In the process of writing fashion articles, I spend quite a substantial amount of time looking through clothes online—admiring, fighting temptation, finally submitting to the call of a beautiful dress that needs me—but sometimes I just ask myself, “Why?” Why does this exist? Why is it being sold? And why is it already sold out in extra small, medium, and large? And then one fateful day, I came across a pair of shoes so whimsically nauseating that I was inspired. They led me on a quest—how many more gaudy, cartoony, wacky, and weird items could I stumble upon? Most of these pieces I came across quite casually in popular stores while not even seeking them; one minute I am unsuspectingly scrolling past printed skirts, and embroidered dresses and then BAM a purse shaped like a turtle, or a t-shirt covered in Zach Galifianakis’ bearded countenance haltingly interrupts my browsing. Most troubling of all is that many of these pieces are actually quite expensive, yet appear to be selling out rather quickly and successfully. So I have compiled a collection of the zaniest, I can’t even-est clothing items that I have come across recently, so that together we can gawk and giggle at a few of my favorite fashion faux pas.
1.Winged Crop Top ($308)
This near-sheer top is the perfect way to acquire that ever-coveted sexy bird-of-paradise look. Oh wait, that’s not a thing? Right, and for good reason. This sheer piece with strange floral wings is even doused in glittery sequins. Curiously enough, this is sold out in nearly every size. So be on the lookout for a flock of fierce birdfolk with flower cutouts on their arms and nipples, perching on power lines or swarming in a Hitchcock-esque fashion. They won’t be difficult to spot.
2. Crafting Catastrophe ($4.90)
This headband is the perfect accessory for the cat-ear-loving Ariana Grande to wear to Coachella. Seriously, cat ears and tiny flowers? Purchase this gem if you’re planning on being a flower fairy-kitten-nymph next Halloween, otherwise, leave the kitten ears and the fake flowers to the kindergarteners.
3. Looks Like Teen Angst. Or a Disco Ball Shorts ($350), Top ($300)
Dollar-sign “S,” bedazzled crop top, busy basketball shorts, and bold lettering? I don’t know exactly what is happening here, but there is a lot of it. I would not recommend sporting this outfit at the gym.
4. Glitz and Kittens Set Top ($200), Skirt ($250)
Not one but two slightly sad cat faces adorn this sickeningly cutesy ensemble. This look is what you’d get if you let a cat lady loose in Hobby Lobby. Megan Trainor dons this getup in her Lips Are Movin video and not even her attempt to incorporate the look into her retro bubblegum aesthetic can give it rhyme or reason.
5. Felines and French Fries ($44.99)
So, I’m noticing a pattern with many of these items. The cat theme is running rampant. This retro-inspired swimsuit features fluffy cats, burgers and fries, and vanilla sundaes. All good things. But why are they floating in outer space? And why would I want to wear them for a romp by the sea?
6. One Eyed One Toothed Flying Burger People Eater ($64.99)
Burger monster aside, these shoes are already terrifying, and look horribly difficult to walk in. However, the reviews on the site for this shoe are all quite positive. I’d much rather have comfortable, nonthreatening shoes and a hamburger that doesn’t look like it wants to eat me.
7.Rocket Pocketbook ($250)
Expensive handbag, or vessel for a five-year-old’s lunch? Unfortunately, this is not a rocketship lunchbox but indeed a purse for a grownup woman sold at a pretty high-end department store. At least it’s probably pretty spacious.
8. Leather Crown ($148)
If Game of Thrones and Hot Topic had a love child, it would result in this intimidating headpiece. I really can think of very few occasions in which this leather crown would be fitting.
9.Unicorn Heels ($199.99)
The 7-year-old girl in me still thinks these shoes are kind of nifty. The top is like a scaly mermaid fin, then balancing on the majestic horn of a strong yet beautiful unicorn. However, if you want to be taken even somewhat seriously in adult land, leave the mythical creature heels behind. I mean think of it this way, would you be proud telling someone that you spent $200 on unicorn shoes?
10. Frightening Fangirl Failure ($55)
Remember that movie about a group of friends that wakes up hungover with shards of evidence from a string of regrettable decisions? This slightly eerie fangirl tee covered in what looks like dozens of cutouts of Zach Galifianakis’ face would fit into that narrative well.
11. Batty Bathing Suit ($255)
This swimsuit top has a hippy bat spacesuit vibe. There’s also this hilarious picture in which the store tries to make this swimsuit look cool and edgy, but really its just awkward and a bit scary.
12. Pompoms Gone Wrong ($583)
This dress looks like something Dr. Seuss would whip up… if he designed adult apparel. I am also floored by the fact that this is nearly $600. Careful not to don this dress around playful kittens as it looks like something they would love to swat at. Metallic panties not included.
13. Oh Gnome—The One That Started It All($164.99)
I leave you where my journey began. These shoes are kind of cool in that you can spend your day being held up by two tiny but very strong gnomes who bear their burden with a cheery smile and eerily perky peepers. Challenge—try coordinating the rest of your outfit with the gnomes’ outfits.