Fashion can inspire the masses and produce amazing triumphs of art. Fashion can also go terribly wrong and produce ghastly looks that will forever go down in history's hall of shame. These fashion faux pas are so tragic that the world needs to remember their horror to avoid ever bringing them back into vogue.
The 1970s and 1980s are important decades for the demise of fashion, with some of the worst offenders coming straight out of that twenty year span. The 1970s introduced us to rainbow suspenders and an abundance of burnt-orange. The 1980s brought huge shoulder pads, and neon in everything.
One of the most traumatic, and unflattering, styles from the 1970s was the high-waisted, plaid, bell-bottom pant. These awkward slacks made short people look like clowns and tall people look like cartoons. Everyone who wore them also seemed to have a rear end as big as a house.
The next tragic epic from the 1970s is the blindingly ugly, powder blue, polyester, bell-bottom tuxedo. Not only were these suits horrible fire hazards, they were much too effeminate for the average man. Even James Bond wouldn't seem sexy stuffed into the suit's frilly shirt and cheap coat.
In the 1980s, everyone had a fetish for fashionable shoulder pads. These huge, football-player sized pads came in everything, from T-shirts to blouses to suit jackets. Male or female, ridiculously broad shoulders was almost a requirement. However, these broad shoulders made women seem too masculine and men seem too out of proportion. For ten years everyone looked like a brick with legs.
Another horror from the 1980s are parachute pants. These unpractical slacks made even skinny models look like they had thunder thighs. Not only was it an unflattering garment, the low crotch and billowing, upper legs meant that your thighs may spend the day rubbing and chaffing themselves into a very red rash.
The 70s and 80s weren't the only decades with bad fashion though. The 1930s brought us the comical "zoot suit" with its almost armpit-high pants. These absurd suits had very high waists and wide legs paired with a long coat that sported massive padding at the shoulders. The outfit swamped the wearer and only works as a costume, never as a style.
Classic fashion styles are the looks that last through the ages and appear flattering on almost anyone. They go beyond trends and are a triumph of art. Despite the decade, figure or fashion, classic styles are always a demonstration of truly refined taste.