Five ‘90s Fashions That Would Get You Killed While Running from a Bear
Fashion is both cyclical and inevitable. Given a long enough timeline, even fashion trends we swore blood oaths to bury return anew. Years of pain, discomfort and horrific senior photos somehow are always forgotten, allowing their great evil to rise again. It’s unavoidable that teens will someday unearth them, and through the power of sheer will and youth, make them somehow chic again. That’s happening now with some cursed ’90s fashion.
Chicness can only take you so far, however. There are situations where no amount of TikTok “get ready with me” likes or street-style photos can help you. One of those places is the woods. I write this article as a warning to those who are looking to get into perhaps the least convenient stylistic wardrobe of recent history, people who never experienced firsthand just how many physical accidents these clothes were responsible for. Rock the throwback style if you want, but be forewarned that you might pay the ultimate price.
Here are five ’90s fashion trends that would get you killed while running from a bear…
Baggy pants were huge in the ’90s, none baggier or containing more pant than the fabled JNCOs. Less pants, and more floaty denim force fields, they were like if your legs somehow had secured a 2-foot restraining order against fabric. Sure, they offered a breezy fit and incredible storage that would probably now allow you to carry a MacBook Pro in your back pocket, but what you ceded for this was any control over your silhouette.
When that grizzly is bearing down on you, you’ll be regretting these blasts from the past. First is a simple problem of aerodynamics. Try getting to a neat sprint while wearing basically half of a wingsuit. You’re trying to work up to top speed while having to kick the Levi’s equivalent of a merchant ship’s mainsail with each stride. Not to mention the hems, two soft hula-hoops searching the forest floor for any and all undergrowth to hook onto. It only takes one raised root before a hiker finds you in a pitiable pile of blood and indigo.
Ah, wallet chains. The quickest way to turn a pickpocketing into a mugging once the criminal in question realized they couldn’t get away from you. Even better utilized by 16-year-olds who are apparently highly worried that their learner’s permit and an expired condom posed the ultimate jackpot to would-be thieves. You could play the Mario 64 demo display at EBGames worry-free, knowing that your mental focus on 3D platforming wouldn’t leave you open to a crime of opportunity.
It provides no comfort against a bear protecting their precious cubs, however. They have no interest in human tender, nor the slim, dextrous fingers required to enter a pocket in the first place. Their only concern is the wellbeing of their ursine bloodline and the threat they think you pose. Now, you’re hoofing it through the wilderness, looped chain flailing like a slipknot to match the band logo on your shirt. Right as you finally think you’ve put some good distance between you and the blur of teeth and fur looking to end your life, that’s exactly when this chain will catch on a gnarled branch, spinning you to the ground like a nu-metal dreidel. We’ll find out just how goth you are when you’re staring death in the face.
Look at you, little John Lennon. Someone found some little stained-glass circles to prop on your nose bridge that make recess all blue. You’re strutting down the mall promenade, your colorful new facial accessory providing the final pop your World Industries T-shirt needs to establish you as King of Sam Goody. Maybe you’ll even see your crush, giving you an opportunity to sensually lower those tiny tinted ovals for a wink or two.
But we’re not in the mall now. We’re in the wilderness, and there are no crushes here, only an apex predator with fire in their black eyes. Here, beneath the shade of the tree canopy, there’s no need for UV protection of any shape or color. Instead, you’re desperately trying to plot a path through the trees that are a muddy mess of shadow and royal blue. The human eye was developed for this exact purpose, to identify and evade predators, and you’ve spit in the face of all those years of evolution, and knee-capped your carefully developed retinas. You might as well be wearing a fashionable blindfold. The last thing you’ll see is what it would look like if your insides were rose-colored.
If you’ve ever wondered what type of shoe would be cooked up if there was a scientific grant for the least evasive possible footwear, I present the chunky platform sandal. If you’re simply in search of a couple inches of ersatz height, or a fun, flirty poolside piece, maybe this would serve that purpose — a fashion chimera that looks like a pair of Japanese tabi designed explicitly for warm-weather pole-dancing.
But when you’re on the run, your future dependent on your velocity, none of this will matter. If you were allowed to choose a shoe before a bear chase like a weapon before a gladiatorial match, undoubtedly you’d pass over both sandals and platform shoes. Now, through lack of foresight and devotion to style, you’ve ended up with the worst of both worlds. The most you have to hope for is that the straps snap and leave the chunky bases behind like caltrops in a way that doesn’t shatter both of your ankles. When they track your body down, those intertwined straps will grotesquely echo the entrails Mama Bear extracted from your internal picnic basket.
Being on Heroin
Nothing was hotter amongst the figureheads of grunge than being completely strung out on heroin. Definitely the most dangerous of these stylistic choices outside of a predator-prey situation, it still wouldn’t do you any favors when facing the fury of the wild. Good luck outrunning even a slider turtle with your legs feeling like sweet jelly. On the bright side, at least you’ve pre-popped one of the world’s most effective painkillers.
Do it at age 27 for extra style points.