Sometimes I wonder what aliens would think, if they came down to Earth to observe us. What would they say to their overlords?
"We can take these guys no problem. They're not even smart enough to take the tags off their hats after they buy them."
Here is a list of the top ten most embarrassing fashion trends of the past 25 years. These are all clothing and accessory-related, so you won't find any mullets, or "The Rachels," or rat tails, or Flock of Seagulls, or tramp stamps listed here because I could do a whole list about those. And no 70's clothes, either, 'cause my computer would crash. The 80's were more than enough.
If I missed anything, let me know.
10) Shoulder Pads
I don't know whose idea it was that women who look like linebackers are more attractive. The shoulder pad, like the padded bra or elevator shoes, were designed to change the way a woman looked, as opposed to accentuating what they already had. I guess sloping shoulders were considered unattractive, but being shaped like Spongebob Squarepants was wicked sexy.
"I have to use a level to make sure I'm dressed properly."
Thankfully as the 80's waned, these little triangles were being ripped out in droves. I remember going into the laundry room one day and finding a knee-high pile of them on the floor.
9) Hats that don't fit/bandanna under the hat
Some trends I won't see as obnoxious or ugly when they first come out, and it isn't until a few years later will I realize exactly how stupid they were.
"No matter how hard I push, it just doesn't go on. Maybe I need a bigger one."
This is not one of those.
Like a random bandaid on the face, the whole hat thing probably became popular because a rap artist was too drunk to notice he hadn't properly dressed. The next thing you know Ludacris is going to piss himself on stage, and we'll have legions of kids walking around with a wet stain between their legs. Abercrombie & Fitch will begin to sell pre-urinated-on jeans for $220, and Wal-Mart will eliminate bathroom breaks for their Chinese factory workers and just store the jeans under their chairs.
I foresee a great demand for chiropractors in the near future, with everyone walking around with their necks wrenched back because they can't see otherwise.
8) Leg Warmers
So I saw Footloose the other day. Yup. Lots o' leg warmers.
Legwarmers were a part of that whole "I got farted on by a rainbow" 80's trend. I've never worn them, so I don't know how effective they were at actually warming the leg, but I'm pretty certain they were worn more as a fashion statement than with purpose.
7) Shirts with stupid sayings on them
It's like somebody let Spencer's Gifts out of the mall and out into the public, and now that it's free, it's not going away.
I've talked about these before, and I am guilty of exploiting this trend from time to time. While there's nothing really wrong with slogan shirts, especially when you're just lounging around, there's this invisible line that goes from innocuous to annoying to really, mind-crunchingly stupid. And this whole semi-recent crop of sayings shirts are all in that third category.
You know how they say when something is so traumatic, you can forget about it? You know what I mean. Repressed memories and all that jazz. Well, I forgot about these, and I was happier because of it.
Then I saw Rex (Diedrich Bader) in the movie Napoleon Dynamite sporting an American Flag version of these, and it all came rushing back.
Zubaz. Clown pajama pants. That you wear out in public.
I don't know what it was, and maybe it was just me, but every guy I knew who wore these was either a jerk or a meathead. Maybe the Zubaz company secretly injected you with a jolt of testosterone when you slid them on or wearing them somehow made you feel like The Boz. I don't know. But the author of Napoleon Dynamite saw it.
5) Half Shirts / half sweaters / half jackets
I'm combining these even though they could each be their own category. Anyway, I'm not sure if this has been scientifically proven or not, but I'm pretty certain if a straight guy wore a half shirt (crop top/bellyshirt/whatever) out in public sometime during his lifetime, he is haunted by nightmares where he is turned magically into Prince. This can only be cured by therapy. And if it's not dealt with, it really happens.
Ever wonder what happened to Alex Winter?
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
And as far as half sweaters and half jackets are concerned... I guess what irks me the most is the transparency of the outfits. People wear jackets and sweaters because they're cold. But in the case of the cropped sweater/jacket, they're wearing it to be fashionable, and that's it.
4) Parachute Pants
I was in grade school when these were the rage. The coolest thing ever was to wear parachute pants along with one of those red and black Michael Jackson jackets and try to moonwalk in the gravel during recess.
I still remember the sound of nylon scraping against nylon when one walked in these things. At the height of the parachute pant craze, the recess bell would ring and the air would be filled with swish-swishing of the nylon-clad running for the door.
I'm still not sure what the purpose of all those pockets were, though I had a friend who always had something in every single pocket, including that impossibly small one by the ankle. He always grimaced when he sat down.
3) Spandex bodysuits
I don't think I need to explain too much here.
Almost every metal band from the 80's decked themselves out from head to toe in full-body spandex. And because of it, they had legions of screaming women clawing over each other just so they could reach up toward their package and squeal like pigs on fire.
This is one of those things where it seemed so normal back then, but I look at now and just start laughing. Especially when I think about those guys at the concerts who weren't in the band, but wore the spandex anyway.
2) Baggy Pants/clothes that are falling off
Twenty years from now, a lot of people are going to be showing pictures of themselves to their children, and their kids are going to say, "Daddy, why were your pants falling down? Why are you showing your underwear?"
"Well, son," they'll say, patting junior on the head. "It was the fashion back then."
And the child will sit there for a moment, scratch his head and say, "It was the fashion to look like an assclown?"
If you don't think this is the stupidest fashion trend of the past twenty-five years, and maybe of all times, you're wrong.
In case you don't know what Grills are, read this. Basically it's cosmetic teeth so you look like that Jaws guy from the James Bond movies.
Dentists around the world simultaneously slapped themselves in the forehead when this first became popular. They are obviously horrible for your teeth. Which of course makes them so much more popular.
"I caught a tree leprechaun, and he got me my teeth."
But even more bothersome is how people seem to ignore how much of an idiot you look like when you wear these. Of all the stupid, weird, and idiotic fashions of the years, it's kind of troublesome that the stupidest ones are the most recent.
Honorable mention: Gaucho Pants, giant belts, fat shoelaces, anything with fringe.
So that's it. Why is it we can look back at certain things and be utterly embarrassed by them, but still think it's the coolest thing ever at the time? What changes in our brain?