Fashion through the decades offers one of the most interesting cultural snapshots of a country. You can see what trends were popular and how music, celebrities, TV and movies influenced the clothing.
Some of these unique styles have endured the test of time, some are making a comeback and others appear to be (hopefully) relegated to the dustbin of fashion history. Click through to see some of the worst fashion trends throughout the years — and how much you and your favorite celebs probably splurged on these items.
Juicy Couture Velour Tracksuits
- Price then: Around $200 for the set
- Price now: $151 to $356 for the set
It was pretty difficult to save money on clothes in the early 2000s, especially if you splurged on these tracksuits.
It’s often said that everything old is new again, and it appears that Juicy Couture is just the latest cyclic fashion to come back in style. The iconic velour tracksuit was a staple of the early 2000s, beloved by celebrities like Madonna, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Paris Hilton.
In honor of the brand’s 21-year anniversary, Juicy Couture kicked off a new ad campaign this summer with the hashtag #trackisback. Kim Kardashian and Rihanna have already been spotted wearing the brand, so it’ll be interesting to see which other A-listers jump back on the Juicy bandwagon.
Von Dutch Trucker Hats
- Price then: $42 to $125
- Price now: $39
A must-have accessory for many celebs back in the day, Von Dutch trucker hats are poised to make a comeback. In fact, Kylie Jenner was spotted wearing a Von Dutch hat as recently as 2016.
Originally popularized by Paris Hilton, Justin Timberlake (who even wore it to Grammy parties) and Nicole Richie in 2003, a brand new flagship store in LA promises the trucker hat is set to become a staple in California couture once again.
Ed Hardy T-Shirts
- Price then: unknown
- Price now: $128 to $158
Here’s another early 2000s fashion trend some might call ridiculous. Ed Hardy exploded onto the fashion scene in 2002 with its cult rhinestone T-shirts designed after tattoos. Vice aptly described the gaudy style as, “To the eyes what Axe Body Spray is to the nose.” As for whether this bad fashion trend could make a comeback, it remains to be seen.
- Price then: unknown
- Price now: $60
A staple of ’90s street style, the chunky platform was the antithesis of the wedge, flat and sexy stiletto in shoe trends in later years. Brands like Steve Madden and Skechers led the revolution, but with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera as Skechers brand ambassadors, it was clear which company the tween revolution preferred.
If you want to own a pair of your own today, make sure you utilize these shoe shopping hacks.
- Price then: $300 for the classic tall boot
- Price now: $200 for the classic tall boot
While Uggs are not technically short for ugly, that was one of the running jokes. Despite their appearance, nothing can beat the cozy sheepskin in terms of comfort. Today, you can get your Uggs for cheaper than when they were all the rage.
As close to wearing fuzzy slippers out as you can get, the Australian exports started gaining popularity in the mid-’80s with the underground California surf scene. The footwear really exploded in popularity in 2000, when Oprah named the unisex boots as one of her favorite things.
- Price then: $30 for the classic clog
- Price now: $34.99 for the classic clog
Originally trendy in 2006, GQ called Crocs the “ugliest shoe known to man.” Yet, the plastic clogs have managed to stick around, avoiding oblivion. They were even included in Vogue’s most recent list of 2017 fashion trends and were spotted at London Fashion Week this year.
Worn by everyone from Shia LaBeouf to Prince George, ironically or simply functionally, the waterproof boat shoes are useful for working professionals like chefs and gardeners. But it’s anyone’s guess whether Crocs will return to mainstream feet.
The Truth Behind Cheap Clothes: The Hidden Costs of Fast Fashion
- Price then: Unknown
- Price now: $140 for the set
Adidas was one of the pioneers of the “athleisure” wear concept, but unisex tracksuits have been around since the mid-’60s. It wasn’t until the ’70s that they made the jump from athletic apparel to fashion, with each decade adding its own spin on the classic jacket-and-pants combo.
The ’90s saw the style become a hip-hop staple with the retro three-stripe Adidas design becoming an instant classic. Now, ironic or not, “it” girls like Gwen Stefani, Rihanna and Gigi Hadid still rock the look today.
- Price then: unknown
- Price now: $59.90 to $69.90
In the case of most ill-fitting clothes, bigger isn’t always better. But in ’90s fashion trends, the wider and saggier your pants, the cooler you were. Taking a stand on individuality, JNCO stood for “judge none choose one.”
Despite JNCO’s positive body message, when skinny jeans rose to popularity soon after, JNCO halted production completely — until recently, that is. Yes, the behemoth brand is back from the dead, leaving us wondering: Which brand will be resurrected next?
- Price then: $10 to $20
- Price now: $39.99
Made of PVC plastic infused with glitter, candy-colored jelly shoes were a playground staple in the mid-’80s. There are conflicting stories about their exact origin, but one theory is that the shoe was inspired by designers who were experimenting with synthetic materials during the post-war era.
Jelly’s affordable price point made it the ideal cheap must-have accessory, allowing people to purchase multiple pairs in a variety of colors. You can still find Jelly shoes in thrift stores and retail shops across America, with the original design frequently being reimagined by haute fashion houses. Just keep these shopping tips in mind to snag the best deals.
- Price then: $10
- Price now: $44.99
Daymond John launched his quintessential ’90s brand by hustling hand-sewn clothes and hats door-to-door in Queens. “For us, by us” was a culture adopted by all the hip-hop greats from LL Cool J to Russell Simmons and Run-D.M.C.
But the flashy lifestyle took its toll. The brand expanded too fast, launching a recording album that bombed — a $5 million mistake. Meanwhile, the crew was “spending money like drunken sailors,” John said in an interview with Fast Company.
FUBU eventually made a subtle exit from the marketplace, but it’s not completely gone. Snapbacks are making a comeback, and the mogul himself is doing just fine on “Shark Tank.”
- Price then: unknown
- Price now: $16
A brand of novelty underwear designed to be seen and make you smile, the iconic yellow smiley face was the precursor to today’s love of emojis. The company fell on hard times, nearly going bankrupt in the early 2000s, until the happy-go-lucky brand was bought and revived. Joe Boxer products are now available at Kmart and Sears.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Shoes
- Price then: $6
- Price now: $50 to $55
The origins of Converse date back to 1908, eventually becoming the largest producer of athletic shoes in the United States. The All Star was one of the world’s first basketball shoes. Today, these shoes are more commonly known as Chuck Taylors in honor of the brand’s famous courtside ambassador and sales guru.
Despite how many decades have passed, the shoes are popular as ever with both mainstream consumers and counterculturists after being acquired and updated by Nike in 2003.
- Price then: $150 and up
- Price now: $99.99 to $129.99
Embraced by musicians, athletes and pop culture icons everywhere, Starter jackets were a must-have clothing item for every teen, tween and young adult in the late ’80s and early ’90s. It was a hip way to demonstrate your team affiliation and a status symbol for their high price point.
After a string of bad press that included robberies and even a murder for the coveted jacket, the company ended up filing for bankruptcy. It was then bought and bailed out by Nike in 2004.
- Price then: $80 to $150
- Price now: $190
Bulky, waterproof work boots that were originally designed for roughing the relentless Northeastern winters, somehow Timberlands became mainstream, timeless and seasonless — as demonstrated by their incredible popularity at this year’s Coachella festival.
The cult brand managed to sell over a million pairs before 1985, which was virtually unheard of before internet shopping existed. Over many decades, Timberland’s popularity grew to span the worlds of construction workers and lumberjacks to that of catwalks and celebrities.
- Price then: $65 to $250
- Price now: $110 to $500
The ’80s and ’90s were the Jordan era, plain and simple. And according to Nike, the easiest way to be like Mike was to dress like the superstar.
Countless limited edition basketball shoes were released at different points during Michael Jordan’s career, celebrating every milestone from the all-star game to the playoffs. Sneaker enthusiasts were left scrambling to scoop up each new pair of kicks, despite being priced ridiculously high for the time. Today, vintage throwback editions are occasionally rereleased, but the originals are still coveted collector’s items.
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