Fashion is still  'ugly'.

We mentioned it before in the blog about the ugly sneaker. And yes, that sneaker is still there. And so are the bath slippers. And the socks. In the meantime they have even been reinforced. Do you want to know who the newcomers are?

But first things first; we will philosophize about meaning, nonsense and the cause of the need for uglyness, after we will go through the "new uglies on the blog" with you.



Bold statement, isn't it? But it makes sense. The world is a constant cycle of up and down movements. Extremes. From birth to death to rebirth. From primitivity to civilization to deconstruction. From poverty to prosperity to prosperity poverty. You get it. That's how history works, and why should fashion escape it?

Again, a chronological high-low timeline confirms the up and down movement of taste and trends. As for the "ugly" trend; it had always been there. Only back then it was not a preconceived trend, it was clothing behavior that deviated from the usual norm and stood out above the rest.


Example. The tartan was banned in England around 1750 because of associations with rebels, but around 1800 it was allowed to wear them again and the nobility and well-to-do bourgeoisie started flaunting the print everywhere. And nowadays it's made complete comeback. (More on this another time).

Or after a period of corsets and crinolines (crinoline, or a I-can't-go-poo-like-this! skirt), the straight, loose-fitting flapper dresses of the 1920s were first viewed with disapproving frowns before becoming commonplace. (Speaking of ...; the eyebrow is also such a shapeshifter. Thick caterpillars in the 80's versus thin arches in the 50's. It doesn't have to do much with clothing but it's just another example to prove our point).

Van korset naar flapperjurk

The voluptuous 'Rubens-woman' was once the epitome of beauty, just as the opposite, the scrawny Twiggy was centuries later. Tastes don't just differ, they also change. Many trends start with an expression of time-related bad taste.


In fashion, ugly is attractive. Why? Because fashion is about more than just clothes. Fashion is a means of individual expression, just like art. Fashion makes you think, stimulates, triggers and messes with the boundaries of aesthetics.

Perhaps fashion is not as revolutionary as conceptual art or as groundbreaking as literature, but within its own outline fashion likes to kick against sacred houses. This is how many trends start; a mildly shocking statement by a prominent fashion house - or nowadays often also an idiosyncratic social media individual - is picked up by "the masses" and then becomes mainstream.

And because it is about fashion - a concept that deals with appearances - the shocking factor is often something that "one" finds aesthetically ugly. And that then becomes "beautiful due to being ugly" over time. From anti-fashion to fashion.


As promised, a visual overview of what is going around in ugly-fashion land nowadays. We already mentioned the "ugly sneaker", which we wrote about earlier. But here are just a few more fresh examples.

Ugly sneaker

There are more letdowns! You've probably already seen the following walk around on the streets. The bath slippers. How ugly were those three-stripe Adidas slippers? You would rather die than wear them outdoors, would you? Just a while ago, yes, but now.. They are hip and happening, and exist in unimaginable colors and types. But to really top it off, the youth now wears them with white socks… WHITE SOCKS!

De sok

Speaking of socks. THE SOCK IS BACK. Back with a vengeance… yeah baby, read our lips. Real socks, mind you. So no, not the pantyhose (ooh that is a big no-no now). Colors, stripes, dots, Mickey Mouse, it doesn't matter, as long as it's the real sock.

  • Two years ago you weren't allowed to see any sock… And you went to a hell of a lot of trouble to keep your sock under the brim of your low cut sneakers.
  • Last year there was room for secret modest smidge of sock above your ugly sneaker.
  • And now we are suddenly going all the way, it's barely possible to keep track, isn't it? Ultimately, it is easy in the winter, with all those shorts that are too short and cold for the season. Two sides to every coin :-).

Oops, brainwave. Imagine; this year you will get socks from your father for Christmas, instead of the other way around. We pray that handkerchiefs don't become fashionable, that's where our predictable but oh-so-coveted annual Christmas perfume gift goes.

De Bumbag


Are you warmed up yet? We have more.

The bumbag - also called a fanny pack. (DO google for an etymological explanation haha) Back in the days just on your hip, but only for the gloomy traveler, not the fashionista. The times, they are a-changing ...

Little house on the prairie

The prairie dress. As in "Little house on the prairie" dress. Peers; you probably know them. Youngsters: there are repeats sometime in sight. Part of your fashion education. The silhouettes are getting wider again and this dress is certainly part of that. You can keep eating, and not a roll of fat to be seen under these poofy prairie dresses.

Little house on the prairie anno nu

The high-waisted pants. Just pull them above your belly button, because the post-hip pants mid-rise is here. Basta. It's old-fashioned and gone. The high waist is back, and how! In the beginning you'll think it looks bad, bluhhh ... but you get used to them and before you know it you are not taking off the high-waisted pants anymore. Because mind you… you no longer have to hoist your pants, they will stay up there automatically. And that without a belt. In addition, it is a lot more feminine than those pants that slouch around your hips. So, not ugly ... or yes ... or not ... we haven't decided yet, because ....



Yes, the fashionistas must of course exaggerate again. The above examples are quite tasteful. But to make those high-waist pants really ugly, you can go for the Mom jeans. The jeans as your mother wore them: nice and high so that the belly tucks in nicely, add a belt, not too tight and not wide, but leave room enough on the thigh to not make it sexy. Because Mom. Not Da Bomb.

A fine, faint wash, or - better yet - self-worn out (seriously, they just did that themselves. Noooo ... Yeah!) We would neeeever ever wear them like that. We were young and hip and wanted a flashy model pants on the hips so that our young love handles could freely enjoy every gust of wind. And no bad wash shenanigans were allowed on our pants, it had to be snow washed. Or, even better, acid-washed. Think again. The mom jeans are back on track too.


Mom jeans


The vintage photo below is a screenshot of a video made by the American talk show Saturday Night Live. They completely destroy those mom jeans ...

Video mom jeans




So, you have been briefed on 'ugly fashion'. Of course there are more examples, we have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg.

What we want to explain to you at last is the following acceptable psychological explanation for the fact that we embrace the ugly ducklings among the trends so enthusiastically. Today we seem to be confident enough to afford ugliness. (Don't overthink, just assume) We know our worth.

P.s; by 'we', of course, we mean us and you, all of us. no one is excluded, let's be clear on that :-).

Love, Nicole & Ilse