editorial

It's So Ugly, I Could Die! (Or... Just Wear It)

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It’s So Ugly I Could Die (Or… Wear It?)

Jamelia Watson


At the turn of each decade, unique and exciting  fashion trends arise to please the current youth. However, not everything becomes a huge hit when it is released, and certain trends and pieces are forced into retirement almost immediately after their debut; some even become poster children for the fashionably-challenged. So, why is it that these once-undesirable pieces are making comebacks with some of the biggest style influencers? I decided to look into some classically controversial pieces and examine how far they have come since they first appeared on the scene. They say fashion recycles, but is that really true? Are some things just too ugly to salvage?


Crocs

Prince George in Crocs

Prince George in Crocs

Whoopi Goldberg in Crocs

Whoopi Goldberg in Crocs

The shoe with the crocodile mascot, these iconically polarizing  fashion don’ts were invented as a clog shoe for boating and other water activities. The first model produced by the company, the Beach, was unveiled in 2002 at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in Florida, and sold out the 200 pairs produced at that time. It has since sold 300 million pairs of shoes. While nothing is manufacturally wrong with the shoe, its bulky silhouette and shocking colors make it the perfect target for mockery.  In May 2010, Time magazine listed Crocs as one of the world's "50 Worst Inventions". A blog named IHateCrocs.com was founded by two Canadian college students (one, Kate Leth, referred to the shoes as "hideous"), while the  The Facebook group, I Don't Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like a Dumbass, has grown in popularity. Nevertheless, celebrities are obsessed with their practicality, and I don't think this trend will stop anytime soon. On June 14, 2015, a 2-year-old Prince George was photographed at a charity event wearing navy blue crocs. In one week, Amazon’s sales of the product increased by 1500 percent. These frustratingly functional monsters aren’t going anywhere.


Turtlenecks

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West

Though not ugly, the itchy neck syndrome that comes with wearing a turtleneck is enough to put them on this list. Simply referred to as the polo neck in the UK, these garments date back to the 15th century, but their adoption by Noël Coward, a famous playwright  in the 1920s, turned polo necks into a brief middle-class fashion trend, and first-wave feminists made them unisex. Absorbed into mainstream American fashion by the mid-20th century, the polo neck came to be viewed as an anti-tie, a smart form of dress for those who rejected formal wear. Over time, they became a fad amongst teenage girls, especially in lightweight fabrics that emphasized their figures; styles range from traditional tops to bodycon dresses. By the late 1950s, the "tight turtleneck" had been adopted as part of the preppy style among students, a style emphasizing neatness, tidiness, and sometimes even intelligence; think Velma from Scooby Doo.  So while you hated wearing them as a kid for constricting your air flow, I would have to say the trend is only getting stronger. They're constantly sought out by men and women alike. I mean, who doesn't like a cute turtle neck, beauty is pain.


Dad Sneakers

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian

Another shoe for the books, these clunkers have long been a staple of your dad’s closet, but are quickly becoming part of your own.

Dating back to the late 90’s, when big competitors like Adidas and Nike were running the game, the shoes’ became  controversial because they WERE different from the slim, elegant styles some are used to wearing. Most of the times  “dad sneakers” feature a double or triple sole, adding height to the wearer. Another divisive element is the décor: curvy lines in bright hues or neon colors make them seem like rather flashy shoes for those used to all white or all black styles. If they don't remind you of your middle school Gym Teachers’ desire to release extreme amounts of testosterone, then they are not bulky or cute enough.


 Steve Urkel Glasses

Usually, glasses are for the seeing impaired. More recently, however, glasses as statement pieces are becoming extremely popular. Finding the perfect frame can be a huge challenge.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross

Some might say to stay clear of the round Harry Potter frames, or the classic 80’s look, as they have been deemed “nerdy” or  un-chic, but this does not stop the fashion world. Previously known as ugly frames, huge glasses bring the drama and are becoming a fashion trend you can't miss.

Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles

Snap Barrettes
It’s no doubt that Ariana Grande and some other influential celebs have brought back the 90’s hair trend. Now I can’t argue with this one and say that they ever really were a fashion don’t. With hundreds of color schemes, themes and sizes, one look at the triangular hair pin will hit you with some major middle school nostalgia.While the clips never disappeared completely, they became largely associated with children. Let's be real, we are all children at heart, so I’ll take 5.

Contrast Magazine