Several creators are taking a look back at some of their frequently worn high school outfits that, in retrospect, weren’t as fashionable as they imagined.
“I didn’t actually think I was serving but I did think what I was wearing was totally normal and acceptable,” she prefaced the video, which included fashion trends that were prominent seven to eight years ago.
Michelle started off strong with what was essentially “her uniform back in the day”: a full denim look otherwise known as a “Canadian tuxedo.”
“I loved this denim-on-denim outfit. I wore it at least once a week. Sometimes multiple times a week and especially with those business casual flats,” she said before moving on to her “attachment” to button-ups.
For a concert she once attended, Michelle chose a light-blue button-up, a favorite in her closet, which she paired with a white jacket that resembles a lab coat.
“I was like, ‘You know what would really make this outfit? A lab coat,'” she added. “I need a little science in my look today.”
What she believed to be her worst outfit, though, was an outfit she put together to attend a sweet 16 party.
“The dress itself is not cute but also why did I put a skinny green belt over it? And I also had these tights which made it look like I was wearing athletic socks for some reason, and I was also wearing pointy floral heels,” she explained. “And I had the audacity back in the day to be like, ‘Why aren’t boys into me?'”
Michelle’s video is indicative of what’s recognized as the five-stage of a fashion trend — in that several garments or outfits that were once coveted by consumers are now seen as cringy or old.
What are the five stages of a fashion cycle?
The fashion cycle, as described by MasterClass, can be broken down into five stages: introduction, increase, peak, decline and obsolescence.
“Once a trend reaches peak popularity, it will begin to decline in popularity until it is considered outdated and unfashionable, eventually entering the end stage of the cycle, where it is rejected by the fashion industry and consumers,” says MasterClass. “The cycle is in a constant state of repetition, bringing back ‘old fashions’ to send them through the movement of fashion.”
Michelle isn’t alone in taking a walk, albeit a cringy one, down memory lane when it comes to teenage fashion choices. Creators like Lauren Tiby (@laurentiby), who leaned into the business casual style that was prominent in 2016 and 2017, and Reese (@reeseyv), who gravitated toward pieces that she believed seem “very Fashion Nova,” have also embraced the nostalgic trend.
‘These outfits are so bizarre. Like this is beyond Disney channel bizarre’
As of reporting, Michelle’s video has more than 3 million views and 314,400 likes. TikTok users can’t help but articulate their disbelief with just how strange her sartorial choices were as a teenager.
“I was not prepared despite your best efforts,” @hannahr_0321 wrote.
“The lab coat really took me out,” @cowboyoflove admitted.
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