Nine Outdated Fashion Trends That Should Be Brought Back

Trends come and go so quickly these days that it can be hard to keep up. I’ve only just gotten on the high waisted jean craze myself (and probably won’t go back even if low rise comes back in style). Sometimes it’s nice to look back on what people used to wear and wonder what it would be like to bring some of those trends back. Here are some styles I think would still hold up today.

  1. 1. Shoulder Pads

    Shoulder pads were super popular back in the late '80s (which was almost 40 years ago now). They emphasized the width of one’s shoulders and bestowed upon the wearer a perception of status and power. They became a defining statement that, honestly, wasn’t too bad. The bulky build of each top was pretty flattering to the figure and I would not mind seeing this style brought back in the 2020s.

  2. 2. Acid Washed Denim

    Anna Schultz-Patches On Jean Jacket

    This fashion choice was popularized in the '60s and endured well into the '80s. It originally happened to beachgoers that the denim would be naturally bleached by saltwater and faded by the sun, creating a lived-in look. Everyone who was anyone back then was wearing a pair of acid-washed jeans with a neon top and pumped up sneakers, and that is a look that would definitely be welcomed with open arms today.

  3. 3. Breeches

    This trend hadn’t even occurred to me until a friend told me she really missed people wearing breeches. I asked, “What even are breeches?” When you Google it, you get a few different results. She could have been referring to the style worn by men in the seventeenth to the eighteenth century, but I suspect she meant the boots-over-khakis look popular amongst horse girls you get when you look under Google Images. Nevertheless, all of these definitions fit my long-held desires for fashion revival. Breeches are some fun and good looking pants that could use a little revamp.

  4. 4. Layered Tops

    Anna Schultz-Girls Laughing In Holiday Pajamas

    We all fondly remember watching those early 2000's Disney shows but certainly do not miss those goofy fashion choices. However, when done right, the tee-shirt over the long sleeve top can make quite an impact. I rarely see this cute look pulled off anymore, but I encourage everyone to try it.

  5. 5. Ponchos

    I’m sure we’ve all worn a poncho at least a couple of times before, right? But who can actually recall seeing people out and about wearing ponchos recently? Well, I’m here to ask of society: why not? Ponchos are fun, flowy sweaters that have no business being so underrated. They’re so great. You get all the warmth of a blanket and the breeziness of a dress. They are so cool in form and in function, I’m going to go buy five right now. They’re like wearing two capes. 

  6. 6. Guys Wearing Crop Tops

    The Lalayellow Clutch Colorful Wall

    When we see a cute girl strutting around rocking a crop top, seldom do we recognize that a few decades ago, it was the norm for guys to pull off the same look. And probably for the same reason that men stopped wearing high heels, men were quick to drop the fad entirely once the style was adopted by women. I say we put this thinly veiled misogyny to rest and allow men to wear whatever they want. I think I speak on behalf of all women when I say we would love to see more men out there wearing crop tops. Let’s be real, crop tops look good on everybody, no matter your gender, height, weight, or anything else. It’s simply just a good fashion choice. Let’s break down traditional fashion norms and just encourage everybody to wear what they feel good in.

  7. 7. Capes

    Capes are something that probably don’t cross the mind of the average person every day. They haven’t really been worn by anyone since wrapping up filming on set of the last Harry Potter movie. Before then, they probably weren’t popular since the times of ancient Rome. But capes and cloaks are actually garments I demand to see come back into the limelight. What better way is there to showcase one’s absolute power than a billowing cape behind them as they walk? I guarantee that as long as you wear a cape, no one’s going to be messing with you. 

  8. 8. Fanny Packs

    Woman Holding Black Leather Bag Standing Near Yellow Vehicle

    Any list of old fashion trends would be incomplete without mentioning fanny packs, a favorite amongst '80s enthusiasts. And I know the “Ha-ha, the fanny pack, what a funny meme”. But the fanny pack is so much more than that. Imagine if your belt had pockets. That’s what a fanny pack is. It’s a purse that doesn’t burden your arms. It’s a backpack that is even more convenient. You need your wallet? You look down, boom, it’s right there in your fanny pack. It’s a handy bag that is so ergonomic you forget it’s even there. The fanny pack is the intersection of convenience, comfort, and functionality. Why did these ever go out of style?

    I got a free fanny pack at my first HerCampus meeting and I cannot stress enough how much I love it. It’s not only convenient but can even tie an outfit together, too. I long for the day when I can walk around outside and see an abundance of people repping their fanny packs for all to see.

  9. 9. Anything You Want!

    3 girls celebrate

    In the process of writing this article, I came to the recognition of what is and what isn’t “in”. The whole point was to talk about fashion trends that used to be popular and should still be today. It’s led me to acknowledge that there's certain conformity within our culture in which we all collectively decide that some things shouldn’t be worn anymore until it becomes trendy and cool again. This is applicable to more than just fashion, too.

    Maybe you don’t have to take style advice from someone who encourages you to wear capes, but I do call upon you to ask yourself if you feel good in your skin. Do you wear what you do because you like it, or because it’s what everyone else does? You can’t convince me that anybody willingly wore sequin tops because they thought it looked good.

    I think styles and trends are an unnecessary way to keep people performing for each other to uphold cliques and social statuses. The heart of my point, other than the fact I have some weird taste, is that you should reject trends altogether and wear whatever makes you comfortable. Horizontal stripes are okay! Of course, you can pull off black with navy. Dresses aren’t reserved for one season. Backward caps and fingerless gloves are cool. Don’t worry about whether it’s in style or not, if it makes you feel good, wear it!