The origins of fads are usually untraceable as they gain instant popularity overnight. Numerous fads have graced the world’s history. Their popularity has ranged from a few months to many years. However, they are quick to be pushed into oblivion as well as disappear without any trace. Here is a list of the top 10 crazy fads that dominated the world and were gloriously burned to the ground. Find out what was popular when your parents were kids, or take a nostalgic trip down memory lane from your own childhood.
1. Sagging Pants: Sagging pants fashion originated from the United States prisons where belts are not allowed.
Made famous by hip-hop artists and skaters in the 1990s, this fad is considered to be part of the evolution of urban, hip-hop culture over the past three decades. These sagging pants originated in the United States prison systems were belts are often prohibited due to safety concerns and lack of appropriately sized clothing. Sagging pants were exclusively a part of the urban male fashion industry.
The trend has been further fuelled by men wearing brightly colored and patterned boxer shorts. The trend gained popularity in the 1990s and remained popular until the 2000s. The popularity of these droopy drawers declined in the 2000s after many local governments, schools, transit systems, and airlines passed laws and regulations against them. In states like Louisiana, wearing sagging pants is deemed as indecent exposure. Laws, hefty fines, and short-term imprisonment have played a crucial role in curbing this trend. (1, 2)
2. Fanny Pack: Every traveler went gaga with these small, fabric pouches usually secured with a zipper and worn by use of a strap around the hips or waist.
Considered to be a rage in the 1990s, fanny packs are small, fabric pouches that are secured around the hips. The pack was usually strapped to the front of the body to protect them from bandits. Since these packs are worn in the front, it is safer from pickpockets. The modern version gained popularity in the 1980s and is worn by every tourist to store their essentials.
These packs were used to identify out-of-place tourists and are usually used to evoke tourist stereotypes. Their popularity began to wane after the 1990s as they were considered to be old-fashioned. Several high-end designers tried to bring back these packs by selling them at around $1,995 but tasted little success. However, these bags are still used by elderly people to keep their things at a single place. (1, 2)
3. Emo: Emo fashion included people wearing skinny jeans, tight t-shirts with names of emo bands, poker straight hair, studded belts, converse sneakers, vans, and black wristbands.
Emo style is normally characterized by music that is considered to be highly emotional, angry, and vulnerable. It is usually associated with the image of dark and dramatic fashion. The “emo style” is regarded as having a sweeping fringe, loose black clothes, and heavily lined eyes. The phase was further fuelled by mid-1980s hard-core punk movement in the United States. The emotional intimacy between the bands and their fans became a fully-fledged underground movement.
The look was commonly characterized by studded belts usually worn two or three at a time, writing things on a piece of paper and taking a selfie with it, bangs that defied gravity with very short layers, crazily addicted to Pete Wentz, his signature music, and clandestine moves. During the end of the millennium, the boundaries were blurred with many people moving out of the phase. (source)
4. Grills: A dental fashion trend in hip-hop culture consisting of custom made removable mouthpiece made of gold, platinum or silver and sometimes inlaid with precious stones. These were made popular by celebrities such as Nelly, Paul Wall, and Dirty South rappers
Grills, also commonly known as “grilz,” “fronts,” or “golds,” is a type of jewelry that is worn over the front teeth. They are usually made of metal and are easily removable. The trend started in the early 1980s and was made famous by hip-hop artists in New York City. Grills were synonymous with top hip-hop stars who used them to show off their wealth and success.
Celebrities like Nelly and Flavor Fav began flashing their grills all over the television. It wasn’t long enough before all of Hollywood wanted some bling action. Their popularity faced a gradual decline as these grills caused allergic reactions due to the presence of base metals. Moreover, they were banned in numerous school districts for disciplinary and health-related reasons. (source)
5. Rachel Haircut: Many women in the 1990s started cutting their hair in the same hairstyle as Jennifer Aniston’s character “Rachel” on the popular television sitcom Friends.
The world of haircuts has gone through a tremendous change, but nothing can beat the popularity of the “Rachael” haircut. This iconic haircut was debuted by Jennifer Aniston on the set of Friends in 1995. Named after the character, the haircut features a bouncy, layered style. The popularity of the haircut coincided with the popularity of Friends during the mid-90s.
The international magazine Marie Claire estimated that around 11 million women chose the hairstyle. Moreover, the hairstyle was a rage among British women who flocked to hair salons clutching pictures of Jennifer Aniston. According to hairstylists and Huffington Post is was declared as “The Most Famous TV Hairstyles of All Time”. However, the trend started to fade over time as the series came to an end. (source)
6. Platform shoe: Shoes with thick soles, they were invented to be worn to prevent your feet from getting wet during rain.
Platform shoes are shoes, boots or sandals with a thick sole. The platform shoes can also be considered as high heels. The heels are significantly raised higher than the ball of the foot. These shoes were invented in the 15th century in Venice to prevent your feet from getting wet when it rained. The platform shoes enjoyed major popularity in the United States during the 1960s to 1980s.
They started appearing in mainstream fashion in 1967 and was embraced by both young and elder women. During the filming of the iconic movie Casablanca in 1942, Humphrey Bogart wore these platform shoes as he was shorter than Ingrid Bergman. The fad finally fizzled out in the 1980s, since they were considered outrageous by fashionistas. (1, 2)
7. Aqua Net Hairspray: In 1985, Aqua Net hairspray was everything which aimed to make hair spray “as ubiquitous as soap.”
The Aqua Net hairspray was a rage among celebrities and normal people with big hair. The hair spray was considered to be a crucial tool used along with a ubiquitous mousse. Using this versatile spray, both men and women were able to achieve gravity-defying hairstyling feats. Only a half a can of Aqua Net was enough to achieve any style of any height.
The after effects can be quite nasty, though. Even after shampooing one’s hair a number of times, a white, “glue-like” substance was still left behind. The brand can be easily identified by its trademark purple cans with a distinctive smell. Due to the rise of glam rock and hair metal, use of this hair spray reached cult status. However, after the emergence of better hair sprays in the market, its sales gradually declined. (source)
8. Budweiser Wassup Commercial: Budweiser beer commercial started a new trend in the ’90s. People were answering their own phones and saying, “Wassup?!.” There are many different mocked versions all over the internet.
In December 1999, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. created a trend of sorts by releasing a very popular television campaign. Considered as the most successful television advertisement ever, the Budweiser campaign “Whassup?!” reached new heights. The campaign resonated with the new, youthful audience and became a pop-culture phenomenon.
The advertisement was comprised of four friends greeting each other over the phone using the slang “Whassup?!” in a comical way. The campaign won the Cannes Grand Prix award and Grand Clio award. In 2016, it was inducted into the CLIO Hall of Fame. The iconic advertisement gave rise to numerous parodies and is currently 19 years old. Though it has faded into oblivion, the campaign still occupies a special place in everyone’s heart. (source)
9. Goatee Beards: Goatee beards really joined the mainstream men’s fashion, and no longer just for bikers, wrestlers, and Satan.
Goatees were a popular facial hairstyle in the 1990s and sported by professionals, students, and everyone else. The goatee seemed to suit everyone and was very easy to maintain. It was mostly preferred by men who struggled with a patchy or uneven beard. It provided an illusion of fullness, shape, and was good at masking thin lips.
The exact nature of the goatee and its style varied across different times and cultured. The style dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. The god Pan was depicted wearing one. In Christianity, Satan is depicted with a goatee in numerous medieval and Renaissance artworks. Over the years, the long goatee gave rise to shorter ones that were easier to maintain and imparted a professional look. (source)
10. Bowl Haircuts: People have been hating bowl cuts since everyone in the ’70s but gave their kids one. It was one of the go-to insults in the schoolyard in the late ’70s and ’80s.
Popular among the European men from the 12th to 15th century, it was one of the simplest hairstyles. The short hairstyle was mostly sported by soldiers and religious leaders. The bowl cut is a simple and short haircut where the hair is cut with a straight fringe on the front. The rest of the hair is cut short on the sides and the back.
An expensive barber or a fancy degree was not required to create this simple cut. It was done by putting a cooking pot of suitable size that reached the ear level. Once it was placed over the head, the hair below the rim was just trimmed or shaved off. The haircut was often synonymous with poverty as many poor people couldn’t afford barbers. In the 1960s, the popular British band, the “Beatles,” introduced the modern version of bowl-cropped hair and changed the men’s fashion all over the world. (source)