20 Fashion Trends From The Last Decade That Need To Be Immediately Consigned To History

We often like to look back on the fashion of decades gone by and scoff a bit. But while we might not have fallen for the same trends as our parents, our old wardrobe wouldn’t necessarily be welcome back today either. So with that in mind, here are 20 questionable styles that caught on in just the last 10 years.

20. Designer parody T-shirts

Designer parody shirts first emerged as a kind of protest over the expensive clothes favored by fashionistas. However, they became so in vogue that by 2014 they were picked up by the cool crowd themselves. Yes, the trend came full circle when designers began charging a fortune for their own joke shirts, thereby defeating the original purpose.

You see, the T-shirts were credited with paying homage to the brands they were emulating, rather than simply pouring scorn on them. Popular designs included a Hermes-inspired piece, which read “Homies” and a top bearing the word “Celfie” in a nod to the fashion house Celine.

19. Ripped jeans

The ripped jeans trend has been rolling along for a while, but some estimates suggest it began at some point around 2012, or even 2010. The resurgence of distressed denim coincided with a revival of 1980s style. And it was soon picked up by fashion-conscious celebs like Kim Kardashian and Gigi Hadid.

As the decade progressed, it seems that ripped jeans got even more extreme, baring more flesh than ever before. Some barely-there styles revealed the entire thigh, while others sported skin-flashing rips around the butt area. But even as the trend refused to die, it was slated by those who felt the distressed look was a major fashion faux-pas.


18. Single cross earrings

Another look that was pioneered in the 1980s but made a comeback in the last decade was the single cross earring. This was a style that seemed to be particularly prevalent among young men in 2015, who’d shunned matching jewelry for a statement piece worn on just one side.

As sometimes happens in the weird world of fashion, the single earring look was eventually noticed by designers, who subsequently sent asymmetrically-adorned models down the runway. That said, the solo earring was a hard trend to pull off, unless you were some kind of rock star or pirate.


17. Clear plastic shoes

Clear plastic shoes were a big deal among celebrities and first became prevalent around 2018. Proponents of the look included Rihanna and members of the Kardashian/Jenner family. The frightful footwear even got the designer seal of approval, with Chanel pushing the trend at one point.

But while it seemed that the fashion brigade couldn’t wait to stuff their feet inside a pair of see-through shoes, the trend raised eyebrows among everyday folk. A common concern was the lack of breathing properties that plastic has, which would surely make perspiration an unsightly side-effect.


16. Real fur

Perhaps the 2010s will go down in history as the decade that real fur was finally consigned to the history books. While the use of animal skins for clothing had proved controversial for some time, during the last ten years fur has become even more of a taboo. So much so, that brands like Macy’s have banned it for good.

Even Queen Elizabeth has turned her back on fur, as has the queen of reality TV – Kim Kardashian. In 2019 Kardashian revealed that she’d given up her animal skins in favor of cruelty-free alternatives. Writing on Instagram, she said, “Fun fact – I took all of my fave furs and remade them in faux fur.”


15. Harem pants

There’s no denying that harem pants are comfortable, but that doesn’t mean they’re particularly flattering. Nevertheless, the baggy bottoms became popular around 2011. And it’s thought that the popularity of the items coincided with an increased interest in yoga culture. So as the trend caught on, Rihanna was among the celebrities to sport the look as she stepped out in Manhattan.

However, Justin Bieber took the fashion to new heights, proudly hitting the red carpet with the look. Seemingly anticipating the rise of harem pants, in 2009 Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour made her opinion known, telling The Wall Street Journal, “To be honest, they are not my favorite.”


14. VSCO Girls

Now, the VSCO Girl phenomenon is a fairly recent one, emerging around 2019. The trend was fuelled by the rise of the photo editing app, VSCO. And the look was championed by a number of young female social media influencers who were often seen wearing the same clothing and flogging the same products as their peers.

Aside from using photo editing apps, VSCO Girls usually sported certain clothes and accessories which aligned them to the subculture. These included hair scrunchies, Hydro Flask bottles and Birkenstock sandals. However, the trend eventually attracted negative connotations, until VSCO Girl became an insult rather than an identity.


13. Feather hair extensions

Feather hair accessories first emerged in the 1970s, but they experienced a brief resurgence around 2012. The extensions were touted as a spring must-have after being spotted on the likes of Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Hilary Duff. Fancy salons even offered customers a feathering service so that they could achieve the bohemian look.

But just as quickly as it emerged, the feather hair extension trend soon died a death. It’s likely the look ran out of steam after people realized the source of their accessories was not so pretty. Indeed, many of the feathers were the same as those used in fly-fishing, which are actually plucked from roosters’ backsides.


12. Cycling shorts

In recent years leggings have become the pants of choice for those who wanted to combine comfort with style. But in the late 2010s cycling shorts became the natural summer alternative, often seen styled up with a blazer or dressed down with an oversized hoodie. But their rise in popularity was not without controversy.

Yes, it’s fair to say that not everyone was a fan of the humble cycling short, though the look was championed on the catwalk and by a number of celebrities. It seems that the trend reached its natural end in 2020, with Harper’s Bazaar Australia officially declaring them as “out.” In 2019 an article on the magazine’s website read, “In 2020, bike shorts will be confined to the gym only.”


11. Socks with heels

At some point around 2015 wearing socks with heels went from being a total flop to a fashion favorite. The trend was seen across the catwalk and was embraced by a number of famous faces. Yes, among the celebrities to don the trend were Taylor Swift, Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez.

But it seems that the socks with heels thing disappeared as quickly as it emerged. In 2020 a poll of 1,000 Brits by the retailer J.D. Williams declared the look the fifth-worst trend of the previous decade. With that in mind, it seems unlikely that the style will make a comeback any time soon.


10. Boilersuits

In 2014 the humble boilersuit was elevated from a workwear staple to a major wardrobe must-have. And leading fashion houses including Maison Margiela and Isabel Marant sent utilitarian onesies down the runway. Meanwhile, style icons like Kate Moss and Cate Blanchett were seen out and about in the look.

However, like so many of the trends that have captured our imaginations in recent years, the boilersuit fad was not to last. In 2019 Harper’s Bazaar Australia predicted the decline of the hardworking one-piece for the following year. Getting straight to the point, an article by the magazine declared, “utilitarian boilersuits are on the way out.”


9. Chunky sneakers

Chunky trainers grew in popularity in the late 2010s. Though sports brands like New Balance, Nike and Adidas had offered clompers for some time, it was then that minimalist footwear gave way to big, bold designs. And the trend was epitomized by the hugely sought after Triple S sneaker by Balenciaga.

While chunky sneakers adorned the feet of pop stars like Adriana Grande and Billie Eilish, not everyone was a fan. Also known as dad sneakers, the monstrous kicks were slammed as “ugly” by some fashion commentators. On that note, the shoes were named as one of the biggest misses of the 2010s in the J.D. Williams poll.


8. Onesies

Prior to 2012 it would have been hard to imagine the world would be gripped by a fad for adult romper suits. However, that’s exactly what happened when the onesie trend took off that year. The cult fashion item was invented by Norwegian friends Knut Gresvig and Henrik Norstrud five years prior and had no doubt made the men very rich indeed.

While Gresvig and Norstrud had intended their hoodie-sweatpants-hybrid to be the ultimate item of loungewear, it wasn’t long before onesies started appearing outside the confines of people’s homes. Camila Cabello even wore one on the red carpet of the Q102 Jingle Ball in 2018. But in 2020 the British public declared the onesie the fourth worst fashion item of the previous decade.


7. Patterned tights

In the winter of 2016 members of the fashion glitterati swapped their thick denier tights for patterned alternatives. While plain black or nude tights don’t really add much to an outfit, this new form of hosiery meant that fashionistas could inject a little bit of fun into their look.

However, unlike their more traditional, plain counterparts, patterned tights aren’t the easiest looks to pull off. Plus, their flesh-baring qualities mean that they often skirt a very thin line between flashy and classy. With that in mind, the trend had the ability to divide opinion, even within the fashion industry itself.


6. Tiny sunglasses

After years of big sunglasses dominating the fashion scene, 2018 saw the emergence of a new breed of tiny shades. The Matrix-esque eyewear was promoted by brands like Prada, Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga. The trend even filtered down to the highstreet, with ASOS and Mango offering their own micro frames.

Even at the height of the tiny glasses trend, not everyone was convinced by the look. Writing on Twitter in 2018 comedian Mindy Kaling mused, “I think we will regret this tiny sunglasses look.” And it seems that she may have been right. That’s because, in 2019, the Insider website confirmed that small shades were over and that big sunglasses were making a return.


5. Chokers

In recent years a number of trends from the 1990s have reared their (sometimes ugly) heads once more. And one item that experienced a resurgence was the choker, which found fans in the likes of Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande. But once again, the seemingly simple accessory had the ability to divide opinion.

Indeed, in an interview with the style website Fashionista in 2016 Alexa Chung declared, “Oh my God, the choker is so dead.” She added, “Look, everyone can do whatever they want, but I do think there is a certain thing with trends when they reach a tipping point and that tipping point to me, with the choker, seems to have happened a few months ago.”


4. Gigantic sunglasses

While teeny-tiny sunglasses have enjoyed a moment in the last few years, so too have gigantic frames. This new form of oversized eyewear began to emerge on the runways in 2018 and resembled ski-goggles. And among the celebrity fans of the trend were Rihanna and Kim Kardashian. Saying that, is Kim ever not there, or thereabouts?

However, the fickle nature of fashion suggests that the oversized sunglasses trend will be another flash in the pan. After all, many of the celebrities who stepped out in ski-goggle shades had previously been fans of the tiny frame fashion. So, when it comes to eyewear, it seems that what’s in vogue is constantly changing.


3. Peplum tops

In 2012 peplum tops were everywhere. In fact, you couldn’t go shopping without seeing one at almost every turn. The style kicked out at the waist, flattering the figure and negating the need for tucking in. And while the trend eventually died down, it experienced a resurgence in 2018 when Balenciaga revisited the cinched-in silhouette.

Despite its enduring popularity, the peplum top inspired some backlash. Writing in the British newspaper The Guardian in 2012 fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morley said of the style, “A peplum won’t make you look thin. Men don’t find it sexy. It is a bit costumey, and liable to get crushed on the underground.”


2. Man buns

In 2013 it seemed that more men than ever before were piling their hair up onto their heads to achieve the so-called man bun look. Even celebrities like Bradley Cooper, Harry Styles and Jake Gyllenhaal were not immune from the male grooming trend. So for a good few years, the look was the hairstyle of choice for hipsters everywhere.

But even as early as 2014 the backlash against the man bun had begun. In 2015 an article by HuffPost announced the “death of the Man Bun.” It was then that contributor Barrett Pall revealed, “I have been gifted the privilege of knowing what is happening behind the scenes, and the truth is, excessive hair has had its moment.”


1. Wedge sneakers

If you thought chunky, dad sneakers were bad, then you might want to look away now. That’s because in the early 2010s the humble sports shoe was given a fashion update with the addition of a wedge heel. The result was as cringe-inducing as you might have imagined, but that didn’t stop celebs like Katy Perry from rocking the trend.

At one point, it appeared the questionable trend had run its course. However, in December 2018 data from Pinterest revealed that searches for wedge sneakers were up by 198 percent on the previous year. With that in mind, it seems we should be constantly checking over our shoulder for the return of frightful footwear.