Cornwall Live

16 Of The Cringiest Fashion Trends We Once Thought Were Cool

Maariyah Qazi 21 Dec 2018

Over the last several decades, we've seen hundreds of different fashion trends come and go. Sometimes even multiple times because they were just that stylish.

Then there are the trends that need to never ever come back because they're so horrible, and we can't believe people rocked them to begin with.


Instagram | @blinglabel

This is a trend that is slowly fading away, but for years now, I've struggled to find the appeal in the first place. It doesn't look cute, and it can't be all that comfortable, can it?

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Baggy jeans.

Instagram | @baggyboy87

This is a trend every parent and grandparent in the world scolded from the moment it started, but the young whippersnappers were too busy hiking up their pants to listen.

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The popped collar.


I for one am grateful this trend has passed. It was pretty embarrassing to catch your reflection in the mirror only to notice that half your collar had fallen down and you had no idea.

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Instagram | @ _rimha_

I know, I know, they're "comfortable," but I can promise you that there are plenty of comfortable shoes out in this world that don't make you look like you just lot a bet.

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Rat tails and mullets.

Instagram | @kohlfromsd

There are some hairstyles over the years that have been pretty awful, but we've let them slide because it was cool then. Rat tails and mullets are just about the only two styles that we cannot forgive.

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Shutter shades.

Instagram | @mcgrim_arte

If, for whatever reason, your heart is totally set on wearing these bad boys, fine. But please just don't expect to ever be taken seriously.

Also, what's the point of them???

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Bell bottoms.

Instagram | @noteworthygarments

Although this is an older trend, some celebs have dabbled in bringing the style back, and we can only hope that this doesn't happen.

Do you know how HARD it is to wear bell bottoms with boots?

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Flame bowling shirts.

Instagram | @bladeshopper

We all knew that one kid who wore this shirt every single day.

If this is still you, please do what this shirt has been begging for all these years and burn it.

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Clothes on Film | Clothes on Film

This is another old trend that recent generations have only heard of because cousin Eddie wears one in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Save yourself the embarrassment — just wear a full-length shirt.

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Gaucho pants.


I have to admit that I was forced to wear these pants as a child and I'm honestly still not over it.

There are NO shoes that look okay with these. You can bet on that.

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Velour tracksuits.


If you wear one of these, especially if it's matching, you're just asking to be made fun of. Extra cringe if it says the words "Juicy" or "Princess" on the rear end. The only person pulling these off is Drake.

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Platform sandals.

shoes.aaasne | 90s Shoes

Whoever invented this clearly never had to walk anywhere in their life.

This is the most impractical form of footwear, and sure, it gives you a bit of height, but at the cost of a broken ankle.

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JNCO jeans.

Instagram | @sil138_

Just looking at these makes the baggy jeans trend seem at least tolerable.

On the bright side, there was plenty of pocket space for your giant iPhone that hadn't been invented yet.

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Overly thin eyebrows.

Instagram | @yasminejabakhanji

This was super trendy in the early '00s, and I know we'll soon be saying the same thing about the full eyebrows that are currently taking over Instagram.

Honestly, why can't we just find a happy medium?

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Ultra low-rise jeans.

Getty Images | KMazur

There is not one thing about low-rise jeans that looks or IS comfortable.

I think it's safe to say that we're all happy this went buh-bye to the awful fashion vault.

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Sweatpants with words on the bum.

Poshmark | @ashleyr1983

I want to know who was confident enough to say, "Yep, you know what the next big thing in fashion is that everyone's gonna love? Giant words on the bum of sweatpants."

They definitely became iconic in their own right.

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Pocket chains.


It's been decades and we still haven't figured out the purpose of pocket chains.

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Happy Bunny sweatbands.

Depop | bodecious

I'm not even scared to admit I had a Happy Bunny sweatband in seventh grade, back in 2003.

Was Happy Bunny an original meme before we even knew what memes were?

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Massive shoulder pads.

Instagram | @retroizmo

As a broad-shouldered woman, I'm always curious about this trend. Like, did women with broader shoulders just not participate in this trend? Were shoulder pads optional?

All I know is, if someone took an accidental tumble, I'm sure they'd be just fine.

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Italian charm bracelets.

Instagram | @ailujheath

These were the original Pandora bracelet, for sure.

Except they were painful. Every last bit of hair in the vicinity of your wrist would be yanked out all in the name of weird fashion.

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Bandanas worn like this.

Getty Images | Dave Benett

To be honest, it's just not okay.

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Ruffled mini skirts.

eBay | kelmcfly7

When I saw this photo I screamed to the heavens. I completely forgot about them!

Boy am I glad I remembered. What a throwback!

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Plastic jelly bracelets.

Instagram | @madame_danni

And you HAD to wear them like this.

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Puka shell necklaces.

Giphy | Brooklyn Nine-Nine

These are just so yucky.

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Spikey rubber earrings.

Etsy | KyrasColorfulJewelry

When I was thinking of pieces from the fashion vault that I participated in, these immediately came to my mind.

I had bright orange blue hoops, and I'm sure I tore them apart.

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Tiny sunglasses.

Instagram | @kaylaschaos

There is absolutely no utility to these glasses. They protect not even one portion of your eyeball from the sun.

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Knee-high socks.

Instagram | @satanlilcosplayer

Bonus points if they were striped!

They're just not it.

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Von Dutch trucker hats.

Instagram | @bekas_pantas

Von Dutch was like the cool hip thing from LA everyone wanted at the time.

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American Eagle cable knit clogs.

American Eagle Blog

Pretty much all the girls in my high school had these in 2007.

I'm not going to lie, they were pretty comfy.

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Twitter | @mmmkikikannibal

Scene is sort of hard to describe. It was like emo, but with a "kawaii" flair.

I would be lying if I said I never wanted raccoon tails dyed into my hair.

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This whole look.

Getty Images | Frazer Harrison

Look at photos of Ashley Tisdale's red carpet looks from the 2000s.

She truly is the epitome of what the 2000s represented.

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Bun hair pieces.

Instagram | @brhair_beauty_product

Bonus points if you had one that didn't match your hair color one bit!

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Butterfly clips.

Instagram | @chantalalicia123

I'm sorry, I had to include these. I know these were brought back a few years ago in the '90s revival of the 2010s, but why?


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These neon bracelets.

Poshmark | vwbuggy5252

Bungee cord, but make it fashion.

Don't they look like mini bungee cords? Might as well add some hooks!

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Northern Getaway sweaters.

Twitter | @lailaelsheikh8

Northern Getaway was the bees knees in Canada in the '90s.

They had the best graphic t-shirts and sweaters, especially their punny boy and girl band graphics.

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Big headbands.

Getty Images | Mirek Towski

Side bangs, a giant headband, and a teased crown.

Guess what year?

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I'm truly not sure where to start with this photo.

Red streaks. Black and white striped sweater. Creepy graphic on shirt from Hot Topic. Emily the Strange.

What a time to be alive.

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Tying your Baby Phat or Phat Farm shoes like this.

Instagram | @emiilynugget

You had to make sure the chunky tongue of the shoe was the star of the show.

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We're going way back here, but the corset was meant to accentuate and exaggerate features of the body to reveal bigger breasts, a thinner waist, and a curvier figure.

They were basically torture, restricting breathing and harming ribs. This is probably where the saying "beauty is pain" comes from.

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Lace-up jeans.

Instagram | @worldpeace.4.all

Ow. Yes I actually had a pair of these from Limited Too when there was a "boho" resurgence. They tied in the front and were fastened with a faux suede tie. Yikes.

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Socks with slides.

Instagram | @girlswhodontcare25

This was the footwear fashion of the mid-2000s, and apparently still is today.

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Denim mini skirts.

Depop | @clurura

The classic outfit was an Abercrombie zip-up sweater, a denim mini skirt over leggings, and Uggs.

Sorry to bring up repressed fashion memories.

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Mixing patterns.

Instagram | @doyoulovethe2000s

Don't get me wrong, some patterns mix swimmingly together. I am not afraid to mix leopard print and flames, to be honest (okay. I might end up in one of these lists one day).

But yikes. These patterns are a chaotic energy!

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Puddy prom dresses.

Instagram | @rccweddingsandevents

Lots going on here, folks! It looks like they dragged the table cloths right off the tables to make these!

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Cornwall Live

What you wear in your own home is your business, but please don't venture out in public with those horrific looking boots.

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Doubled-up polo shirts.

Instagram | @the_clean_me

I don't know what was going through people's minds at this tragic point in fashion, but it happened. All we can do now is repress the memory and try to move on with our lives.

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Furry shirts.

Poshmark | nicolesudyka

These shirts wouldn't be so bad if they made them in other colors besides neon pink and green.

What fashion trend do you think needs to never come back? Let us know in the comments!

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