20 August 2008

The Secret to Starting a Successful Fashion Blog

You live for your Prada pea coat, foam at the mouth at the sight of a Birkin bag, and practically keep a spare mattress in the shoe department at Saks. Fashion is your obsession, your hobby and your life. So why shouldnít you have your own fashion blog? Heck, one day you could even get paid to write about the things you love to obsess over. Here are a few tips on how to get on the road to being a star fashion blogger.

  1. Set Up Your Blog : Obviously, one of the first things you will want to do is actually set up your blog, even if youíre not actively populating it with content yet. But when youíre bursting with inspiration and ready to write, you wonít want to wait. Use an easy template-driven host, like Blogger or WordPress. You are going to want your blog to represent your style and communicate that you are a savvy fashionista. So, make sure you use trendy colors, well-selected photos, and a smart design. While you can certainly find pre-designed templates and wallpapers on the internet or through your blog host site, you may even want to enlist the help of a graphic designer to help create an individual look that will set you apart from the others. As a fashionable person, you know firsthand that first impressions count.
  2. Join IFB: The Independent Fashion Bloggers organization is like a trade association for trendy-minded people like yourself. Ever hear the expression ìstronger in numbersî? Well, the IFB aims to be a resource and forum for non-corporate fashion bloggers trying to navigate the ins and outs of fashion blogging. The site was started by a blogger who began writing about fashion for fun, but found the process of going professional overwhelming and confusing. If you want your blog to turn a profit some day, IFB is a source youíll want to have in your proverbial notebook.
  3. Practice!: But before you try to make your new blog your bread and butter, get some practice writing for other blogs for money. It may sound sleazy at first, but getting compensated experience for blogging will help you better negotiate your own blog business down the road. You may not be able to find solely fashion gigs, but put yourself out there ñ apply for jobs that you feel are within your capabilities, learn from the experience and polish your writing chops in the process.
  4. Check Out the Competition : To truly make your blog stand out from the rest, youíre going to need to know whatís out there. Invest some time reading other fashion blogs, see whatís been done already and also whatís lacking in the world of fashion blogging. By spying on the competition, youíll discover how to make your blog unique and you might also generate some content ideas. For example, if youíre thinking about incorporating critique into your blog posts, then reading up on what people are praising and poo-pooing in the fashion world can give you a little ammunition for a strong editorial voice.
  5. Read Up: Aside from other fashion blogs, you will want to be very knowledgeable, if not expert, at what the major fashion magazines are covering and saying about the latest collections. While the fashion journalism industry is certainly changing rapidly and all print publications are creating stronger online presences, Vogue editor still trumps budding fashion blogger for seating assignments at New York Fashion Week. Maybe that will change one day. Maybe youíll be the person to do it. But for now staying on top of the mags is pretty important. If you can afford subscriptions, great; if not, spending an afternoon flipping through the pages of Glamour at your local library should do the trick. Oh, and donít forget the tabloids ñ since celebrities are the new supermodels youíll want to know whoís wearing who in Tinsel town.
  6. Keep Up with Designers : Another form of research youíll need to do is check in on the websites of major, and budding, designers. This is where youíll be able to investigate all pieces of present and past collections, as well as stay abreast of any news designers are putting forth in the world about runway shows, television appearances, and new collections. Staying on top of budding designers is just as important as staying on top of entrenched designers. Just because Versace is Versace doesnít mean they canít put out a horrible product from season to season. Noting when up-and-comers are outshining the old guard will be important when developing your content. Plus, viewing the websites of top designers is a great way to get inspiration for the design of your own website.
  7. Take a Class: If youíre an expert on fashion, but maybe donít have a ton of writing experience to speak of, taking a writing course can be a great way to get your feet wet and get some good advice on how to write well. Whether or not itís a blog writing course specifically doesnít really matter. Practice writing in any form and it will be helpful to you in the future. It will not only help you expand your vocabulary, but it will improve your sense of cadence. It could help your social life, as well as your blog business. Youíll get counseling from veteran professors and meet fellow budding writers, too.
  8. Go to Fashion Week : If you can swing it, actually attending some runway shows at Fashion Week in New York or going to other less-frenzied fashion shows will help you get some experience reporting on fashion from the trenches, allow you to make some great contacts, and give you a lot of credibility with your readers. Letís face it ñ not everyone can make it to Fashion Week and most of those who can go donít have a platform to write about it. Making the effort to attend trade events will show that you are serious about your craft and set you apart from your competition.
  9. Get Published : Another way to boost your profile is to get yourself published in print publications or on other fashion websites. Being able to bill yourself as a published, freelance fashion writer will help you attract readers and help you boost the circulation and number of hits on your blog. Certainly, getting published in the media isnít the most important thing you can do for your blog, but it canít hurt. And if your ultimate goal is to become a professional fashion writer, then it will help you further build a portfolio for future jobs.
  10. Go Shopping : Maybe the easiest thing you can do to help generate content and commentary for your blog is hit the mall! Whatís on the racks at Nordstroms? How do the knock-off fashions at retailers like Forever 21 stack up against the uber-popular and affordable garments at Banana Republic? Where can you get the cheapest replica of that Michael Kors bag? The first thing to remember about your readers is that most will likely not be in Paris Hiltonís tax bracket. To write about fashion well, you will need to include everyday, affordable designs in the conversation. Take your camera phone to document particularly exciting finds and add some graphics to your text.
  11. Test Your Theories: If youíre the kind of girl that likes to spend hours in front of the mirror throwing together random pieces of clothing and creating new styles, youíll need to know if what youíre creating looks good to others before announcing on your blog that youíre the next Rachel Zoe. While creating new looks is a great way to generate content and credibility for your blog, youíll want to test your theories before publication. So wear that orange jumper with the bright green stilettos out to the opening at the art gallery or to the trendy bar in town and see how people react. If you get a lot of compliments, youíll know youíve created a winner.
  12. Get Innovative : Donít worry about whether or not you have the most coveted closet or not. We canít all afford the latest and greatest items, but you can get creative with whatís within your budget. Perhaps that 10-year-old T-shirt could be put to better use than just lolling around in your throw-out bin? One thing to consider is possibly featuring a standing column on your blog where you write about ways the average girl can look like Mischa Barton by just using the stuff she already owns. Your readers will love you for dispensing advice they can really use.
  13. Consult an Expert : Aside from magazines and fashion blogs, believe it or not, stylists and designers alike have written books in which they have glorified their personal theories on how to be a style master. While staying on top of the trends is extremely important, gaining knowledge about the underlying principles that truly guide fashion will let you take things to a whole other level. Thereís a reason some style icons, like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, are considered timeless. The same ideas of beauty that they applied to their look in the 1950s and 1960s still ring true today.
  14. Get an ìItî Item : While you certainly donít need to have a closet full of Marc Jacobs, owning one ìitî item, like the coveted Birkin Bag or a pair of gladiator sandals, is really a must for a serious fashionista. Always having one ìitî item in your sights can also be a fun element for your blog ñ use a thermometer or some sort of visual measurement system on your blog to show your readers how close you are to reaching your savings goal for whatever item is next on your list. When you come home from the Prada boutique with your accessory in hand, your readers can rejoice with you. It also sends a message that there are some things that are lifelong and worth the extra effort and dollar to own. Not everything in a personís wardrobe should be considered disposable with the seasons.
  15. Be Seen: One of the most important things you can do for your blog, aside from populate it with excellent content, is market it. No one will read it if no one knows it exists. So get out there and network with your peers ñ be seen at important mixers, fashion shows, club openings, and other such happenings where fashion-forward people hang out. Boosting your contact list will help you spread the word about the work you are doing and get you well on your way to the blogging hall of fame!

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11 August 2008

NERD ALERT! TV’s 15 Most Memorable Nerds [PICS]

The formula for a successful sitcom usually includes one key component – the nerd. Whether the nerd is your typical geek with oversized glasses and high-waisted pants or the prim and proper male opera lover, sometimes a good TV show just needs someone to be the brunt of every joke or a character whose naïveté, gullibility or paranoia stands in sharp contrast to the wit and charm of the show’s leading men and women. Here’s a list of 15 lovable nerds who made our favorite TV shows all the better.

  1. Steve Urkel : The quintessential nerd with an annoying nasally voice, Steve Urkel captured the hearts and laughter of the American public with his dimwitted charm and high-water pants. Urkel, who was a magnet character on the sitcom “Family Matters”, was played by actor Jaleel White. On the show, Urkel was desperately in love with the character of Laura Winslow, and pestered her and her family day and night in his attempts to win her over. Urkel even had an alter ego named Stephan Urkel, who ended up being the lucky one to date Laura. Today, Jaleel White works mostly as the voice behind the “Sonic the Hedgehog” cartoon character and he has also had small guest roles in a few movies and prime time TV shows.
  2. Carlton Banks: Everyone knows about the exaggerated dance Carlton Banks, the nerdy, preppy cousin on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” made popular. Arms swinging side to side, face aglow, Carlton, played by actor Alfonso Ribeiro, made audiences, laugh and cry with his innocent portrayal of a proper guy who just wanted to be liked and who was the subject of his cousin’s constant ridicule. But the thing he will be most remembered for, aside from his stellar collection of argyle sweater vests, is The Carlton dance, which lives on today in You Tube clips. Recently, Ribeiro appeared as a contestant on the show “Celebrity Duets” and he also performs on the Disney Magic cruise ship.
  3. Screech : Actor Dustin Diamond is known today for being the most cantankerous contestant on “Celebrity Fit Club.” But in the 1990s, no one, probably not even his closest friends, could look at Diamond without thinking, “Screech.” Samuel “Screech” Powers was the uber-dorky high school student with a forever-cracking voice on “Saved By the Bell,” who like most nerd characters had it bad for Lisa, the beautiful, fashion-forward student who wouldn’t give him the time of day. Despite his nerdiness, though, Screech managed to run with the cool crowd, or at least tag along with them in exchange for doing their homework. Today Diamond performs stand up comedy and has been a recurring contestant on “Celebrity Fit Club”.
  4. Alex P. Keaton : Alex P. Keaton was the stiff, Republican teenager played by Michael J. Fox on the 1980s sitcom “Family Ties.” While Keaton was never the stereotypical “geek” obsessing over computers or chess, he was certainly a nerd in the sense that as a teen he worshipped Ronald Reagan and religiously read “The Wall Street Journal” each morning. Keaton’s character stood in sharp contrast to the other members of the “Family Ties” family – the ex-hippie parents, wild child sister, and smart-ass youngest sister. Keaton excelled at school and attended college on a full scholarship, where he finally started dating. After “Family Ties” was cancelled, Fox moved on to do movies and also starred on the sitcom “Spin City.” Today, Fox continues to act, despite the fact that he has been living with Parkinson’s disease for several years.
  5. Napoleon Dynamite : “Tina! Come get some ham!” This is just one line made quotable by Napoleon Dynamite, the nerd who starred in the breakout 2004 movie “Napoleon Dynamite.” Played by actor Jon Heder, Dynamite is a clueless geek living in rural Idaho with his equally clueless brother Kip, his adventurous grandmother, and their llama Tina. The movie is a chronicle of Dynamite’s unorthodox and awkward relationships with his family members and friends. Heder’s spot-on performance of an awkward teenager makes Napoleon Dynamite an instant classic, and while it wasn’t a TV show, Napoleon certainly deserves a spot on this list. Heder has gone on to star in other movies, like “School for Scoundrels” and “Blades of Glory.” Though none of his other movies have had the same success as “Napoleon Dynamite,” he has proven to be a marketable performer.
  6. Skippy: If Alex P. Keaton was a nerd in a more political sense, Skippy stepped in to fill the stereotypical geek shoes on “Family Ties.” Erwin “Skippy” Handelman was the next door neighbor who, like many nerd characters, had an undying crush on Mallory Keaton, the wild-child daughter of the Keaton family played by Justine Bateman. Of course, Mallory did not share the same affections. Though Skippy was never a fully-developed character, he was a frequent guest at the Keaton house, always creating socially awkward situations with his ill-at-ease demeanor. He would sputter and stutter and withstand rejection from Mallory time and again. Played by actor Marc Price, he has had few other big roles since “Family Ties” went off the air. He did host the Disney game show “Teen Win, Lose, or Draw” from 1989 to 1992 and was also a short-lived contestant on “Last Comic Standing.”
  7. Potsie Webber : Potsie Webber was the “aw-shucks”, eager-to-please best friend of Richie Cunningham on the old sitcom “Happy Days.” Played by Anson Williams, Potsie was a gullible and innocent tag along who was comically terrible at basketball. Good-natured, but square, Potsie was generally accepted by the other characters, but not taken as seriously. After “Happy Days,” Anson went on to become a TV director and has called the shots on many shows, like “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Star Trek Voyager,” and “Charmed,” just to name a few.
  8. Niles Crane: Uppity and snobbish, Niles Crane was the nerdy brother of Frasier Crane on the sitcom “Frasier.” Nerdy because he was intelligent and cultured, Niles Crane was known for his love of classical music, fine wines, and theater. Niles was played by David Hyde Pierce, who nailed the character’s squeamish nature. Though a successful psychoanalyst in Seattle, Niles had a hefty list of his own issues, including a phobia of sitting on public chairs and benches. For fun, when he’s not at the opera, Niles could have probably been found on the squash courts or fencing. Pierce won several Emmy’s for his portrayal of Niles, and when “Frasier” went off the air in 2005, Pierce turned to supporting roles in films like “Hellboy” and also to Broadway. He’s appeared in both “Spamalot” and “Curtains,” for the latter of which he won a Tony Award.
  9. Kenneth : Kenneth the Page is an innocent boy from rural Georgia who takes his role as an NBC page quite seriously. Raised by his pig-farming parents, Kenneth’s story is that he left the backwoods life for Kentucky Mountain Bible College, after which he headed north to New York City. Gullible and optimistic, Kenneth sports a deep southern accent and smiley disposition. He loves his entry-level job and approaches it with all the earnestness and sincerity of a CEO. In some episodes Kenneth wears a T-shirt that says “I LOVE Television” and his character has even knitted his grandmother a swimsuit with the NBC peacock on it. Kenneth is played by Jack McBrayer, who is himself from Georgia. McBrayer rose to fame much like “30 Rock’s” creator Tina Fey – through improv and Chicago’s Second City theater.
  10. Buster : For many fans, the canceling of “Arrested Development” after only three seasons was not only a mystery, but a crime. The show had some of the best developed characters to ever appear on TV, including the sniveling Buster Bluth, the youngest child of the Bluth family who was incapable of living more than 20 feet away from his mother. With his thick, black glasses and litany of sweater vests, Buster is a spoiled and lovable idiot, who is easily tricked by his family and quite unable to do anything for himself. But he was certainly a quotable character. When told there was going to be buckets and buckets of a corn-syrup “blood” mixture at a Halloween party, Buster replied, “We have unlimited juice? This party’s going to be off the hook!” Buster is played by Tony Hale, an actor who has also appeared in movies like “Stranger than Fiction” and “Because I Said So.” He is currently doing voice work for an upcoming children’s movie.
  11. Dwight Schrute: Played by actor Rainn Wilson, Dwight is the grumpy, resident nerd on the American version of “The Office”. Lacking fashion sense or a sense of humor, Dwight is a pessimistic man who has a deep love for both authority and Jack Bauer on the show “24”. In his spare time, Dwight is a volunteer sheriff, paintball enthusiast, and beet farmer. He is the frequent butt of jokes from his co-workers, and he is notorious for getting along with very few of them. Wilson is an accomplished actor who played an assistant mortician on “Six Feet Under” before landing the role of Dwight. He has also appeared in guest roles on several TV programs. In 2008, Wilson will star in the comedy film “The Rocker.”
  12. George Michael Bluth : Like his uncle Buster, George Michael Bluth is a bit shy and wary of the world. But unlike Buster, George Michael is a smart kid who perhaps is one of the only members of the Bluth family with any knowledge of how strange they are. Michael Cera, the actor who portrayed George Michael, nailed the character’s awkward and clumsy personality. George Michael is a star student who can frequently be found doing homework at his desk under the bunk bed he shares with his cousin, Maeby, who he is in love with despite the fact that they’re related. He is dedicated to helping his father save the family business and fix the family’s financial problems. To that end he works frequently as manager of the family Frozen Banana Stand on the beach. Though not a lady’s man, George Michael does eventually start dating a girl named Ann in the second season who is homely and strict. Cera, who made a big name for himself on “Arrested Development”, has gone on to star in hit movies like “Superbad” and “Juno.”
  13. Jerri Blank : Jerri Blank is an unsightly, 46-year-old loser with ruined teeth, an ugly smile, and terrible fashion sense, who after years of being a drug addict, prostitute and thief decides to return to high school to finish her diploma. But despite her hard life, Blank is a somewhat witless and naïve freshman, who is trying her darndest to fit in. Created by comedienne Amy Sedaris and her peers Steven Colbert, Paul Dinello, and Mitch Rouse, “Strangers with Candy” was intended as a play on the cheesy afterschool specials of the 1980s. Amy Sedaris has an impressive list of comedy work under her belt and is also the sister of famed writer David Sedaris, who she frequently collaborates with on his audio books.
  14. Ugly Betty: Ugly Betty, whose character’s real name is Betty Suarez, is a sweet girl with braces and a bad wardrobe who somehow landed a job as a personal assistant at one of the country’s top fashion magazines, “Mode.” Betty is looked down upon by her co-workers for her clear lack of fashion sense and dowdiness, though Betty is determined not to let this spoil her good-nature. She is dedicated to taking care of her family at the expense of her personal life, though in Season 2 she does develop a romantic involvement with a deli owner. Played by American Ferrera, who has been in movies like “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” Ferrera won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role as Betty in 2007.
  15. Millhouse: Millhouse is the nearsighted best friend of Bart Simpson on “The Simpsons”, whose full name is Mussolini Millhouse Van Houten. He is one of the most quotable characters on the cartoon show and he is frequently abused and manipulated by Bart, who likes to take advantage of his friend’s willing and kind nature. Millhouse is often beaten up and tortured by school bullies and he has even been run over by a train and electrically shocked. He has a huge crush on Bart’s sister Lisa, who is also something of a nerd, and is famed for being the only person in the fictional town of Springfield with eyebrows.

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4 August 2008

Fashion Faux Pas: Trends from the 90′s

New Kids on the Block, Luke Perry, Beanie Babies – just a few fads from the 1990s that are better left alone and repressed in the darkest corners of our minds. But beyond these wincing examples lays the real culprit of the 20th Century’s last decade – the God-awful fashions that in hindsight leave us all with the burning question — what were we wearing? Granted each decade has its own fashion faux pas to reconcile, but at least most other time periods could be credited for having a modicum of character. Trendy clothing in the 1990s seems to have been made for either out-of-touch soccer moms or the homeless. Here are some of the, um, “interesting” trends of the decade. Enjoy reminiscing!

  1. MC Hammer Pants: M.C. Hammer may not be remembered for his vast contributions to music, but he will forever go down in history as the man who brought possibly one of the worst clothing items of all time to popularity. Hammer Pants, also known to some as Diaper pants, first came on the scene in the late 1980s, but carried over into the first part of the 1990s.
  2. “Button Your Fly” Shirts: OK, so this is just a campaign slogan printed on a T-shirt – how bad can it be? Well, considering the level of saturation these shirts had in the market, pretty bad. Rough cotton, an unflattering cut, and the fact that people tended to sport the shirt smugly and with a suppressed giggle at the slogan’s suggestiveness, renders this fad a shoe-in for the garbage pile.
  3. Neon Colors: It’s possible to debate whether or not the popularity of neon colors can be attributed to the 1980s or the 1990s, but personal memories place this trend squarely in the late and early part of both. Unique shades of pink, green, and what was bewilderingly classified as yellow graced mostly every piece of trendy clothing from ski jackets to jeans. Yep, neon jeans. Jealous you missed this one? No worries, it seems like many modern designers are trying to bring neon into style. Stay tuned as neon becomes fashionable in the form of custom neon shirts and custom neon tank tops.
  4. Butterfly Clips: If you were a raver girl or if you were simply alive between 1996 and 1999, you’ve probably seen and/or worn these cutsie little butterfly clips, which were sported by many an “alterna-teen” during the time period. Popular among raver girls in particular, these clips were usually implemented to somewhat girlify some of the decade’s wardrobe standards, like combat boots and severe eye makeup. They were also the one feminine accessory popular among females of the Goth persuasion, but today would probably only be attractive to the 5- to 7-year-old crowd.
  5. Scrunchies: Oh, the scrunchie. Perhaps one of the most widespread, staple pieces of any female’s wardrobe in the 1990s, the scrunchie – a big, bulky, overdone hair accessory – practically rendered plain ponytail holders and elastics obsolete. And any girl with a basic knowledge of a needle and thread is probably guilty of trying to start their own homegrown scrunchie business, or at least crafting their own supply – custom made to match various neon outfits.
  6. Flannel: What trend did a bunch of heroin addicts and your father make famously popular in the early to mid-1990s? Oversize, beat-up flannel shirts worn unbuttoned over a plain T-shirt. Following the fashion lead of Seattle musicians who rarely bathed, many a teenager could be classified as “grunge” in the 1990s, slumming around in frumpy, holey flannel shirts either stolen from the closet of a familial adult male or purchased at a thrift store. How this lumberjack-on-sedatives look became so chic is beyond comprehension. Thanks Kurt Cobain!
  7. Overalls: Farmer or fashionista? If you were spotted wearing overalls in the 1990s, you would fortunately be considered the latter. Iowa residents had never been so effortlessly “in vogue”. But, overalls are ugly, so this trend had a short lifespan on it from the outset (especially when considered it was “the bomb” to wear them with only one strap fastened). And while some designers are trying with all their might to bring some this awful fashion back into style, here’s to hoping the overall stays dead in the morgue.
  8. Doc Martens: On the surface, Doc Martens don’t seem so bad. They actually have a pretty simple, no-frills, albeit clunky, design. So maybe it’s just the way that they were implemented in the 1990s that made them so awful. Worn most typically with light, taper-cut jeans or a short Union Jack dress, these shoes were supposed to lend an edge to a person’s image, but really just succeeded in making them look like a 3-year-old in their parent’s shoes.
  9. Stirrup Pants: Oh the horror of stirrup pants, which were so very popular during the early part of this decade. Spandex leggings that wrapped around the bottom of a woman’s foot, there isn’t much to say about stirrups other than they were just bad, bad, bad on so many levels. While leggings have come back with a vengeance in recent days, attempts to resurrect the stirrup have, thankfully, failed thus far.
  10. Sun-In: Want to go blond? No prob! Just head down to your local Walgreen’s or CVS and pick up a handy bottle of Sun-In. A few spritzs and in no time you’ll have … splotchy orange hair. Sun-In succeeded in convincing a whole population of girls with a blond ambition that the product could make them look like Madonna with just a few hours at the beach. Unfortunately, this claim wasn’t exactly true. A whole other “Just Say No” campaign should have been created for this product and for the orange hair it produced.
  11. Umbros: There may be some clueless soccer players out there who still wear Umbros because they either think they’re still cool or because they appreciate their functionality. But you didn’t have to be David Beckham to rock these bi-tonal, parachute shorts in the 90s – they were popular with just about every guy, no matter whether they were on Varsity or the Chess Team. I’ve even seen one daring dude wear them over a pair of taper-cut jeans. True story.
  12. Jean Cut Offs: Another arguable trend, jean cut-offs can be and have been done in an attractive manner before. But in the 1990s, the look was generally botched. Consider the fact that the trend was to wear your cut-offs knee length and then delicately roll them to hide any frayed edges. Oh, and don’t forget to pair the outfit with a nice, thick set of scrunchy socks and some Keds. No bueno.
  13. White & Colored Denim: Another trend trying desperately to elbow its way back into mainstream society, courtesy of kitsch designers like American Apparel and Marc Jacobs, is colored and white denim. The way this craze played out in the 1990s is truly a movement to be forgotten like yesterday’s news. I don’t care who you are, purple jeans are not awesome.
  14. Hot Pink Leggings: Unless you are Cyndi Lauper, you should stay far away from hot pink leggings. In the 1990s, people liked to sport oversized button down shirts over these awful things (some of them with stirrup feet) and the bolder the pattern on your shirt to complement the craziness of your leggings, the better.
  15. Champion Sweatshirts: “All I need in this world is a turtleneck and a crew cut Champion sweatshirt.” This seemed to be the mantra of the less fashion-forward crowd in the 1990s. Preppies and jocks alike loved sporting this combination, especially if they lived in colder climates. Champion is still around making sportswear, but thankfully no one confuses the brand for being “designer” anymore.
  16. Glitter: Send another thank you card to the raver kids for introducing facial glitter as an annoying fad in the 1990s. Maybe they took too many drugs or maybe girls covered in glitter just looked better when they took too many drugs – who knows. While having a shimmer to one’s face is nice, chunks of gelled glitter (usually concentrated near the eyes) is really not too suave looking unless you are a member of Jem and the Holograms.
  17. Tapered Jeans: The 1980s had tight roll, or “peg-leg,” jeans. In the 1990s, it seems designers were more concerned with helping people be more efficient in the morning. Hence the taper cut jean – pants already pegged – which helped people in shaving a good 30 seconds off the getting-ready-for-school routine, in addition to helping them look like total idiots once they got there. The cherry on top of the tapered jean look was the fact that the pants were usually cut with a pretty high waist, making people’s thighs appear enormous and their asses long.
  18. Manic Panic: People who were really rebellious in the 1990s usually had a nice hearty supply of Manic Panic stored under their bathroom sink. That way, whenever they had an unruly whim, they could instantly change their hair color from Vampire Red to Electric Lizzard (the latter of which glows under a black light – score!) The number of teenagers who shaved a good 10 years off their parents’ life spans using these hideous hair dyes is large. Surely it’s not worth damaging your parents’ health just so you can look like an alien.
  19. Chain Wallets: Chain wallet = tough. And if you wanted to maintain a cool air of apathy in the 1990s, you had to have a chain wallet. It was requisite, and it was wrong. Let’s leave this trend to Harley Davidson enthusiasts and janitors.
  20. Body Suits: Akin to the taper-cut jean and the stirrup pant, one can only assume that the body suit was designed by the same proficient clothing maker who knows that life is short and every second should be relished. From a functional standpoint the body suit, a glorified swimsuit meant to be worn with jeans or under business suits, seems to have been created so that people don’t have to tuck their shirts in – timesaver! But, in retrospect, there is something wildly inappropriate about the body suit. Plus, can we talk about how much less daunting the lady’s room seemed once this fad died off?
  21. The Rachel: On some level, Jennifer Aniston must be embarrassed. Sure, the boxy, layered haircut she sported on “Friends” was all the rage for a few years, with girls and women clamoring to their salons for the same treatment (author included). But in hindsight, this cut was sort of cheesy and really not super flattering to too many facial structures. Like the trucker hat craze of more recent times, The Rachel is one look that is best left forgotten.
  22. Raver Pants: If you can go swimming in your pants without even being near water, then something is wrong. These gi-normous pants popularized in the rave culture, and manufactured by brands like Jnco and Kikwear, really marked one of the lower points of the decade. While baggy pants have always been associated with a level of thuggishness, these pants were so baggy they could easily be mistaken for skirts or culottes on steroids, thereby reversing the effect that many ravers were surely going for.
  23. Fanny Packs: Unless you are a 60-year-old American woman sightseeing in Paris, you should be utterly ashamed of ever wearing a fanny pack in public. For a time though, this was considered acceptable for pretty much anyone, even the popular crowd. Maybe it was done with the “it’s-so-awful-it’s-cool” mentality, but that train of thought should have been derailed before it even left the station.
  24. Chunky Shoes: Brought back from the 1970s, chunky shoes were a “must-have” item for a woman’s closet in the previous decade. The higher and more clunky they were the better. In fact, they were so popular a Stanford undergrad even did his thesis on the very fad (see link above). But when your shoes weigh more than your book bag, you might want to take a serious at your life. Thankfully this badly-implemented style came and went with the wind.
  25. Starter Jackets: Once Starter Jackets were so popular that it was possible to get shot for owning a particularly nice one. Now, you would just be ridiculed. Brought to popularity by the hip-hop crowd, puffy Starter Jackets were a thing to have for every “gangsta” and townie on the scene, and enthusiasts were famous for refusing to ever remove theirs, even in indoor spaces with the heat on high. Mysteriously the fad disappeared without a trace, leaving kids to shoot each other over lesser things, like sneakers.

With as bad as some of these trends maybe were, they weren’t all THAT bad, were they? They were fun, at least for their time, and that’s all that matters. Now you might not want to rush out and get some Hammer pants to celebrate the 90′s, one thing you can do is customize a t-shirt, which never goes out of style! Express your love of the 90′s with a customized t-shirt!

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