10 Things We Shouldn’t Have Worn

Items that were thought of as stupid in 2004 but now look like a how-to fashion guide (via VICE Style)

Charity shop rummaging is really never that fruitful. But sometimes, amongst the piles of disgusting Primark playsuits and Monsoon skirts, you’ll come across a gem such as a book called Worst Fashions: What We Shouldn’t Have Worn… But Did.

This is a list of fashion trends from the book that were thought of absolutely stupid—published in 2004— which now reads like a pretty accurate guide to the Dalston wardrobe of 2007-2010. Or Beyond Retro’s complete stock inventory as written by your grandma.


Dr. Martens—“Will Dr. Martens ever reclaim their place as sub-cultural icons? Every Doc has its day, and it seems as if this medical masterpiece has had its.”

Brothel Creepers—“How low can you get?”


“Worst Women’s Fashion Look of the 1990s: Looking like the bark on a peeling plane tree was not, and never should be, high fashion.”


“…the chav’s jacket of choice. It turns even the skinniest body into a Michelin man.”


“What could be better than tying knots in a white t-shirt and then dipping it in different dyes so it came out looking like all the colors of the rainbow? Well, pretty well anything unless you really relished looking like a primary school project.”


Parkas—“Fake fur, shinier fabrics, knitted cuffs, and more bum-freezer styling produced one of the least flattering jackets any man could hope to wear.”

Barbour jackets—“Best-forgotten Fashions: Only for a Countryside Alliance march.”


“[A] paisley jacket is more suited to the bathroom than the beach.”


“Unsurprisingly, the teddy bear look never caught on.”


“Wearing your bum bag at the back really did make your bum look big, so bum bags became tum bags and a slow-slung tum at that. Nowadays the only excuse to wear one is when you are running a stall at a car boot or jumble sale.”


“This is one fashion that was never going to look retro-cool, even in an ironic way. Hang your head in shame.”


“To wear loud patterns in the cold light of day without the slightest hint of irony was inexcusable. Fashion fabric madness?”


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