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All the controversial trends making a questionable return to fashion

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Like Bella Hadid and her pedal pushers or Addison Rae and her belly chains, those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it

The back and forth of the trend cycle is often described as a giant pendulum swing – its lollipop head coursing through culture in neat, 20-year rhythms. It’s probably more useful, though, to think of these trends as in constant orbit. Because today, at least, nothing truly disappears. TikTok’s mishmashing of subcultures, style tribes, and fashion fads can attest to that. So, what we’re left with is an endless solar system of stuff. As we speak, a lonely pair of Jeffrey Campbell Litas are ebbing past an American Apparel leotard, looped by Evisu jeans and plastic Kanye West shutter shades. All of which are primed to come careering right back into the mainstream, by the way.

That being said, some trends can still soar too close to the sun. See dad trainers or skinny jeans, which were everywhere until they were suddenly nowhere, frittering like Catherine wheels back into the black expanse – i.e. Leicester Square nightclubs and adult ball pit bars. And since fashion was forced to make a challenging pivot to digital over the past year, designers have found themselves competing with pretty much everything else online for a just fraction of our attention – meaning their authority over what we want to wear has become increasingly slippery. Because of this, many have hawked our current relationship with fashion as “post-trend”. For young people, though, that is both dramatic and inaccurate. 

On TikTok, Depop, and, less so, Instagram, all the aesthetic tropes of the Y2K era continue to barrel back into fashion’s vernacular like burning asteroids. We’ve seen the return of low slung trousers, kitten heels, saddle bags, and Juicy Couture tracksuits, to honestly name but a few. And where fashion once traded in novelty, nostalgia has apparently set up real estate. The same has happened with music. If Olivia Rodrigo spearheaded an aughts pop-punk revival, then surely PinkPantheress heralds the second coming of Lily Allen prom dresses and Air Force 1s? After all, those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. From pedal pushers, to teeth gems, to bandeau dresses, here, we round-up all of the most questionable trends weaseling their way back into fashion.