Ugly is the New Cool: A theory

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Fila Disruptor 2 Mule.  Photo via    @filausa

Fila Disruptor 2 Mule. Photo via @filausa

In the past few years, I’ve noticed the tide of fashion shift from a calm lapping to a wacky, wavy whirlpool. Your normal outfit formula was based on prior trends or styles, with classic pieces strung into it. Nowadays, celebrities and others mix and match different patterns and styles together to create something that quite frankly looks … ugly. From turning biker shorts into a daily (and wearable) occurrence to the famous chunky Fila sneakers, many are choosing to create their own style with out-of-the-box pieces that would have been shunned 10 years ago. Many believe this “anti-fashion” movement is in response to the decades of oversexualized women’s fashion or as a way to stand out in a world of influencers. Today, we’ll strip apart the “ugly fashion” trends to finally understand what makes it tick.   

Chunky Filas 

Known as the most ambivalent shoe of recent years (aside from Crocks), the Fila Disruptor II is a trend that not many people understand. Released in 1996, the chunky sneaker recently made a comeback amid a rush of ‘90s nostalgia in fashion. Alongside this trend, copycats such as Sketchers, K-Swiss and even Balenciaga jumped on the chunky-white sneaker bandwagon as well. These sneakers show a resistance to conformity, as earlier sneakers such as Converse or Vans sported very thin soles. Many also love the irony of wearing the same silhouette as Nike’s or New Balance’s “dad shoes.”  

The “Window” Jeans 


Clear “window jeans”.  Photo courtesy of    codefnn.com

Clear “window jeans”. Photo courtesy of codefnn.com

Many probably remember the viral internet trend of 2017, “window jeans,” a pair of plain mom-jeans with a plastic cut out at the knee. Created by Topshop, these jeans not only let your knees look out into the world but was almost a way to poke fun at the many oversexualized “cut-outs” in women’s clothing. 

Baggy Fashion 


Billie Eilish sporting baggy designer sweatshirts and basketball shorts.  Photo via    @billieeilish

Billie Eilish sporting baggy designer sweatshirts and basketball shorts. Photo via @billieeilish

In the recent months, many designer brands started loosening the fits on their clothing. Popularized by singer Billie Eilish, many are seen sporting high-price, designer sweatshirts, basketball shorts and shirts that are “800 sizes bigger,” as Eilish told Huffington Post in an interview on March 10. Along with being a trendsetter, Eilish also noted her reasons for dressing in baggy clothing stem from a deeper issue: Her clothes serve as a way to avoid body-shaming.  

Breaking the rules  


Models sporting different prints and colors.  Photo via    @manrepeller

Models sporting different prints and colors. Photo via @manrepeller

It seems as though the entire team at Man Repeller has this down to a science: mix-matching clothes and making them work. I swear, they’re all wizards. I’m talking cheetah patterns with plaid, or pairing workout leggings with business attire. These days, everywhere you look you can see others taking a leap and working with bright colors to create outfits that look fun as a way to freshen up fashion for the new era.  


Caroline LeCour is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at caroline.lecour@uconn.edu.

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