5 "Ugly" Spring Fashion Trends Quickly Coming Into Favor


(Image credit: The Style Stalker)

"Ugly" fashion is no longer just a passing trend. Think about it—I bet you can't thumb through your Instagram feed for longer than two scrolls without coming across a pair of chunky "dad" sneakers, loose-fitting baggy jeans, or a bucket hat. Ironic fashion, the kind that purports a, "Yes, I know this is uncool, but I'm wearing it on purpose" look, is here to stay. Quite frankly, we're here for the notion that fashion doesn't have to align with conventional ideas of what's "pretty" or "flattering."

This wave of unconventional cool has been on the rise for a few seasons now, but the ugly clothing trends on offer for spring 2019 are no longer niche—they've officially gone mainstream. Tie-dye straight from the '60s. Your mom's acid-wash denim. Smock dresses that resemble loofahs. "Tourist" sandals every bit as clunky as they sound. Surveying runway images for this season and doing some online shopping, it immediately becomes clear that the biggest styles right now are those we probably laughed at just a few short years ago. Everything comes back around again, right?

With that in mind, we've rounded up all the spring 2019 clothing trends that once made us run for the hills but now we're jumping at the chance to wear. Keep reading to see why these styles are cool for now and shop each one.

Not Your Mother's Denim


Proenza Schouler S/S 19
(Image credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Perhaps this is a lesson in biting our tongue whenever we swear off a certain style because we can definitely remember vetoing acid-wash denim from our wardrobes. Well, we're going back on our word because the previously hated '80s-era denim trend is emerging all over the place this spring. We have a feeling the fashion set will be wearing it in oversize shapes and accessorizing with crisp white bags and shoes.

Far Out, Man


R13 S/S 19
(Image credit: Courtesy of R13)

Ah, tie-dye. For anyone with summer camp memories full of tie-dye DIYs or a pile of hand-me-down tees from your parent's Woodstock days, you may find the trend either nostalgic or terrifying (or both). Fret not, the psychedelic print is taking on a less literal and more washed-out look that we promise can be quite chic.

Smock Dress or Shower Loofah?


Cecilie Bahnsen F/W 19
(Image credit: Courtesy of Cecilie Bahnsen)

This spring dress trend turns the volume up to full blast. Puffy-sleeved, tiered smock dresses popped up on the runways at Cecilie Bahnsen, Ganni, and other such indie labels. Sure, the silhouette isn't flattering in the traditional sense, but who cares when it looks this cool? Come summer, you'll see these frocks styled with sneakers or chunky sandals.

Sandals that Scream "OOO"


Sandy Liang S/S 19
(Image credit: ImaxTree)

Fashion loves a good controversial shoe trend and seeing as "dad" sneakers have reigned supreme for a while now, it's just as well that the next wave of "ugly" shoes should arrive. Enter "tourist" sandals. The clunky-soled sporty-strapped style may not be for the faint of heart, but it's a look we can ensure will only gain popularity this year.

Heavy Cargo


Fendi S/S 19
(Image credit: Courtesy of Fendi)

The utility trend as a whole is on the rise, from khaki pants to oversize pockets, canvas belts, and, yes, cargo pants. Whatever your particular feelings are on the oft-uncool pants, the fashion world has decidedly put its official stamp of approval on them and, honestly, we're here for it (we even designed our own pair, scroll down to see them).

In the mood for even more controversial fashion? Read these stories:

The 7 Flat Trends a Podiatrist Loves and Loathes

Bella Hadid Just Endorsed the Controversial Denim Trend People are Dreading

J.Lo's Controversial Ankle Boots Will Make All Your Others Seem Low

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.