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Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012

Platform flip-flops and oversized sunglasses

Top 10 regrettable San Diego fashion trends

By Aaryn Belfer
aaryn-web Aaryn Belfer

Anniversaries are great, aren’t they? The first one is always exciting, of course. “Can you believe it’s been a year?” the celebrators might toast, as they continue banging their brains out (I’m talking about journalists and keyboards here, folks). Three is sweet, as you’ve settled in; and so is five, though the groove is starting to create some ruts. If you’re not careful, six, seven, or eight can be more Whew! or Meh, depending. It’s crucial to pencil in the banging (aka fake it ’til you make it) during these years, so you can eventually bask in the glory of 10.

Ten is special. Ten is a momentary end-zone dance. Ten likes to puff its chest, feign humility and give unasked-for advice because look how far we made it?!?

In honor of CityBeat’s 10th anniversary, I’ve compiled a list of regrettable fashion trends that swept through our city during the last 10 years, and while some items might be more than regional, we here in San Diego have a unique weather confusion that adds a certain je ne sais quoi not found anywhere else. Oh, and my advice: Those trends that have passed should not be repeated; those that are still with us, don’t fall prey. And never, ever go to bed angry.

Here, in order from most offensive to most offensive + a Mel Gibson fart, are my picks:

10. The fake designer bagLadies of a certain age might remember the tsunami of purse parties that took place back in the early ’00s. I, too, carried a faux Kate Spade with silk-screened red irises that I bought during a wine-induced home-shopping frenzy. I carried it until I realized that buying a knock-off was stealing, at which point I donated it to Goodwill. OK, that’s not true. I purged it because it was straight-up ugly and I hate labels. Look, if you’re scrounging money for that $4 burrito, we all know the Coach is a fake.

9. Black leggings worn as pants: Especially when you don’t do the bend-over-in-front-of-the-mirror test before leaving the house. Ass is nice and all, but viewing unintended crack through the silvery sheen of stretched Lycra as you bend to pick up the dropped cell phone isn’t mysterious. It’s disturbing like a bank robber’s face beneath a nylon stocking. And—like I wrote back in 2006—aren’t we openly inviting yeast infections with this ghastly, nonsensical trend? This one’s a gift to the makers of Monistat.

8. Platform flip-flops: We take our flippie-floppies a little too seriously here in San Diego. I admit, I love my many pairs. But I know where to draw the line. They don’t go to the office. They also don’t go into nosebleed territory à la Kiss. The four-inch thick rubber flip-flop was a bad trend. When worn in whiteEven badder than Gene Simmons’ right-wing politics.

7. Belly-piercing / half-shirt / low-waist-jeans combo: The greatest thing to happen to this getup was the invention of the tunic top. That, and the realization by 18-year-olds across the city that they are no longer 18-year-olds. They are grown women with belly piercings just like Britney Spears. The upside is that at least they didn’t get angel wings tattooed on their scapulas.

6. Angel-wing tattoos on the scapula: A pair of giant wings across the whole back or just a miniature version on the upper-right shoulder. As cool tattoos go, this isn’t one. It’s like a feather hair extension, only permanent.

5. Jeans with the cartoony stitching and flap pockets: Hey you! Guy doused in Axe Body Spray crossing diagonally on Market and Fifth on Saturday at 11 p.m.! Yeah, I’m talking to you. We all know you paid $352 for your Men’s Super T Joey Jeans, but news flash: Nobody wants to fuck you. Not even the girl with hair feathers or the college-souvenir belly piercing. Take it down a notch, fancy pants, and invest in some French cologne.

4. High-waisted cut-off short shorts: I didn’t think it was possible to make buttcheek-hang-down look bad, but there you have it. This is a “new” trend—like neon and Boy George hats—revived from the ’80s. Those of us who lived through it the first time know better. (Adding sheer black stockings doesn’t help.)

3. Oversized sunglassesGrrrrl, where’s your face? How’s a tragic waif like you holding up under the weight of those 50-pound shades?

2. Crocs: If you wear these, you deserve to have your feet chopped off at the ankles and spend the rest of your life thinking about what you did.

1. Track pants with “Pink” or “Juicy” splashed across the buttocks: Oh, it’s so quaint to obliviously advertise the texture and color of one’s ripe inner lady jungle! Back in the mid ’00s, this trend could regularly be spotted on teenage girls (and sometimes their matching mamas, too) at airports. The victim would often be carrying a teddy bear or a pillow with Disney characters. It was and remains child-pornishly wrong. Though less prevalent today, these pants are still out there, and the wearer may pair them with oversized sunglasses, a feather hair extension, an angel wing tattoo and a smelly dude in bad jeans.

Email Aaryn Belfer. Aaryn blogs at and you can follow her on Twitter @aarynb.