Fashion is a uniting and dividing byproduct of human existence. We wear clothes for functional reasons, of course, but we also have the ability to style ourselves to our own tastes, which means other people may not always agree with our choices. Fashion is all about expressing individuality, so what works for some people might not be acceptable to others, and vice versa.
But when you look back over the years at certain style trends many of us followed, you can’t help but wonder, “What the heck was everyone thinking?” What seemed glamorous at the time, in retrospect, looks just plain ridiculous.
Here are 15 retro fashion fads that should never try to make a comeback. Do you agree with these choices?
1. The “Speed-Limit” skirt (1910): Long ago, skirts were designed to be very narrow, and they would often rip when women took wide steps. To avoid tearing the fabric, ladies started placing special loops around the base of their clothing to prevent them from taking broad steps. However, it made them look like they were hobbling when they walked.
2. The bullet bra (1940-1950s): This trend was actually kind of funny-looking when you think about it. Still today, women all over the world want bigger busts, and this was a very unique way to achieve it. Your fashion was on point, ladies!
3. Beehive hairdo (1960s): Many women during the ’60s believed this updo (a hairstyle where the hair is fastened up away from the face and neck) was elegant-looking. In reality, it kind of made it look like they were hiding watermelons in their hair.
4. Psychedelic patterns (1960-1970s): It’s no surprise the psychedelic clothing trend started in San Francisco, California. San Fran was the mecca for hippie culture in the United States at the time. Vibrant colors and ornate patterning were all the rage.
5. Men’s fashion (1970s): The ’70s was a bizarre time for men’s fashion; there were turtlenecks, oddly shaped suits, and whatever the heck the guy is wearing in the picture on the bottom right. Luckily, not every man at the time followed these strange trends.
6. Mullets (1970-1980s): This “business in the front, party in the back” hairstyle came from the 19th century when fisherman wore their hair long on their necks so they wouldn’t catch a cold from the cool temperatures while out at sea. Then, David Bowie decided to rock out with one in the ’70s… and everyone else followed suit.
7. Padded shoulders (1980s): Broad shoulders seemed to be all the hype in the ’80s, and large pads were added to both men’s and women’s tops to accentuate the look. The trend has since faded, but celebrities like Lady Gaga still rock them occasionally.
8. Aerobic workout clothes (1980s): The female fitness gurus of the ’80s sure knew how to start a strange trend. People all over, both men and women, were wearing leg warmers, leotards, and sporty underwear over their clothing. Yikes!
9. Insanely teased hair (1980s): Teasing wasn’t only done among friends in the ’80s—it was also done to hair! What was once a fashionable hairstyle now looks like the result of sticking a metal fork in an electrical outlet.
10. Bright blushes (1980s): Bright blushes may have been popular years ago, but nowadays, when people wear too much vibrant makeup on their face, they come across looking a little clownish. A gentler application has become the norm these days.
11. Fanny packs (1990s): This item is actually a very handy way to hold all of your accessories in a convenient spot, but they look a little less than cool. They’re more appropriate for people like street vendors or workers who need to keep things on hand at all times.
12. High platform shoes (1990s): Some people in the ’90s seemed to crave footwear that would allow them to loom over others, so they wore high thick-soled platform shoes, even though many people hurt their ankles in the process.
13. Low-rise jeans (2000s): Low-rise jeans are still around today, but most men and women who sport them don’t allow their undergarments to show anymore. Whale tails are a thing of the past, people… but will they make a comeback, regardless? Probably.
14. Spray tans (2000s): Advertising tells us tan skin is desirable, and people will go to all sorts of bizarre lengths to achieve the look, including turning themselves orange in the process. Going to the beach to soak up some natural rays is one thing, but it’s completely different when you drench your skin with the contents of an aerosol canister.
15. Harem pants (2010s): The extremely low crotch in harem pants might make them comfortable, but they’re not exactly flattering. They look like the ultimate lounge pants, and the designs are pretty cool. Still, they leave a lot to be desired in the appeal department.
You never know which fashion trends are going to recirculate and hit the streets next. Maybe we’ll start seeing beehive hairdos again!
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