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So here’s the thing, BurdaStyle readers:

I’ve noticed that most people’s style tends in one of two directions: naughty or — you guessed it! — nice. I’m talking about people’s personal style here, not their personalities. You may be an ax murderer and that would be naughty indeed, but not relevant to the topic at hand.

Take me for instance. I’m a “nice” and always have been. This is about as naughty as I get:


Then there’s my partner Michael. He’s a naughty. Left to his own devices, he’d wear jeans cut too low and ripped in all the wrong places, a see-through tank top, and studded leather wrist bands (You’ll have to take my word for it.) I’ve actually given up trying to do anything about it, though I’m not above the odd barely-audible-but-definitely-disapproving chortle.

My style icons are decidedly wholesome:

(Wally and the Beav, Pat Boone)

A naughty person’s icons would probably include people like this:

(Mick Jagger, Patti Smith, Lil Kim)

Not sure which type you are?

Here’s a simple test. Complete the following:

Debbie ___________.

If you said Gibson, you’re a nice. If you said Harry, you’re a naughty, see? Here’s another.

Ozzie __________.

If you said Nelson (Remember Ozzie and Harriet?) you’re a nice. If you said Osborne, you’re a naughty.


More naughty…


And more nice…


Frankly, readers, it seems that people today are so desperate to be naughty — think Halloween and all the naughty secretary, naughty nurse, naughty everything costumes that are all the rage — that projecting nice is positively subversive!

So how about you? I can say with confidence, having seen many BurdaStyle members projects photos, that we have some definite naughties among us — I won’t name names!

Do you think you are a naughty or a nice? If so, why? Were you rebelling against an oppressive childhood of church picnics and “Little House on the Prairie” re-runs? Was your mother a Carol Brady wannabe? Or just the opposite: were you raised by a woman named Rainbow on a commune and forced to wear fringe vests and peace-sign-embossed leather headbands, and chew peyote gum?

How does your nice/naughty style manifest itself?

Are you Debbie, Doris, or the devil?

Enquiring minds want to know!


When native New Yorker Peter Lappin bought his first sewing machine two years ago to hem a pair of thrift store jeans, little did he know he was initiating a journey that would bring him fame and fortune. While awaiting his fortune he stays busy writing “the world’s most popular men’s sewing blog,” Male Pattern Boldness, and now contributing to BurdaStyle.

“For more than twenty years I’d lived on the edge of the Garment District without even knowing what a seam ripper was. Now I rip daily!”


  • Me_4_large

    Apr 23, 2011, 02.25 PMby FashionSewingBlog

    When I was younger I would describe my fashion style as naughty, well at least in my eyes. I found it a way to express myself. I used clothes as a voice as i was an incredibly shy person, but extremely creative. Today, I would describe my self most certainly as nice. It an age thing!!

    1 Reply
    • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

      Apr 25, 2011, 12.05 AMby Peter Lappin

      A lot of people seem to age into “nice.” ;)

  • Jen_designs_large

    Apr 23, 2011, 12.42 PMby masterseamstress19

    I’m really nice. I’ve tried naughty but it just never really fits. Too conservative I guess. Love the photos!!!

    1 Reply
  • Fullsizeoutput_11ea_large

    Apr 23, 2011, 07.17 AMby sew4my3

    Is it awful to say that as the Burdastyle moderator I fall on the naughty side? Shh…. it’s a secret!

    1 Reply
    • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

      Apr 23, 2011, 01.26 PMby Peter Lappin

      Your secret is safe with me!

  • Naburdaprofil_large

    Apr 23, 2011, 07.08 AMby janul

    I would love to be naughty sometimes, but always end up nice :). I think my naughty days are over… when I was about 15, I liked eccentric combinations, like neon green pants with vivid red t-shirt, combined with strange hairdos… I would feel uncomfortable in that nowadays, I just don´t want that much attention. Still, I try to be at least “interesting nice” with something unusual. And recent post about Vivienne Westwood was certainly inspiring… Great post, thanks!

    1 Reply
  • Img_0828_large

    Apr 23, 2011, 03.34 AMby noknee

    I think I have a bit of a split personality. My closet is split down the middle. Depends on the day… I would say Patti Smith is my style icon but once in a while I like to throw on a dress and pretend to be a girl.

    1 Reply
  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Apr 22, 2011, 06.26 PMby katexxxxxx

    My style is kinda power dressed Professor Trelawny! So none of your icons hit me at all… My fashion gods include Vivienne Westwood, Jean Muir, Kenneth King and Tommy Nutter! My Live Journal icon fits me better in character than the one for here, though I’m usually dressed closer to that one as I don’t actually feel the need to wander about in a wig, tricorn, mask, stays, panners and a sacque every day…


    1 Reply
  • Ba6f76121db026b87bb717b39b9a75be8da67d2c_large

    Apr 22, 2011, 04.56 PMby veesta

    Pretty difficult question to answer. I tend to be quite boyishly dressed with brogue-type shoes, black jeans, long sleeves and short hair. Kohl eyes, never lipstick or lipgloss. Very covered up. I deliberately went ‘nice’ recently for a wedding – dusky rose-pink pleated-ruffle-neck dress, navy cardie, opaque tights, mid-height heels, white rose brooch. I surveyed my reflection with horror – it didn’t look like ‘me’ and I almost didn’t go to the wedding!

    1 Reply
    • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

      Apr 22, 2011, 05.57 PMby Peter Lappin

      That’s how I feel when I dress “naughty”!

    • This is a question
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