Fashion Forward is Really Backwards

By Alex Vidiani
Staff Writer

It seems every decade in America we are faced with a new ideal image of fashion. In the ‘60s we had bell-bottoms and psychedelic everything, down to the shoes. The ‘70s were characterized by disco, platform heels, and hairy, hairy chests. The ‘80s saw pointed or padded shoulders on suits and that long hair from the previous decade, only slicked back because business came first.

And of course the ‘90s came through with lush pastels, tennis shoes pretty much all the time, and jackets made out of a material so uncomfortable, it’s a surprise we didn’t all freeze to death in the winters. But, having only recently passed the ‘00s, or the “naught-ies,” what would we say is that inimitable, recognized-nationwide style of fashion for this decade?

While opinions may vary, here’s a stab at what could be a possible candidate for the style of the Double-O decade: a compilation of everything that came before it; an improvement in some directions, a regression in others.

There haven’t been too many major breakthroughs fashion-wise, except for certain oddities such as the morphsuit, sequin pants, or Mexican pointy-boots (Botas picudas mexicanas). The naught-ies, being an extremely eventful, eclectic, honestly baffling decade for pretty much everything, deserves such a style that reflects this turmoil.

The quintessential style for these 200-years, therefore, is a hodgepodge of everything and everything people could get their hands on. Nostalgic for vintage clothing, with a contemporary twist, the trendsetters simultaneously look back- and forwards as they select their outfits. Examples would include ‘50s retro plaid, gaudy ‘90s, classy ‘20s, you name it, and then coupled with whatever we consider to be hip, contemporary.

There have been rebirths across the board of things like shutter shades, casual suits, even cowl hoodies.

Really, think about whom you see walking around. Sometimes punks worthy of The Clash, other times hardcore business the likes of which you’ve only seen in “American Psycho,” a flock or two of classic bros. You may even see a Denim Dan or two walking around, if you’re extremely lucky.

In a way, this reflects the desire for a return to safe times, where we all could feel a sense of comfort in something already documented and approved by history. This hindsight bias thus makes for an interesting assortment of fashion statements across the country. For example, being a ‘90s kid, I adore the horrible, horrible (horrible) wears of that decade, as it was a time of comforting illusions devoid of concepts like “finals,” or “car insurance,” or “communal bathrooms.”

Hopefully, in time, we might also look back upon the “naught-ies” in a similar, happily nostalgic fashion. Maybe even chuckle at how god-awful family photos were (really, there will never ever ever be a non-embarrassing family photo), or why in the hell did we have a mullet that one year in high school and nobody ever told you it wasn’t a great idea so you were blissfully unaware and lived your life but now you look back in horror…Yeah, hopefully.

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