5 Clothing Items I Wish Would Come Back In Style

While it’s an inevitable aspect of human society that the ways we cover our naked bodies are going to fall in and out of common use, I wish that a few of the items which have gone the way of the dodo could come back for a while. I never got a chance to really wear them — and that’s not fair. There’s just so much good stuff out there, and we owe it to ourselves to be able to wear whatever the hell we want, no matter how chronologically inappropriate it is.

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Khaki from Haggar.

1. Togas

While it’s true that we get to wear these things every time we can’t think of a good theme party that will shorten the time it takes for us to collectively get naked other than “TOGA! TOGA! TOGA,” I would like to be able to wear these bad boys outside of the context of beer pong. I mean, really, you literally just take a sheet — in the color of your choice, no less — and wrap it around you a couple times, maybe cinching it with an olive branch or something. That’s literally it. It’s all the no-effort-involved of black leggings and Uggs, but without any of the shame on your ancestors! I can’t think of an occasion in which I wouldn’t want to wear them, and frankly, given my affinity for wrapping myself up in my bedsheets burrito-style as I sleep, I’m pretty sure 90 percent of the work would be done for me when my alarm goes off. And, if it gets cold and a thin cotton sheet is not cutting it, you just have to kill a bear and plop it over your shoulders for warmth. This is truly the clothing item with no downsides.

2. Fedoras

There was an era of humanity in which “men were men,” “women were women,” and society was crumbling under the weight of its own bullsh-t social mores and archaic gender roles. And though this time is not one I long to run back to anytime soon (though I love cooking, it’s nice to have the option of whether or not it’s what I want to do all day, every day, until I die), there are many fashion cues we could still hang onto. The dresses, the little gloves, the pillbox hats — it’s all good. But what really needs to make a triumphant, dare I say, Herculean comeback, is the fedora. At some point between 1969 and 2012, uncomfortable nerds in high school got a hold of this headwear and decided “I’m not going to care about fashion whatsoever — in fact, I’m going to shun it entirely — but I will keep this one inappropriately dapper item to pair with all of my acrylic short-sleeve button-down shirts and cargo pants. And maybe also to prom, along with a zoot suit.” This is unacceptable. Fedoras are already starting to creep back into the cultural consciousness, and we need to get it back full-throttle. Those things are awesome, and allow you to take something off when you walk inside as a sign of respect (which I’ve never quite understood as a concept, but it seems incredibly cool). We should all be wearing them.

3. Corsets

Spanx are for the weak. I’m having a bloated day, and I have a sexy-ass dress to fit into that, should I wear it unrestrained by rock-solid undergarments, would make me look like a tomato with four toothpicks stuck into it. I want to be able to unironically wear a corset under my dress, without being at a fetish convention or a renaissance festival. And yes, technically, they exist, and people wear them — but let’s be real here. If someone looks at you and is like, “Hey, you seem perfectly hourglass-shaped all of a sudden, what gives?” and you reply, “Oh, no big deal, I just bought a whalebone corset the other day and I’m wearing it under my wifebeater and jeans because I felt all puffy this morning,” you’re going to get some incredulous looks. We’ve taken the corset and replaced them with the aforementioned Spanx, also known as lacy bike shorts for soccer moms. While I get that they serve more or less the same purpose, I want my shaper to be distinguished and regal, and come with a lacing-up process that twists my intestines into fun new shapes!

4. Victorian bathing suits

We all know that getting ready to show off our “beach bodies” (as women’s magazines gratingly insist on calling them) is a draining, anxiety-filled process that no one enjoys. For several months leading up to summer, we’re more or less in a constant internal struggle of “Do I want the Funyuns, or do I want my thighs not to look like pillowcases full of ricotta cheese this year?” But could you imagine if one of our swimwear options was essentially a full-body suit reminiscent of a 6-year-old’s novelty sailor pajamas? We would never have to worry about getting one of those V-cuts on our stomach again! All of our beach-related problems would magically melt away, and we could laugh at the suckers in their demanding, revealing bikinis, as we ate a generous slice of chocolate cake in our all-forgiving, billowing swimsuit. Sure, it would probably be somewhat unfortunate to actually swim in, but who cares? You’ll be too busy sucking down piña coladas with impunity.

5. Monocles

While I assume this choice is awesome enough to not require much explanation, we should at least run down a few of the monocle’s benefits to reinforce this point. First of all, you get to have fancy eye jewelry clipped onto you somewhere and connected by an incredibly fancy gold chain. As we all know, fancy gold chains immediately take your accessory from “mediocre” to “breathtakingly fabulous.” Similar to the pocket watch, except you wear it over your eyeball. Second, when you get shocked or offended at something and your eyebrow is abruptly raised, your monocle will tumble effortlessly out of your eye socket and fall with refined dignity down the front of your suit. There’s “offended,” and then there’s “monocle-droppingly offended.” Which are you? Lastly, it is so inconvenient as to automatically signify coolness. You spent your entire day clenching on a piece of glass with your skull? Let me buy you a drink, sir. I insist. TC mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


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  • Maybeemily

    I don’t know if the fedora can be saved at this point. It might be time to let go. 

    • http://robvincent.net Rob T Firefly

       Maybe we can bring back the bowler in its stead.

      • http://twitter.com/revoltpuppy Justin McDowell

         Nice try, Mr. Clandestine Bowler Hat Revivalist, but no that one is lost to the ages and geeks with bad fashion sense.

      • Babu

        Muthafrakin’ top hat: You want head gear? How about a sick ass foot long masterpiece of brilliance. Should only be worn in red or purple velvet or with a monocle.

      • Hollie

        Funky hat and a slammin monocle; two birds one stone!

  • http://twitter.com/JessLK721 Jess K

    And here I thought I was the only one who really wanted corsets to come back mainstream! They’re sexy as hell AND functional! :D

    • Anon

      Functional? Not for the purposes that the author suggests, surely!When I lace my steel boned corset enough to affect my figure, I can barely sit down, drive, look over my shoulder, etc.
      Sexy? Yes. Functional? Absolutely not.

  • This_ismyfakename

    Fanny packs!!! 

  • Beebopzippitydoodoo

    oh my god Victorian bathing suits are so ugly

  • Mark

    monocles like a sir

  • http://twitter.com/emilcDC Emil Caillaux

    Yes to all of this.

  • Maggie Fuller

    Fedoras! But real fedoras, real, awesome bold-as-brass Humphrey Bogart fedoras. Not the weirdly small pseudo-fedoras that seem to crown far too many tools these days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/discobiscuits93 Kayla Ann Stockman

    Fedoras are totally in style again! Togas can’t be that far behind!

  • Anonymous

    monocles!! yes! 

  • Sally Sparrow

    I want parasols to come back in style as well!

  • Anonymous

    oh wow I chortled like 5-6 times while reading this. it’s a beautiful article, and I wholeheartedly agree with all of these. 

  • grain

    tell me more. ha.

  • Tia

    I think corsets are making a comeback…O.o It used to be just gothic kids wearing them now different people are…as for monocles….HELL YEAH!!

  • Dapperdan

    Real fedora-yes! Monocle- you will appreciate it the older you get.
    I wear a tie and wing tips daily because I want too.

  • Neesha

    I’m in favour of the cloak making a glorious comeback, ala Game of Throne badassery. 

  • Guest

    Oh woman, I really love your stuff, I swear I feel like you are my freaking soulmate. I hope one day, when I get to go to Paris, I could check two things on my bucket list, being in that city and having a photo with you. I know, I’m such a fan. Haha cheers!

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