The <i>Jersey Shore</i> take on fashion. Click for more photos

Small-screen style

The Jersey Shore take on fashion. Photo: Getty Images

  • The <i>Jersey Shore</i> take on fashion.
  • Bowling shirts ruled on the set of <i>Two and a Half Men</i>.
  • kel from <i>Kath and Kim</i>: where Coogi (right) ruled.
  • White shoes a Seinfeld standard in the NBC-TV comedy series.

A look at the small screen’s worst fashion offenders.

Thanks to Jennifer Aniston’s overly coiffed tresses in the first and second season of Friends, the mid-to-late ’90s were awash with women sporting unflattering, over-layered cuts after demanding that their hairdresser give them “The Rachel”.

Even the actress herself admits it wasn’t the best look: “I think it was the ugliest haircut I've ever seen. What I really want to know is, how did that thing have legs?”

But women aren’t the only ones to have fallen prey to trends that are better left on the small screen. While many men look towards celebrities to lead the way when it comes to style, there are plenty of suspect wardrobe choices that have filtered down to the masses – looks that the actor probably doesn’t rock in real life and certainly shouldn’t have been adopted by everyday guys.

Let’s talk a walk through the hall of sartorial shame.

White sneakers – Seinfeld
In what now looks like a blatant product placement spot for Nike, Jerry Seinfeld is responsible for making the humble white trainer a perfectly acceptable choice of footwear off the tennis court. All but forgetting they’re as ugly as sin.

While trainers, sneakers, joggers - or whatever else you want to call them - are great, not all kinds work when you hit the street. Whether teamed with jeans or black pants, Seinfeld popularised the actual white gym shoe.

Don’t be fooled. While the TV show itself is enduring, this look doesn’t belong anywhere other than the locker room.

Ed Hardy – Jersey Shore
No one watches the antics of this rag-tag group of future alcoholics in order to pick up helpful life tips, so why then do men insist on looking up to them as fashion guides?

The overarching style of these juiced-up guidos and their admirers can be summed up in two words: Ed Hardy. Followed closely by anything else manufactured by the brand’s former boss, Christian Audigier.

Contrary to popular opinion, these clothes don’t make you hard-edged or youthful. If you’re under 40 you look like a complete douche bag and for those heading into middle age nothing screams I’m-desperately-trying-to-reclaim-my-youth-following-my-recent-divorce than a bad acid trip of a T-shirt featuring flaming skulls, ornate flowers and semi-naked women.

Bowling shirts – Two and a Half Men
Sure, Charlie Sheen’s “tiger blood” fuelled departure from hit show Two and a Half Men received many well-deserved column inches. But the wardrobe department committed a truly bigger, and decidedly less captivating, crime with the reintroduction of the humble bowling shirt.

Perfectly acceptable attire while actually bowling, it otherwise deserves a special place in the cleaning rag pile alongside Hawaiian shirts and old undies.

Exceptions are made for guys living a rockabilly lifestyle, as the choice of bowling shirts in this instance doesn’t automatically make you look like a creepy uncle.

Coogi knits – Kath & Kim
While Kath & Kim’s Kel Knight loved dressing tizzy in one of his many fine Coogi knits, they made sense when viewed in context to the show. It was after all a sitcom. However, this didn’t stop our country’s more fashion forward youngins from reappropriating them as an ironic streetwear look.

Like Ken Done windcheaters before them, what once made the self-appointed stylish cringe in disgust is now a cheeky nod to their parent’s daggy winter choices. But, as is the case with many TV shows on the box today, just because something is popular doesn’t always mean it’s good.

Who do you think are the worst small screen style offenders, both past and present?