5 More Fashion Trends That Will Look Ridiculous in 5 Years

As I’ve written before, the fashion world produces a lot more trends worthy of ridicule than it does cultural staples. It may be our most fickle industry. The fashion cycle runs on clothing styles that seem cutting edge one day, then completely laughable within about 5 years. But every so often, a fashion trend manages to take root that is so instantly, universally recognized for its ugliness that even the most fashion-forward among us refuse to participate. 

I myself am in a different place now with clothes than when I wrote the article mentioned above. Throughout my life my philosophy regarding “fashion” has ranged from indifference to ambivalence to hostility, and only in the past year or so have I come to embrace the concept of the well-dressed man in my own life. It is not terribly easy for me to admit this. Granted, it has its limits. I mainly confine it to the workplace, and keep it all within a very modest budget. But I’d say I’ve finally carved out an appreciation for being well-dressed when the occasion calls for it.

The good thing about being a semi-fashion-conscious man in 2014 is that male culture is embracing fit and tailoring like never before. For me, this means I can finally wear suits, slacks, and other business attire without looking like a kid wearing dad’s clothes – which has long been my hangup with professional dress. The dark side of this revelation is that I’m more exposed to insane fashion trends than ever.

5) Jogger Pants


Joggers, AKA “sweatpants”, have inexplicably made a resurgence in men’s fashion. Actually, I’m not sure I can even use the word “resurgence”, because such a word suggests that sweatpants were at one point fashionable.

Calling them “joggers” isn’t fooling anybody. They’re sweats. They’re made of a thick, soft cotton blend, they’re soft and fuzzy on the inside, and they have elastic waistbands with a pull string. But many of these new models come with a horrifying twist: Drop crotches.

Drop crotch

Features like the drop crotch always have me convinced that we ran out ways to make clothes better looking years ago, so now we’ve moved on to making things uglier just to stay in motion. I don’t know what kind of person thinks they would look better with a 14 inch deep sagging bag of loose fabric in their crotchal region, which also gives them the illusion of short, stubby legs, but I don’t ever want to meet that person.

4) 5 Panel Hats

5 panel hat

If you were a kid growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s, you may have pictures of yourself wearing one of those nylon trucker hats with the plastic strap back. Remember how huge your head looked in those things? The big foamy billboard in front, the gigantic flat brim, the architectural shape of it. Well, that look is apparently back.

They call them 5 Panel Hats and they’re a bit different than your late 80’s/early 2000’s-if-you’re-Ashton-Kutcher trucker hat. They’re usually made of fabric as opposed to nylon and don’t usually have the strap back, but they’re every bit as capable of making your noggin look like the head of a Rockem Sockem Robot.

I’ve never, ever understood the flat brimmed hat thing. I can’t put my finger on precisely why it looks so bad on a person, but I can tell you that a flat brimmed cap is a great way to announce to the world that you’re a douchebag in training.

3) Bow Ties


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning the bow tie across the board. When worn properly, it can be a classy, interesting twist on an otherwise conventional suit and tie ensemble. And if you’re an established, committed nerd type like Bill Nye they almost make too much sense. I’m talking about the bow tie when paired with exactly the wrong kind of clothes.

Here’s a fun drinking game: Turn on an episode of Bravo’s Project Runway and take a drink whenever you see a male contestant pairing a bow tie with shorts. I’d suggest playing this game with beer.

Like high-gloss tuxedo shoes, a bow tie has a strict and very limited domain. Wearing one with a short sleeved shirt and skin-tight shorts seems to be fashionable, despite the fact that it was pretty much just Steve Urkel’s uniform on Family Matters. I know it’s supposed to be “nerd-chic”, or whatever, but I guarantee you will hate yourself for wearing it in 5 years.

2) Loud Hi-Tops

Ugly kicks

You know, back when I wrote the prequel to this article, I thought that the fashion world was trying to bring back the 80’s in 2008 or thereabouts, with all the neon colors and such. I had no idea that was only the tip of the iceberg. It’s 2014, and we’re waist deep in some of the worst 80’s trends that ever existed.

It actually makes sense in a funny way. Back to the Future Part 2 had a laughable vision of the year 2015 – where all the fashion was clearly trapped in the mid-80’s but augmented with ridiculous modifications like self-lacing shoes.

BttF Shoes

On sale next year!

So next year you’ll be able to actually buy those, but it’s not just a self-aware wink back at our terrible guesses about the future – the Back to the Future 2 shoes are pretty understated compared to the real-life, non-joke sneakers being peddled today. The code word that tells you you’re about to see a pair of god-awful, tacky hi-top tennis shoes is they will be called “kicks”.

High ankles, thick, chunky straps over laces, and crazy “wouldn’t be caught dead in public” patterns. Remind you of anything?

Roller blades

Yes, our vision of modern footwear is being informed by roller blade boots from the early 90’s. God help us all.

1) The Hideous Pattern

Hideous pattern 1

This is the one. The worst, most insane fashion trend I’ve seen in the past several years. I almost dedicated this entire article to just this one thing. The one thing that has infiltrated and enhanced the ugliness of every entry in the list above. The Hideous Pattern.

When I use the word “hideous”, it’s not meant as a synonym for “loud”, “bold”, “busy”, or “unique”. All of those descriptors can be used in a positive context, but the patterns that dominate men’s fashion right now can never be described in any other way than “hideous”. Yes, they are loud, bold, busy, and unique – in all the worst ways. Mustard yellows, rust oranges, forest greens, and turqoise form much of the pallete, though really any color combination is fair game as long as they clash with each other. Large floral patterns, Aztec prints, and birds give them shape, like early 80’s discount furniture. Inexplicably, every imaginable permutation of camoflage has come back with a vengeance, apparently unsatified with its brief time in the spotlight in the late 90’s.

You can find these patterns ugly-ing up every manner of clothing – jeans, chino pants, shoes, T-shirts, dress shirts, blazers, hats, and jewelry. You can buy a tailored-fit button up dress shirt in an all-over Hideous Pattern of dark forest green, pink, and mustard yellow. Or you can get it with only one front “contrast pocket” in Hideous Pattern, ruining an otherwise acceptable shirt. Perhaps you may opt for the Aztec patterned T-shirt in pale yellow, magenta, and sky blue over a purple camoflage pair of skinny shorts. For the advanced user of the Hideous Pattern, I recommend the Hideous 5-Panel hat with flat brim. Combining other hideous fashion statements with the hideous pattern is the mark of the advanced asshole.

Hideous pattern 2


Note: Thanks to JackThreads.com for many of these images. Despite all these trends I just took apart, I actually do like shopping on that site. Just avoid anything that says “the trend you need now”. You probably don’t need it.

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