The term "fashion police" is used to refer to people who comment on what they perceive to be the fashion errors of others. It also might be used to refer to a fictional and ill-defined roving force that should be called to dissuade people from making bad fashion choices. There are many accounts of when and how the term "fashion police" was coined, but many people attribute it to the mid-1980s, and specifically to a “Crimes of Fashion” charity event in Ohio.
Cutting Edge or Criminally Unfashionable?
Fashion is wearable art, but it’s also dictated in highly commercial ways by the trends of the time. Anything that greatly differs from current trends might either forge the way to new styles or be considered a reason to call the fashion police. Although the term is used lightly in most circumstances, albeit sometimes snarkily and negatively, it also has a limiting aspect on any member of society who believes that going with the fashion flow is important. Offending the fashion police can have consequences for people whose self-esteem or reputation is tied to how they appear to others.
Celebrities Under Surveillance
Although there really are no licensed fashion cops, there are many television shows that lend themselves or their hosts to this definition. Post-award shows are often of this nature. Fashion experts and other commentators often review the clothing choices of the glitterati. It’s clear from disagreement on these shows that there are few underlying rules governing taste or even consensus on what is current and trendy in fashion, because many disagreements often arise the self-appointed members of the fashion police, even those who are contributing on the same television show.
Watching fashion isn’t limited to award show evenings, however, and most public figures of a certain stature are regularly judged on what they wear. Magazines and television shows that are devoted to disclosing the lives of stars frequently feature what they consider to be crimes of fashion. Various websites also have blossomed as places where people can dish on the worst-looking outfits they’ve seen. Some websites even feature photos of everyday people whose choices of clothing to wear in public have been deemed unwise.
Avoiding Fashion Crimes
For someone who relies greatly on image, constant criticism from the fashion police might take a toll. Most celebrities and public figures would rather avoid this, so they might employ stylists or designers to help them improve public image through fashion. Sometimes, however, associating with a new designer or stylist might draw the attention of the fashion police instead of deterring criticism.