These early 2010s fashion disasters are so horrific they can stay in the last decade
Burn it, burn it with FIRE
The early 2010s were a difficult time for everyone. Forget the entire country recovering from The Great 2008 Recession, teenagers across the UK were making the most horrific fashion choices and no one stopped them. And that was the biggest crime of them all.
When we had celebrity icons like Cher Lloyd and Lauren Goodger back in the day, it’s easy to see where we went wrong. It was the era of ripped skinny jeans, over-plucked eyebrows, puffed up hair, leather jackets, military jackets, weird blazers, Jeffrey Campbells and mountains upon mountains of stacked jewellery that would rust 14 days after purchase. Weekends were spent doing tragic fashion shoots in your mate’s back garden, everything was “SO RANDOM” and you had a BBM pin.
These early 2010s fashion disasters deserved to die a slow death and must never ever be resurrected again:
Upside down crosses on everything
There was a good year when Topshop and Urban Outfitters exclusively sold things with crosses on them, as well as massive, ugly cross jewellery.
Bow clips in the hair and elasticated headbands
You can thank Lady Gaga for the bows. I don’t know who came up with the horror that were elasticated headbands. They left a massive line around our foreheads and were the cause of migraines.
The DIY studding of every. single. piece. of. clothing.
You saw some cool Tumblr girl with long blonde hair wearing some studded denim and thought, why not? So you went on eBay and ordered yourself two packs of silver and gold studs. They arrived from China four weeks later. And then you realised how hard it actually was. After hours of prickling of your delicate teenage skin, you gave up, with five studs on each side of your newest denim shirt collar. It didn’t even look good.
Barry M 100 that made you look like you literally had no lips, just skin
Burn it to the ground and give me poison to erase this look from my precious memory.
Nike Blazers were the only trainer worth having
How can something look so good at the time but feel so wrong now?
Those sheepskin denim jackets everyone had
Getting one from Topshop or any other generic high street store was fine, but the real winners were the people who found a Levi sheepskin denim jacket. It’s still under your bed in a ‘things I don’t wear but can’t bare chucking away’ pile.
Denim hot pants that looked like they were eating your bum
Denim hot pants need to be banished from fashion for the duration of time humans have left living on this burning planet. The low rise denim shorts literally looked like they were eating your bum and vagina simultaneously. Why didn’t mum say anything, Jesus Christ.
Checked scarves, checked shirts, checked everything
The humble checked shirt was the most staple item of clothing in the wardrobe. For girls, it was necessary to either button it all the way to the top, or leave it open with a tight vest on that showed your New Look 915 bra poking over the top of it. For boys – well it was the uniform for all pubescent boys until…oh wait boys are still wearing them.
And the checked scarves? They weren’t meant to keep you warm, they were just added because Jack Wills told you to.
Joni jeans – come on, you know they were bad
Within six months there was a hole forming in the seams near the crotch. They were once jet black, but magically turned a washed-out grey. The material sagged so much it was confusing if you’d developed excess skin on your knees, or if the elasticity had just gone. But who cares, because as soon as one pair went in the bin you were straight back to Topshop dumping another £36 on a fresh pair because nothing sucked the blood from your legs like Joni jeans.
Fake Harrington jackets
Gavin from Gavin & Stacey wore one of these every episode and so you just had to have one. Sadly, in Year 10 you’re only getting paid £4.80 per hour to work in a tea shop, so the Fred Perry or Lyle & Scott Harringtons were £130 out of reach. As soon as the boys clocked you could get one from Camden Market for £20, everyone was wearing the same slightly ill-fitted, navy with red check lining jacket.
The Barry M Cracked Nail Polish
There was the magnetic horror too. Why? Who hurt you Barry M?
Shabby wax jackets, because you couldn’t afford a real Barbour
Now you wouldn’t wear one because it makes you look like a massive Tory.
Everyone had that H&M black A-line skirt they bought for £3.99 and they wore it over some semi-opaque tights, to go along with their Ramones top. Edgy x
Tank tops, button up tank tops or anything that made you feel very insecure about your arms
Who decided that cutting sleeves off everything was a good idea? I just want to talk. Those Topshop button up tops without sleeves still give me nightmares. They’re my sleep paralysis.
Cut up and fringed t-shirts
Again, Tumblr was to blame for this one. But you ended up cutting your top up a little too high didn’t you? And now your entire stomach is on show. Well done.
Bodycons for every occasion
This era was unforgiving for those of us who have stomach rolls. Our only hope were bandage dresses.
Topshop crop tops
One spring day around 2010, Topshop woke up and thought “today is the day we change the female wardrobe forever”. The holy crop top was mass-produced and midriffs were back, baby.
Every girl had the black, grey and white £10 t-shirt crop top, which was worn with Joni jeans and some hideously large and chunky necklace.
Jeffery Campbell shoes, especially those backless ones
One person in the whole group had a pair. They looked like something your dog would play with. They had spikes coming out the back of them. Girls could barely walk in them. They were so fucking ugly, and we all needed our eyes testing.
American Apparel Disco Pants
Did you have any stomach fat? Because if you did, these very tight legging pants would show every bit of it x
That Bourjois bronzing brick and their terrible blushes
Brb I’m just brushing 200 layers of this chocolate bronzer brick onto my pale, spotty face to give the impression I’ve recently got back from a holiday in Spain, when actually I just got my bronze DofE and watched Wednesday AND Sundays TOWIE eps back to back.
Heavily winged eyeliner, uneven most of the time
Everyone had that weird gel eyeliner from Maybelline. Scientists have found out 4,248 hours have been wasted per teenage girl applying and reapplying winged eyeliner.
Gold Casio watches
Loved spending £25 on this timeless piece of jewellery. So much so, I put it on Instagram.
The entire Urban Outfitters renewal section
Nothing has changed about the Urban Outfitters renewal section. It’s still a collection of worn out, crusty old checkered shirts that have an extra £20 added to the price tag because they’re from America and have the word “vintage” somewhere on the label. There’s t-shirts with the names of US states or baseball teams that you neither live in, support, or have any connection to and of course, Champion sweatshirts. But now you’ve clocked there’s a thing called Oxfam where all of the above are available for 1/100th of the price!
River Island military boots
Why did every single person own a pair of these? These boots single-handedly sustained River Island’s business for years, because all their other clothes are shit.
Military coats with weird shoulder pads
Cher Lloyd was responsible for this one.
The uprising of Fred Perry taking over the preppy brands
What a moment in time this was. Jack Wills, Hollister and other preppy brands had officially been marked as uncool. The masses panicked. What is cool now? What brand am I meant to be wearing? What do I do with all of my gilets and Oxford shirts?
And then it happened: people watched This Is England ‘86. Looking like a skinhead, somehow, became the desired look. Of course, Gavla from Gavin & Stacey probably had some influence thanks to him wearing Fred Perry all the time, but suddenly everyone needed to be wearing Fred Perry Harringtons, Fred Perry shirts, Fred Perry gym bags and big Dr Marten boots. Mum and Dad were very angry when you forced them to spend £80 on a polo shirt that one Christmas.
Blazers for jackets being mainstream and absolutely not okay
We all looked like overdressed, underaged idiots.
Aztec print on badly made clothes
I mean let’s not with the cultural appropriation, but it happened and now we need to mourn it.
Miss Sporty – the cheap make-up brand you could only get in Superdrug
That and Boots’ Natural Collection were SHIT. But also good for us gals who wanted to buy a £2 mascara with our limited teenage funds.
Wooden Jesus bracelets and other wooden jewellery
So we’re just appropriating people’s religions for fashion now? Sure!
Waterfall skirts that were so unflattering they made no sense
Brownie points if you bleached yours to make them look DIY “original.”
Plastic jelly shoes that give you a blister in every part of your foot
Whoever brought those back was a sadist because all those shoes brought was pain.
Tie-dying everything, EVERYTHING
When I say everything I mean even things like your bedsheets lmao.
The resurgence of the quiff
Like winged eye-liner, hours, days, years were spent getting the perfect quiff. The height, smoothness and curvature all had to be spot on. Icons like The OC’s Marissa Cooper and Hillary Duff influenced the OG ‘can I speak to the manager’ hair cut. The scary thing is, apparently it’s making a comeback!!!!
Everyone wearing dark lipsticks because Zoella was wearing dark lipsticks
Rimmel had us COVERED back in the day. And then the Topshop lipsticks CHANGED the game.
Acid wash jeans that were way too big for you
WHY DON’T I LOOK LIKE THE TANNED GIRL I SAW ON TUMBLR???
Brogues, loafers or any shoe that looked like they belonged to your grandad
Before Air Force 1s, Converse or chunky trainers were the brogues and loafers. Russell and Bromley style shoes were so in, and posh boys were in their element that their favourite footwear was finally deemed cool.
Levi shorts. Actually wait, these can stay
You know what, these are still around – and that’s ok. They were the start of the mom jean look, and we have a lot to thank for.
Chunky necklaces and other ugly jewellery that was too big
Ah, perfect to tuck into the collars of our ugly buttoned up shirts.
Ballet shoes aka pumps aka dolly shoes
The £4 ones from Primark broke apart within a few wears.
Those fair isle jumpers, which should have been made illegal
If you couldn’t get your hands on one of those, any odd Christmas jumper from a charity shop would do.
Tops with the shoulders cut out
They literally gave you cold shoulders. It was a mechanical malfunction.
Shirts tucked into jumpers were a BIG VIBE
But sometimes you could buy them all in one and that was peak 2010s.
Stick on nails and stickers to stick on your nails
Actually, bring these back.
Baseball jackets being a staple of every ‘cool’ person’s wardrobe
Cool they were not.
Everyone dip-dyeing their own hair (badly)
The L’Oreal Paris dip-dye kit that changed lives. For worse. We all went through putting our hair into a ponytail, dying the ends and then burning it all off. And then it looked orange. Brilliant.
‘Kimono’ jackets that looked nothing like a kimono
For when you didn’t want to commit to a blazer, but needed something to go with your cami top. The height of sophistication.
Light tone denim shirts with those weird white clip buttons
They weren’t eve proper denim?? And they made you look shapeless?
Cami tops that you’d wear with your black skinny jeans
“What you wearing tonight?”
“You know that pink cami top I got in New Look?”
These need to be erased from our collective memories.