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Fashion Fails: Twelve Bad Styles from the Past Decade

What a long, strange decade it’s been. In the past ten years, I’ve graduated from college, become a responsible, tax-paying grownup, and gotten married. Now that I’m thirty, I feel older, wiser, and—as I look through pictures of myself from the past ten years—terribly embarrassed. This is because the past decade wrought some of the most truly hideous and embarrassing fashion trends we’ve ever seen. We can blame Sex and the City, reality television, or 9/11, but those of us who were unequivocally adults for the entire duration have no one to blame but ourselves and our own bad judgment. Indulging in any one of these ten terrible fashion trends would not be a shining moment for anyone.

10. Rompers

Because there’s nothing sexier than a grown woman who dresses like a small child. Wait, what? There’s a reason that rompers are usually relegated to children’s wear: children are the only people these garments look good on.

Photo source: Castaway Vintage (cc)

9. Visible Thongs

Somehow, circa 2002, American women became convinced that imitating porn stars represented a legitimate style choice. Thankfully, those of us who don’t make a living by scrounging for one-dollar bills have put our underwear back in our pants, where it belongs.

Photo source: silentfuzions (cc)

8. Ugg Boots with Miniskirts
Much of the fashion of the 2000s seemed dedicated to solving the debilitating problem of what to wear when one part of your body is cold while another is simply sweltering. Enter Ugg boots worn with miniskirts: when your butt is hot, but your feet are cold.

7. Boot Sandals

If your toes are hot, but your ankles are freezing, these have your name written all over them. ($305 at Zappos.com)

6. Tights as Pants
Let’s all say it together: “Tights are NOT the same thing as pants!” (I’m looking at you, Lindsay Lohan.) Who’d have thought that we, as Americans, could have iPads and seven hundred channels of television, but we would need to be reminded to put on pants before leaving the house?


5. Hair Bumps
Before we were entranced by Snooki and her pouf, there were Bumpits. What formal style from the past ten years didn’t feature some sort of voluminous protuberance? Its tagline could be “Voluminous locks or a brain tumor? Bumpits will never reveal your secret!” ($7.10 at Amazon.com)

4. Tights with Shorts

It’s been a rough few years for tights, which, when used judiciously, are perfectly appropriate leg coverings. But if it’s cold enough to wear tights, it’s too cold for shorts. Like oil and water, these two don’t mix. Ever.

Photo source: Nancy says (cc)

3. Trucker Hats

Thanks to trucker hats, the hipster-pocalypse took hold, one ironic saying at a time.

Photo source: zieak (cc)

2. Crocs

Not all garments are meant to be worn at all times. Tutus have a very specific purpose; you’d never wear one to the grocery store. The same is true of a sequined ball gown. Most of us understand these unspoken rules, so it’s hard to explain why, in 2006, everyone decided to embrace ergonomic gardening clogs.

Photo source: roland (cc)

1. Butt Slogans

If there were one word that summed up the fashion of the past ten years, that word would be “Juicy.” And it would be plastered all over women’s derrieres. Why would a person want a word that’s usually used to describe a steak written on her behind? It’s hard to say. She wouldn’t accept “plump,” or “meaty,” even though they also allude to the desirability of the butt in question. It’s something we may never truly understand. The most surprising thing about this trend is that it wasn’t until the Juicy slogan appeared on the butts of tweens that people questioned its appropriateness. Fail, America. ($69.99 at FoXfee.com)

Some may think that Americans never learn, but the fact that trucker hats and thongs have virtually disappeared from our streets is a testament to our collective resilience. We, as a nation, stood up and said “No more!” and made the world safe for the bad fashions of tomorrow. Hopefully, we won’t get fooled again.

Allison Ford

Allison is a writer and editor who specializes in beauty, style, entertainment, and pop culture. She was part of the editorial team at DivineCaroline (now More.com) for more than three years. She loves makeup, sparkly accessories, giraffes, brunch, Matt Damon, New York City, and ice cream.

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