Archive for the ‘Bad Clothing’ Category

Bell Bottoms
Bell Bottoms are one of the more horrible fashion styles from the 1970’s. This is also when white jump suits became popular, so as you can imagine, there was some pretty stiff competition. They looked exactly like they sounded – take a perfectly good set of pants, and make them incredibly wide from the knees on down. So wide, in fact, that you can smuggle a baby hippopotamus inside them without anyone being the wiser. This was considered cool by people for some reason (most likely, the large amount of hallucinogens being imbibed at the time.)

One would normally hope that such a hideous fashion would die out, but much like the weeds on your front lawn and Eddie Murphy’s career, they keep coming back. Nowadays, bell bottoms tend to be known as “flare-leg” jeans, mostly because the term is more palatable to the masses. But let’s be frank: other than a little less tightness in the knees, they’re the exact same pants. If you can play Carol of the Bells with your jeans, they’re goddamn bell bottoms, so stop trying to pretend otherwise.


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Baggy clothes are a fairly consistent fashion trend, but parachute pants took the fad to a whole new extreme. Popularized by M.C. Hammer in his famous video, “Can’t Touch This”, their loose-fitting design allowed the rapper to twirl about constantly without danger of friction. They were kind of like the pants worn by Barbara Eden on ‘I Dream of Jeannie’, if you were to make them even more garish and expand the sides by about fifteen inches. Parachute pants also weren’t just a clever name – if you were to accidentally tumble out of a plane at 30,000 feet, they would automatically inflate and float you safely down to the ground.

If the pants had remained on MTV, then maybe everything would have been all right. They would have faded from people’s memory, and this dark chapter in our nation’s history could have eventually been put behind us. Fashion outlets began offering the puffy leggings for sale, though, giving schoolchildren everywhere the chance to dress like a man who would blow through $20 million in less than a decade. It didn’t matter that you needed to be an 800 pound Leviathan to actually fill out the pants, they were the latest thing, and as time has repeatedly shown, that’s all that’s required for a style to succeed.

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The 1970’s gave us a lot of horrible things: disco, pet rocks, the president getting attacked by a waterborn rabbit on a midday afternoon… Perhaps the most hideous, though, was the leisure suit. This popular form of evening wear was made of super-stretchy polyester and consisted of a matching dinner jacket and pants. It was a suit that you could wear to business meetings -and- nightclubs, which had great time-saving appeal. Enormous gold chains and billowy chest hair were optional, but all the real skeezy club hounds sported them.

The typical color of leisure suits was smarmy white, but they also had them in bright yellow, navy blue, and hot pink. There was no better way to say “I am a complete sleazeball” to the swarms of hipsters around you, and the outfits quickly became one the true symbols of bad taste – not an easy task, considering the competition. They would also inspire the Leisure Suit Larry video games, in which you play a balding protagonist who tries to sleep with as many pixellated women as possible. So, in many ways, the game was completely true to life.

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There aren’t a lot of clothing options for people when they reach a certain weight. Shirts only go to Extra-Extra-Extra-Extra Large, and pants can only stretch out so much before they burst at the seams from the tension. The Muumuu is an article of clothing which helps address this distressing problem. Coming from the island of Hawaii, they are usually covered in floral prints, and possess more than enough room for even the most whale-like individual to slip inside. This is probably because most of them are just an enormous sack with arm holes cut into the side.

The unflattering name is just a coincidence. It actually means nightgown, and is not intended to refer to any possible sounds that the person would make in a field right before drunken college students snuck over and tipped them over. Still, the muumuu is not a particularly admired form of dress, and even the people who wear them acknowledge that it’s mostly out of necessity. There’s not much else that they can drape themselves in, so they might as well choose something that’s halfway comfortable. Any unintentional gender confusion caused by their voluminous nature is just an added perk.

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Spandex is a synthetic fiber that was originally invented in 1959 by the DuPont Corporation. Widely renowned for its remarkable elasticity, it has been used in all manner of athletic suits and stretchable outfits. This is not necessarily a good thing. Though lightweight and comfortable, the problem with form-fitting clothes is that some people don’t have very appealing forms to fit. If your ass happens to look like two poorly placed watermelons, then you don’t want to wear something that accentuates this fact. And you really don’t want to do so in neon lavender.

This seemingly obvious truth has not stopped oversized men and women from purchasing Spandex in bulk and wearing it out in public. Most of the time they confine such horrors to the gym, but you can occasionally spot a middle-aged housewife dressed in the substance while she’s out power walking. It should further be noted that spandex is the material of choice for comic book superheroes, who routinely use it for their crime-fighting outfits. These guys like to wear their underwear on the outside, though, so it might not be a good idea to take fashion tips from them.

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