20 Horrible Fashions From The ’80s And ’90s That Are Back To Haunt Us

20 Horrible Fashions From The ’80s And ’90s That Are Back To Haunt Us

Remember looking back at middle school pictures from your parents’ era and cackling over how ridiculous they looked? Those fashions and worse are back to torment us.
Holly Scheer
By

Certain fashion trends deserve to not only die, but stay dead. I’m talking about looks so awful and unflattering that it’s astonishing they ever became a thing the first time, and it’s plain painful that designers and celebs are trying to force us to love these monstrosities again.

Remember looking back at middle school pictures from your parents’ era and cackling over how ridiculous they looked? Bite back those chuckles, because those fashions and worse are coming back to torment us.

Remember when studded belts and chains were totally hip? Sitting down meant scraping wood furniture, and walking briskly made you jingle like a Goth reindeer. But it was worth it to look edgy and cool. Behold, this trend is still alive and kicking, with rattling keys to alert you to the proximity of one of these fashionistas.

Nothing says class like a ribbon choker, right? Make this dated look fresh by pairing it with makeup contouring and you’re ready to tackle 2017.

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Moment of silence here for Nordstrom for winning the most absurd award for this denim monstrosity. $425 is a steal for jeans that come already covered in dirt, so you can pretend to be a real salt of the earth mover and shaker. Ripped jeans, take a back seat to the dirt-encrusted jeans of the future.

Slides. These were the slip-on shoes, and you’re lying if you think these look like anything other than glorified slippers.

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Ultra-low-rise jeans, especially when paired with thongs. This appalling trend prompted the charming moniker “whale tails,” and it’s as classless and gross as the name implies.

Mom jeans. Tapered, light-washed, and baggy in weird places, these jeans are usually also high-rise and belted. You saw moms wear them in the ‘90s, and hipsters are wearing them now. They’re trying to convince you that you’ll look awesome in them, but this is a dirty lie. Don’t give into the mom jean temptation.

Mom called. She wants her jeans back. #momjeans #happysunday #denim

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Unless you’re actively engaged in exercise, put down the leg warmers and back away. It’s not too late for you, but it might be soon if you keep wearing those out of the house.

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Permed hair. If you thought ‘80s hair was gone, you’re wrong. It’s back, it’s getting bigger, and it defies the ability to accurately date when a photo was taken. What decade even is this anymore?

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Remember nagging your mom, dad, or grandma to help sew patches onto a jean jacket? Eventually, they got sick of doing it for you and you had to learn to do it yourself. Boxy, embellished denim jackets are back in a big way.

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Ever wake up and want to wear pants, but also a skirt, and felt like your bottoms also needed to be cropped? Let me introduce you to culottes. No longer relegated to being worn under hoop skirts while women fight to cross the prairie, you can now just wear them as pants. Hooray.

Don’t search this one on Insta with kids nearby, because wow, Instagram, you dirty. Not a leotard, or onesie for a baby, but bodysuits for adults who can’t hack tucking shirts in. Or something.

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Can more than 2.5 million Instagrammers really be wrong? In terms of crop tops, yes, overwhelmingly the situation is completely wrong. This is even more egregious when paired with the aforementioned mom jeans.

Urban Outfitters is my 2nd home! #summeriscoming #croptop

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Where’s the rest of the dress? Don’t bother artfully cutting up clothes anymore, because you can buy them pre-chopped and ready to let your business hang out.

When you’re in love with a stripper, and that stripper is yourself

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I can only assume the deliberate choice to wear blindingly neon clothes is made in an effort to force eye contact. When your clothing can be seen from the moon, it’s too bright.

When your shoulders are higher than your #lifegoals, there’s shoulder pads. I can remember cutting these out of jackets, so it makes it even weirder that they’re back.

You know what’s worse than normal slides? Furry ones. Think of all the gnarly things your shoes come across. How do you keep these from harboring whole colonies of terrible goo?

Acid-washed anything. There’s never a good occasion for this. Cutting them off is actually a blessing in this case, because there’s less awful to have to look at.


Again, sportswear isn’t lifewear. Put the tracksuit as clothes back in the ‘90s where it belongs. We don’t need this coming back.

They’re jeans! They’re pajamas! They’re the worst of both. Pick an activity. Are you sleeping or walking the dog? Normal jeans aren’t that uncomfortable, and this is a trend that really should be finished.

Don’t be jelly my new #pajamajeans catalog came in Theys my jam

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Crop tops. Especially paired with mom jeans. This is so early ’90s, and so ugly. Please tell me why this is back again?

Fashion is fun, and looking nice is certainly subjective. What is undeniable, though, is that the worst looks tend to keep circling back. 2017, you can do better.

Holly Scheer is a writer and editor. She’s fascinated by politics, culture and theology. Follow her on Twitter @HScheer1580.

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