The Worst Style Trends We've Seen In 2024 (So Far)

Looking back on the first half of 2024, we've been blessed with some pretty lovely style trends. From Olivia Rodrigo's black milkmaid dress to the layered white T's we saw make their debut this spring, some of this year's crazes may even turn into keepers. Among the movements that took us by surprise, the fashion climate has generally seen a shift toward creative takes on old favorites, along with a continuation of the enduring girlcore pink aesthetic. But for all the styles we've loved in 2024, there are also those we can't wait to see exit stage left.


Fashion is deeply personal, but we aren't calling out trends like short-shorts or boundary-pushing sportswear purely because we think they look ugly (though that's absolutely the reason we're calling out barrel-leg jeans). While a craze might have all the makings of a runway star, model moments don't always translate well to real life. We're rejecting these popular looks because they're a headache to master, uncomfortable to wear, or frankly (in the case of kitten heels, at least), just annoying. Despite the many amazing 'fits 2024 has inspired, the year's trends missed the mark on more than occasion.

May the fashion gods banish short-shorts for good

One vintage revival that we're less than thrilled about is the re-emergence of short-shorts. Dubbed "hot pants" by Women's Wear Daily in the 1970s when they first rose to prominence, short-shorts in tight materials became trendy after the iconic TV character Daisy Dukes of "The Dukes of Hazzard" popularized the denim version. They've come back from the dead in multiple forms over the decades, from the dolphin shorts of the 1980s to the obsession with all things "mini" in the noughties. Let's collectively release an exasperated sigh as this trend that just won't stay buried rears its ugly head in 2024.


After Sydney Sweeney rocked the no-pants trend at Paris Fashion Week in March, the bare-thighs movement seemed to evolve into a widespread short-short revival. Designers like Alexander McQueen and Chanel have spoken, and the trend is here to stay as we approach the middle of the decade — whether we like it or not. We're not saying shorts need to lengthen into Bermuda territory, but there's just no reason for this level of shortness. Sorry, Ms. Dukes, but if we wanted material uncomfortably riding up our thighs and ungodly chafing, we'd ask for it.

Elevated activewear can be tricky to work into a cohesive look

Summer 2024 has seen athleisure overstepping its boundary to infiltrate ensembles that were once reserved for smart-casual pieces only. At first glance, incorporating sportswear into your regular wardrobe rotation sounds like a dream. While we don't have a problem with increasing the comfort factor of everyday dressing, the issue with embracing sportswear as part of a more elevated look is that it's hard to get right. Wearing sportswear exclusively is fine for casual affairs, like brunch with the girls. But generally, there should be a blend between comfy athleisure pieces and everyday essentials if you're headed somewhere a little dressier, like a dinner. And this is difficult to master — if you don't strike the right balance and get your everyday pieces and sporty garments to blend harmoniously, the result could be a clashing disaster.


For those who can effortlessly combine a baggy hoodie and knee-high boots or running leggings with pumps, more power to you. But unless you can get those nuances right and pull them off with the confidence of someone like Rihanna, this trend just leaves too much room to create confusion. If you can't resist the allure of the sporty look but don't want to risk looking mismatched, opt for a similar trend that has stricter and clearer parameters, like the Zendaya-approved tenniscore aesthetic.

Who has time for see-through skirts?

The sheer trend has become significantly less racy in 2024, but see-through skirts are still going strong as a summer movement. To be clear, transparent skirts can actually create a high-fashion moment when part of the right outfit, but we aren't fans of this piece because it requires so much extra effort. In most cases, you'll have to think about not only your skirt but also the underwear you're wearing (or not wearing) as well. Then, you'll also need to consider just how sheer the skirt is and whether that makes it inappropriate for certain venues or events, and how to contrast that with the rest of your outfit to end up with something that is actually fashionable — and also legal. 


You might look like a glamazon if you can put together an ensemble to complement your sheer skirt — and you might even be able to make this piece appropriate again if it's covered in the right areas with other garments. But who has time for all that planning, mixing, and matching on the regular? Adulting is hard enough without the pressure of a transparent garment.

Stop trying to make kitten heels happen

Listen, we've regretted this trend before, and we'll regret it again. Kitten heels first rose in popularity in the 1950s, and by the '60s, Audrey Hepburn had worked her magic to market them to the masses. They do get points for comfort, and for bringing a touch of formality that can be much harder to achieve with a flat shoe. But facts are facts: Kitten heels always have and always will fail to pack the punch that a regular heel gives to your look. Why they continue to trend is beyond us.


Perhaps because the name itself is the antithesis of the fearless power woman, kitten heels seem to give the wearer the air of not wanting to take up too much space rather than owning the entire room. If avoiding extra height is your primary reason for turning to this trend, embracing a totally flat shoe — like trendy Mary Jane flats — can often be more powerful and chic, even if they're less formal. There are some palatable variations of the kitten heel in 2024, particularly in Prada's Spring/Summer Womenswear collection, but their coolness comes down to bold color and geometric features rather than the tiny heel itself.

We would actually prefer skinny jeans to barrel-leg jeans

The Victorians called, and they want their cycling bloomers back. Fashion may be subjective, but it's hard to imagine too many people genuinely liking the look of the trending barrel-leg silhouette. A hybrid of clown pants and untucked pirate-esque pantaloons, these jeans go against the grain of the natural human shape and add curves to the mid-legs (of all places). The result is such an odd profile that the look is actually jarring — almost to the point of resembling a costume. Though influencers have decided that barrel-leg jeans are cool in 2024, we don't expect this look to remain hot for long.


"I saw a girl [in real life] in barrel jeans in Brooklyn the other day and honestly I have never seen a worse pant in my life," one Reddit user commented in a thread about the trend. Though there were a few fans coming to the defense of barrel-leg jeans in the forum, the general consensus was a huge "no." The look is so unappealing to some that even conspiracy theories have emerged questioning whether the barrel-leg jean is just a ploy to sell excess material in a struggling economy. " ... I just don't know how regular people think they can pull this trend off. People need to realize they've been trolled hard by fashion industry," one such theorist wrote in the thread. Subtler variations of the barrel-leg jean are passable (particularly on influencers and runway models), but we'll be glad to see the end of this curious shift in mainstream aesthetics.