The unpredictability of the ever-changing fashion scene has been constantly spurting out new trends. Whether it was a pair of ’80s punk-inspired tapered pants (that cut off all blood circulation to your upper body) or an oversized pink Baby-G you still fondly wear to sleep, fashion items made you feel like a superstar at some point. Here are some of the more interesting fads we picked out from the last 10 years—fashion faux pas or otherwise.
1995: Affordable “Brands”?
To eliminate that question, designers craftily splashed their names all over their products, making them rather pricey. Those who could afford them were promoted to the “in” crowd while the rest compensated by cheating. A slew of stores like Factory Outlet, Labels for Less and Esprit allowed for the masses to own designer labels minus the designer prices. Cool? We think not.
1996: Designer Fever
The billboard-sized brand label took over and sneakily infiltrated the minds of even the most fashionable. To wear one was a sign of status and those who couldn’t afford them the year before, saved up enough to be seen in the latest Guess, DKNY, Armani Exchange and Moschino tees. Fortunately, the obsession died down when pasar malams (night markets) started flaunting the latest branded collection.
1997: Gee, Baby
These enormous wrist buddies transformed even non-watch wearers. While the masculine G-Shocks were perfect for the macho men, pretty Baby-Gs came in a wide range of delicious colors that girls and women went gaga over. Casio created quite a cult following that still boasts a faithful bunch of groupies even today.
1998: Color Me Khaki
Snug and roomy, khaki pants graced every closet as the comfort item. Khaki specialists, Dockers, hooked the slightly uppity market while brands like Giordano satiated the khaki craze without burning a hole in the pocket. That, of course, would not be a problem if you were a fan of the (then) new breed of multi-pocketed khaki (cargo) pants. Remember those? We try not to.
1999: The Heat Is On
What was in this year? Oh yeah, bold prints married with loud colors worn two sizes too big. In the spirit of Aloha, Hawaiian shirts fashioned the beachwear culture. Surf brands like Quiksilver, Billabong and Roxy catered to surfer wannabes, while Oakley, Mambo and Tannlines complemented the beach fashion. The otherwise acceptable style fad only became distasteful when forced into unlikely scenarios: in clubs and on old uncles with thick gold bracelets. Yikes!
2000: The Future’s So Bright, You’ve Gotta Wear Shades
The new millennium brought new opportunities and challenges. To stay and look cool under pressure, getting framed was one of the answers. UV protection aside, these face accessories exuded stylish aloofness. From Audrey Hepburn to Nicole Kidman, sunglasses were a fashion statement that screamed wanting to be seen without being seen—geddit?
2001: These Sneakers Are Made For Walking
Sneakers were no longer functional apparel for the working class. With endorsements from celebrity brands like Miu Miu and Gucci, walking away from sneaker fashion was a huge mistake. Even if your heavy duty walking routine involved just 15 minutes in town, you had to be sure of being spotted in snazzy ranges from the likes of Diesel, Adidas, DKNY and Converse—to name just a few.
2002: Flipping Over Flops
Fondly known as slippers to non-fashionistas, flip-flops follow in the comfort item turned trendsetter clique. Slipping into a comfy yet trendy pair of soles from Havaianas, Toss, Mambo, Camper (we used to love those Twins series) and Song+Kelly was soooooooo in. While these light as feather footwear remain a trend today, 2002’s other trend, camo-inspired clothes, was not hot enough to last till now.
2003: Denim Lovin’
Levi’s super low jeans, anyone? Engineered to form a perfect mould for the lower half, super low jeans made every female feel sizzlingly sexy. The everyday essential for men also allowed for various cuts to suit their individual styles. Hot favorites included Diesel, Tsubi and Evisu. But this sizzle did fizzle when women distastefully let their denim ride too low, exposing eyesore butt cracks. Ouch!
2004: To a Tee
Casual tees with audacious messages became the easiest form of self-expression. Local and export cult brands such as MHI, PAM, Tsubi, A Bathing Ape, Tonite and Silas rendered these expensive graphic t-shirts a high fashion force to be reckoned with. Not to be outdone, affordable tees with cheeky slogans flew off the shelves from Singapore’s favorite street apparel havens, The Heeren and Far East Plaza.
2005: Put a Cap on it
When Pharrell and Justin Timberlake burst onto the MTV screens with their slick moves and trucker caps as their crowning glory, history was made. From Ashton Kutcher to Colin Farrell, fashion had reached its peak with hip trucker caps that spelled bad boy like no other. But we’re now at 2006? Trucker caps? Nah.