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Skinny Jeans and 9 Other Styles That Date You

All the outmoded things you should purge from your wardrobe—plus, some updated men’s and women’s spring styles to take their place.

4/12/2021 10:15:00 PM

Do you wear skinny jeans? No-show socks? They're just two outmoded garments that can date you. Here are 10 archaic styles to avoid—and what spring fashions to try instead.

All the outmoded things you should purge from your wardrobe—plus, some updated men’s and women’s spring styles to take their place.

LAST MONTH, I discovered I was unfashionably out of date. I was headed to a socially distanced lunch in New York when a glimpse at my reflection in a store window made me cringe: My leggings were paired with no-longer-trendy “ugly” sneakers. A puffer jacket, worn to stay cozy while dining in a curbside hut, planted me solidly in 2017, the year I bought the voluminous chubby at H&M .

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After a year when serious concerns took precedence, there’s no shame in being blissfully stuck in a bygone era. But as we emerge from our Zoom cocoons, the time is ripe for reassessing our fashion choices and stepping up our wardrobes for a post-pandemic era—within reason, of course. “Seven-inch stilettos don’t line up with what we’re going through right now,” said New York fashion-brand consultant Dani Stahl. And don’t let beautiful celebrities be your sole style guides—they can make almost anything look fabulous. “What looks dated on one person is supercool on another,” she said. “If [model] Bella Hadid puts on tight jeans, it’s current, but elsewhere can look off.” That means they’ll be “off” on me, I think, and many, many others.

What makes an outfit outdated? Recognizable fads—like message-print T-shirts or early aughts-era no-show socks—are outfit poison, and fallbacks like chinos and shapeless cardigans are cringeworthy relics. A garment’s cut, too, can read “outmoded.” “You don’t want to look like you’re in a jacket from 30 years ago, so updated fits come into play,” said Paul Stuart creative director Ralph Auriemma. He suggested tailored sportswear for a sleeker, modern fit.

As we plan our re-entry outfits, comfort remains a factor, said Tracy Margolies, Saks Fifth Avenue’s chief merchant, “but people want to be stylish.” That’s why stifling skinny jeans, for instance, bow to straight-leg options and roomy denim joggers. Below, 10 men’s and women’s styles that will subtly date you—and advice on how to bring your wardrobe back to life.

Demurely Bucolic DressesWhy They’re Out:In my college years, I called dresses from the commercially quaint British brand Laura Ashley “Heidis,” named for the classic children’s book by Johanna Spyri about an orphan growing up in the Swiss Alps. Today’s frilly, floral dresses—described by many as “cottagecore”—nod to Laura Ashley’s 1980s Liberty-print frocks and conjure a campy frivolity at odds with our 2021 selves. “Cottagecore sounds like a house muumuu…it’s very dated,” said Ms. Stahl, the fashion-brand consultant.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal »

Statements on Passing of Michael Collins

The following is a statement from acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk on the passing of Michael Collins:

So-called 'vegan leather' is hardly eco-friendly. Just more plastic that will clutter landfills. Do you write garbage and try to pass it off as journalism? Are you complicit in war crimes? They're just two heinous behaviours that will have you up against the wall in no time. Don’t wear drab shapeless sweater. Wear a drab shapeless sweater with a BELT! clunky is in! Also, cargo pants with a chunky necklace and bright print button down, b/c we all want to be Marge Simpson on safari! Mom jeans and a floral dress! Both! Together! So hot!

At those prices, most people would need to choose between food and clothing, so what I’m basically saying is that this article is way out of touch with reality. WSJ: cottagecore is totally dated. Like muumuus. Also WSJ: Here, wear this muumuu. I think this article is playing a trick on us. Shame this is about women's fashion. I was hoping we would see the end of men in skinny jeans and no socks now they have had a period of lockdown to reflect on their ridiculous toggery.

Skinny jeans don't look good in anyone. Good riddance. I wear cargos so I have enough pockets to keep all my Fuck You WSJs handy. Don't forget the black face masks. Lol.

I think it’s how you wear them, I know a lot of people who can pull them off no matter what. And the writer’s choices aren’t necessarily flattering. *checks leather whip and fedora in mirror* Yep, lookin’ good. I want to be the graphic designer at WSJ, boss comes up “look, you know those velociraptors from Jurassic park, well I want you to put jeans on them, and not just any jeans SKINNY’ll be hilarious”

Ummmm who pays $150 for a tshirt or $250 for blue jeans? I don't think anyone cares what anyone wears anymore, and why should we? What if yer old Idk that pic... the jeans are fine but the shoes with it would only be tied together nicely with an ostentatious top. A top St. Vincent would wear. imo Call me crazy, but I think I will pass on fashion advice from this publication.

Thinking of getting a cardigan with a zip, so that I can fit in with the over 50's with kids crew lol lmao

What could be more terminally lame than taking style advice from the wall street journal? Nothing on earth. You’ve been promoting this story for 2 weeks. We’re all sorry someone insulted the writer’s skinny jeans. Khakis and button down shirts definitely date you. Recommending high-waisted jeans - straight-legged or any other style - should be against the law. (Or the AP handbook?) Can’t wait for them to hit the clearance racks and then vanish. Maybe they’ll take your “trendy” fanny packs wirh them, if we’re lucky. 😂

How about we wear the clothes we’ve already bought and stop mindlessly buying more crap made in poor countries paying slave wages so you can look “trendy.” I just can’t imaging wearing garments that would “plant” me in the dark ages of 2017.