Recapping the worst fashion trends of the 2010’s

Nicole DeFabio, Sophomore Contributor

It hasn’t felt like nearly ten years, has it? As 2020 approaches and the decade that saw the peak of social and political justice as well as the uprising of internet media comes to a close, one thing that often gets forgotten about is how much the way we dress has changed.

When we think back on the eighties, we stereotype “the look” to consist of neon accessories and crimped hair. The seventies, of bell bottoms and some assortment of lowly cut floral shirts. 

But as high schoolers who’ve lived through the entire decade and seen its highs and lows, wearing something from 2013, only 6 years ago, differs greatly from what we usually sport now. Scrunchies, mom jeans, oversized graphic tees, and messy buns are staples for the trendy look this year, but back then we had….chevron.

I shudder at the mere mention of that. Trends like those make us scratch our heads and wonder why we allowed ourselves to go into public looking like that. Without further ado, in no particular order, here are the absolute worst fashion trends of the 2010s.

Feathers in Hair (2010)

When you think of rebels, or punks, the first things to mind might be jet black hair, leather jackets, skull embroidered shirts, or laced boots. In my seven year old mind, the pinnacle of rebellion was wearing an electric blue feather in my hair that I forced my mom to buy from Claire’s.

Ah, yes, my deviant heart as a young elementary schooler thought that this actually looked good. That people would think this was cool. 

I don’t think they did.

Why did we think this was acceptable? Why did we as a society not excommunicate anybody with an obnoxiously bright colored bird feather in their hair?

I thank whatever higher power there is that this trend only lasted but a mere few months in early 2010. Had it gone on any longer and stayed prevalent in the media, I’m worried there would’ve been an apocalypse between the poor birds and the disgusting homo sapiens. Think The Birds (1963), but, you know, neon yet somehow more depressing.

Knee High Converse (2009-2011)

I blame Shake it Up for this one. Not unlike those god-forsaken feathers, these shoes carried the same essence to young elementary and middle schoolers all over America that they were different; cooler than the other girls. Who needed high heels when you had obnoxiously tall black boots that not even Coco Chanel could make work?

I remember these being the most prevalent from 2009 to 2011. That’s way too long of a span to see people running around and taking edgy Myspace photos in these.

And Heaven forbid you were to style them with a hot pink miniskirt from Justice; a scene that’d make mothers cry and get a nod from Sid Vicious himself. When you walked into the Charlotte’s Web discussion circle you knew you were the baddest gal in the whole first grade.

Mustaches on Everything (2012-2013)

There’s something inherently funny about a man with a thick chunk of hair above their lip. Its not knee slap worthy, but just enough to chuckle at the sight of a stache. That being said, this entire trend was a mistake and a piece of history I wish to forget about.

Was it just that quirky and relatable to have the hair of a 19th century nobleman upon your shirt? I remember going through this phase in its entirety, but then again, I was 9. 

Hot take: it didn’t look good. I can appreciate that the state of fashion was in a more carefree state than it is now, and that there was at least a twinge of hope for a brighter future somewhere in there, but that doesn’t mean it should’ve been done like this.

Every time I walk into Forever 21 and see the remnants of this past era in the clearance aisle, I always think to myself: maybe the world should’ve ended in 2012.


Galaxy Print (2014-2016)

This trend is the physical manifestation of the girl with the green pixie cut who reads Harry Potter gay fan-fiction in the corner of the lunchroom and meows at teachers when they tell her she needs to actually sit at a table. She only shops at Hot Topic and her biggest aspiration in life is to learn how to draw anime versions of the members of My Chemical Romance. Her name is probably, like, Isabella but she goes by Hester Darkness Emo Malfoy, and her parents try to send her to counseling because she talks about how she’s a vampire reincarnation and threatens to suck people’s blood in English class. She thinks she’s random and quirky because she shouts potato at people. Her GPA is a solid 1.7 and she doesn’t really understand algebra.

What was I talking about again?

Flower Crowns (2013-14)

If you’re going to pretend like it’s the 70s, at least commit to the act. Trip on acid and protest about sexism in the streets, listen to a little Pink Floyd. You come from a middle class family in Utah, Emily, that six dollar flower crown from Forever 21 isn’t helping your case.

The 2010s were a decade filled with change, both economical, social, and political. Fashion wise, it was a transition from the fake spray-tanned, ninety pound, blonde highlights infamous look of the late 2000s to a more diverse outlook on how we view beauty, with models of all shapes, sizes, and races featured in the media.

Regardless of the fact that some of the most prevalent trends through the years were questionable, the decade was still one that I look back on with fondness and appreciation for shaping my childhood.

Except chevron.

I hate chevron.