Like any decade, the 2000s had its fair share of style trends, and as with any decade, a fair few of them were terrible. Like these 20 fads: they may have been super-cool at the time, but in hindsight they make any right-minded individual want to burn every photo in which they appear sporting one of these crimes against fashion.
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20. Sweater/cardigan/dress hybrids
Was it a cardigan? Was it a dress? Could it actually have been a bathrobe? Yes to all three, probably. These knitwear necessities were seen to be the height of slouchy style, but made wearing a jacket over the top awkward as hell. Not that you should have actually left the house in one of these monstrosities, mind.
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19. Slashed-neck T-shirts
The early 2000s were the golden age of distressed fashion, and slashed-neck T-shirts were unfortunately as much of a wardrobe staple as jeans with a thousand rips. You were quite happy to pay top dollar for a shirt that looked like it’d had a run-in with the scissors – or you’d have a bash doing it yourself. Either way, though, it looked bad.
18. Ties over T-shirts
It boggles our minds now as to how anyone thought a big fat tie worked with a T-shirt. We’ve got Avril Lavigne to thank for this fashion calamity, although she must have accidentally stumbled upon the look when getting dressed in the dark – there’s no other explanation for it.
Image: via Complex
17. Ridiculously baggy jeans
Like bootcut jeans on steroids, these foot-swallowing denim disasters were the hallmark of rap, metal and hip-hop subculture. Great for expressing your allegiance to your own particular clan: terrible for keeping dry on a rainy day when they’d get soaked up to your knees.
Uggs were the hottest footwear to be seen in, despite them bearing an uncanny resemblance to your grandma’s slippers. Then they started smelling like an old dog and wrecked your ankles, and you eventually saw the light. Funny how the name of this once must-have shoe brand ended up being the sound you made when you saw other girls wearing them.
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15. The Playboy bunny logo on everything
It’s like an entire generation of parents closed their eyes and turned the other way when their offspring came bounding down the stairs wearing clothes and handbags adorned with Playboy’s iconic rabbit logo. It’s porn, guys. Porn.
Image: via 3News
14. Studded belts
Studded belts seemed at the time to be the epitome of alt-rock cool, and you were pretty cool with them too. That is, until the studs started coming away from the leather-look plastic and you ripped your fingers every time you took it off. Ouch.
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13. Girly baseball shirts
It didn’t matter if you’d never set foot inside a baseball diamond before – these ultra-feminised shirts were the perfect combination of cool and cute, and if Paris Hilton was wearing one, you were too. Both you and Paris made such bad fashion choices back then.
12. Denim everything
The “double denim” rule totally fell by the wayside in the ’00s – but that’s because everything was made of the stuff, even shoes and entire three-piece suits. And if you decided to just stick to plain old jeans, you probably wore them with a dress at some point – yeesh.
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11. Jeans with no back pockets
Jeans have been popular just as they are for decades, so you may rightly think that there would be no need to tamper with a winning formula. But designers clearly thought otherwise back at the turn of the century. “How can we shake things up? Let’s get rid of the pockets!” The end result? Totally impractical trousers that made your butt look weird.
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10. Tattoo choker necklaces
Real talk, you were fooling no one into believing that you’d been inked. The closest you got to lasting body art with this embarrassing jewellery trend was through the weird indentations the choker left on your skin after you’d peeled it off.
Image: via The Hunt
9. Wrists drowning in plastic tat and spiky bands
Your arms were so weighed down with plastic beads, spiky cuffs and bracelets that your knuckles were basically dragging along the floor. But the more, the better as far as you were concerned, even if that meant never getting your button-down on or off in a hurry.
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8. Trucker caps
Von Dutch hats, in particular, were the headwear of choice for anyone who wanted to rock the ironic white trash look that became so unsavorily popular back in the ’00s. Even hotel heiress Nicky Hilton got in on the act – proving once and for all that oodles of cash still can’t buy style.
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7. Scarves whatever the weather
Why put on an eye-catching necklace when you could wear a thin, pointless scarf that constantly got caught in doors? And, of course, it didn’t matter what season it was, nor how hot or cold you actually were – only that you looked so on-trend and deliciously bohemian.
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6. Corset tops
Couldn’t decide whether to dress up or down? Wanted to make out like you were a vampish gal with a not-so-secret wild side? Then you probably wore a corset top back in the day and had everyone talking – for entirely the wrong reasons. Bonus cringe points if it kept on feeling like it was about to fall down at any moment.
Image: via Shopiloca
5. Platform flip-flops
Platforms are rarely easy to walk in but look so good and make your legs go on forever. Flip-flops, on the other hand, are much more comfortable but usually lack on the style front. Put the two together, though, and you don’t get a super-comfy, super-chic new shoe – just a fashion calamity and a twisted ankle.
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4. Butterfly hair clips
You might have felt like a fairy princess with these sparkly clips in your hair, but the amount of cursing that came out of your mouth when they got tangled – or worse, they fell out and you stood on them – was definitely not very ladylike.
Image: via Stylish Fashion
Presumably these weird cardigan-jacket hybrids were so named because you could easily “shrug” them on and off. Over time, though, their moniker became especially apt – because that was the gesture anyone made when you asked them what you thought of the new blue one over your party dress. Basic beyond belief.
Image: via Forever 21
2. Gaucho pants
Long shorts? Short trousers? Whatever gaucho pants actually were, there was one thing they weren’t: flattering to anyone.
Image: via Lily’s Kloset Blog
1. Stiletto Timberlands
Timberland boots have cropped up in various guises over the years, but perhaps none of these have been quite so iconically bad as the Timberland stiletto. Lest you forget, these both form- and function-lacking atrocities rose to popularity after J-Lo wore Manolo Blahnik’s original design in the “Jenny from the Block” video – so it’s her we need to blame from now on.