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The Worst Fashion Trends of Every Decade

“Do not be into trends. Do not make fashion own you, but you decide what you are.” –Gianni Versace

Fashion is the penultimate way of showing off your personality, taste, and character through the assembly of clothing. In a sense, in the sagely and most famous words of Rachel Zoe, it is akin to saying who you are without having to speak. For this reason, each decade sees a wave of fresh, unique, beautiful and versatile style trends that would make their mark in the fashion world for that particular era. However, while it is easy to romanticize the trends of the yesteryears as innovative, inspired and truly visionary, some of them do not just make the cut, and we are left wondering whatever prompted the designer to think it was a good idea. Unfortunately, while these trends look questionable at best and downright dreadful at worst, some people seem to think that sporting them is a splendid idea and just like any trend that grips the fashion world, it spreads quickly and easily—much like an infection would. They are found almost anywhere—from retail buys to wholesale clothing brands. After all, if they are the all the rage, nearly every designer would be giving his or her own rendition to satisfy the incessant clamor for trends. Here are just some of the worst and most memorable trends that have graced every decade:

1.) CORSETS (the 1900s)

Corsets were heavily used in the 1900s as a way for women to give off the illusion of a slimmer waist and as a consequence, a svelte figure. Although it was incredibly effective, women were constrained to wearing this constricting piece which they can hardly breathe in just to appear slimmer. With prolonged use, it could potentially result in broken ribs and internal organ damage—which would mean that wearing a corset is hardly worth the trouble. Today, corsets have been given a modern overhaul but still retain that definitive waist-slimming and constricting feature.

2.) HOBBLE SKIRTS (the 1910s)

Hobble skirts look like a multilayered mess on your legs. In the 1900s, women may have thought of them to be fashionable but walking in its heavy and constricting floor-length hemlines is not exactly an easy feat to do. Owing to the skirt’s design which constricts movement (Imagine an ankle-length pencil skirt), women’s movement would be limited, and as a result, the wearer would have to move at a slower and even glacial-like cadence.


The 1920s gave the fashion a lot of things to celebrate for. However, for every great piece comes a couple of bad trends. Such is the case of the cloche hats and swimsuit dresses. Cloche hats would make you look like an overgrown infant while swimsuit dresses just leave us scratching our heads. The functionality and design of a swimsuit dress are not fit for women who want to go swimming as it would actually be a feat to stay afloat while wearing the taffeta dresses.


The 1930s had a lot going on, and it evidently showed on their choice of clothes. Heeled oxfords were not only uncomfortable to walk in, but they were incredibly unstylish as well. Apart from giving you a few inches in height, this kind of shoe virtually did nothing for you.

5.) WHITE GLOVES (the 1950s)

Before elbow gloves were considered stylish, white gloves were trendy fashion pieces women occasionally sported to look elegant and apply a dash of panache to their ensembles. Unfortunately, while they looked sophisticated and polished, they also made one look like a limousine driver, and it was a natural deterrent for finger food.

6.) POODLE SKIRTS (the 1950s)

Poodle skirts are definitive of fifties fashion. In fact, it was the epitome of what fashion was like back in the fifties. However, while they are cute and feminine, there was no absolute reason to embroider poodles on poufy and wide ankle skirts. Over time and as the trend faded out, the design looked more childish than it was sophisticated.

7.) PATTERNED TIGHTS (the 1960s)

Patterned tights are what neon and patterned leggings are today. In no way possible was this trend ever considered fashionable by today’s standards, but apparently, in the sixties, they were all the rage. The patterns etched on the tights would only make your legs look oddly misshapen which is not exactly a good look to be sporting.

8.) FUTURISTIC FASHION (the 1960s)

In the sixties, the style trend futuristic fashion was anything but. They may have thought that individuals would be sporting more metal and silver by this time of the year, but fortunately, this has not been the case as fashion never really evolved to look like something the sixties have predicted (And thankfully so!)


Patchwork peasant skirts may be vibrant and cheery, but they make the wearer look as if they have mistaken their quilts for a skirt. Hardly anyone can pull it off, and if they can, they would probably look like they had just gotten out of bed.

10.) SAFETY PIN JEWELRY (the 1970s)

The seventies was an era where fashion had a rebellious touch to it and where individuals would like to be perceived as grungy and a bit edgy. However, some of the trends it produced were just one of the worst ones the world has seen and could not even begin to fathom why people considered it as fashionable back in the day. Such is the case of the safety pin jewelry where people thought that it looked highly fashionable to be sporting safety pins strewn across your face. The punk rock movement might be successful, but adorning your face with office and school supplies is a trend that should never have taken off.
Terrible trends have indeed made their mark in fashion history, and they are just as memorable as the best ones in fashion. If you have ever had the misfortune of ever succumbing to any of these trends, you best be glad you know better now and are way past your cringe-worthy fashion years.

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