May 30, 2014

10 Absolutley Dreadful Fashion Trends and Their Origins

If you ever donned any of these fashion trends I have one question for you: Do you prefer fashion victim or ensembly challenged?

Fashion trends come and go just like dust in the wind. Most of them are out of our memory before they even hit the shelves; others are so hideous they are etched in our minds forever. No matter how unattractive the trends may have been, there was a time when we were not only fond of them, we would do anything just to acquire them. It is funny how quickly we deem a once loved trend a non-wearable fashion faux-pas. How is it that we can love a style one day and find it ugly the next? The answer is simply that fashion is fickle and trends don’t obey logic. So how did these fashions don’t originate and are we doomed to repeat them? Some of our beloved trends originated out of pure luck. Take crimped hair for example, one day after wearing her braids for a few days a young girl took them out and voila crimped hair was born. Other trends are descendants of actual, useful accessories. Take for example the fanny pack; it was most likely a far descendant of the tool belt. So how did other trends like the velour track suit become the cat’s pajamas? Keep reading and I will tell you.

Trend # 1: The Scrunchi

The only thing this fashion mistake has going for it is that it actually serves a purpose. A lady by the name of Jane Reid created a similar product called the “Bunch Bundle” which was designed to be worn as a stretchy bracelet. Rommy Revson got the idea for the Scruchi from the “Bunch Bundle” and he patented the “Scrunchi” in 1987.

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Trend # 2: Overalls

AKA Bib-and-Brace Overalls or Dungarees are used to protect your clothing while working. The Overall originated in 1792 when it was known as the overall trouser worn outside of normal trousers for protection. During 1891 through 1916 the one piece overall was selling in both cotton and linen fabrics. In 1916 women who were working in London factories during WWI would wear overalls. They were also worn by mechanics in the 20th century. Communist soldiers used overalls as their uniform during the Spanish Civil War. It wasn’t until 1930 that the Overall was sold as children’s clothing. It began to take many forms and fabrics, including its run as high quality ski wear in the 1960’s. The overall laid low for a while until it made its comeback in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Recently it has reared its ugly head again in the fashion industry; let’s hope it is short lived.

Trend # 3: Harem Pants

These fashion gems were also known as Hammer Pants in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They are baggy long pants tapered at the ankle with side flaps on the hip that button at the waist. Think skirt meets skinny jeans. These pants originated in the Arabian Peninsula and were worn by the Arabian women to cover their bodies and offer protection from the heat. These pants made a comeback in 2012 when they were seen on both Justin Bieber and Psy. Let’s hope this comeback is short lived.

Trend # 4: Crocs

Crocs were invented by Michael Hagos, Lyndon “Duke” Hanson, and George Boedecker Jr. The Croc was developed as a spa shoe. The first model was called “The Beach” and was shown at a boat show in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. All 200 pairs sold out in one day at the show. Crocs grew in popularity after the show and became the title sponsor of the volleyball professionals Tour (AVP) from 2006 to 2009. While sales are up the fashion world hasn’t exactly accepted this ugly footwear. Tim Gunn has said of the Croc, “It looks like a plastic hoof.” There is also a website called and a Facebook page called “I don’t care how comfortable crocs are, you look like a dumbass.”

Trend # 5: The Mullet

The mullet has been around since the dawn of time:
The Sphinx although eroded over time wears one of the earliest examples of the mullet; he has short hair in the front, no sideburns, and long flowing hair in the back.
Mullets were once a popular hairstyle for the Romans but they became banned from the Roman army as enemies found it easy to grab the Romans long hair in order to pull their heads back to slit his throats. This tradition of short hair still exists in most armies today although it is more for appearance now, after all no enemy would take an army of mullets very seriously would they!
The mullet became very popular in the late 18th, early 19th century.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a poet born in 1772 and died in 1834; he was one of the first men to sport this do. Samuel is the man who coined the word “aesthetic”; let’s hope he wasn’t referring to his hairstyle.
Horatio Gates was an American General born in 1727 and died in 1806. Horatio is the man who brought the mullet from Europe into the United States.
The 1980s were perhaps the biggest decade to sport the mullet for fashion; after all it wasn’t until the 1980s when the full horror of the mullet was unleashed upon to a largely unsuspecting world. The mullet was popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s but not as popular as it was in the 1980’s. From 1980 into early 1990 every football player, pop star, actor, etc. was sporting this fashion craze. Mullets were sported by rock stars Rod Stewart, David Bowie and Paul McCartney to name a few. Country Music singers Billy Ray Cyrus, Travis Tritt, and Joe Diffie were also known for their mullets. Indie rock duo Tegan and Sara sported mullets during their The Con album era. The mullet was also the central theme of the cult classic “Joe Dirt”. Even comic book characters caught onto this trend. Superman was depicted with a mullet from issue 505 (1993) to 544 (1997) of Adventures of Superman comic and this look was released in action figure form by Mattel in 2009.
The mullet finally disappeared from the United States mainstream in the mid 1990’s but it held on in other parts of the world. It is very popular in some European countries such as Germany. The UK is also home to many a mullet sighting. It is amazing to me that people are still growing mullets with the misconception that they actually look good. The modern mullet still thrives in some areas of the US as well. It has become a staple for the redneck community.
I think the Islamic Government has the right idea as far as hairstyles are concerned. In July 2010, the Islamic government of Iran issued updated grooming guidelines to men. Among the new regulations is a ban of the mullet hairstyle. I only wish the United States would adopt this ban, but then again if they did who we would be able to make fun of.
Trend # 6: The Trucker Hat

Trucker hats for men have been mainstream fashion now since the early 2000’s and they’re still going strong with the trend showing no signs of running out of steam just yet, but where did the trucker cap come from and how did it end up becoming a wardrobe essential of so many young urbanites?
The trucker hat originated from local animal feed stores, farming supply companies, and tractor companies in rural America. The hat was used as a promotional give away to farmers, truck drivers, and other rural workers. The original feed caps bore company logos on the front foam section of the cap, either printed or as a patch sewn on. These companies typically had a rural clientele. For example, John Deere trucker caps – the mesh hats were seen an ideal way of promoting their services throughout the rural communities which they served. The trucker hat was actually a pretty good giveaway: functional, practical and inexpensive. The United States rural workers used the hat as their “uniform”. The combination of the stiff, long peak with the comfortable foam front and the breathable mesh back meant that the cap not only protected the wearer from the sun but it readily absorbed sweat too.
In the early 2000’s when urban youth began wearing the trucker hat it became a hot trend. Stars like the Pharrell Williams, Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake have made this fashion accessory a household name. Timberlake had been wearing them since the age of seventeen. Justin Bieber is the latest celeb to jump on the bandwagon with his ridiculous extra high, bright yellow, studded head gear.
The trucker hat trend was lampooned in the King of the Hill episode "Grand Theft Arlen", in which teenagers confuse Hank Hill by asking where he bought his Strickland Propane cap and questioning its irony. Whether you like it or not the trucker cap trend shows no signs of going away. If you stick to a simple design with one or two solid colors you’ll find that you can still rock a mesh cap with style. The humble mesh trucker hat: from rural promotional item to urban hero helping bad hair days everywhere.
Trend #7: Fancy Track Suits

Adidas warm ups are still considered classic, but the early 2000s was all about Juicy Couture. Some ladies preferred terry cloth, many were velour-loyalists, and others liked words written across their butts. Many a celebrity such as Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, and Lindsay Lohan were and still are enthusiasts for this trend. I don’t mind a nice solid colored pair of sweats with a matching hoodie, in fact I actually like them, but when you start adding butt lingo and fuzzy fabric it becomes a little too trashy for my taste.

Trend #8: Ed Hardy

With fans like Jon Gosselin and the cast of "Jersey Shore" Ed Hardy gear acts sort of like radar telling you who to avoid at all costs. This is a trend I've simply not been able to understand. I just didn't get the mass appeal. The aesthetic just doesn’t appeal to me and I honestly got sick of seeing it everywhere. Ed Hardy was created by Don Ed Hardy in the early 2000’s. The idea came from his love of art and passion for tattoos. He's basically a very hardworking man from the hippie generation who pursued what he loved his entire life and finally had it pay off in unexpected and big ways. I am sure he marvels at the fact that his designs are now on t-shirts and perfume bottles. I can appreciate the idea of Ed Hardy's designs but I am not a big fan and will be happy to be see less and less of this style in the future.
Trend #9: Flannel or Better Known as “The Grunge Look”

Messy hair and sloppy clothes have been around for centuries. But they didn’t become a fashion trend until the Seattle grunge scene took over the airwaves. Bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden made grunge a household name. Almost every teenager in the 90’s embraced the flannel shirts, dingy-colored clothes, and unkempt hair. I think the worst part of this trend was the way guys would tie there flannels around their waists. This is something a young lady does when she unexpectedly starts her period, or is trying to hide those few extra pounds she has added to her rear end over the summer. So how the heck did this become an acceptable form of dress for stylish men? The only saving grace that might come out of this fashion disaster is flannel. Flannel is great during the winter and to be honest I actually like flannel tops, but only when they are fitted, clean, and worn with a pair of clean, hole less, fitted jeans.
Trend #10: Gladiator Sandals

Subtle straps are fine, but a few years ago Gladiator sandals were on steroids. This style is not sexy or cute and I can’t imagine the tragic tan lines and blisters these sandals leave behind. There is nothing good about them, not the straps, not the gratuitous shin and calf coverage, and certainly not the open toes. If the thought of buying a pair ever creeps into your cerebral cortex just remember, gladiator sandals are for gladiators. If you do decide to done a pair in the future just be sure you pair them with a floor length dress because that is the only way you won’t look like you were just nabbed by the fashion police.

There you have it, my choice for the 10 worst fashion trends in recent history. Did I leave any horrific trends out? Every season there is usually a questionably of a current fashion item that happens to be en vogue, a rouge trend that sits teetering on a tightrope line of is it hot or is it a flop? You tell me, what items would make your top ten worst fashion trends list?

All images courtesy of Google Images

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