We all laughed when looking back at photos of ourselves in the noughties, decked out in a Jay Jay’s slogan T-shirt and low-rise jeans with bedazzled pockets, a feather boa draped across our shoulders for dramatic effect.
Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, in their matching all-denim outfits, were our style icons.
We blamed these sartorial choices on our mothers, vowing to dress better in the 2010s and to never look back in humiliation at an outfit ever again.
And yet, here we are on the first day of 2020, clomping around in plastic shoes and wearing turkey feathers in our hair, having spent the better part of a decade snorting cinnamon and dunking buckets of ice on our heads.
Clearly, we have learned nothing.
To save us the shame in 2029, I’ve compiled a list of the trends we must not, at any cost, bring with us into the next decade.
These sunglasses gained momentum in 2007, courtesy of Kanye West, but managed to carry over into the early 2010s largely thanks to LMFAO’s Red Foo.
Made of plastic, they were completely useless, and wearing a pair gave you a similar sensation to the one your nosy grandmother might have on Christmas Day, peeping through the front curtains to get a look at the romantic prospect you’ve brought to lunch to appease her nagging.
The only redeeming quality these glasses may hold for us Millennials and Gen Z’ers is if you’re feeling anxious you’ve spent too much time eating avocados and not enough time saving for a house deposit. Pop a pair of these on and pretend you’re looking through the venetian blinds in the shelter of your very own home (instead of from underneath the shelter of a bus stop).
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Our quest for “balance” began long before the gospel of Gwyneth Paltrow, rose quartz and wellness retreats.
In 2010, these wristbands crept onto the market, infiltrating our boxes of Sultana Bran and strapping themselves to the wrists of every man, woman and child stupid enough to believe the message they preached.
Touted as providing better balance, strength and flexibility by working with the wearer’s “natural energy field”, these flimsy bracelets were supposedly worn by professional athletes the world over.
To absolutely nobody’s shock, they were quickly exposed as a total sham.
CLEAR PLASTIC SHOES
If the thought of sweaty feet covered in plastic doesn’t make you want to vomit in your hand, I hate to say it, but something is very wrong.
Courtesy of every member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, the concept of fixing what can only be described as the stuff they use for curtains in a butcher to the base of a shoe was popularised in 2016 and has clung to our toes and continued to haunt us in 2019.
Among the obvious health hazards, these shoes only look semi-decent when the wearer doesn’t radiate any type of moisture or make any movements … thus completely defying the purpose of wearing shoes.
With their hip pleats and saggy crotches, there isn’t much more to say about harem pants other than: I don’t know who allowed us to walk around IN PUBLIC looking like babies in heavily-soiled nappies.
After conducting a deeper investigation into who’s at fault, apparently Justin Bieber is the man we can poke in the chest with the finger of blame for heralding the return of the MC Hammer pant.
If this isn’t a sign that we should never again listen to — or follow — the actions of the Biebs (who, need I remind you, also urinated in a mop bucket and owned a pet monkey) I don’t know what is.
Our affinity with fixing a wreath of flowers to our head truly knew no bounds in the 2010s.
What began at Coachella went on to infiltrate bridal showers, baby showers and possibly even the showers we took at the end of the day — and I’m here to call time of death on it.
Forget your Frida Kahlo fantasies. You’re not a gumnut baby. Turn a new leaf in 2020 and put your flowers in a vase, or better yet, leave them in the ground where they belong.
Is it wrong to blame Rihanna for dragging us to the altar of poor vision?
It very well could be, but drag us she did. Ever since she donned a pair of miniature sunglasses on the Cannes red carpet in 2017, we’ve been forced to squint through Australia’s many sunny days, all in the name of fashion.
Those of us who embraced this “trend” foolishly enabled the sun to pierce our eyeballs, hoping to resemble Rihanna or, if we were really lucky, the hot, evil stepmother from The Parent Trap.
Instead, our revolt against functional eyewear left us bearing a startling similarity to one of the three blind mice in Shrek.
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Dads were the true dictators of trends this decade.
Dad bods, Dad jokes, Dad jeans. But the 2010s ended with the thud of the Dad trend to rule them all: the Dad sneaker.
At first, it was ironic. Celebrities and the style set swapped their stilettos for these oversized clompers, their velcro straps and monstrous form enough to make even Frankenstein cringe.
Before we knew it, though, all of us were lacing our tootsies into a pair of these sneakers – their chunky soles resembling the anatomy of a pterodactyl – and taking to the streets.
Carrie Bradshaw would never. And neither should you.
In our adolescent (and Steven Tyler’s) minds, feather hair extensions were cool for many reasons.
They were groovy! Colourful! Selena Gomez and Kesha on-board. And, most importantly, they were a savvy way to incorporate texture and colour into your bowl cut if your parents refused your demands to paint your mane with hot pink dye.
It was all fun, games and Disney child star-vibes until you realised that the feathers in question were being plucked from the backside of a dead rooster.
What compelled us to demur to fastening pet accessories around our necks, I’m not sure. Like I said, it’s been a rough ten years. Sometimes, being a cat or a dog just seems easier than being a human being.
Because somebody has to be held responsible for the lengths of satin and lace we stole from our grandmother’s sewing box, I’ve lined up a few key suspects: the Kardashian/Jenner family (no surprises here); the royal family (just because it’s made of pearls, doesn’t mean it’s not a collar); and Andrew Lloyd Webber (for lulling us into the false pretence that if Taylor Swift could be a cat, so could we).
Let’s hold hands and cross our fingers and manifest that in the 2020s we’ll revert to wearing heavy jewels around our necks like Rose from Titanic.
But in 2018, we were dealt the most devastating blow possible by the fashion powers that be: the return of Crocs, who were given new life by fashion house Balenciaga.
Everyone forced to cram their feet into Crocs as a child began to convulse and break out in a blotchy rash.
It was a shock to the system – and an act of betrayal – unlike any other.
The criminals responsible for these repulsive shoes, and the everyday humans who deemed them “decidedly cool” and “surprisingly chic” need to be banished to another planet.
Fun fact: you can hear the sound of the apocalypse coming when you put one up to your ear:
Originally published as Daggiest trends we wish we could forget