Past Fashion Trends That Will Activate Your Fight Or Flight Instinct

I try to repress as many memories as possible when it comes to my fashion sense prior to one week ago for some very clear reasons — past fashion trends were pretty horrible. I have made a great number of fashion statements during my years on this earth, and most of them were horrible.

However, I gathered the strength to sift through the deepest parts of my subconscious to recover these fashion trends that plagued my past (and probably yours too).

The Triangl Color-Blocked Swimsuit

Color-blocked bikini
Photo Credit: Instagram / @triangl
Photo Credit: Instagram / @triangl

This style of bikini dominated the beaches and Instagram during the summer of 2015. Though the brand most associated with it is Triangl, many other swimwear producers developed similar styles of swimsuits. I owned three, but I’m not ready to talk about it.

Patchwork Plaid Shorts

Patchwork Plaid shorts
Photo Credit: LuxeFinds
Photo Credit: LuxeFinds

These shorts bring back vivid flashbacks to 2010. If you stare at these for too long, you’ll start to hear Ke$ha’s Billboard Hot 100 hit “Tik Tok” playing faintly in the background.

Spaghetti Strap Camisoles (Often With Lace Details On Top And Bottom)

Camisole with lace on top and bottom
Photo Credit: Poshmark / jordancox34
Photo Credit: Poshmark / jordancox34

If this camisole doesn’t remind you of the years 2008 and 2009, you have done well to repress the past. It was all the rage to wear one of these camis stretched long over the top of your jeans with a shirt overtop. I shiver at the memory.

Maybelline Baby Lips Balm

Six tubes of baby lips chapsticks
Photo Credit: Instagram / @aliskin_tm
Photo Credit: Instagram / @aliskin_tm

These barely-moisturizing tinted lip balms are basically Lipstick Lite Edition. You had to roll up to class ready to flex your lips that smelled like cough syrup that glimmered with a *hint* of red, even though they were still dry.

Side Bangs

Blonde girl with side bangs
Photo Credit: Pinterest / Hair Styles Weekly
Photo Credit: Pinterest / Hair Styles Weekly

The year is 2008. Your mom is taking you to get your haircut a week before school starts. The hairdresser asks what you want your hair to look like, to which you respond, “side bangs and layers.”

Low-Waisted Flare Jeans (Faded Thigh Optional)

Photo of low-waisted flare jeans
Photo Credit: Amazon
Photo Credit: Amazon

Don’t pretend you didn’t have a pair of these bad boys in your closest once upon a time. These jeans were always way too long so they’d drag in puddles and mud and have a constantly wet hem.

Colored-Feather Clip-In Hair Extensions

Woman wearing colored clip in feather hair extensions
Photo Credit: Shopify
Photo Credit: Shopify

I dug into the deepest recesses of my mind to unearth this atrocity. Whoever decided that clip-in feather hair extensions were a good idea, and why did we buy them to go with our 2011 ~boho~ looks?

The Sunny Co Red One-Piece Swimsuit

Girl wearing low-backed red one piece
Photo Credit: Instagram / @sunnycoclothing
Photo Credit: Instagram / @sunnycoclothing

This red-one piece was an Instagram influencer sensation in 2017. If you wear one for more than twenty minutes, the lyrics “we ain’t ever getting older” from The Chainsmokers’ song “Closer” will appear as a script tattoo on your ribcage.

Dip-Dying Your Hair With Kool-Aid

Girl with red hair bottoms
Photo Credit: Instagram / @jennguzman._
Photo Credit: Instagram / @jennguzman._

At the ripe age of thirteen, you’re not a child anymore and you want to rock a new (but not permanent) hair color. You and your friends get together for a sleepover and try to use Kool-Aid to dye your hair ends.

Silly Bands As Bracelets

Unicorn silly band worn as bracelet
Photo Credit: Instagram / @threadbracelets
Photo Credit: Instagram / @threadbracelets

I have no idea how this trend started, but silly bands were a big deal in 2010. There was no harder flex than showing your friends your rarest-shaped silly bands between classes while people tried to trade you.

Galaxy-Print Leggings

Galaxy print leggings
Photo Credit: Wish
Photo Credit: Wish

These leggings give me strong 2012 Tumblr vibes. These leggings belong on a blog that has photos of sunsets, messy buns, and quotes from a John Green novel. They’d have millions of notes.

Remember When There Were Just Monkeys On Everything?

Pink and green camo shirt with monkey that says
Photo Credit: LipstickAlley / celai
Photo Credit: LipstickAlley / celai

I don’t know what exactly was going on in 2006, but there was a weird period of time where this cartoon monkey image was on about 60% of girls’ clothing items. Horrifying.

“Quirky” Claire’s Earrings

Multiple packages of claire's earrings
Photo Credit: Instagram / @clairesgolden
Photo Credit: Instagram / @clairesgolden

Don’t act like your pre-pubescent heart rate didn’t spike every time you walking into a Claire’s store and they were having a five earring pairs for $15 sale. You know you walked out with some heinous ear-gear that you wouldn’t be caught dead in today.

This One Hoodie From American Apparel

Girl wearing hoodie
Photo Credit: Instagram / @blueberry_ardie
Photo Credit: Instagram / @blueberry_ardie

This unisex hoodie was everywhere after Justin Bieber wore it in his debut music video “One Time”. Simple in construction and design, it is the most ordinary sweatshirt in the world and I hate myself for paying $50 for one.

Baby Doll Tops

Pink Baby doll top
Photo Credit: Pinterest / ROOLEE
Photo Credit: Pinterest / ROOLEE

Now, this style can probably be very flattering on certain people, but there was no reason it should have been so mainstream in the early 2000s. I can’t believe I wore one of these that had THICK HORIZONTAL STRIPES.

Classic UGG Boots

Grey uggs
Photo Credit: Instagram / anna__crystal
Photo Credit: Instagram / anna__crystal

Were these boots waterproof? No. Were they resistant to salt-staining? Absolutely not. Did they offer even a semblance of arch/foot support? Not even a little bit. I can’t believe we all were conned into buying these just because they were soft.

Fake Wayfarer RayBans

Racks of wayfarer rayban style sunglasses
Photo Credit: Instagram / @hollieemaree
Photo Credit: Instagram / @hollieemaree

The early 2010s were plagued with an overwhelming societal gravitation towards wearing either real or fake RayBan Wayfarer sunglasses. They were handed out at just about every event as “free swag” and appeared in way too many frat party photos. Scary times.

Best Friend (BFF) Jewelry

Split heart best friend necklaces
Photo Credit: Instagram / @hautify
Photo Credit: Instagram / @hautify

These necklaces were friendship-ruining social currency in the schoolyard. One day you’re walking around thinking that Rebecca is your best friend, the next you see her and Alyssa wearing each half of a BFF-necklace that they bought together at Claire’s.

Crocs (With Pins)

Three people wearing crocs
Photo Credit: Instagram / @crocsargentina
Photo Credit: Instagram / @crocsargentina

Crocs have kind of made a comeback in mainstream media in a somewhat ironic way, but don’t forget that you genuinely thought that these clunky shoes were the peak of fashion in 2005.

Literally Anything That Said “RAWR” On It

Shirt says: I'm a dinosaur so like RAWR and stuff
Photo Credit: Instagram / @yourcustomshopla
Photo Credit: Instagram / @yourcustomshopla

Even if you don’t have to deal with the residual shame for participating in this trend, you did have the misfortune of witnessing the rise of clothing that tried to be quirky by saying RAWR. I’m ready to throw hands at Rue 21.