Thongs voted 2010 top holiday fashion faux pas

Beach thongs have been named the top modern holiday fashion faux pas of 2010 beating off stiff competition from summer horrors, including bum bags, mesh tops and ankle socks with heels.

To find the fashion monstrosities that should be banned from your travels this year, Heathrow commissioned TV presenter and fashion journalist Louise Roe to create a definitive list of modern holiday fashion faux pas to face a public vote.

One in five Brits (20 per cent) voted beach thongs as the top item that’s less runway and more run-away this summer with celebrities such as Britney Spears and film character Borat putting them on the scare list. 

Ankle socks with heels, the modern twist on the socks and sandals combo, were second in the ditch list (19 per cent) and, despite designer Marc Jacobs turning the bum bag into this season’s fashion must-have, the 1980s functional throwback took third place (17 per cent).

Crocs, which have proved to be as controversial as they are comfortable, came fourth (ten per cent) just ahead of mesh tops, as modelled by Amy Winehouse, in fifth place (nine per cent).

The top ten 2010 British holiday fashion faux pas are:

1. Beach thongs (20%)
2. Ankle socks and heels (19%)
3. Bum bags (17%)
4. Crocs (10%)
5. Mesh tops (9%)
6. Oversize logo or slogan T-shirts (6%)
7. Neon (4%)
8. Micro mini shorts (3%)
9. Mismatched bikinis (2%)
10. Cut out dresses (1%)

* Other = 9%

According to the research, more than half of Brits (55 per cent) have spent over £100 on new clothes and beauty buys for their holiday, with one in 20 (5 per cent) forking out more than a whopping £350.  A quarter of Brits (27 per cent) have dressed smartly for their flight in the hope that they might be upgraded despite more than half (50 per cent) of those polled saying they always choose comfort over style for their holiday attire.

TV presenter and fashion writer Louise Roe comments: “As the top ten goes to show, there are plenty of trends that may dazzle on the catwalk, but sadly just don’t translate so well into real life. 

“The secret to looking and feeling great on your summer holiday is to keep it simple.  Make sure you pack clothes that work together not against each other and can be dressed up or down – think pared down glamour.  A non-crease dress on a bright colour is a must.  Boho chic is big on the catwalks this year so a long, printed maxi dress is ideal. Safari is also a huge trend and can easily be made to work for nights out by adding a belt to cinch in your waist or with a piece of statement jewellery such as a cocktail ring or chunky bangle. ”

Malcolm Robertson, Director of Communications, Heathrow said:  “Planning your holiday wardrobe can be a real headache and one that sends panic into even the most seasoned traveller.  We hope Louise’s top tips will not only address passengers’ packing dilemmas but leave them feeling inspired about their holiday purchases. It’s never too late to bag a holiday bargain, Heathrow offers a range of fashion brands at airport prices and if your suitcase is already brimming, passengers can use our Shop and Collect service which allows travellers to pick up airport purchases on the return journey.”

Gender Divide

One in five men (21 per cent) identified bum bags as the worst holiday fashion faux pas, beating beach thongs into second place with 16 per cent. Women ensured beach thongs took top spot overall with almost a quarter (23 per cent) identifying them as the worst offender.

More than a quarter of men (27 per cent) have never spent more than £50 on new clothes and beauty buys for a holiday, while women spend up to £150.28 on average.

More men (30 per cent) than women (25 per cent) always dress smartly for the plane on the off-chance that they get upgraded.

Regional Variation

Results for the worst holiday fashion faux pas was far from uniform across the country. Beach thongs were the least popular in Aberystwyth where half the respondents (50 per cent) voted them the worst, but in Wolverhampton they only came joint fourth (11 per cent).

The biggest spenders on their holiday fashion were from Gloucester where respondents say they’ve spent up to £242.13 on average.