It's weird, isn't it? You never consider the current decade as the one in which people dress wrong. "We're cool," you think. "After much acid wash, we finally have this fashion thing figured out!" But then you get to the next decade and reflect on the past 10 years. You click through the photos and remember the midriff of terror and the frosted tips and the elastic halter jumpsuit. It becomes painfully, horrifyingly clear. Hah-hah! We looked like idiots! On the scale of trauma, some fashions of the 2000s were worse than others. Here are the Top 10 items you should probably go and burn real quick. (Oh, come on. We know they're still in the back of your closet, next to the corduroy bell bottoms. We have them, too.)
1 The fluorescent duck shoes haunted our dreamscape and polluted our malls for years. They were made of superhuman material that felt like magical pillows of wonder, but they looked like the Nordic interpretation of a hallucinogenic Beatles cartoon, circa the Sgt. Pepper years.
2 Let's compile the most unflattering things ever. Pants that cut your leg off at the shin. Pants that are wide and cut your leg off at the shin. Pants that feed on your butt and are wide and cut your leg off at the shin. Gaucho pants should be reserved for drywall projects and things to wear to the hospital en route to giving birth.
3 Sometime during the 2000s, famous people decided that in sunshine, it is better to reveal only the lower third portion of your face. Admittedly, bug glasses are useful for hangovers and bad acne days, but the end result looks more Jeff Goldblum than Jackie O.
4 They are flat and fat. They are an uninspiring shade of brown. They are covered in cozy shearling. They are fine for snow situations in northern Maine or wine by the fire. But somehow, Ugg boots became the must-have footwear to pair with tank tops and miniskirts and general club wear. Head . . . hurts . . .
5 Speaking of club wear, the 2000s saw the rebirth of what is basically a hot pant. We don't call them hot pants, of course, because that would mean acknowledging a past mistake. We call them formal shorts and pair them with high heels and hit the club for some old-fashioned, inappropriate sitting positions.
6 We can thank 2006 for this macabre trend. Skulls in shades of black, red and pink popped up on the sweetest, most girlish items — socks, hair clips, hats, sequined belts, brooches. Because nothing says femininity like a rotting corpse head! Which brings us to . . .
7 French designer Christian Audigier is responsible for infesting tight T-shirts everywhere with gold lame and screen printing. Audigier incorporates the art of tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy into shirts, shoes and jeans, combining skulls with roses with blood with soaring eagles with Bengal tigers with a good dose of OH NO HE DIDN'T.
8 In 2003, Ashton Kutcher proliferated the style of men who drive big rigs and generally stop for lunch at a highway Stuckey's. This is no slight against truck drivers. It's just, um, curious that a foam hat with netting and a plastic clasp on the back would become haute couture. Are hazmat suits next?
Matching track suits
9 Remember when you were 5 and your mom bought a bunch of matching clothes so that laundry would be easier and she could grab a fast replacement shirt when you puked up ice cream and Nerds? About 2002, design house Juicy and Jennifer Lopez and Prince, bless his heart, decided that Garanimals were awesome for adults, too.
10 Carrie Bradshaw took to stapling massive silk foliage to her shoulder at the beginning of the decade, and everyone drinking the Sex and the City Kool-Aid followed suit. The flower pin trend petered out — that is, until 2008's SATC movie showed SJP wearing THE BIGGEST FLOWER PIN EVER. Some things never die.
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