11 Fashion Trends That Probs Ruined Your Childhood

Looking back on the '90s and early '00s with a sense of fond nostalgia is a pretty common occurrence for our Millennial generation. But what about the fashion trends that sucked during the '90s and naughties? As in, the fashion and beauty looks we hated, the ones we weren't allowed to wear, or the ones that just flat-out caused pain, misery, and discomfort? Even now, I cringe to think of the blisters I allowed my feet to get just so I could wear jelly sandals to elementary school.

Even though I look back on these trends today and laugh, they were my whole world back in the day. If preteen magazines like Smash Hits and Pop Girl told me to wear it, I'd wear it — regardless of whether it cause me physical or emotional pain.

I can't pretend that 90 percent of my wardrobe isn't an uncomfortable, body-fitting mess in the present day. But as a child, you simply shouldn't have to deal with suffering for style. Then again, maybe that's what made me the woman I am today. Maybe that's why I'm perfectly happy being in minor levels of agony so long as my outfit is on point. Still, even if they did benefit me in the long run, here are the 11 fashion trends that ruined my childhood and probably damaged yours, too.

1. Jelly Shoes

Vintage Clear Jelly Shoes, $19.56,

Just try to pretend that jelly sandals didn't shred your feet to pieces with their hard plastic straps. My mom always made me wear them with socks. But the times I didn't? I have since learned my lesson.

2. Crop Tops

Hot Pink '90s Crop Top, $40,

First off, my mom wouldn't let me wear a crop top when all the other girls were doing it. Secondly, I was too self-conscious to wear one anyway. Finally, crop tops paired with the low-waist fashions of the early '00s just weren't a realistic look for the day-to-day life of a preteen.

3. Bralettes

'90s Gold Bralet, $39.94,

When celebrities like Christina Aguilera started wearing bras as crop tops, I was absolutely gutted that I couldn't follow suit. Looking back, I think it's fair enough that my mom didn't let me own a bralette before I owned an actual bra.

4. Braids


This look was arguably an example of cultural appropriation before I even understood social issues, let alone ones so complex. Nonetheless, getting these tiny braids right usually took way too much time and effort. If you attempted to use an As Seen On TV electric braiding machine, you might have had to cut it out while at your BFF's sleepover.

5. Toe Rings

Gold Chevron Toe Ring, $19,

Nothing was ever good about toe rings, and nothing will ever change my mind about that fact.

6. Tops With Fake Sleeves

Black Pentacle T-Shirt, $26.39,

Layered T-shirts that weren't actually layered T-shirts but featured sewn-in long sleeves were and remain the most ridiculous item of clothing ever.

7. Temporary Tattoos

Woodland Animals Temporary Tattoos, $7.44,

Temporary tattoos are awesome for all of one day, but the following three days will leave you looking like you have a weird, dirty scab on your body. That is, until you scrub your arm to bleeding point and they finally come off. This wasn't totally worth it, but I know if someone presented me with a temporary tat right now, it would be on my skin immediately.

8. One Sleeve Tops

Psychedelic One Sleeve Top, $32.86,

This may be a personal vendetta, but I wore a ridiculous amount of asymmetrical, one-long-sleeve tops in my youth and I fully regret that fact now. Not only did they not look good on most humans, but they never stayed up properly, either. Accidentally flashing passerby as a preteen is one of the most embarrassing things that can happen to you.

9. Low-Rise Jeans

'90s Low Rise Jeans, $38,

I feel like there is literally no way to wear low rise jeans without exposing your crack every time you sit down. It was a problematic feature that would always get noticed in school and, obviously, not for the right reasons.

10. Tripp Pants

Grommet Stitch Pant, $92,

I wonder whether this brand was called Tripp because there was no way to wear the wide-leg pants without standing on their legs and almost tripping to your death/embarrassment. (I'm also not sure which was worse.) These pants also had the fun feature of ending up raggedy and torn at the bottoms within a couple of weeks of wear.

11. Butterfly Clips

'90s Butterfly Clips, $6,

If you have never tried to remove a butterfly clip from your hair, only to then yank out a great portion of said hair, you are clearly blessed and should use your powers to cure disease.

I'm sure that in 20 years I'll be able to rewrite this article with all the fashion trends from 2016 that we thought looked good, but that really just ruined our lives in every way possible. But hey, fashion is pain, right?

Images: Courtesy Brands