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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!”


  • Leather_bow_large

    Apr 21, 2011, 09.24 PMby Sewing And Style

    nice just makes me sick, I mean those pictures representing it above. Now Sandra Bullock is ok, but Sharon Stone is the dog’s b*******x!

    2 Replies
    • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

      Apr 21, 2011, 09.44 PMby Peter Lappin

      Hey, what’s wrong with Annette Funicello? She can’t help it if she’s nice! ;)

    • Leather_bow_large

      Apr 22, 2011, 04.15 PMby Sewing And Style

      Always loved the end of Grease, when Sandy gets naughty, Annette ( I had to look her up) is way to cheesy.
  • Dscn0826_large

    Apr 21, 2011, 09.01 PMby ruthw

    Yes, I got Debbie Harry straightoff (who IS Debbie Gibson? Ozzie Nelson? Who he? Is it he? Am I naughty or just old?), but for Ozzie, I got ‘Clark’.

    1 Reply
    • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

      Apr 21, 2011, 09.18 PMby Peter Lappin

      Maybe instead of a quiz I should have opted for an essay! LOL

  • Img_7458_large

    Apr 21, 2011, 08.01 PMby leahfranqui

    When you said Debbie I said Reynolds, does that mean I’m REALLY nice? I’d love to be a Joan but I’m a Peggy. At least I’m not a Betty, because Betty is MEAN. And I make sure all my Halloween costumes cover the important parts because it is COLD in Philadelphia in October. It’s really the Ginger vs. Mary Ann quandary, and I’m Mary Ann, because Mary Ann is PRACTICAL.

    1 Reply
    • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

      Apr 21, 2011, 08.31 PMby Peter Lappin

      Leah, wow — it sounds like you’ve really thought this through! LOL

  • 202413_1236892285178_full_large

    Apr 21, 2011, 06.18 PMby Dani Restercher

    Baby I’m both :D

    4 Replies
    • 202413_1236892285178_full_large

      Apr 21, 2011, 06.21 PMby Dani Restercher

      No seriously I would wear black short high low ripped studded things with sweet knee length bow ruffle things and no one would bat an eye. I love the variation. When I go sweet I tend to go country/boho as opposed to sweetheart. My style icons are varied, I love Molly Ringwald, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Ashley from fresh prince and Lisa from saved by the bell.

    • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

      Apr 21, 2011, 08.32 PMby Peter Lappin

      And there’s nothing wrong with that! ;)

    • 202413_1236892285178_full_large

      Apr 28, 2011, 01.01 AMby Dani Restercher

      by the way I answered with “i don’t know any debbies” and “ozzy osbourne”. Try Joan as well, Joan Jett or Joan Crawford!

    • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

      Apr 28, 2011, 02.09 AMby Peter Lappin

      Which one of those is nice? ;)

  • Hat_large

    Apr 21, 2011, 06.17 PMby margaretchandler

    Peter, I WANT to be nice, I really do. But every time I end up making a sweet little frock, I wear it once and stash in my closet until I give it away. I’m much more of an absurdist, bold-and-black dresser; when I wear something darling, it feels like a costume. I think the sweetest it gets with me is “affable hippie.” :)

    1 Reply
    • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

      Apr 21, 2011, 08.33 PMby Peter Lappin

      Margaret, we can’t all be nice — sounds like you’re a somewhat conflicted “naughty.” ;)

  • 2ec794ad0aab31308b80ae690170adc92f1f5e0e_large

    Apr 21, 2011, 05.44 PMby marmota-b

    I’m definitely nice. But I must warn you, your test only works for people who are familiar with both the options! As a Czech girl who mostly ignores popular culture, I do not fall into that category. Still, I agree with you. Style icons definitely work that way… well, considering my “style icon” is a 19th century German princess… ;-) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/Amalie-auguste.jpg

    2 Replies
    • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

      Apr 21, 2011, 06.07 PMby Peter Lappin

      I really should come up with a better test… ;)

      Still, I suspect most people know even before taking it!

    • 2ec794ad0aab31308b80ae690170adc92f1f5e0e_large

      Apr 22, 2011, 08.01 AMby marmota-b

      Yes, I would know before taking it for sure. Actually, that’s how I know it does not work for me. :-)

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