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40 Most Ridiculous Retro Fashion Trends

Patterned Tights

Patterned Tights

Patterned tights in the craziest of color combos were all the rage in the 1960s and were frankly ridiculous. Trends are trendy for a reason. Although tons of classics came out of the '60s, these tights were quickly in style and then quickly out of style.

(Image via Instagram)

Patches

Patches

Patchwork, groovy patches on denim jackets, and everything else patch-worthy were another big trend of the ‘60s. It’s one of the hallmarks of hippy fashion, but unless you are patching your clothes to keep them functioning, there really shouldn’t be patches on your clothes.

Futuristic Fashion

Futuristic Fashion

On the opposite side of the hippy spectrum during the ‘60s was the futuristic fashion. For some reason, with aliens and UFOs being a new fear in people’s minds, people got inspired and assumed the future would be filled with shiny metallic things everywhere, including in clothes. We’re technically living in their future, and it definitely doesn’t look like that at all.

(Image via Twitter)

Neon

Neon
Another craze of the ‘60s were neon colors, which made a comeback in the ‘80s and later again in the early 2010s, because fashion is cyclical and everything. However, each time we fall in love with neons again, we quickly fall out and regret the decision like a toxic ex. Let’s not do this again, okay?
(Image via Reddit)

Crazy Patterns

Crazy Patterns
Crazy patterns and color combos were not limited to tights in the ‘60s, oh no. They were also found everywhere in the ‘80s. What made us think that it was okay to put the strangest colors together in some super weird patterns and call it “cool”?
(Image via Reddit)

Bell Bottoms

Bell Bottoms
Before we were arguing about high versus low-rise jeans and flared leggings versus yoga pants, there were the bell bottom pants that several people during the ‘60s and ‘70s absolutely adored. While the trend is seeing somewhat of a comeback, let’s not go overboard like we did in the past. It was just way too much.

Shrink Tops

Shrink Tops
Who thought it was a good idea to wear tiny sweater vests over our shirts? Who did this? You know the part of Mean Girls where they cut holes in the chest of Regina George’s shirt during gym class and everyone followed because they thought it was a new trend? Was that what happened here? Did someone accidentally shrink their sweater vest and decide to wear it anyway and everyone else followed? Surely no one organically thought this was a good idea.
(Image via Twitter)

Yarn Swimsuits

Yarn Swimsuits
These have come back a little bit in recent years, but like all of these other trends, we just have to ask why. Why did anyone think this was a good idea? Sure, some of them might look cute, but these are in no way practical. There just isn’t enough coverage for the important parts that need to be covered, making these more revealing than a string bikini. These also look like they won’t even last the whole swimsuit season.
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Leisure Suits

Leisure Suits
Oh no… the leisure suits. Nothing is quite as ‘70s as leisure suits. Do you like the look of the business suit you have to wear to work every day and on special events but don’t know how to incorporate it into more casual wear? Well how about the leisure suit! Nothing says “creepy uncle” quite like the leisure suit.
(Image via Twitter)

Ascots

Ascots
Ascots have seen a bit of resurgence with the trendy neck and hair scarves that have been re-popular in recent years, but they are still pretty ridiculous. They’re rather uncomfortable and not functional and aren’t even that cute. But we can’t really say anything because we did wear chevron infinity scarves for way too long ourselves...
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Suspenders

Suspenders
For some reason suspenders were really popular in the ‘70s. We don’t know why, and we don’t want to ever see it return. They weren’t even the functional kind of suspenders that actually have purpose. They were the weird colorful ones that were only for show, and were completely ridiculous.
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Oversized Collars

Oversized Collars
You may have forgotten about this trend, but oversized collars were definitely a thing in the ‘70s, but why? We don’t know. People were donning comically large shirt collars as a thing of pride. Geez. These were so ridiculous.

Turtleneck & Blazer

Turtleneck & Blazer
Turtlenecks as well as blazers have both come back into fashion, but not paired together. That should never return. However, in the 1970s, people thought this was cool, well, the dads and uncles thought it was cool, not really anyone else.
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Sweater Vests

Sweater Vests

Sweater vests seem like they’ve been universally hated for decades, but believe it or not, they were actually popular in the 1970s. Let's hope these sweater/tank top hybrids never come back in style.

(Image via Twitter)

Vinyl Jumpsuits

Vinyl Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits? Great. Vinyl jumpsuits? Not so much. Vinyl jumpsuits were popular in the 1970s because they looked futuristic, but the future is here, and it looks nothing like those horrifying suits.

(Image via Twitter)

Striped Knee Socks

Striped Knee Socks
First we had crazy tights, then we had crazy socks. Everyone was wearing striped knee socks and tube socks as a cool accessory in the ‘70s and ‘80s. From gym class to playing in the front yard with the neighborhood kids, these are a marker that you were a child at this time.
(Image via Reddit)

Short Athletic Shorts

Short Athletic Shorts
Short shorts have long been popular with women for several decades, but in the ‘70s and ‘80s, they were also popular among the men. They were especially popular in gym class and on the basketball court, but we honestly wish they weren’t!
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Leg Warmers

Leg Warmers
Speaking of ‘80s athletic fashion, leg warmers! It isn’t an ‘80s throwback if it doesn’t involve leg warmers.

Spandex Workout Wear

Spandex Workout Wear
Along with leg warmers is the spandex workout wear. Everyone wanted to look like Jane Fonda, not only in how her body looked, but also in what she was wearing to get her body. It was the leggings and sports bras of the time.

Shoulder Pads

Shoulder Pads

It also wasn’t the ‘80s without shoulder pads. Madonna is the most popular fashion icon of the time to wear shoulder pads and make everyone else want to wear them too. Now, however, they are most associated with old ladies and Lady Gaga.

(Image via Reddit)

Pastels

Pastels
While neon was also super popular in the ‘80s, so were the pastels. The pastels also carried into the ‘90s. They were the most popular home decor and wedding colors of the time, from powder baby pink to pale gross yellow.
(Image via Instagram)

Sequins & Shimmers

Sequins & Shimmers

Did you really go to prom in the ‘80s if you didn’t wear a shimmery fabric dress or a dress made entirely of sequins? No, you didn’t. That dress also 100% ate you alive in ruffles and puffs.

(Image via Twitter)

Tracksuits

Tracksuits

Different versions of tracksuits were popular from the '80s until the '00s. While we don’t have a problem with track pants, we do have an issue when you pair them with a matching track jacket. High school football coach, much?

(Image via Reddit)

Chunky Jewelry

Chunky Jewelry
Like all of the pop stars, all of the teenagers wore the chunkiest jewelry in the ‘80s. The cheapest versions were made of big chunks of plastic, but big gold earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, and even stone jewelry, were also very popular. Young people were even wearing brooches!
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Parachute Pants

Parachute Pants

Parachute pants were pants that looked like someone literally turned a parachute into a pair of pants. They were popular in the '80s, and elements of them are popular today, like the drop crotch. We can only hope that the ridiculous colors don’t make a comeback, though. 

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American Flag Apparel

American Flag Apparel

We understand that some people might feel patriotic while donning a pair of cargo shorts that look like the American flag, but we think this trend is a bit odd. If you end up spilling beer or getting mud on your clothes, have you disrespected the flag?

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Bandanas

Bandanas

Bandanas are cute on dogs, but not so much on people. These fashion accessories were popular in the '80s and '90s, but we do not care for them. There truly is no way to make them look chic.

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Puffy Sleeves

Puffy Sleeves

Everyone had a puffy sleeve dress in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and if you say you didn’t, you’re lying. Everyone who went to a formal event during this time period 1000% wore a puffy sleeve dress. Did they even make anything different at this time?

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Bucket Hats

Bucket Hats

The only time it is appropriate to wear a bucket hat is if you're going fly fishing. These hats were made popular by rappers in the '80s and '90s, but we're ever so grateful they’ve dropped this trend since. 

(Image via Twitter)

Scrunchies

Scrunchies

The ‘it’ hair accessory of the '80s and '90s was the scrunchie. Celebrities and tween girls alike loved to put their hair up in these voluminous, loud hair ties. It's a shame that this childish trend is coming back in style.

(Image via Twitter)

Platform Sandals

Platform Sandals
Nothing says the ‘90s and 2000s like platform sandals. This trend began in the ‘90s and lasted waaay too long into the early 2000s. From Lizzie McGuire and Britney Spears, teenage girls of this time period were crazy for platform sandals.
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Black Tights with Everything

Black Tights with Everything
Many people went through a whole dark and moody color palette phase during the ‘90s. It was definitely a boomerang effect from the bright neons and the pastels that had just gone out of style, but with this new moody look came wearing black tights...with everything. Black tights are a total staple for any wardrobe, but they don’t go with everything!
(Image via Twitter)

Loose Pants

Loose Pants
Skinny jeans became popular in the 2000s because loose pants were all the rage in the ‘90s. Everyone thought they looked cool, and they were comfortable as well. That was a win-win, until you look back at the pictures. Yikes.
(Image via Twitter)

Silk Slip Dresses

Silk Slip Dresses
These dresses are slowly sneaking their way back into current fashion, but in a much more minimalist way. The slip dresses of the ‘90s, however, definitely looked like they were wearing lingerie out and about as a fashion statement. Not a tasteful choice if you ask us.
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Pants Under Skirts

Pants Under Skirts
Oh no. Another super cringe-worthy trend of the ‘90s and early 2000s was wearing pants under skirts. We can’t believe this. It reached peak cringe with Ashley Tisdale in the early 2000s until we finally realized this wasn’t okay, but it went on for far too long.
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Popcorn Shirts

Popcorn Shirts

These ridiculously stretchy, one-size-fits-all shirts were one of the worst trends to come out of the '90s. They somehow managed to be unflattering on every body type and made wearers look like a popcorn ceiling come to life.

(Image via Twitter)

Body Glitter

Body Glitter

Roll-on body glitter was all the rage with teenage girls in the '90s. If your skin didn’t sparkle like a Twilight vampire, were you really dressed up at all? We still cannot forget the skin irritation that came with this trend.

(Image via Reddit)

Mood Rings

Mood Rings

Teens and tweens of the '90s were obsessed with mood rings. How else would you know if you were feeling excited/happy/angry unless your trusty mood ring showed that color?!

(Image via Twitter)

Fanny Packs

Fanny Packs

Fanny packs are now a dead giveaway of a clueless tourist, but everyone wore them in the '90s. They were perfect for carrying keys and gum, but they were also the antithesis of fashionable. A purse is a much better option!

Studded Belts

Studded Belts

Studded belts were popular in the '70s and made a comeback in the '90s. These belts looked tacky from the get-go, but even more so after some of the studs started falling off.

(Image via Twitter)