Shell suit voted the worst fashion item of the past 50 years (with Jimmy Savile and Ali G as its biggest fans, it's no surprise)
16:38 GMT, 6 June 2012
It was famously sported by the late Sir Jimmy Savile and was once a wardrobe staple for many Brits – but the shell suit has now been voted the worst fashion item of the past 50 years.
Based on the track suit, the brightly coloured polyester trouser and jacket outfits soared in popularity during the 1980s and early nineties.
But the nation's love affair with the suits was short-lived and it quickly fell out of favour. When it became the outfit of choice for comedy characters like Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G, it was clear the shell suit had become the ultimate fashion faux pas.
Fashion faux pas: They may have fallen out of favour with the rest of the nation, but the late Sir Jimmy Savile always loved shell suits and is pictured here wearing one in 2011
Now it has been officially named the worst fashion item by a study carried out by online retailer isme.com.
They asked 2,000 women over 50 to name their best and worst items of clothing since the 1960s. An overwhelming 91 per cent of those surveyed said they thought the shell suit was the worst, followed by the Spandex mini skirt, at 88 per cent and dungarees at 73 per cent.
Other styles popular in the Eighties were also given the thumbs down with the jumpsuit, 68 per cent, and shoulder pads, 62 per cent, the next most regrettable trends.
No longer on trend: Naomi Campbell in a jumpsuit, left, and Joan Collins in shoulder pads. Both fashion items also featured in the top five worst styles
The little black dress was voted the most classic item by 91 per cent. And although the Spandex mini-skirt was unpopular, the traditional mini-skirt was voted a favourite by 79 per cent.
The Wonderbra also made the top five, voted by 75 per cent, as well as the maxi dress, 71 per cent, and ballet pumps, 70 per cent.
Designer Mary Quant, inventor of the miniskirt, was also revealed as the women whose style has been most imitated over the years – with 40 per cent.
She was followed by Princess Diana, 33 per cent, Twiggy, 29 per cent, and Farrah Fawcett, 25 per cent.
Debbie Harry, Lulu, Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley, Diana Rigg and Joan Collins also made the top ten.
Jackie Lewis, from isme.com's 50-plus brand Savoir, said: '1965 for many was the starting point for young women to express themselves.
Fashion icons: Princess Diana, left, and Twiggy polled highly as women whose style has been the most imitated over the past five decades
'They dressed like the stars and spawned a national fascination about the latest trends that has gone through the decades to the present day.'
She added: 'Most of these women will have grown up kids of their own now, but having lived through flower power, punk and shoulder pads they know what works and nothing can surprise them.'
Research also showed 2012 was the time women felt most confident about what to wear.
WORST FASHION ITEMS OF LAST 50 YEARSShell suitSpandex mini-skirtDungareesJumpsuitShoulder pads
BEST FASHION ITEMS OF LAST 50 YEARS
Little Black DressMini-skirtWonderbraMaxi dressBallet pumps