All the Controversial Fashion Trends We Loved to Hate in 2018

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Balaclava Rihanna
Photo: Courtesy of @BadGalRiRi

As much as fashion is an expression of the time in which it exists, it can also be a challenge lobbied at the establishment. Case in point: 2018’s bizarro-world crop of trends that caused one highly respected fashion journalist to wonder if fashion designers are collectively trolling us all.

As some trends that we thought we relegated to the fashion graveyard have come staggering back to life thanks to the interest of certain influencers (and other fashion don’ts became fashion dos), we’ve learned to take it all with a grain of salt, a tongue planted firmly in cheek, and eventually, ironic acceptance. From fashion Crocs courtesy of Balenciaga and fanny packs that come straight from the ateliers of glorified Gucci to hideous-on-purpose sneakers, these are the trends we’ve loved to hate in 2018. Vote for your favorite – or least favorite as it were – in the poll below.


Fashion Crocs

Our first instinct is to make fun of Crocs, but the stark reality of the situation is this: when the Balenciaga platform version was put up on the Barneys New York e-tail site in February for pre-order, they sold out in an hour. Christopher Kane’s fashion Crocs have also fared well at retail level. Now you’re probably asking, “Who on earth is buying them?!” Well, allow us to direct you to influencers like Susie Bubble, Julia Mateian, and Charlotte de Carle.

Charlottee de Carle fashion crocs
Photo: Courtesy of @CharlotteDeCarle


When the balaclava – a face-obscuring knit mask that first appeared during the Crimean War in 1853 – debuted on the Calvin Klein Fall/Winter 2018 runway, we were a bit frightened. And then Rihanna wore one to Coachella 2018, and managed to make it look fashion-forward. While they are hardly practical for a region that never gets cold enough to justify a full-face mask, they have become popular among celebrities trying to dodge the paparazzi.

Balaclava Rihanna
Rihanna at Coachella 2018 | Photo: Courtesy of @BadGalRiRi


Of all of the trends on this love-to-hate list, scrunchies are the most innocuous. What did a scrunchie ever do except look a little bit dowdy perched atop the heads of so many frazzled housewives? According to Carrie Bradshaw, the modern woman would never be caught dead in a scrunchie, but models and influencers beg to differ. They’ve made a roaring comeback in 2018 and, when matched to an outfit, they’re actually kind of cute.

Hailey Baldwin scrunchie hair
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Really Oversized Hats

If you follow any fashion girls on Instagram, you’ve no doubt noticed the proliferation of immensely oversized hats all over your feed. You can credit French cult brand Jacquemus for the sudden appearance of massive hats in 2018. Not only are they head-turning, eye-catching, and big enough to cloak your entire body while you’re lounging on the beach, but they also look rather fabulous in photos and actually protect you from the sun.

Emily Ratajkowski oversized hat
Photo: Courtesy of @EmRata

Bike Shorts

When Bella Hadid appeared at the Cannes film festival in Yeezy bike shorts and Bulgari diamonds, we did the ultimate spit take. Somehow, the glowing model made bike shorts look, well, luxurious. Ever since then, we’ve noticed a huge uptick in bike shorts worn by models, influencers, and celebrities. Yes, they’re practical, but are they fashion?

Bella Hadid Bike shorts
Photo: Courtesy of Splash News

Itsy Bitsy Sunglasses

We declared the death of this trend last week, but women are still wearing itsy bitsy sunglasses. Let it be over. Please?

Olivia Culpo tiny sunglasses
Photo: Courtesy of @OliviaCulpo

Fanny Packs

A recent trip to a massive theme park convinced us of the practicality of fanny packs – their hands-free nature is just too good to pass up. With Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Saint Laurent all getting in on the fanny pack game, it’s become harder and harder to hate this trend. 

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Ugly Sneakers

In defiance of prevailing standards of “good taste”, ugly sneakers first appeared on the fashion scene last year and have continued to dominate in 2018 – credit the ubiquity of the Louis Vuitton ‘Archlight’ and chunky FILA ‘Ray’ sneakers, but this shoe trend isn’t going anywhere. They might be a blight on the footwear landscape, but at least they’re comfortable.

Caro Daur ugly sneakers
Photo: Courtesy of @CaroDaur
What do you think?

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