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There are West Coast trends we can't imagine going out of style: high-top Converse sneakers, cut-off denim shorts, oversized sunnies. And then there are those we'd rather pretend never existed at all.
As much as this starry town has become influential to the fashion world with its inherently laid-back nature, it has also been the birthplace of a few celeb-inspired looks that we all have lurking in our awkward #TBT photo arsenal. While some trends have been unequivocally (tramp)stamped not okay, in this cyclical world of fashion—where things we thought we'd never have to see again (we're looking at you, septum piercings and overalls) can make a comeback—we should know by now to never say never.
With that said, we're taking a light-hearted look back at six Hollywood-embraced trends that have been put out to pasture to examine both their moment in the sun and whether or not they have a chance in hell of ever coming back. We also asked a few fashion pros to weigh in: rock-and-roll stylist Candice Lambert—responsible for looks seen on Pentatonix, Echosmith, Gerard Way, and The Black Keys—and global street style photographer Robert Spangle of Thousand Yard Style.
As long as there is Coachella, we may never totally see the end of this retro boho trend that came to a head (so many heads) in the mid-2000s and was popularized by celebs like Nicole Richie and the Olsen twins. At the height of its glory, a hippie headband—designed with three strands (see above) or a single strap across the forehead—would likely be seen paired with epic fringe and gladiator sandals. While this look can easily tread into "sexy Pocahontas costume" territory, Lambert believes there's still hope: "If you decide to revive this trend, you have to embody the entire feel of it and honor that headband appropriately." (In other words, dress like the 1960s threw up on you.)
It seems like just yesterday you'd find Punk'd star Ashton Kutcher gracing the pages of Us Weekly in a John Deer (or other ironic, blue collar logo) trucker hat while pumping gas or holding hands with another starlet. In fact, the trend was practically unavoidable in the early 2000s, when Von Dutch seemed as desirable a label to wear as Louis Vuitton. But some fashion-forward stars can make even this tired trend seem wearable again, argues Lambert. "A person who rocks a trucker hat and always looks amazing is Gwen Stefani. She pulls it off because the outfit she pairs it with is always clean and cool. Obviously, don't wear it with an Affliction T-shirt or ripped jeans!"
Although you can still find this look at LAX on a lady who will argue that her tracksuit is "so comfy," there was a time when these public pajamas were a sign of status. Made popular by Juicy Couture in the early 2000s, this style could be seen hugging the rear-ends of Paris Hilton and her many minions. Juicy recently attempted a comeback of its signature loungewear via department store Kohl's, but now that the brand is focusing on a new concept, it seems like this one may have bit the dust for good. "If you aren't in a wedding party, don't wear them," Lambert urges.
Admit it: you cut the waistband off your jeans after you saw the music video for "Heartbreaker" by Mariah Carey. (That's okay, we did too.) At a certain point in the first few years of the millennium, it seemed like there was a competition to see just how low your jeans could go. While today's trendy exposed midriff is a sliver of above-the-navel skin, those extreme low-rise jeans meant the mid-section on view was Love Handle City, a place no one really needed to visit. Lambert believes that there's still life in this trend with well-placed '70s style flair (a platform sandal, for instance), but it should be worn with a warning. "The thing I would watch for is body type. Hip-huggers aren't really great for a short person; they will make you look wider and even shorter, unless you put on a really high heel," she says. "Just be cognizant of this."
Spangle believes that while this trend is pretty much done, its demise has meant the rise of its opposition. "Denim seems to be a game of extremes, but the arms race for the lowest cut, tightest fitting jeans has been over for quite some time," he notes. "I'm seeing a lot of cool chicks wearing much looser cut jeans—vintage or in a '70s worn-in wash. This girl is no less sexy but favors a look that can't be sexualized."
Britney Spears sported this look more than a few times, and we have to admit, it was kind of hot. Best worn with the aforementioned hip-hugging denim and a Japanese character/butterfly tattoo on the lower back, this trend meant we got to see the underpinnings of even respectable stars, like Halle Berry. While there was a place and time for this one (e.g., a 1999 Rolling Stone centerfold), this racy style proved too intimate to go on. But the sneak peek of lingerie has continued in other forms since. Spangle explains, "I've seen a few women in LA making the unmentionables something to talk about again. Exposed garter belts, for one, and more than a few ladies wearing House of Holland tights whose patterns replicate the more risqué but less than modern stockings."
It just occurred to us that Brit Brit has likely worn all six of these trends simultaneously, but around 2005 she was about as synonymous with this accessory as a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos (or Kevin Federline). Believe it or not, the Aussie footwear label behind this boot has managed to live on via a blogger-backed reinvention, distancing itself from the tabloid-friendly look it once championed. Though admittedly unflattering, there might still be a time and place for this comfort shoe. Let Lambert break down the dos and don'ts for this one: "My friend Kyle wears them when he goes on his surfing trips on the beach in the cold—this is a yes. But wearing them at the mall shopping in the summer in Southern California? That's a no. They have a purpose, and that is to keep your feet warm and safe from extreme elements." There you have it.