FCUK Tees And Adidas Poppers: Shit We Wore That Now Makes Us Cringe

What the hell were we thinking

Most haunted: Why our ‘youth’ wardrobe still makes us visibly cringe

by Alex Rainer |
Published on

A few years ago. Someone, we’d guess a group of nostalgia loving ‘influencers’ who presumably have high profit stakes in Crazy Color hair dye and Mom jeans, declared that the 90's are back. A second wave fashion 90's that is 50% Clarissa Explains It All (minus the pet caiman, but that would be nice. Imagine being allowed a bedroom crocodile in a sandpit? God, the 90’s were so liberal…) and 50% The Craft.


What isn't cool, was my IRL old school 90s wardrobe. Nor my friends. Don't worry, we often reminisce about our shit show of a 'look' back when we were 14. Bike chains on jeans and me constantly re-wearing a top with a picture of cassette (a CASSETTE!*) on it and the word ' player' underneath, LOL. But this look was 100% of the moment and probably put me in the ‘trend setter’ category in a world were popularity was defined by how straight you could iron your hair. Avril Lavigne, I bow down.

Back then, we didn't have bloggers, Instagram and Facebook dictating to us what was cool. We had no idea what to wear and only had the hot girl at school to lead us and Avril, she was with a pre-liver collapse Deryck Whibley back then, not Chad, k? This led us to some of the CRAPPEST sartorial choices the country has ever seen - the Wilderness Years. But hey, if you haven’t got a virtual thumbs up giving you validation, then how the fuck could we know that what we were doing was NOT OK.

    Here is my most haunted: the clothing edition...

    Leg Warmers

    Wooly turds for your ankles. You may think they had their heyday in the 80's but there, my friend, you would be wrong. Milton Keynes Oceana was a hotbed of shin sheaths, and hell, probably FCUK tops too. I'm not sure who gave leg warmers the green light, as with most of these 'looks', without 4G phones and colour screens, I don't actually know how these trends went viral, but somehow, somewhere, the cast of Flashdance are feeling pretty smug.


    With the tags on. Without tags, you were an unbranded nothing. A wannabe of the un-Spiciest kind. The only redeeming quality was one of erm, quality. I mean they lasted, but when you're 14, assessing the merits of good leather and muttering 'buy cheap, buy twice' wasn’t on the agenda. Getting straight hair was the only priority.

    FCUK t-shirts

    French Connection now, aren't they? All trendy and conformist. I remember when they were driven by expletives, sartorial Sex Pistols, all anarchy and FUCK YOU UK. Like the time my friend got kicked out of RE (religious education, you heathens) because they brought their lunch in a branded FCUK carrier bag. Rock and FCUKing roll. Anyway, those simple tees with FCUK on them were cool, so non-conformist, a powerful and subversive statement. Not just a juvenile ‘up yours’ to the ‘rents. No way.

    Shag Bands

    Shag Bands. Go on, say it out loud. Shag Band. Invented by a perpetually single loser in the hope of snaring a date, only problem was they were a bitch to actually snap. A quick Google search reminds me of the ‘Shag Band Colour Code’, yellow = sex, blue = marriage + snog in a public place and brown = toss my salad, which I can only think to mean prepare some Florette. Thank god they’re over. Oh wait, Loom Bands…

    Adidas Poppers

    Circa 1998, things were really popping off. It was a simpler life back then, a time when I could bust open my trouser lengths without consequence. Thanks, Adidas popper trousers for making such freedom a reality.

    White Kappa Jackets

    Ah a world united by a glossy white jacket with arm strips featuring two naked people down the side. Sports luxe hadn’t been invented yet, so in the interest of definition, I’ll just call it deeply, deeply disturbing.

    Chains On Jeans

    Crop top + baggy skater jeans + chain (preferably from Camden market) = Avril perfection. Luckily visible knicker elastic was positively encouraged with this look, helpful when a tonne of bicycle chain is dragging your keks down. Not so helpful when your chain is so low, a passerby’s foot gets lodged in the gap and forcibly pulls them down. But hey, rock and FCUKing roll…

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    This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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