IT IS an image problem that would pose a challenge for even the fiercest TV fashion expert.
The dress sense of Brits abroad is one of those standing jokes that has endured for generations.
Now a new survey has revealed Welsh holidaymakers’ top fashion faux pas – with socks and sandals, exposed beer bellies and thongs all on the list.
The survey, conducted as many people from the region enjoy late August breaks, quizzed people across the country on their likes and dislikes of the British holidaymaker’s wardrobe.
When asked which British people have the worst fashion sense, one in four Welsh respondents said those from Birmingham and the Midlands.
Holidaymakers from Essex and the South East were seen to have the best fashion sense followed by those from Yorkshire and Wales.
Leader readers, however, had a mixed reaction to the survey, conducted by money saving website DiscountVouchers.co.uk.
Leader reporter Robin Jones took to the streets of Mold to see if locals could detect the worst fashion crimes on the list.
For Amy Bletcher of Rhydymwyn, the socks-and-sandals look was the cardinal clothing sin: “It’s just not a good look! I was in Spain recently, and there were more Irish than there were Brits, but still plenty of fashion disasters.
“Personally I’d usually just go for a swimming costume or something, but it’s quite worrying to think that the Midlands were voted the most unfashionable place – I used to live there!”
Beverley Wynn, who runs Clays Fashion and Lingerie in Mold, said: “Beer bellies have got to be the worst, all the more so when they’re on girls!
“It does seem that thongs have gone a bit out of fashion as well – we sell a lot less than we used to. We see a lot of holiday disasters in Clays; people who don’t know what to wear, people who won’t admit their sizes.
“Still, there won’t be many chances for holiday fashion disasters where I’m going – I’m going scuba diving in Scotland in October!”
Michelle Demaine of Buckley, owner of Mold fashion shop Catwalk, said: “I was in Kefalonia recently and the standard of dress was great.
“The women were dressed spot on in their long dresses. There were one or two Brits but no real fashion disasters – thongs may not be attractive to some, but they’re certainly not a sin!”
Gan Griffiths of Mold was quick to defend her husband’s fashion sense.
“My husband hasn’t got a beer belly, and even if he had he wouldn’t show it off!
He’d never wear sandals and socks.
“I went to the Middle East recently, and there’s not much room for fashion disaster there – you can’t strip off at all!
“That said, when I went to Fuerteventura I saw a man from Mold, wearing the dreaded sandals and socks!”
For Steve Bailey and Kath Allen, both of Mold, nothing could be worse than the beer belly.
Steve said: “I had a bad experience with Welsh holidaymaking in Anglesey when I saw three men as red as lobsters, but as white as ghosts from the calves down! Football socks and sandals are an especially bad idea!”