The contemporary '90s fashion revival hasn't really lost its steam yet, and for good reason. Plenty of the decade's garb remains trendsetting, after all, with the exception of the most embarrassing '90s trend to have ever hit our wardrobes or vanities: the scrunchie.
The crop tops, Dr. Martens, and denim popularized 20+ years ago still have their appeal. But we must keep in mind that all '90s fashion was not created equally. When scrunchies made a major comeback in 2014, I was not the least bit excited. Honestly, what was the appeal of slapping a bunched piece of fabric onto our heads in the first place?
Back in the day, we tested their limits — wearing them at every possible angle in our hair and to any degree of tightness. There wasn't a color, fabric, or pattern we didn't embrace, and practically everyone with hair long enough wore them, from junior high "it girls" to hollywood hotties. That said, scrunchies still seem more suitable for the annoying, know-it-all little sister types than the in vogue fashionistas.
Lately, however, '90s nostalgia has reminded us of the glorious toys, foods, and TV shows of our childhoods. But I'd rather keep my memories of this hairpiece in the past where they belong. So when the urge kicks in to join today's scrunchie revolution, my former grade school self reminds me why they're the worst trend of the '90s.
Scrunchie Lot, $240, eBay
IMO, what made scrunchies the worst was how they awkwardly sat in our hair. Exhibit A: Stephanie Tanner.
The sisters of Full House were a prime example of how ill-placed these hair ties could be (and don't even get me started on Kimmy Gibbler). Maybe a high ponytail wasn't so terrible. But those side ponies with a ginormous scrunchie hanging off of them? Beyond awful.
Nontheless, seeing Stephanie sans scrunchie clinging to a tiny sliver of side-high-ponytail was rare. Homegirl really embraced the aesthetic and ran with it. But in retrospect, the look was reminiscent of a protruding unicorn's horn.
The sad thing is that we followed in Stephanie's side-ponytail-loving footsteps, sporting unicorn horns of our own. How could we not, after seeing the trend embraced by the likes of Clarissa Darling, Lisa Turtle, and our favorite television idols?
Still, of all the ways we wore scrunchies — high, low, straight back — the angled, high ponytail had to be the worst. I'm not even going to address the scrunchie-fied pigtails of the Michelle Tanner age.
It didn't help that we were rocking totally '90s hair when we utilized scrunchies, either. Most of us were still riding that teased, feathered, and crimped mane train from the latter half of the decade prior. Throw a giant scrunchie into that mix, and you've got the Stephanie Tanner look all over again.
Unfortunately, no one gave us the memo that our scrunchie-to-hair-volume ratios needed balancing. With our massive, crunchy 'dos, the last thing we should have done was add a mountain of a hair tie to the madness.
Personally, I still don't understand why out of all the '90s trends our parents never let us wear, scrunchies were so mom-approved. Mini skirts? Nope! Platform shoes? Never! Crop tops? Don't even think about it! But scrunchies? We were allowed to have a ball with these things. To that I ask, what good were scrunchies if we didn't have to come up with a well-rehearsed monologue as to why we should be allowed to wear one?
I can't think of a good reason why any sane human would want to style a srunchie now, but the comeback is real whether I want to acknowledge it or not. Sure, we wore them all willy nilly back in the day, without a care given as to how to effectively stye them. Hopefully we have learned to keep our looks minimal when revisiting that oh-so-terrible look today.
Images: Warner Brothers (3); eBay (1); NBC Television (1)