloud. Haley you’re so funny. I’m going to love this sentence forever.

  • Puffy sleeve. Blech. Can’t do it.

  • eva

    not a ~never~ but stiletto heels… i just can’t justify being that uncomfortable. i have pretty janky feel [flat, weird arches?] and an uncomfortable pair has me wrecked for days. i can do a 3″ block heel, that’s my limit.

  • MKP

    where are those leopard pants from!

  • Cynthia Schoonover

    The trend I have not worn is leggings, nor will I.

  • Marta Bosiak

    I’m saying NO to NO STRAPS – blouses, dresses, bras, tops. They always roll down and move so you constantly have to watch out and pull them up.

  • Kelly

    Info on the boots Erica is wearing?

  • Nana

    Hiya, can I ask where Erica’s boots are from?
    They look so great – Especially with those pants!

  • Emily M

    Leather in any form other than shoes makes me recoil. Yes, even jackets. No matter how cool and low-key and “essential to every woman’s wardrobe” a leather jacket is I just can’t shake the mental image of my middle-aged dad and his buddy buying themselves motorcycles on whim and outfitting themselves in enough leather to fit in at Sturgis, South Dakota. And a long heeeeeeellllllll no to leather PANTS. Good god, people. how and why.

  • Katherine Burch

    Now I want cable-knit platform clogs… where to cop…

  • vss

    ❤️❤️❤️I love all these outfits and Haley’s lewk is my favorite. Harling you did such a good job with this!

  • Very cool outfits! I am particularly impressed with the wool bra as a layer. Did not think of that one. As for me, one thing that I would not wear leopard print…as cool as it looks on Patty, just cant see myself pulling it off

    • Beasliee

      OMG I love leopard print. I just pretend it’s a neutral. I wear pretty much only black so leopard is the only interesting aspect of my wardrobe – I have it in greys for underwear, a green / grey coat, in black / grey tees, plus skirt, scarves, belt, shoes – even tights! LOVE IT! (I wear a max of 2 pieces at once tho!)

  • C. Killion

    Corsets, definitely never corsets again. Back in the day, you know, when dirt was new, we wore waist cinchers. Even more uncomfortable in the Maryland humidity were the torture devices known as a Merry Widow: a strapless corset with a row of, I think, 32 hooks and eyes down the back. Sweet mercy, never again.

  • Nikelle

    Never have I ever put my foot in an Ugg boot or a Toms shoe.
    Always yes to shoulder pads, strapless and asymmetrical tops.