The 30 Worst Fashion Trends of 2018
Some looks have really overstayed their welcome.
If you follow fashion, you know one thing for certain: The stuff that comes straight off the runway can look kooky on the average Joe and Jane. Now, that’s not to say you shouldn’t ever try anything new—especially if you’re a bit adventurous on the sartorial front—but the fact remains that not all looks that are popular in the fashion world are winners. And no year has that ever been more true than 2018.
From ostentatious patterns and colors to ill-advised past-decade throwbacks (mostly from the ’90s), 2018 was loaded with fashion pitfalls. Here are all the styles from the past year that need to go the way of the dodo—like, yesterday.
The world’s ugliest sneakers became fashion’s hottest footwear this year. But like a lot of other eye-catching fashion trends, this one is already on its way out. Opt for cleaner, more classic sneaker silhouettes for an athleisure look that will never go out of style.
“Tiny Matrix-inspired sunglasses are a nostalgic trend that came back strong in 2018,” says Colleen Babul, stylist operations manager for Snap+Style Business. “This is a trend that I am happy to leave behind. This trend only looks good on a small percentage of people, so unless you have the bone structure of Bella Hadid, I would stick to a shape that complements your face.”
To go along with your bulbous sneakers, why not pick up a lounge-friendly tracksuit? If you want to look like an out-of-touch suburban dad, this is your look. Otherwise, skip it.
Graphic tees, handbags, sweatshirts, and more with designer logos are back in a big way, but not all fashion experts are fans of this flashy look. Take the logo handbag, for example: “If you are carrying it, don’t you own it?” asks Helena Apothaker, store director at Decades.
File this under: Trends that won’t die. Cold shoulders felt fresh and modern when they were brought back into the popular fold a couple of years ago. But now? They’re just outstaying their welcome.
This trend found its origins on the runway, but outside fashion editorials and celebrity Instagram posts, it just looks, well, cheap.
“Friends reruns have brought back this trend,” says Catherine Bachelier Smith of CBS Lifestylist. “I love mixing shapes and sizes in your outfit to add texture and visual interest., but swimming in boxy, bulky clothes isn’t doing much for your shape.” If you want to do the oversized look, pick just one baggy item, and keep the rest of your outfit streamlined.
Keeping in line with the ’90s throwbacks that are so popular right now, chokers reappeared in high fashion this year. But there’s no quicker way to make an outfit look retro (and not in a good way) than throwing on one of these super short necklaces. Stick with pendants for a more sophisticated vibe.
Streetwear style brought these back, but their time has come and gone. Swap your bucket hat for a baseball cap or beanie in the winter and Panama hat in the summer and thank us later.
“If you haven’t seen it, people have started to take fanny packs and strap them across their shoulder and around their body,” explains Patrick Kenger, an image consultant at Pivot Image Consulting. “It serves absolutely no purpose and I’m betting this one is going to fizzle out quickly. If you want to try this look, get a tote bag instead. It’s a much more stylish option.”
Sure, they might look ironically cool on supermodels. But on us regular folk? Not so much.
Ladies blouses that feature intentionally-too-long sleeves have trickled down from the runway to everyday retailers. “Showing off your wrists is subtly sexy,” Smith says. “When sleeves surpass your hands, you’ve created two problems: one, you’ve just eliminated sex appeal and two, you look like a kid wearing your parents clothes. Not great either way.”
They might be cute to look at in the store, but once you get your miniature handbag home, you’ll probably find that it’s not exactly useful. “Are they kidding?” Apothaker asks. “Where do you put all your things?”
They’re back! Get yourself some frosted tips and you’ll be set for the early 2000s nostalgic look. But if you want to look like you’re firmly grounded in this decade (and in reality), this is a trend to skip. For better add-ons, see these 50 Essential Accessories for Women Over 50.
After four or five years in the mix, it’s officially time to say goodbye to this trend. Not only are they tough to wear because they won’t stay put, but they’re also just starting to look seriously dated.
As if teeny-tiny sunglasses weren’t bad enough, we’re now dealing with creative lens colors, too. A bold hued frame is one thing, but keep your lenses neutral.
In theory, the idea of throwing a corset belt over any outfit to highlight your silhouette seems like a good idea. In practice? At best, it’ll make you look like a reality TV show star. At worst, you’ll look lumpy and like you got dressed in the dark.
“Tones of all sorts have graced the runway this past year,” Kenger says. “Many of the colors we’ve seen have been very bright and loud. Orange was a popular color for designers, but hard to pull off for most men; it’s a hard color to pair and looks bad on most guys. If you want to work in louder colors, make sure to do so in very small doses and anchor them with more neutral colors.”
Crocs-lovers rejoiced when the comfort-focused and somewhat indestructible footwear was somehow “in” again, but unless you work in a hospital or a kitchen and need them for practical reasons, these should remain off-limits.
Countless celebrities have done this once-unusual, now-overdone hairstyle. It does look edgy, but what happens when you want to grow it out?
“Gucci is leading the parade of this gaudy trend,” Smith says. “Maximalism is mixing bold color, luxurious fabrics, metallics, and patterns. That’s awesome and I really enjoy the sentiment of lots of passion and joy, but please balance it out with classic and sleek pieces.”
For the love of all things fashion, who came up with this and why? Aside from the fact that we can’t think of anything looks less comfortable than these, what’s wrong with regular jeans? Plus, these are guaranteed to squeak with each and every move you make.
Yeah, they’re cozy. No, they don’t look good—on anyone.
“Usually it ends up wearing you,” Apothaker points out.
Western boots, shirts, and hats made an appearance on runways this year for both men and women. While it’s definitely a fun way to add something new and different into your usual wardrobe, it’s way too easy to go overboard. Unless you’re a style pro, it’s safest to just avoid this look altogether.
There’s no faster way to look like you’re headed to a Phish concert than to sport one of these. Even if you like jam bands, these tees should be reserved for summer camp only.
Just because Kim Kardashian West and Gigi Hadid are wearing these does not mean you need to take part. If you want to wear denim, go for the full on pant or the proper short, not in between.
Sweaters will never go out of style. But sweaters that have matching pants? That’s basically just a Snuggie you can wear out and about.
Nothing screams “sorority girl” quite like a top knot. We get it. You were up all night partying and didn’t have time to wash your hair. But unless you’re actually a coed, this is a look you should pass on.
If you have the deity-like bone structure of a Hollywood Ryan (Gosling and Reynolds being prime examples), you can pull off the unkempt look. If you’re among the remaining 99.9999 percent of the population, friendly reminder: a little grooming goes a long way. And for advice in that department, steal these 23 Top Tricks from Barbers on Shaving Properly.
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