"Whoa!" indeed.
Blossom/NBC
  • New fashion trends come out with the turn of every season - they then walk off the runaway into stores and finally our closets.
  • But just because something is on the runway doesn't mean it should be in your wardrobe.
  • There have been countless fashion mishaps throughout the years, from poodle skirts to trucker hats.
  • INSIDER turned to freelance stylist and former fashion market editor at V Magazine, Scott Shapiro, to help us dissect some of the very worst fashion trends that came out of the past century.

In the 1910s, hobble skirts were all the rage, but we have no idea why. Their name tells us exactly what it was like to wear them — women were hobbling around with floor-length skirts tight around their ankles.

Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar, Business of Fashion


Even though the shape of the skirt was thought to be flattering, the ability to step more than a few inches at a time seems like a high price to pay for fashion.

Central Press/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Business of Fashion, Mental Floss


Fashion in the 1920s is somewhat polarizing — people either love it or hate it. Scott Shapiro, a freelance stylist and former fashion market editor at V Magazine, told INSIDER that he loves almost everything about women's fashion from that decade, even the shoes, "which some might deem heinous."

He said menswear, on the other hand, was laughable. "The boater hats and fedoras were tragic. Fedoras have never been and will never be ok," he told INSIDER.

DEA/Biblioteca Ambrosiana/Contributor/Getty Images

The '30s were quite similar to the '20s from a fashion standpoint, Shapiro said. One trend he can't get behind is the beachside-fashion of the time.

Joseph Leombruno/Contributor/Getty Images

"I know it was a more modest time," he said, "but I literally will never understand why a dress with actual ruffles was seen as chic or even practical beachside attire."

Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images

1930s footwear was some of the worst, Harper's Bazaar editor Lauren Alexis Fisher wrote. The T-strapped shoes seen here ...

Roger Prigent/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


... and heeled oxfords seen here were in, which is rather questionable.

Andrew Francis Wallace/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


The 1940s gave us mini bowler hats. "I guess there's a time and a place, but seeing this in photos always felt very costumey or circusy to me," Shapiro told INSIDER.

Popperfoto/Contributor/Getty Images

In the 1950s it was trendy to wear white gloves to dinner parties or fancy meals.

Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


But, as Fisher wrote in Harpaar's Bazaar, how could anyone be expected to keep them clean?

Horst P. Horst/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


Shapiro told INSIDER that the 1950s is his least favourite decade in terms of fashion because "everything went from glam and fun to sterile, boring, and conservative."

Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images

"I don't think it gets much worse than poodle skirts," Shapiro told INSIDER. "Did people actually wear these?" Yes, they did.

Sharland/Contributor/Getty Images

The 1960s saw a lot of loud patterns in a lot of loud colorways.

Art Kane/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


Undergarments like stockings and tights were no exception here. While color is always fun, Fisher wrote in Harper's Bazaar that this trend was universally unflattering.

John Cowan/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


A big pattern trend in the 1960s was paisley — which Shapiro told INSIDER is definitely not for him.

Popperfoto/Contributor/Getty Images

"It wasn't cool then," he said, "especially not when done in bright colors — and I'm not sure if there's any pattern I hate more."

Mirrorpix/Contributor/Getty Images

"Why would you want to look like décor?" Shapiro asked. "I don't even think this looks good in a décor context."

Arnaud de Rosnay/Contributor/Getty Images

In the 1960s, babydoll dresses also made a splash. Fisher wrote in Harper's Bazaar that the trend was "next-level creepy."

Popperfoto/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


The 1970s was filled with maxi skirts, and Shapiro told INSIDER they're just not a good look for anyone.

Evening Standard/Stringer/Getty Images

He said that the anti-flattery of maxi skirts knows no height limit — "they somehow manage to be super unflattering and eat people alive" no matter how tall they are, he said.

Peter Bischoff/Stringer/Getty Images

And he said some patterns — like the patchwork of the '70s — are just overwhelming.

Bernd Thiele/ullstein bild/Contributor/Getty Images

The 1970s also saw the rise of jumpsuits for men, which Fisher wrote in Harper's Bazaar was one of the worst looks from the decade.

Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


The '80s was flooded with tacky clothing trends, Shapiro told INSIDER. In his opinion, "acid wash was the trashiest."

Lynn Goldsmith/Contributor/Getty Images

"I'm all about inventive denim," he said, "but this moment just looks so cheap no matter what."

Bob Riha Jr/Contributor/Getty Images

Leg warmers are paramount to any '80s-themed outfit. But as Fisher wrote in Harper's Bazaar, the trend makes no sense when you think about it: Do ankles really get cold during a workout?

Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


Rapper MC Hammer started sporting these iconic baggy pants in the 1980s and '90s. Unfortunately, as Fisher wrote, even he couldn't pull them off.

Paul Natkin/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


Shapiro's opinions on '90s fashion are somewhat unconventional. "From wacky color and pattern clashing to minimalism, sexy takes on suiting, and over-the-top Versace glamor," he loves it all, he told INSIDER.

Jim Smeal/Contributor/Getty Images

But one '90s trend he can't get behind is the "grunge movement" of the time.

Steve Eichner/Contributor/Getty Images

"Flannel is not fashion — it's for farmers and lumberjacks," he told INSIDER.

UniversalImagesGroup/Contributor/Getty Images

The 1990s era Olsen twins may have convinced us that hats with flowers glued onto them were fabulous, but looking back now, Fisher wrote in Harper's Bazaar that they weren't so cool after all.

Time & Life Pictures/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue, once said in an episode of "Go Ask Anna" that her pink leggings moment of 1993 was a mistake.

Ron Galella, Ltd./Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Who What Wear, Vogue


In the late '90s, babydoll dresses had another moment. Shapiro also denounces the concept of the style. "Why would a full-grown adult want to walk around looking like a child?" he asked. Everyone from models ...

Mitchell Gerber/Contributor/Getty Images

... to celebrities were sporting the style.

Bill Davila/Contributor/Getty Images

Shapiro told INSIDER that the 2000s was "arguably the worst period in fashion ever." This decision comes mostly from his opinion of the ever-controversial Ugg boots.


Perhaps worse, Fisher wrote in Harper's Bazaar that the idea of pairing these winter boots with jean shorts or mini skirts seems totally absurd.

Frank Micelotta/Staff/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


"Yes, they're great and cozy and whatever ... but this was literally the 'slippers in public' trend," Shapiro told INSIDER. "It's so sloppy!"

James Devaney/Contributor/Getty Images

In reality, many of us could write several versions of an ode to the velour tracksuit of the 2000s — some love letters, others with more of a loathing tone.

M. Phillips/Staff/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


Fisher wrote in Harper's Bazaar that they were undoubtedly heinous — especially with the word "JUICY" written across the butt — but somehow everyone from celebs to elementary school girls was obsessed.

Mark Davis/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


Men tried pulling the look off, too.

Gareth Davies/Contributor/Getty Images

Take another look and tell us they're not one of the most infuriating fashion trends you've ever seen.

Jun Sato/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


The 2000s "trucker" trend was equally as horrifying, Fisher wrote. Supporters donned Von Dutch hats that were half mesh with either a large patch stitched on the front or a DIY-type spray-paint job.

Ben-Ari Finegold/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


This trend rode in right alongside the tattoo-print perpetuated by clothing brand Ed Hardy.

VCG/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Harper's Bazaar


This leads us right into all the branded T-shirts of the 2000s. Whether it had a cap sleeve or featured rhinestones, it was definitely bad, said Vogue culture editor Alessandra Codinha.

L. Cohen/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Vogue


And some people combined all those trends into one look. Vogue editor Sophie Schulte-Hillen said that she remembers sporting an Emilio Pucci scarf as a bandana, a rock and roll T-shirt, and "dirty converse" in 2002. She called this fashion mishap "resort punk."

Dave Benett/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Vogue


Headscarves proved a fickle trend in the 2000s. “I wore them in middle school in homage to the great Americana icons, but ended up looking like a Backstreet Boy,” said Vogue senior writer Mackenzie Wagoner.

Brian Rasic/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Vogue


And in the 2010s we only have one question for the fashion powers that be: Why are Crocs back? Why, Balenciaga ... Why?

via Balenciaga

Source: Teen Vogue


While peplum has been a design feature forever, we started seeing it everywhere in the 2010s.

Alexandra Wyman/Staff/Getty Images

"Peplum is hands down, without a doubt, my least favorite trend to ever happen," Shapiro told INSIDER. "It just automatically makes the wearer look like a Middle-America mall girl with horrible taste."

Kristy Sparow/Contributor/Getty Images

The MC Hammer pants — also more widely known as harem pants — came back via Justin Bieber in the 2010s. But as Washington Post writer and critic Jen Chaney wrote, just because the Biebs is wearing them that doesn't make them OK.

Brian Babineau/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Vanity Fair, The Washington Post

For more, go to Business Insider South Africa.

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: