The beauty of #ThrowbackThursday is getting to see all those cringe-inducing photos of your nearest and dearest from days past. Butterfly collars, 50 shades of polyester brown and clunky heels — what were we thinking? But do you ever look at those pics and think, “Hmm. That seriously outdated dress could be so hot right now with just a few styling adjustments?” Many of our fave style icons come from eras marked by questionable sartorial decisions, so maybe the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s weren’t that bad, after all. Here are 12 outdated trends that we wish would come back.
1. Velour Tracksuits: Juicy Couture kickstarted the trend, and all of us, including celebs like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, followed suit. These cool comfy sweats, which we pretended were high fashion duds, came in so many different colors — how could we NOT buy every shade of the rainbow? If they ever make a comeback, let’s ditch the flared bottom and bedazzling this time around. (Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty)
2. Airbrushed Denim: Back in the day, you could go to any flea market and get your nickname, crew name or fave Looney Tunes characters airbrushed onto your overalls (worn with one strap unbuckled, obvi). Not only would this look be right at home among this season’s DIY denim trend, but we spotted more than one airbrushed tee at Fashion Week. (Photo via Frank Micelotta/Getty)
3. Bi-Colored Kicks: In the ’80s, it was all about over-the-top style. Being flashy consisted of wearing the same style of shoe but in two different colors. It was color blocking before we knew what color blocking was, and we’re determined to bring it back… someday.
4. Suspenders: Women have been raiding the boys’ closets since closets were invented, and thanks to Annie Hall, wearing men’s suspenders was a thing. While riffing on the working man’s style still pops up every now and again, we’d like to see this grown-up version make its way to our wardrobes. (Photo via Bryan Bedder/Getty)
5. Lurex: In the ’70s and ’80s, fashion folk flocked to any and everything shiny. With new fabric discoveries and a focus on technology, fashion designers explored the good (lurex), the bad (chainmail) and the ugly (polyester). But lurex (a kind of yarn woven with aluminum foil and transparent film) was the gift that kept on giving. Lurex needs to become a thing again — and we’ll start with those incredible leg warmers. (Photo via Patrick Riviere/Getty)
6. Hyper-Color Tees: People in the ’80s had a thing for neons, and even more of an obsession with clothes and accessories that changed color with your “mood” (read: body temperature). One of the standout innovations was the heat-sensitive t-shirt. Don’t you remember running up to your friends and attacking them with hot breaths so you could switch up their look? Was that just us? We’d love to see these return in monotone shades of black, white and gray for a nice twist on the distressed t-shirt look.
7. Swatch Watches: Swatch mania was so real in the ’80s. They came in so many cool colors, prints and designs, and people used to wear more than one at a time. Now that the wristwatch has moved into form rather than function territory it’s time for Swatch to make its comeback. (Photo via Brenda Chase/Getty)
8. Strong Shoulders: Women of the ’80s loved their strong shoulders, and for a hot second today’s celebs like Rihanna and Lady Gaga wore the exaggerated silo, courtesy of Balmain. Time to revive them for whatever we’re calling this decade. Strong, dramatic statement shoulders on blazers, please.
9. Bows: An ’80s dress wasn’t an ’80s dress unless it had puffy shoulders, a balloon hem, a ginormous bow on the back or all of the above. Seriously, we had an obsession with bows. Let’s start the bow revolution, beginning with next-level hair accessories!
10. Tied Tops: When most people think of the Dukes of Hazzard, they think of daisy dukes, otherwise known as really short shorts. We happen to think of the signature tied flannel tops that Daisy rocked on the regular. Since we’re all doing the whole crop top thing, let’s give a shoutout to the OG of exposed abs. (Photo via Warner Bros. Television)
11. Name Belts: We really used to love putting our names on all the things. Back in the day, you could hit up any mall and walk away with a custom plated stunner that screamed your moniker. Now that the tides are turning back to personalization, it might just be time to hit up the mall again and get a new belt made. (Photo via Scott Gries/Getty)
12. Timberland Heels: Once upon a time, we turned everything into a stiletto booty. While pointy-toed Converse heels don’t need to make a comeback, we wouldn’t mind an updated version of the Manolo Blahnik Timberland boots Jennifer Lopez made popular back when she was just Jenny from the Block. (Photo via Mark Mainz/Getty)
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