It was a rough ten years for clothing, as we grew out of the disaffected flannel of the grunge era into a sloppy stew of nostalgic influences from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. With a generation growing up on MTV whorishness, hemlines rose and skin was in – not always to good effect. In this article, I'm going to shine a light on the ten grossest trends that hit the racks in the 00s.
10. Tracksuits – The never-ending dumbing down of world culture reached the nadir with the ascent of the tracksuit – that outfit, formerly worn for exercise, became the de facto uniform of louts, chavs and wiggers worldwide. Basically, wearing a tracksuit is like wearing your pajamas outside, with racing stripes. Don't even get me started on how much Juicy Couture charges for one.
9. Words On Your Ass – We loved to decorate our denim in the 00s, with all sorts of embroidery, distressing and bedazzling. But the worst thing we did to pants in the decade that passed was use them as billboards for all sorts of messages. No, I really don't need to see "cute" emblazoned across your posterior. Especially because it reads like "CCCCCUUUUUUUUTTTTTTEEEEE" on that triple-wide. It's like Fancy Feast – if you have to say it's fancy, it probably isn't.
8. Dressing Little Girls Like Whores – This is totally inappropriate on all levels and parents should be ashamed of themselves. Yes, I know that hormones in milk are making our little darlings go through puberty years earlier, but that doesn't mean that we need to outfit our pre-teens in streetwalker skirts and tube tops. Modesty is not a crime, and the disturbing sexualization of kids goes hand-in-hand with the rise of stuff like To Catch A Predator.
7. Uggs – There's nothing wrong with the Ugg boot, per se – they were invented in the early part of the last century and popularized by aviators, who liked the light weight and sheepskin lining for insulating the feet against the chill of the sky. But are you a 1920s aviator? No, you're not, you're a dumb chick from New Jersey wearing these with short shorts on your weekends down the Shore, and they make you look like a moron.
6. Skinny Jeans – Why, yes, I would like to count every hair on your balls, you asshole. The tight-pants style of the 80s made a disgusting resurgence in the 00s, with crotch-hugging jeans, usually black, landing on the laps of people who absolutely should not be wearing them. It's one thing for a stick insect like Kate Moss to rock them, but 99% of the suckers who bought a pair ended up with sizable muffintops peeking over the belt loops.
5. Tramp Stamps – Tattoos became even more of a mainstream thing during the decade, with all sorts of people getting inked. But the absolute nadir of the tat phenomenon came with the "tramp stamp," that lower-back location popularized by sorority sisters who didn't want to jeopardize their chances at a 9-5 job for wilding out. Placed right above the butt-bone, the 'stamp marks its owner as the dumbest of the dumb, the sluttiest of the slutty, and comes in many flavors – the mysterious "tribal," the sort of sad "flowers" and the horrible fake-gangsta text.
4. Low-Rise Jeans – And how best to show off your tramp stamp? Why, with a pair of jeans that hangs somewhere below your kneecaps. Low-rise jeans took the baggy style of hip-hop and made it infinitely worse, driving millions of people to show off their Joe Boxers and hairy asscracks. What was once the exclusive domain of plumbers became the way jeans were made, and we saw and lamented.
3. Crocs – I cannot think of a stupider idea for a shoe than a one-piece rubber thing with holes in the top. And yet Crocs were ubiquitous on feet across the country, for no discernable reason. They're not comfortable, they look idiotic, and you can even accessorize them with horrendous little clip-on figures called "Jibbitz." Why do people wear them? Where did they come from? And can we declare war on that place now?
2. Trucker Hats – Thankfully this one has mostly gone the way of the dodo (except for Frank on 30 Rock), but you can't exaggerate how obnoxious it was to walk in New York City and see every hipster wannabe rocking an "ironic" meshbacked hat. Yes, we get it, you've never had to work a day in your life and you love laughing at those of us who have. Justin Timberlake made it work, but the rest of you are Ashton Kutcher at best.
1. Christian Audigier - Here's a little history: Don Ed Hardy is one of the pioneering tattoo artists of the 20th century, responsible for elevating skin art into a worldwide phenomenon. Von Dutch was one of the most important "hot rod" artists of the 50s and 60s. So why are these men's names now synonymous with ugly shirts for douchebags? Simple – Christian Audigier. The French-born designer slapped their monikers on some of the worst outfits ever designed, hideous abominations of tattoo flash and neon colors, and the tasteless trash ate it up like candy. When Jon Gosselin is your primary spokesman, you know you're the king of the bad fashion trend.