I am a huge advocate for bad taste when it comes to fashion. While others strive to dress flawlessly, in their matching black outfits and chic accessories, I find it important to acknowledge the other side of the spectrum, the people who dress outside of the Instagram-approved box. In fact, it was Chloe Sevigny who recently said, “Everybody is obsessed with good taste, but the 90s was about good taste/bad taste.”
The great thing about the 90s is the variety of styles that we saw. From grunge to sporty, and an array of accessories including platforms, butterfly clips and stuffed animal backpacks, the 90s did it and then some. We had subcultures that shaped different styles and embraced the good and the bad. Today, however, we are seeing a plethora of repetitive looks, where everyone’s obsession to dress well has led them to pretty much dressing exactly the same way.
You want to dress like Kim Kardashian? Wear a crop top and midi skirt in different colors, for each of the four seasons this year. Or if your style is more Sky Ferreira, get your favorite leather jacket and black boots, and wear them with a very similar but suuuuper different vintage tee for each day of the week.
Originality seems to be a thing of the past, as we see clones upon clones dressed in their ‘stylish’ garb which all fit in the same boring spectrum of good taste.
The great thing about the weird and wonderful world of bad style is that it immediately sticks to your memory. That hideous dress you wore in 2001 can bring back memories that will have you laughing and taking you back to a moment in time, just by looking at that very piece of clothing. They even have the ability to be culturally significant.
Who will ever forget that iconic denim-on-denim look that Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears wore at the MTV Music Awards? Or Rose McGowan’s risqué see-through dress during her Marilyn Manson era? Probably no one.
While those outfits may not be the epitome of chic, they stood out then and continue to. (Hence why those particularly outfits were brought back thanks to Katy Perry and Amber Rose recently.) Not to mention, they are the perfect visual representation of the 90s, characterized by the outlandish and the different.
At the end of the day, those sparkly jelly shoes you wore during your childhood can create more significant memories than that chic black blazer in your current wardrobe can. Stereotypical good style might be great for now, but it’s the bad style — that hideous item of clothing that remains in the back of wardrobe, dusty, unwanted and hidden from the world — that stands out and makes for a truly unforgettable moment.