hy Kate Gunn, Marketing Assistant at Myer

9 Ugly Fashion Trends People Love to Google (and How to Style Them)

There’s no denying that the world of fashion has its ups and downs. Some trends gain a foothold, appealing to the TikTokers of the world, while others capture a degree of notoriety, becoming famous for being unflattering, ugly and extremely comfortable.

Just look at the huge spike Crocs have enjoyed during the pandemic!

Dad fashion faux-pas aside – we still can’t believe bum-bags are back – there are a number of ugly duckling trends gaining momentum. It could be COVID, or maybe celebrity social media exposure, but a peep into Google’s search queries reveals we’re hooked on the good, the bad and the very ugly fashion choices of 2020 and 2021. Let’s take a look.

1. Low-Rise Jeans

Remember Paris Hilton? Before Kim Kardashian hit our screens, droves of teens modelled their wardrobes on her low-rise obsession, showing off hip bones and navels with cute crops, body glitter and fake tattoos. Although Paris has since become a YouTube expose, popular models like Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber are marking the return of these low-riding staples. While some cuts look a little shabby, sleeker cuts exist too, making these adaptable – yet revealing – pants perfect for a day to night look. Pay with a blazer and heels for a casual workday outfit!

2. Tie-Dye

We don’t necessarily agree with this one, but the jury is still out on tie-dye. People of every age embrace vibrant colours and patterns, snapping up tie-dye threads everytime a sale season rolls around. Feeling crafty? Transform your white tops and pants into colourful eye-catching pieces with a DIY kit or a quick YouTube tutorial.

Tie-dye has been going through a lot, rising and falling in popularity before picking up pace with celebrities like Justin Bieber stepping out in a tie-dye piece. If you’ve caught the social media tie-dye fever, here are some styling ideas; pair a tie-dye shirt with a contrasting jacket and jeans. Or, pair tie-dye jeans with a casual, low-key shirt if you’re trying to keep it safe.

3. Neon Dress

Neon colours can go either one of two ways – too intense or super fun. Despite the divisive personality of neon clothing, there’s been a steady increase in all things neon, thanks to high fashion brands like Gucci and Zara’s adoption of visually arresting themes.

Not sure how to style your neon? We’re here to help. Make your neon dress pop with a black blazer, or sheer stockings if the weather is chilly. Feeling shy? Tone down your blazingly bright fashion choices with neutral accessories and nude make-up.

4. Bum Bag

Known by many names, such as fanny pack or bum bag, these bags are having a moment. Dress them up, wear them out, or round out your festival getup with a statement bum bag. Coming in a range of colours and sizes, these accessories are a practical addition to any outfit – store your wallet, phone or even a small camera without the hassle of toting a full-sized shoulder bag around.

Bum bags were usually thought to be only appropriate for travel. Over the last year, they’ve had a fairly unstable search trend. However, with the rise of athleisure wear, bum bags have now sparked the interest of many. Aside from obvious culprits such as Nike and Reebok, high-fashion powerhouses such as Prada and Burberry have also added the bum bag to their catalogue!

How do you wear a bum bag? However you feel is appropriate!

5. Yellow Jacket/Rain Jacket

Rain jackets are a wardrobe essential. Nostalgic from their arms to their poppable buttons, most of us splashed around neighbourhood puddles in these functionally ugly pieces – and yet, nobody cared how they looked. And we still don’t (few people pair their raincoat to their outfit). Not falling off the radar anytime soon – as evidenced by Google trends – yellow rain jackets continue to be a staple in Canada, Australia, India, and parts of Europe

6. Scrunchies

Scrunchies have well and truly had their comeback. Comfortable and cute, these accessories can add a pop of colour to a ponytail or elevate a messy bun with a well chosen scrunchie. Large, small or somewhere in-between, make scrunchies work for your style, choosing from a range of colours, prints and designs. Going out tonight? Add a metallic scrunchie and keep your hair out of your eyes.

7. Plaid Shirts

Plaid shirts have been around for a long time – never in the spotlight, but never away from the shops. Cheap, easily available, and not to mention comfortable – these shirts often come in classic colour combinations; think red and black or blue and green.

Plaid shirts have managed to keep a presence thanks to brands such as Vans, Carhartt, even Patagonia. Having a superhero figure such as Jason Momoa do your advertising also helps to bring casual wear to the mainstream! Pair your plaid with a plain black tank top and blue jeans, or a casual dress- feminine plaid is hot right now!

8. Crocs

They might have started out ugly, but Crocs have had a glow up. Harnessing the possibilities of a mainstream yet discerning market, this ugly fashion stalwart is now delivering attractive, functional and extremely cute shoes to front doors worldwide. Really, when it comes down to it, Crocs were always going to dominate, they only had to find their footing first.

Flaunt your crocs anyway you like – nobody should tell you how to wear your comfortable footwear!

Powered by retro revivals, our quest for comfort during lockdown has defined what we turn to when the world opens up again. Style is no longer what looks good but what we wear as an extension of how we feel – comfortable within ourselves. Which trend will you try first?

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Kate Gunn

Kate has over a decade of fashion experience, covering everything from catwalk looks to cost effective catalogues. When she isn’t writing about clothes, Kate loves watching bad rom-coms and relaxing on social media.