There was once a time when I thought pairing a sweater vest with coordinating stirrup leggings would make me a better person. I distinctly recall telling someone that I thought the coolest way to dress was to tie a flannel shirt around your waist over a white t-shirt.
Courtney Love was always who I turned to for fashionspiration.
Throughout the 90s, no hair accessory aisle at Walgreens went unsearched in my quest for butterfly hair clips, and when I finally curated an adequate collection, I had no qualms about wearing them to school, to the mall, on holidays, even at church. I mixed sparkly clips with metallic clips and mini clips, and even butterfly clips that were shaped like dragon flies (is nothing sacred anymore?). All the while I thought “I am cool because of my sweater vest/stirrup pants/butterfly clips.”
The faux corn rows really helped bring butterfly clips to the mainstream.
If you’re a decent human being, I’m sure you realize the irony in the fact that I was, indeed, cool in spite of my fashion decisions, not because of them. Why do we regret buying into stupid trends but continue to follow them even as we cringe at our past self’s forage into high-heeled gym shoes (and by “we” I supposed I mean me)? I started thinking about what terrible trends I could possibly be following right now that will humiliate me in future years. Unfortunately, I came up with quite a few.
1. Big Hair:
I craved this kind of poof symmetry!
I attempted the bangs poof for most of high school and college, though I never seemed to get it quite right. I think that makes me worse though because that’s like saying “I tried to make my jeans look acid washed but I even failed at that.” I already told you I’ve worn bump-its in public and also done (less guidette) variations on the Snooki (although mostly in the privacy of my own dorm. Let’s not get too upset here).
She'll regret this.
I regret wearing them in the 90s, so why am I wearing them now? In fact, why am I wearing them while I point and laugh at pictures of my childhood self wearing them? Sure, there’s no stirrup in sight, but they’re still leggings for God’s sake. Thankfully I never wore leggings in place of pants and I never wore metallic leggings or jeggings. But there’s still time…
3. Enormous Hair Accessories:
Why can’t I find one this size anywhere? I sense a DIY project…
Every time I put a giant bow, flower, or other monstrosity in my hair, I just know that my children will laugh at pictures of me wearing it. Yet I wear them anyway, and I still feel like I’m a better person for it. I learned nothing from Butterfly Clipgate.
4. Gladiator Sandals:
Just try to resist their allure! You will FAIL.
I tried really hard not to like these. They’re unflattering, uncomfortable, weird-tan-line-inducing, man repellents. I don’t even think they’re pretty or cute or pleasing to the eye. And yet, somewhere along the way, I decided I needed some. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve never worn sandal boots or Goliath straps all over my feet. But I did break down and buy these. Give it a few years and I’ll regret that purchase more than I regret passing on the opportunity to see BSB in concert.
I conducted some scientific research into the matter, and here is a summation of the results, in case you're interested:
The Rise and Fall of the Gladiator Sandal (OR, How Terrible Trends Happen)
What trends do you regret wearing in public? What trends are you wearing right now that you're already ashamed of?