Millions of British parents embarrass their children on a daily basis – due to their lack of fashion sense, it has emerged

Socks with sandals, eccentric hats, and wearing leggings on the school run are all big no-no’s for the nation’s kids.

Children also cannot bear to be seen with mum or dad if they are in glaringly bright clothing, tops which are too tight or Crocs.

Shorts, giant foam clogs and oversized shirts or sweaters are also considered major fashion faux pas.

Almost half of parents would happily be dressed by their children in a bid to improve their look.

Overall more than four in 10 children are embarrassed by their parents’ lack of fashion sense, while one in four mums and dads said their child’s opinion on their clothing was important to them.

The findings emerged in a study of 2,000 parents with kids aged 16 and under for Oxfam’s Dressed By The Kids campaign, a national fundraising event happening on 16 June.

Kelly O’Connor, Oxfam fundraising officer, said: “Oxfam is giving kids a chance to put the boot on the other foot and take control of the grown-ups’ outfits for a day – while raising money for a great cause. It’s a win-win situation.

“These findings show mums and dads do not always score highly in the fashion stakes in the eyes of their kids. It’s time kids take action!

“Who wouldn’t love a chance to dress their parents up in flamboyant and outlandish clothes, at the same time as doing their bit to support those who need our help all round the world?”

The study shows a third of parents would like their youngsters to go shopping with them to give hints and tips and three in 10 admitted they have ‘questionable taste’ in clothing.

Thirty per cent of children have been known to comment negatively on a parent’s attire, and a fifth of mums and dads have even gone as far as changing an outfit following a particularly critical remark.

More than half of those polled admitted their children are ‘far more fashionable’ than they are.

But parents don’t just embarrass kids in the fashion stakes, as the research indicates there are a number of other ways they have the last laugh.

A quarter of parents say their children are mortified if they are told off in public while 19 per cent of kids hate having food wiped off their face.

Being fussed around, being called a nickname in front of friends and having their hair ruffled also make children feel self-conscious.

While others can’t stand their parents telling stories about when they were a baby, or when mum and dad whoop and cheer at school plays.

But mistakes with fashion are considered some of the worst ways to embarrass children – particularly if parents choose to go out in fancy dress, or shoes they can’t walk in.

One in 10 children have been so embarrassed by their parent’s choice of outfit they’ve refused to be accompanied on the school pick-up, and the same percentage have apologised to their friends about what mum or dad were wearing.

Shaun Ryder, who was recently spotted on the streets of Manchester in flamboyant dress chosen by his daughters as part of Oxfam’s Dressed By The Kids campaign, said: “The kids had a great laugh getting me dressed up in whatever they wanted – from a flowery dress, a fox onesie and flippers, to melon shorts and a tutu.

“They wanted to stitch their dad up! Funny thing is, when we got outside they went crimson in the face walking around with me limping along in high heels, so Dad got the last laugh!

“Getting Dressed By The Kids is a great thing to do with the kids, we’ve giggled all day. So come on Britain, get seriously silly and get yourself signed up for Oxfam!”

1. Generally dressing unfashionably
2. Exercise leggings on the school run
3. Dressing age-inappropriately
4. Socks with sandals
5. Nipping out for the school run in pyjamas and slippers
6. Glaringly bright clothing
7. An outfit which doesn’t match
8. Crocs away from the beach or back garden
9. Going out in fancy dress clothing
10. Oversized shirts, sweaters, jackets or coats
11. Tops which are too tight
12. Shoes you can’t walk in
13. Skirts which are too short
14. Having underwear which shows through the clothing
15. Lurid Hawaii style shirts
16. Bermuda shorts
17. Eccentric hats
18. White shorts
19. Untrendy swimming trunks
20. Giant foam clogs or wedges

Go to to sign up and take part in Dressed By The Kids Day on 16 June.

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