If you’ve ever gone through old photographs from your youth, you would probably relate to the moment where you start asking yourself, ‘What was I thinking?’ One of the fascinating things about fashion is the fact that it seems to change rapidly, as does our own perspective about what looks good. Through history, there have some truly strange trends in fashion, ranging from the bizarre to the downright painful. We’ve put together a few that we found particularly odd or cringe-inducing.
This one truly is a strange one that you may not have heard about. Also known as lotus feet, the Chinese tradition of foot binding was the done thing in this country for about a millennium, being the standard of beauty when it came to women’s feet. Young Chinese women would have their feet bound tightly from a young age, which cause the shape of the feet to change considerably and become seemingly much smaller. The toes would essentially be broken and be tucked under the sole of the foot. Shoes for women would thus take on this smaller shape, with the ideal size for a women’s foot being no more than 3 inches long.
Thought to have begun at some point in the 10th century, there are various interpretations as to why this become a trend. One theory is that it originated from dancers in the upper classes before it spread to the rest of the country. There were obviously a range of health issue that came from this including infection, lack of balance and additional bones in the feet breaking. Let’s hope this one never comes into vogue again!
In the case of both men and women, tight-fitting and loose jeans and/or pants seem to alternate in terms of what’s in fashion, but there have been examples of baggy pants that have quite simply taken in it too far. A trend that seems to have emerged back in the 1970’s, saggy jeans have to count as one of the most ridiculous trends of the last few decades considering how much it has been overdone. Men and even women would wear their pants well below their bottom, to the point where it was honestly a wonder how they were able to stay up. This trend is still popular in various places around the world.
All the rage for women in the 80’s and 90’s, shoulder pads were used mainly in jackets but some blouses too, designed to make the wearer appear to be broader and with wider shoulders. There are still used today in the case of men’s suits and jacket, but are a little rarer in the case of women’s clothing. Compare that to 20 or 30 years ago, where they were found in nearly every plus size jacket on sale.
The look made women appear to be boxy and overly broad, which wasn’t always a great look on every body type. There are plenty more examples of cringe-worthy fashion trends through history.
But we can all agree that the 80s were a strange and wonderful time in fashion.
– Samantha Jones