OPINION: Top 5 worst ’90s fashion trends

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Garish colors, shiny fabrics, poofy sleeves and expansive hair? It must be the 1990s. (Courtesy photo by user vaniljapulla on Flickr)

If you’re in college today, you were probably born sometime in the 1990s (unless you’re one of those 10-year-old supergeniuses). Even if you didn’t spend much time being alive before the 21st century started, the bad hairstyles and horrible fashion trends of the ’90s still crept into the 2000s like an insipid plague that couldn’t be cured.

With that in mind, why not sit back and laugh at the stuff your parents and older siblings were wearing in your baby pictures? Here are five fashion trends of the ’90s, ranked from worst to most worst.

5. Slap bracelets

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Who wouldn't want to wear a very flat zebra on their wrist? (Courtesy photo by Amazon)

They’re like regular bracelets, except you’re encouraged to injure yourself with them. Nothing’s cooler than being dangerous, right?

While a bracelet that you can slap onto your wrist sounds like a fun concept, in practice, they usually had patterns that came straight out of your crazy aunt’s abhorrent closet, limiting their appeal.

4. Jelly shoes

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And you thought Crocs were bad. (Courtesy photo by ShakShuka)

Shoes are awfully useful items of clothing when you stop and think about how many unpleasant things there are on the ground. They’re durable, stylish and they can make or break an outfit.

But what if there was a shoe that just wasn’t any of those things? You know, maybe something that looks and feels like a gummy bear covered in glitter and falls apart within a month of normal use. Introducing the jelly shoe, one of the worst things to happen to humanity’s feet since gangrene.

3. Hammer pants

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In the words of M.C. Hammer himself, "Stop." (Courtesy photo by Party Time)

Pants are a practical and comfortable way of covering your legs that have only gotten more and more popular since their invention around 1300 B.C.

Hammer pants, by contrast, are an abomination of the lower body that turn their wearer into a deflated hot air balloon that shines like a perpetual sun. M.C. Hammer might have found an audience that loved his dance moves, but why his signature pants became a fashion statement eludes me to this day.

2. Frosted tips

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Shout-outs to Guy Fieri for keeping the past alive in Flavortown. (Courtesy photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Dying your hair in such a way that it’s light on top and dark on the bottom can certainly look good if you do it right — after all, it worked for Lt. Natasha Yar in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Unfortunately, frosted tips are the ultimate example of what not to do to your hair. Ask yourself, people of the 1990s: did you really, really have to spike the tips up like your head was a thorny bush in Death Valley?

1. JNCO jeans

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It's like wearing a denim dress on each individual leg. (Courtesy photo by GeorgeFM)

Where do I even start? Blue denim jeans have been some of the most popular clothing items in the 20th century and beyond, and for good reason. They’re stylish and incredibly practical — the ultimate pair of pants, if you ask me.

JNCO jeans are like jeans that were made for Rubeus Hagrid to wear after a night eating nothing but microwaved burritos. If you fell out of a plane wearing JNCO jeans, you’d probably float down safely thanks to your oversized leg parachutes.

Of all the baffling things that happened in the 1990s, I think these stupid Liberty Bell-sized pants remain the most baffling of all.

Kyle Hampel is the opinion editor for the Collegian and a senior in English. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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Kyle Hampel
Those words you just read were written by me, Kyle Hampel. I am a 2019 graduate in English. I have strong feelings about barbeque pizza and the Oxford comma. I am a former copy chief, community editor, feature editor, designer and deputy multimedia editor. Beloit, Kansas, is proud to call me their own, along with several other towns I've lived in that aren't as special to me.