I Hate To Break It To You, But These 32 Heinous Fashion Trends Have Made Their Way Back Into Fashion, And I Am Mortified

Hello all. A few weeks ago I came across this tweet that sent me into a tizzy:

Twitter: @takeyourzoloft

I've had the sneaking suspicion fashion has been in the bad place for the past couple of months now, particularly when I came across a neon swimsuit section at Target this past summer. But now, I fear we are entering into a full-frontal 2000s fashion flashback nightmare. And I'm not the only one seeing it...

Andy, a BuzzFeed writer, noticed a "Bootcut Obsessed" advertisement at the mall
Andy Golder

To understand what the hell is going on in brick-and-mortar retail these days, I headed to my two local, slightly degrading, and decrepit malls to see for myself. And, well, to say I was shocked would be an understatement. I was mortified.

So, without further ado, gird your loins, and let's get into everything I saw during my trip to the mall:

"Gird your loins" from the Devil Wears Prada

1.I started my day here. Not too offensive. Yet...

Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses for sale
Alana Valko

🎵 A little clavicle never killed nobody. 🎶

Regina George getting hit by a bus

2.I saw Cady Heron wearing army pants and flip-flops, so I bought army pants and flip-flops.

Army cargo pants

These were mildly offensive.

Alana Valko

3.While we're on the topic of Mean Girls, I was mostly offended to find this shirt in the "vintage tees" section.

A t-shirt with the "Mean Girls" characters on it in their Christmas talent show Santa costumes
Alana Valko

4.Anyhoo, I meandered my way over to the accessories section and ended up here. Now, I don't mind the return of the claw clips, but if you told me this was a Claire's shelf from the early 2000s, I'd believe you.

Butterfly clips, claw clips, and scrunchies for sale in the accessories section
Alana Valko

5.Blair Waldorf called. She said she wants her puffy headband back.

Puffy headbands
Alana Valko, HBO Max / Via youtube.com

6.There was SO MUCH RHINESTONE. A blinged-out zip-up with VELOUR cuff sleeves??? Don't get me started on the Hello Kitty jacket...

A zip-up sweater with
Alana Valko

7.I was getting war flashbacks to my very ✨bedazzled✨ youth of meticulously rhinestoned dance costumes, Juicy Couture sweatsuits I couldn't afford, and getting in fights with my mom at a store called "Glitz & Ears" because she wouldn't buy me fake rhinestone "Chanel" earrings.

Rhinestoned booties and clutch

I wanted to fit in so bad. I guess now's my chance.

Alana Valko

8.Lots to think about.

Rhinestoned uggs, rhinestoned cowboy boots, rhinestoned mug
Alana Valko

9.These were located inside the oversized boutique that used to be a Charming Charlie:

Rhinestoned heeled boots in two different colors

10.But perhaps the most heinous...

Fold-over rhinestone jean cowboy boots

I can only see these working for a Beyoncé Renaissance concert.

Alana Valko

11.Oh, did you want something a little more toned down? No problem, how about some faux-slouchy-jean-cowboy boots:

Boots that have faux jean pant legs attached to them
Alana Valko

12.Speaking of cowboy boots, Beyoncé induced or not, their renaissance is at its absolute PEAK right now.

Iridescent cowboy boots

Yes, I own a pair.

Alana Valko

13.ICYMI, the era of stinky feet is back.

Ballet flats with bows
Alana Valko

14.And apparently cargo-style pocket pants are having a serious moment.

An assortment of cargo pants
Alana Valko

Basically, if you have your clothes from 2003 stored in a dusty box somewhere, unleash them because this is the style right now:

Britney Spears at The Hollywood Walk Of Fame in Hollywood, California, United States wearing jean cargo pants and a fuzzy sweater
J. Merritt / FilmMagic

15.I've said this before, but I don't think denim on denim is ever going away.

A denim lace up top with jean cargo pants
Alana Valko

I understand the inspiration.

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in their denim on denim outfits
Jeffrey Mayer / WireImage, Vinnie Zuffante / Getty Images

16.But you're gonna have to MissMe with whatever country conservative town propaganda is going on in this store... we're in the suburbs people.

Country outfits on display in the window: Jeans, a whiskey t shirt, and a rhinestone fringe top, all paired with jeans
Alana Valko

17.Absolutely shuddering at the return of the peplum top. ALREADY?!? In denim??? In PLEATHER??? Crimes. All of them.

An assortment of peplum tops
Alana Valko

18.What in the Delia's is this!?!

A table of mini skirts and graphic tees reminiscent of what was sold in Delia's back in the early 2000s
Alana Valko

19.Ummm...but wait. There's more! No, this was not the kids' section.

An assortment of graphic baby tees reminiscent of the teen store Delia's
Alana Valko

20.Rah, rah-ah-ah-ah, Roma, roma-ma, Gaga, ooh-la-la.

A shirt with a huge pink bow on it
Alana Valko

Just sayin', we would've ATE that shirt up in 2008.

Singer Lady Gaga performs on FOX's
Charles Eshelman / FilmMagic, Alana Valko

21.✨CHAOS✨ You got that right.

A shirt that says chaos on it and is bedazzled
Alana Valko

22.Please, no. Not the chimney sweeper caps.

A bunch of chimney sweeper style caps for sale
Alana Valko

Gotta give credit where credit it due.

Singer Alicia Keys poses for a photo backstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios in 2005 with a cap on
Scott Gries / Getty Images, Chris Weeks / FilmMagic

23.The way I had this belt in black and wore it every. single. day. in seventh grade.

A rhinestoned cowboy belt

Personally, I think I wore it enough so it never has to be worn again.

Alana Valko

24.This was cute. Probably something Carrie Bradshaw wore.

A sheer, frilly flower print dress with ruffles on the bottom
Alana Valko

25.This with some low-rise jeans was definitely a Y2K red carpet moment.

A halter crop top with rhinestone straps
Alana Valko

26.Maybe even paired back to some bedazzled jeans...

Bedazzled jeans
Alana Valko

Essentially what Forever 21 is selling right now:

Destiny's Child during Reception to celebrate the opening of "Giorgio Armani Exhibition" in 2001 at Solomom Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Beyonce wears bedazzled jeans and a silky halter top. Michelle and Kelly wear flower printed outfits
Kmazur / WireImage

27.I mean... lest I say more.

Body rhinestone jewelry for sale in 2023, Destiny's Child in rhinestone bustiers and sparkle belts at 'The Source Hip Hop Music Awards 2000, and a sparkle belt
Alana Valko / Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Alright, I just need to pause for a second and ask what the hell is happening at this mall.

An empty mall with large animatronic dinosaurs in the center near a fountain

I felt like I was in the dinosaur time travel ride at Disney World except in reverse. Human life has vanished and dinosaurs have come back to roam the halls of malls near extinction.

Alana Valko

Of all the stores long gone from my childhood mall, that have since been taken over by dinosaurs and probably the ghosts of former tenants, the Hollister is still standing strong.

The entrance to a Hollister store that resembles a California beach house
Alana Valko

28.Nothing like a rugby-low-rise-flare-jean combo outfit to snap me back into reality.

Rugby shirts and flare jeans for sale

TBH, I'd wear this one because I like to sin and I'd also feel like a child wizard... or a hot rugby player.

Alana Valko's tour through Hollister

29.The way I pleaded on my hands and knees for my dad to buy me this overpriced skirt in 2009.

An eyelet mini skirt
Alana Valko

30.Definitely some outfits Peyton wore on One Tree Hill.

Cropped graphic shirt and wide leg jeans
Alana Valko

31.Not the faux tattered sweaters...

Faux tattered striped sweater
Alana Valko

32.Of all the chaos in this shopping excursion, I was most surprised to see this emotional support green jacket back in business so soon.

Army style jacket with lots of pockets and buttons

What goes around comes back around again, amiright?

Alana Valko

On that note, love it or hate it, I'll end with a simple PSA... Gen Z, heed our warnings.

A tee shirt vest combo shirt someone saw for sale in 2023 contrasted with a photo of a young girl wearing it in the early 2000s
Sarah Wainschel / Alana Valko