Has anyone else noticed a shift in the air? The Earth spinning backwards? Did the world end in 2012, and some higher power is just fucking with us now? Cause the ugly, weird, and stupid are in, and normal, straightedge (and yeah, boring) is out. Everywhere you look, be it your For You page on Instagram or the Science Faculty student hub, people dare to look ridiculous. I’m not some fashion expert (I wore my Intermediate PE shorts ‘til I was 18); I’m just calling it how I see it. But there’s some truly hateful shit on the loose—and we can’t help but love it. Right now everyone is obsessed with wearing the absurd and the outrageous, bizarre and off-beat: the kind of stuff that would get you bullied for on Mufti Day in Year 9. It ain’t all bad, but it certainly ain’t all good.
Fashion comes and goes but style is forever. Please let this be true, because some of these fads are getting out of control. Oodies, full on sleeping bag onesies, and similar oversized frumpy fineries are the new loungewear (and by New World Metro eyewitness accounts, outside-wear) trend. They’re also a testament that just because one size fits all, doesn’t mean it should. Sure, they’re comfortable and yes, it’s like being in a 24/7 Huggies ad but for your entire body, but put the Oodie hood up and you start looking like a yassified Jabba the Hutt. I’ve even heard of people fucking in the oodie. Hey, if the marshmallow look is what gets you off then who am I to judge?
Full disclosure, I’m guilty of falling into the Oodie trap. I was a cynic at first but caved after some good fashioned flat peer pressure. And now I get it. It’s a cold, harsh world out there: we’ve got a global pandemic, war, iffy human rights violations—sometimes you need to be touched in a way only an XXXXL sherpa fleece-lined Oodie can provide. And with Covid still lurking, why shouldn’t we settle for the next best thing to a skin-to-skin contact?
The hypebeast needs to be put down. Walk through OGGB and you’ll be sure to cringe a little at the walking billboards that influencers on Alpha male Tiktok are trying to pass as a ‘fit’. Fit check! You look insane. And tacky. This trend of wearing big brand names is proof money doesn’t buy taste. Gucci, Supreme, Huffer—I’m looking at you. The colours are garish, the logos loud and obnoxious, the patterns look ripped from the wallpaper of a 1970’s American suburbia nightmare. For designer brands, their designs look like the monopoly man went wild on photoshop.
And the SHOES. Balenciaga, and all those other ‘luxury brands’, explain yourself. Why do your shoes look like ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ rip-offs? Can people actually walk in them? DO people actually walk in them, since they cost more than my student loan? If you’re walking around with those destroyed Balenciaga shoes that cost $3000 NZD, I’m gonna rob you. And you know you’d deserve it.
It makes for decent satire if people didn’t buy into it so much. Anti-socialist Social Club. Surely, y’all can’t enjoy looking like free ad space? Maybe it’s because we’re all suckers for a fake it ‘til you make it; opulence gives the appearance of success. If it’s daddy’s money, play dress up until it’s yours. Or maybe there’s a subconscious psychological aspect, like those animals that use warning colours to tell others to fuck off. If I see a gaggle of boys decked out in Yeezy, Stussy, and that weird heart with eyes brand, I’m crossing the road—I don’t want to hear about the genius that is Kanye.
What goes around comes around, and like me reusing one of my Editor-in-Chief’s articles on Y2K clothing, Y2K is back with a vengeance. Some of it is arguably tolerable: low-rise pants, fur coats, and a cheeky thong. But crocs? Animal print skinny jeans? Sorry, I’m passing on this one.
Where were the TikTok girlies when kids ripped the shit out of me for wearing crocs to school in Year 7? I needed you, especially when it rained and my crocs let me down. And skinny jeans have always been a no. Don’t even try to dress them up with a snake-skin print. You can call it kitsch, camp, but it just looks like an animal rights abuse—and a bad one at that. People love nostalgia and revamping things (even stylistic abominations) to keep it relevant, so no wonder we can’t shake the mistakes of Y2K. We can all admit that the 2000s were pretty cringe. The clothes were trashy, the media was sexist, the music was super sexual; not much has changed. But we love that boldness and that quirky charm so much we’re trying to relive it.
If we’re all just saying “fuck it” at this point and throwing on whatever counts as clothes, there’s a few things I’d like to see more of:
Underwear as outerwear. It’s not just for 80s superheroes! Wearing your underwear over whatever you’re wearing proudly proclaims that yes, you do shit, and yes, you’re free to check. Flaunt that Bendon Outlet lingerie and show off those Calwen Kelin knock-off briefs.
How about those inflatable sumo costumes white people think are crack up to wear to house parties? They’re unflattering, politically incorrect, and makes any movement a pain—it’s everything that makes anything fashioniable so attractive. Cultural appropriation will always be in style anyway, so go and put your own unique spin on it!
Or donate your clothes and go naked. Spurn social norms. Reject modernity. Get arrested for public indecency. Be issued a Mt Eden Prison uniform. Serve face in your mugshots. Sell your uniform on Grailed™ as ‘Ted Bundy couture’ for 10k (not including shipping). Rinse and repeat as necessary.
So, why do we love ugly? Perhaps it’s because the absurd and the obscene just make sense in this current cultural moment. We are living in unprecedented times afterall, and the laws of unattractiveness are being rewritten along with the rest of society’s rules. Or maybe we as Gen Z are just a bit cooked. Our humour is broken and so are our fashion sensibilities. Everything is a meme now including our clothes—the uglier the better.
But honestly, who cares what you’re wearing except for you? Certainly not me, who wrote this article in my beloved oodie and my girlfriend’s Hello Kitty headband. And certainly not the hottie you dressed to impress (and ended up 10 minutes late to class for). If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, wear some glasses—make it ugly.