At its best, fashion is subjective, and anything and everything is allowed. It’s safe to say that in 2022, people have been doing their own thing more than ever before.
Yet some of the most compelling fashion reviews come in the form of the worst-dressed list – a franchise coined by critic Richard Blackwell. It’s useful to make a “worst dressed list,” not to ridicule, but rather as a barometer of our times and to gauge what works for us (and what doesn’t) when it comes to pop culture.
It should be noted that Blackwell also published a list of “Fabulous Fashion Independents” which was frequently populated by those he considered “worst dressed”. Some would argue that you’re not really considered cool until you’ve graced the worst-dressed list.
With that in mind, HuffPost curated the 10 worst fashion trends of 2022, and we tapped stylists to explain why these looks just didn’t work for us.
Meet the Critics
Beverly Osemwenkhae is a New York and London based style expert and the founder of ProjectBee Cabinet Consulting. Its corporate services are uniquely designed to create individual images and develop a personal style.
Chelsea Volpe is a Manhattan-based fashion and still life stylist known for her idiosyncratic combination of color and vibrant imagery. Clients include Bloomingdale’s, Estée Lauder, Highsnobiety, Hypebeast, Paper Magazine, Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily.
1. Sunglasses at night
Julia Fox on October 25, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
“The number of 20-somethings I’ve seen walking around the New York nightlife scene in ultra-luxe sunglasses is staggering,” Volpe told HuffPost. “Isn’t the darkness dark enough for you?” It’s not fancy, or downright practical, to wear a pair of Balenciaga sunglasses in your local Bushwick dive bar, darlings.
2. Y2K aesthetics
A model walks the runway during the Blumarine fashion show during Milan Fashion Week on September 23, 2021 in Milan, Italy.
Osemwenkhae is not a fan of sequins, hearts or butterflies when it comes to dressing. “There are some things that should stay in the early 2000s, like the Y2K aesthetic. Yes, there’s a cool factor that this trend stems from millennial pop culture, but there’s nothing flattering about dressing like a Bratz doll unless you’re under 21.
3. Coastal Grandma Floral Dresses
Anne Hathaway during the 75th annual Cannes film festival on May 19, 2022 in Cannes, France.
The coastal granny look had a moment this summer, but Volpe found the barrage of florals to be completely basic, and not in a good way. “Wearing your grandma’s bathroom wallpaper in the form of a dress is so old fashioned. Let’s trade in the archaic Nantucket floral print for something more interesting, shall we?” She suggests opting for the solids.
4. Low rise jeans
Julia Fox on March 31, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Low-rise jeans are making a comeback this year, but why? “Low-rise jeans show off the wrong parts of your body,” Osemwenkhae noted. Showing off cleavage or a cheeky thong is not, she argued, empowering. Of course, style is subjective, as are the feelings of empowerment associated with it. had a shock value associated with it. Twenty years later, showing off your thong trend feels a little empty, statement-wise.
5. Cargo pants
A guest during Paris Fashion Week on July 6, 2022 in Paris, France.
Another trouser faux pas that made waves in 2022 was the dominance of cargo pants, which Volpe says have a silhouette that doesn’t look tailored. “Wearing parachute-sized cargo pants isn’t cute. When your pants look like two garbage bags merged into a tragic nightmare, that’s a problem.
6. Platform flip flops
Kendall Jenner on March 24, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the rise of platforms in footwear – the style has persisted since the 1970s. In the 1990s, we saw platforms on everything from Mary Janes to sneakers, but the most offensive, according to Osemwenkhae, is the platform flip-flop, which returned in 2022. She told HuffPost that she finds the trend “a bit bulky and heavy on the foot,” and added when styling the resort wear this winter, opt for something more tasteful.
7. Brands that don’t take responsibility
Conscious consumerism has been a mainstay of Gen Z, which is quick to use shopping choices to let brands know when they’re doing something uncool, or worse, offensive and inhumane. “Wearing a walking billboard for anti-Semitism is not fashionable, likes. Tsk, tsk, Adidas for being complacent with the Kanye fiasco. Here, Volpe is referring to the outrage people feel as to why it took so long for Adidas to sever ties with Kanye West, following a barrage of hate speech and anti-Semitic remarks, she added that “big brands need to take responsibility” Last December, Balenciaga released two campaigns that sparked allegations that the brand condones child exploitation, and TikTokers responded by destroying Balenciaga products in their feed.
8. Micro mini skirts
Simona Carlucci (left) and Annacarla Dall’Avo (right) wear the Miu Miu micro skirt trend during Paris Fashion Week on March 8, 2022 in Paris, France.
How too short is that when it comes to minis? For Osemwenkhae, it’s all about portability. “There’s a cut-off point where it’s so mini it’s not practical to wear.” She said she was ready to retire the mini and bring back midi skirts instead.
9. Lingerie as evening wear
Jessica Wang during New York Fashion Week in front of Carolina Herrera on February 14, 2022 in New York City.
After two years of locked loungewear, Volpe noted, “it’s so easy to slip into a sexy corset or barely-there negligee for a night out.” But according to her, lingerie belongs in the bedroom, and evening wear needs to have a little more substance in 2023.
10. Skinny Jeans
A model wearing skinny jeans on May 20, 2021 in New York City.
Painted pants are outdated. Osemwenkhae noted that it’s time to swap your skinny jeans for a pair of “relaxed straight jeans.” This is an easy style to wear and really flatters the body. She added that this cut is “proportionately attractive, especially for a pear shape.”