If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know I’m definitely not a slave to fashion. While I can pick out a sexy cocktail dress or a cute jeans-and-t-shirt combo, I don’t consider myself an expert on style. But even I know fug when I see it…and if what I saw on my recent trip is any indicator, Europe’s strategic stockpile of fugly clothing is located in the Low Countries. While vacationing there last week, MamaSharper and I walked past a lot of clothing stores, which all had big display windows with mannequins dressed in fashions that can only be described as deeply, deeply fugly. It appeared that all the cheapest textiles, most garish prints and chintzy trims had been drop-shipped to Belgium and the Netherlands for this year’s collection. And this year’s collection appeared to have been designed by people who despise women. A couple times, we witnessed an outfit so appalling that we turned to each other with our jaws hanging and said, “Did you see that?” in the same urgent, hushed tones we would have used for a UFO sighting.
The clothes we saw were so uniformly, fabulously hideous, so outrageously ugly and unflattering that I was forced to have my mom take snapshots of me modeling them because otherwise you would not have believed me when I told you how fugly they were.*
Click on the jump for a gallery of Eurofug, complete with Harpy commentary. Be forewarned: this gallery includes what may be the fugliest dress ever made…
Yes, it’s Seinfeld’s Pirate Shirt meets tropical sunset on acid! The print is cornea-searing, the polyester chiffon probably flamable, and the smocking at the bottom guarantees you’ll look puffy and plump.
PhDork: One party gypsy, one part Golden Girls. All parts fugtastic.
sarah.of.a.lesser.god: It’s like a set of Mr. Sketch markers threw up on a shirt.
Leopard! Fakey gold chain! Boxy cut! Big-ass titty bow! What you can’t tell from the photo is that the top is a cheap felted wool that would have you itching and sweating in no time.
sarah.of.a.lesser.god: The leopard print screams ‘cougar’, the titty bow screams ‘grade school.’ Holy mixed messages, Batman!
PhDork: Oh, Mad Men, what hath thou wrought? (Have they seen MM in the Netherlands?)
It’s a tunic! It’s a muumuu! It’s a tunic AND a muumuu! And in busy, cheesy, retro print! This bears a disturbing similarity to the flannel nightgowns my grandma made me when I was a kid.
sarah.of.a.lesser.god: Ooh, it’s like Mother Ginger from the Nutcracker!
PhDork: From the Sharon Tate maternity line. I mean really, wtf is up with that bow? On a dropped yoke? For an ADULT?
The fabric was a cheap-ass silky polyester with an ugly pink zig-zag pattern on a dark brown background, but the killer was the big woven lace collar, presumably recycled from a Laura Ashley Easter dress circa 1983. Oh, and there was more lace at the hem, in case you missed that collar!
PhDork: This looks like something you’d find on the floor of a gold rush-era whorehouse. Only cheaper.
sarah.of.a.lesser.god: Costume for the new Broadway musical, Hello Doily!
And now, the Fugliest Dress Ever, from Belgium:
This one had me and Mom laughing so loud the shopowner wanted to kick us out. First of all, the textiles clash. On the bottom, ugly, grayish netting covers a weird, amorphous print in dismal colors. On the top, a print that looks like someone’s is scrawling their handwriting over your boobs. Then there’s the random dangly stringy bolo thing in the front. And the useless, kindergarten-like bright plastic buttons on the neckline (WTF?). But the worst part? IT HAS SUSPENDERS! SRSLY! Fake suspenders sewn into the shoulder seam and the bustline!
SarahMC: I don’t have anything funny to say about this, but when I saw the thumbnail I was like hey, what’s wrong with that? Then I enlarged it and…wow.
PhDork: Nice nipple clamps, Becks.
sarah.of.a.lesser.god: They found my second grade sewing project! I’ve been looking for it since 1988!
PhDork: You know it’s fashion, because it says so right on the fabric.
BeckySharper: To make this dress even stranger, in the back there was a little ribbon with a ring dangling off it, presumably so that if I starred in a revival of “Peter Pan”, the zip wire could be attached there and I could fly around.
PhDork: I think its a leash-clip. If you wear this dress, you shouldn’t be going out in public by yourself.
*With sincere apologies to any readers from Belgium or the Netherlands if you designed or bought these outfits.