39 Weird Fashion Fads That Have Become Surprisingly PopularBy Jennifer Snow
Fashion, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. One person’s idea of fashion is another person’s idea of poor taste. That being said, most people agree that clothes should be a bit practical and a bit stylish. However, some radical designers have taken the “stylish” part a bit too far – and we’re loving it!
If you’re feeling constrained by a limited and boring wardrobe, then the list below might spark some inspiration. It’s filled with odd bits of clothing that you might not see at the local store, so let your inner misfit roam as you virtually browse through this collection of 39 weird fashion fads.
A Mix of Reptile Scales and Bird Feathers
The sweaters, shirts, and scarves below appear to be made from some odd mix of reptile scales and bird feathers. Jokes aside, where did they get that texture from? It’s definitely unique, but not necessarily in a good way.
Although the colors are a bit too bright for us, they’re great for those times when you want to really stand out. Also, since they were found at a discount clothing store, the price tag isn’t going to break the bank.
The Shutter Sunglasses
Now, when you want to block your eyes from the intensity of the sun, the best thing to do is get yourself a nice pair of shades. Not only do they help you see without squinting, but they also add a little style to your face.
Well, that’s assuming you didn’t purchase the shades above. These shutter shades seem to serve no purpose other than looking fashionable. For some reason, they’ve become incredibly popular to see at nightclubs around the world. We’re not sure why.
For When You Want to Blend into the Sky
Camouflage is meant to be worn by those in the military. It’s a great example of functional clothing – the (typically) green and brown design is meant to allow soldiers to blend into their surrounding environments. Which leads us to our next question: what surrounding environment is blue?
Are you floating through the air while fighting enemies? Or perhaps swimming solo in the sea while trying to duck around attacks? Although the blue camo has caught on a bit, its purpose is beyond us.
Ready for the Disco
If you’re going to commit to puffy jacket fashion, then you might as well do it as a pair (or quad). The two guys here have a relatively subdued puffy jacket mixed with cowboy-esque pants that make them look ready for a hipster powwow.
The girls, in contrast, look like they’re permanently ready for some disco dancing. The (ultra puffy) bright pink tops and bottoms are also quite functional – airy enough to allow plenty of dancing without leaving sweat marks.
The Dragon Jacket Made for Showdowns
Now, this jacket is made for a specific kind of person – an intense martial artist (Steven Segal, we’re looking at you). It’s not something that you casually wear around the house or to a night out with friends.
The golden dragon symbols stitched on a black leather jacket pretty much require a showdown every time you wear it. That’s fine if you’re filming a new action movie, but not too useful if you just want to hang out with friends on a Tuesday. Buyer beware!
Christmas Tree Sweatshirt
People get into the Christmas spirit in many ways. Some people change their attitude a bit by being nicer to strangers. Others change their diets by stocking up on eggnog and homemade cookies. Still, others change their wardrobe by donning comfy slippers or (as you can see below) a ridiculous Christmas tree sweater.
This might inspire holiday cheer but after that cheer is inspired, we suggest chucking the sweater in the closet until next year – when you take it out for five minutes max!
Ugg-ly Fake Boots
Uggs (the boots pictured below) were one of the biggest fashion trends of the mid-2000s. Everyone wore them, however, not everyone could afford the high price tag of these sheepskin boots. That led to plenty of counterfeiters making inferior quality boots at an affordable price.
The only problem with that is what you see above – they didn’t always last long. Not only was that bad for fashion, but it was also bad for your feet! Luckily, the Ugg-craze has died off over the years.
As we saw from above, camouflage is great when you need to parachute into a dangerous jungle and blend into the surrounding bushes and trees. In short, it’s perfect for those in the military or those on a hunting expedition.
However, whether it’s useful or not, celebrities have taken camo fashion and their own twist to it – as you can see from the picture of Paris Hilton. Although pink camo is clearly not functional (unless you’re inside a piece of bubblegum), it’s a bit stylish.
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were a big deal back in the day. The two singers were revered for both their voice and their sense of style. It seemed they could do no wrong – hence the full denim suits.
Denim is mostly meant for rugged jeans. However, as you can see from above, Britney managed to make it into a full-on dress, and Justin managed to pull off a Denim hat. For them, it works, but we’re also glad the fashion trend didn’t last long.
Emo music – or emotional music – was like musical nutrition for angsty teens in the mid-2000s. Bands like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance grew to new heights of stardom. Alongside the music came a particular look – the emo look.
As you can see from above, it revolved around long striped bangs, heavy eyeliner, and dark-colored clothes. It was closely related to the scene subculture popular around the same time. Generally speaking, both styles of fashion have faded over the years.
For Your Inner 15th Century Royal Self
If you feel like you should have been born 600 years ago in a castle somewhere in France, then we’ve got the perfect fashion trend for you: pointy shoes. We can’t promise they will be comfortable, but they will certainly be stylish.
Well, to be more accurate, they will be stylish if you’re hanging out with 15th-century royalty for some odd reason. If you’re not doing that, then it’s probably best not to buy the pointy shoes because they will only elicit mocks and jeers.
The toe shoe has been quite the fashion trend in certain circles – mostly in circles of hikers, hippies, and yogis. Despite the fact that they look so uncomfortable and impractical, they have spread far and wide (kind of like your toes do when you wear them).
If you’re climbing a rock or running along a hill, then the barefoot footwear above might be perfect for you. If you’re doing anything else (especially anything in public), then a standard shoe is probably better.
Which Way Are You Walking?
We have to give kudos and applause to whoever designed the next odd piece of footwear fashion. Although they might not be practical (a running theme on this list), they are rather hilarious. Take a look for yourself.
Which way is the person walking? It’s hard to know, thus making them the perfect shoe for spies trying to evade other spies following in their footsteps! If you’re in any other career, we suggest sticking to the standard left and right foot boots.
Most people want to be less hairy – that’s why they pluck their eyebrows, cut their hair, and pull out any unwanted chin hairs. However, some people (apparently) want to be hairier – hence the furry nails seen below.
Although we enjoy painted and bedazzled nails as much as the next person, the fur-filled fingernails are a bit too much. What happens when you have an itch? Come to think of it, what happens when you have to do anything involving your fingernails?
The Floor Mop Shoe
“Why” is the main question we have when looking at the “shoe” below. The practical reason someone might want to buy the shoes below is if they want to mop the floor without needing to hold a mop. If that’s the case, then we applaud your efficiency.
If that’s not the case, then we’re a bit confused. Usually, clothes that aren’t functional are at least stylish, but it looks like these shoes are neither. Instead, they’re ugly and impractical – not the best combo for fashion.
The Blackberry Bag
Blackberries are well-loved for their tartness and sweetness. Plenty of folks start their day by mixing in blackberries with yogurt, granola, and other fruits to throw together a filling breakfast that doesn’t make you feel sluggish. Others skip the yogurt breakfast, and choose to throw blackberries … on a purse?
It might sound odd, but that’s the truth as you can see from above. For us, it’s a fashion faux pas – blackberries are meant to be eaten, not worn as a fashion accessory.
Rainbow Colored Hair
When it comes to unique (and odd) fashion trends, Japan is high up on the list. Styles range from Victorian-style blouses (the “Lolita” look) to loose-fitting coveralls with boots (the “bosozoku” look) to heavy makeup and tanned skin (the “Manba” look).
The style above relies on heavy makeup, multi-colored hair, and a series of quirky accessories (the eyeball bows). Compared to traditional Japanese beauty standards, this look is pretty out there – but it is also pretty popular, especially among the youth.
Hearts in Your Eyes
The eyes are windows to your soul, however, they’re also very sensitive organs that tear up at the feel of a misplaced eyebrow. So why on earth, we ask, would a company seek to create fashion accessories for your eyes?
It makes us tense up just looking at it. Regardless, the Dutch company that spawned the eye jewelry fad thought it was a great idea. This idea is based on a new technique they developed for inserting small metal studs directly into the eye. No thanks.
The See-Through Plastic Handbag
It seems like see-through handbags have been making a slow but steady comeback since 2018 or so. To be honest, we aren’t entirely sure as to why – a case can be made for them being stylish, but it’s nearly impossible to make a case for their practical value.
“Does she have valuables in her purse?” a thief might think. “Oh wait, why don’t I look directly into her handbag and see.” Definitely not the handbag to carry in a rough part of town.
The Sporty Cyberpunk Alien Heels
If you’ve ever seen The Fifth Element, then you can probably imagine Milla Jovovich’s character sporting a pair of these funky and colorful heels. They seem to be a mix of Spice Girls and cyberpunk, and we’re loving all of it.
They’re both functional (as functional as heels can get) and stylish – look at all those bright colors and alien-like designs. The Italian brand Dsquared2 showed them off (and shocked some audience members) at a fashion show in Milan a few years ago.
The Sneaker Sock Combo
Socks and sneakers go together like peanut butter and jelly – you need both of them together. Wearing shoes without socks quickly leads to a terrible odor (and perhaps athlete’s foot) that will cause anyone nearby to hold their nose.
That being said, throwing on the socks before the sneakers can be a bit of a hassle at times. To solve that classic problem, Vetements and Reebok decided to weave together both parts into one practical (but not particularly fashionable) combo: the sock-sneaker.
The Meat Knee Patches
No one likes to be objectified as a “piece of meat” – unless you’re wearing the jeans below which have meat patches stitched into the knees. We can’t tell if it’s some kind of subversive joke (playing on the whole “piece of meat” phrase), or if it’s something the designer found aesthetically pleasing.
Either way, we give it two thumbs up for weirdness. Can you imagine yourself wearing these on the subway? If so, just remember not to eat your knees if you get hungry.
The Pants That Don’t Cover Much
Most pants are supposed to, you know, cover your legs and provide warmth. Apparently, the designers over at Fashion Nova clearly didn’t get the memo. Instead, they chose to make the “cage pants” that provide little to no cover for your legs.
We applaud them for thinking outside the box (or cage), but it kind of defeats the whole purpose of wearing pants. However, it might be fun to walk down the street to see how many people get confused.
Jeans for One Leg, Shorts for the Other
Despite being nearly 150 years old, jeans are still incredibly popular. They represent that rare mix of style and function – a mix that a lot of people enjoy. That being said, for some designers, the “style” part of jeans is so 19th century.
To spruce it up a bit, the one-legged jean was created. In 2019, these odd-looking jeans really took off in Ukraine and nearby countries. Jeans with two legs were too conservative. Innovative, but how well will it make it through winter?
The Tight and Wide Jeans
Now when most of us are shopping for jeans, we want to keep our eyes out for two things: that the price is right and that the jeans fit. Making sure the jeans fit mostly means making sure that both pant legs are symmetrical.
Although that’s a common criterion for many shoppers, a Ukrainian fashion brand has flipped that assumption upside down by making pants that are deliberately asymmetrical. They’re perfect for when you want to wear tight-fitting jeans and wide jeans at the same time.
Chainsaw Tulle Dress
Although ripped and torn jeans have been fashionable for quite some time, the Amsterdam company Viktor & Rolf took that trend to new heights in the Spring of 2010. They did so by hacking out bits of a tulle dress with a chainsaw. Innovative, for sure.
Turns out it wasn’t just that one dress shown above – it was an entire collection of clothes! Katy Perry loved the idea so much that she wore the above chainsaw tulle dress to an Awards Show.
Wearing a Duvet
This next bit of odd fashion might not spark a fire in your eyes, but it will definitely keep you warm! Crafted by the British fashion brand Mulberry, it was first unveiled to a stunned world in 2017.
As you can see from above, the dress is one part duvet and one part poncho. That gives it an incredibly comfortable look that’s perfect for those lazy days when you can barely roll out of bed. However, don’t forget an umbrella if it rains.
Wearing a Car Mat as a Skirt
Car mats are mostly found on car floors because they collect all the dirt and snow that falls off your shoes as you go in and out of your car. However, in 2017, that practical automotive accessory also became known as something you can wear.
That’s because the luxury brand Balenciaga created the “Car Design Skirt” (as it’s called on their website) that’s featured above. So, if you want to wear a car mat, it can be yours for a reasonable price of $2,495.
Fried Chicken Pants
Have you ever found yourself wondering, “are there any fried chicken leg pants out there?” If so, then you can rest easy because there are! For a low price on Amazon, you can be the proud owner of wide orange pants that resemble chicken legs.
Now, they’re not the most stylish pants around, but they have their charm. They’re wide, comfortable, and will probably provoke a few laughs if you muster up the courage to walk down the street in them.
Readymade Dirty Jeans
If you want to look like you’re wrangling horses and hogs all day but don’t want to actually get dirty, then we’ve got the perfect jeans for you. Well, not us, but the clothing designers at PRPS.
Rather than clean jeans that get dirty over the course of a rough day in the mud, PRPS decided to skip over the middle part and just make dirty jeans. We admire their boldness, and it seems to have worked – they were sold out at Nordstrom’s shortly after premiering.
Kanye’s Transparent Boots
Kanye West, as you might know, is not only a rapper and producer, he’s also a fashion designer. As part of his Yeezy collection, he created and promoted the transparent boots seen below.
Love them or hate them, they made a big splash. Despite being $700 a pair, these fully transparent boots made from PVC were sold out. That’s mostly because all the influencers rushed to snag a pair so they could snap photos, upload them, and wait for the likes and comments.
A Beard that Sparkles and Shines
Beards have come back in style in recent years, and with that comes the desire to groom and style them. This has led to an explosion in beard gels, oils, waxes, and, as you can see below, beard sparkles.
Apparently, a lot of guys with boring beards want to spruce them up a bit – make them sparkle and shine. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to do. After picking your favorite glitter color, simply rub it through your beard and it will stick by itself.
Wearing Grandma’s Clothes in 2018
As we saw from above, Japanese street fashion is pretty remarkable. It varies widely and likes to mix together styles old and new – just take a look at what the two guys below are wearing.
These two were spotted at 2018’s Tokyo Fashion Week. Both managed to take something associated with grandmothers and grandfathers – cute big dresses and comfortable shoes – and make it something hip for the younger crowd. To be honest, we’re loving it. Plus, it gives grandma the credit she deserves!
Bringing Back the Fanny Pack
Do you remember fanny packs? They were a huge sensation in the 1980s and 1990s but then fell off the fashion bandwagon as the 2000s rolled around. Well, it seems they have been revived for the 2020s!
The fact that they look good and allow you to carry essentials has led to that revival. However, as you can see from the fanny pack above, not all of them have found the perfect mix of style and function – how’re you meant to carry that thing around?
The “Facekini” is exactly what it sounds like – a bikini for your face. Designed by a Chinese accountant, it is meant to protect your face from the sun. It makes sense, even if it looks a bit funny and creepy at the same time.
These Facekinis are made from the same material as regular bathing suits and are all the rage in certain parts of Asia. Just make sure you only wear it at the beach – or else you might get mistaken for a burglar.
The Never-Ending Sleeves
Who doesn’t love to get wrapped up in an oversized sweater or hoodie? It keeps you warm and makes you cozy at the same time. Plenty of fashion designers understand that, but plenty of fashion designers have also taken that a bit too far.
As you can see above, this has led to never-ending sleeves that nearly trickle down to the floor! Although these sleeves might keep your hands warm on a cold day, they can also get caught on anything you pass by.
The High Top Pants
Some people are all about the low-top sneakers while others are fans of the high-stops. For some, however, the high-tops don’t go high enough. The unique Converse pants below were made with that particular customer in mind.
Instead of stopping at the top part of your foot, these Converses go all the way up to your waist! How do you get out of them? Unless they have a hidden zipper, it looks like you’ll need to be some kind of trapeze artist.
Scleral tattoos are, as you can see from the pictures below, eye tattoos. Well, that’s not entirely accurate because they’re more like eye injections. Basically, you inject a dye into the whites of your eyes to change their color.
It should go without saying that it’s incredibly dangerous – which is why the state of Oklahoma banned it. If done improperly, scleral tattoos can lead to complete blindness. So, we recommend not getting scleral tattoos. It’s better to admire from afar by looking at the photos above.
Crocs, if you remember, were one of the most famous fashion trends of the early 2000s. People couldn’t get enough of the half sandal/half shoe footwear that allowed you to strut around without socks. Although they went away (a bit), they’ve made a comeback.
This time it’s a luxury comeback. The high-end brand Balenciaga unveiled its platform Crocs in 2018. Although they might look a bit bland and uninspired, those elevated purple Crocs sold for $850 a pair!