Something has been bothering me for a long time, something about my past. Every time I go shopping, it's in the background of my mind, haunting me. Of course what I'm talking about is how ugly the late 90's and early 2000's were. I know the 80's gets a lot of crap, but at least clothes were fun. Everyone looked like clowns, but clowns are meant to spread joy. The early 2000's, on the other hand, was not fun, not remotely interesting, nor remotely flattering. It was a time of lost and wandering fashion. It was very, very bad.
If you don't believe me, I'd like to show you some exhibits.
One of the ugliest trends ever in the history of the universe is the baggy pant paired with a crop top. It is beyond me how anyone at any time could have thought, "I'm a beautiful young woman. You know what I want? I want to trip on the cuffs of my pants and have pockets, pockets, pockets for my disposable cameras." What results is a hideous imbalance of a shortened upper body and a lower body that literally looks like it's melting. NO.
Next: Flared and embellished jeans. Like the baggy pant, the eye is drawn to a weird part of your body--the ankles-- which are morphed to look as big as your hips. This is not flattering on human women. In this Destiny's Child pic, the style of pant is not super flared, but I remember this look being really trendy. What I want to know is why so many strings? Are they going to bend down and make friendship bracelets if they get bored? Again, notice the crop top and how all the weight of the look is oddly at the LOWER HALF of the body!
If you were not in a baby doll tee, your shirts fit like boxes. What do I mean by that? I mean they had no natural waist. Granted, I wore my clothes too big because I didn't know how to dress my body, but what rational young gal could really figure out fashion when it was so counter intuitive???
Let us not forget men of this age. In addition to the unforgivable hair styles, there's the necklace thing, specifically seashell necklaces. The surfer look was all the rage, even among kids who had never been to the beach. SO hideous. Every now and then, I STILL see men in these necklaces and it makes me so confused--especially when it's young men??? I can't tell if they're seriously behind the times because of where they live (I've heard Mount Pleasant men are guilty of this) or if they're sociopaths who cannot be trusted.
Old Navy commercials from the early 2000's really bring it home for me. Here we have again an embellished flair with shorter shirts that reveal the stomach. Worst of all, this lady is bragging about how low the pants rise. So yes, this is the rise of butt crack jeans.
Hair was also unforgivable in the early 2000's. Women wore it bone straight with no body. It was almost like they were rebelling against the big poofy hair of the decade that came before. This made a lot of women look like aliens. (If you don't believe me, take a good hard look at the women on Friends from season six.) We also had an abundance of blond chunky highlights during this time, on men and women. Did it look good? Spoiler alert: NO.
There was the thing with the chopsticks...
I searched through some old high school photos to find evidence of my fashion crimes, and I realized that I should try to crop people out so as not to call my friends bad dressers. Too bad for my friend Sarah though, who I had to keep in because she was so iconically with the times. The bandanas. The shirts with the store names on them. Sarah's kakhis with the big pockets.
Further crimes: The pic of me in the the boxy Aeorpostale shirt (surfers are cool) pretty much represents my collection of unflattering t-shirts. Next we have the corn row crown thing. I wore my hair like this when we went to see Les Mis, and all my friends were like, "YOU'RE HAIR LOOKS SO GREAT!" (This pic is blurry because my disposable camera was too close to my mom's curling iron and it melted the lens. I remember things like this.) Below, we've got the FLEECE VEST from Old Navy. I would share more, but sadly, the internet is forever.
Today, I love shopping. I'm at that age where it's one of the only things that makes me feel relaxed. Even if I'm going through fluffy body phases, I love experimenting with outfits and colors and styles. But I was deprived of this joy as a teen--the time when fashion is supposed to matter the most--and it makes me VERY MAD.
So I've made my case right? Aren't you also really mad now? I'm not sure who to blame for all this, but let's say Topanga.
What was the worst part of late 90's-early 2000's fashion, according to you? Are your pics from this time also unframeable? Do you feel compelled to share any? Please do in the comments, and add to this collection of tears.