The 5 Most Cringe-Worthy Trends from the Last 10 Years

Over time, few things are certain in fashion: Trends will fade, personal tastes will change and the one item you actually want will be way too expensive. And, don’t forget, there will always be a must-have item that simply doesn’t age well. So, in celebration of PureWow’s tenth anniversary, we dug through the archives to unearth five of the most questionable trends from the last decade. From clear shoes to cold-shoulder tops, we hope you’re prepared for this cringe-worthy trip down memory lane.

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wedge sneaker trend
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1. 2012: Wedge Sneakers

Phew, we should have let this “elevated” sneaker fade into obscurity after its first 15 minutes of fame. Instead, we gave wedge sneaks a second chance. Needless to say, the third time will not be the charm for glammed-up gym shoe.

cold shoulder trend
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2. 2016: Cold-shoulder Tops

If you wanted to show a little skin in the office around 2016—without a stern scolding from HR—you probably wore a cold-shoulder top. You know, the kind of shirt that lets just a sliver of your shoulders see the outside world. Hey, at least it was more meeting-appropriate than a tube top.

high low trend
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3. 2017: High-low Dresses

Which is it: Midi or maxi? The whole high-low trend made us wish that we stuck with a single-length hem for the entirety of 2017.

clear shoe trend
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4. 2018: Clear Shoes

We wholly blame on Kim Kardashian for fostering the clear shoe trend, which gave rise to countless blisters and never really looked all that great with floral print. Or denim, for that matter.

small sunglasses trend
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5. 2018: Tiny Sunglasses

This was not an easy accessory to pull off…unless, of course, you’ve got the cheekbones of a Hadid sister or happened to be just as effortlessly cool as Rihanna.

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Fashion Editor

From 2019-2021 Dena Silver held the role of Fashion Editor covering product recommendations, trends, and what you should be shopping this season.