Fashion Experts Reveal The 9 Trends They Won't Be Caught Wearing

From ethical concerns to outdated silhouettes, these trends are just not ready-to-wear.
Justin Bieber did his very best to make Crocs happen in this now-infamous scene from August 2023 in New York.
MEGA via Getty Images
Justin Bieber did his very best to make Crocs happen in this now-infamous scene from August 2023 in New York.

Trends are part of what makes fashion fun and relevant — after all, they create a dialogue about what’s considered cool, and what’s not.

Whether that’s murmurs from the f’row (front row of designer shows) or comments on TikTok, everyone has something to say about a look. Part of the trend cycle is understanding that what was once ugly is suddenly considered posh, and vice versa, because all aesthetics are not only subjective, but also related to zeitgeist.

Haute couture has always dipped a toe into what we might consider “ugly fashion,” because accessibility and wearability aren’t the primary concerns here. Take for instance avant-garde designers like Rei Kawakubo or deconstructionists like Martin Margeila, both artists who design to push boundaries. Around 2014 with the popularisation of Normcore, “ugly fashion” became more mainstream, and a way for people to rebel against beauty standards without spending thousands of dollars on a Balenciaga coat. Fast forward to 2020, when COVID lockdowns encouraged people to dress more for comfort than aesthetics, and the subsequent post-pandemic backlash, where people got dressed fancy again and you can begin to understand the fascination we have with looking ugly on purpose.

Having said all that, there are many of us who don’t want to look ugly on purpose, but rather dress to capture an aesthetic that reads as polished, put together and also woke. We’ll avoid calling this aesthetic “stylish,” for as noted above looking ugly can be considered en vogue. And we’ll also avoid talking about this aesthetic as “flattering,” because that term is not only subjective but has come to be a euphemism for “slimming.”

Instead, let’s call these trends “not wearable.” Ahead, we asked a fashion stylist, a fashion editor, and fashion designer what trends they would never wear — and yes, while aesthetics were highly considered, they weren’t the only reasons our style experts noted for not wearing a trend.

1. Flip Flop Heels

Beverly Osemwenkhae, a fashion stylist in New York and London, noted the shoe choice doesn’t “look comfortable,” and that it defies a put-together look. “When I think of flip flops, I think of the beach. Adding a heel doesn’t change my mind.”

2. Cargo Pants

Hayley Prokos, an associate commerce fashion editor for InStyle, told HuffPost, “One trend I probably wouldn’t buy into is cargo pants. Not because I don’t think they’re cool but because I feel that there is an imminent expiration date.” She called the look passé (and not in a nostalgic way.) “They’ve garnered attention with everything else Y2K, like low-rise, cropped tops, and racer-style leather jackets. They’re not very versatile, which will likely be a collective turn-off as minimalist, capsule-like wardrobes become more popular.

3. Low-Rise Jeans

Julia Fox sported some super low-rise jeans in 2022.
Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images
Julia Fox sported some super low-rise jeans in 2022.

Another Y2K turn-off is the denim silhouette that rose to popularity in 2000 after being worn by stars like Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears, which Osemwenkhae called incredibly “dated.” She added it is a “Y2k trend that belongs in the past.”

4. Embellished Velour Tracksuits

Although Osemwenkhae is a fan of tracksuits, when they’re “covered in rhinestones the look comes off a little tacky.” She prefers you lean into a sporty aesthetic, and keep the look athletic not “arts and crafts.”

5. Slingbacks

Anne Hathaway wears slingbacks to "The View" on Oct. 6, 2023 in New York City.
James Devaney via Getty Images
Anne Hathaway wears slingbacks to "The View" on Oct. 6, 2023 in New York City.

Prokos told HuffPost that the aesthetic is not a deterrent here — it’s the wearability factor. “I love the shoe style for its vintage-ness, but it doesn’t love my flat feet and often makes them pop out of the sides.

6. Decorative Crocs

On the other hand, Osemwenkhae noted that comfort should not be the only factor that determines footwear. “Crocs may be comfortable but unless they’re worn with scrubs in a hospital setting, they belong under the bed.” She noted that platforms or charms don’t do anything to make Crocs fashion, and added that the accoutrements made the look worse. For what it’s worth, podiatrists don’t love them, either.

7. Fast Fashion

Lindsay Jones, a couture designer at Zac Posen and celebrity tailor and creative director, told HuffPost that she won’t ever wear fast fashion because of its ethical and environmental hazards. “Upcycling or wearing something vintage and making it your own is so much more stylish when it comes to defining your look.”

8. Tiny Sunglasses

“I will most probably not buy tiny sunglasses,” Prokos told HuffPost. Ditto for shades with “a small frame fit, either. There’s a general consensus in medicine and fashion that deems this style of accessory pretty useless. I, for one, like to have something that shields my eyes, lids and sometimes eyebrows from the sun. Squinting defeats the purpose of wearing sunglasses.”

9. Runway Imitations

Jones points out that oftentimes fast fashion or even contemporary designers rip off runway looks, but do so in a way that defies art. “Copy cats happen because there’s no copyright protecting fashion,” she explained, pointing out that accounts like Diet Prada serve as community watchdogs, letting the public know when imitations go down.