Why the 2000s were the worst decade for men's fashion...ever
The eighties get a raw deal.
It's the most referenced decade when referring to fashion fuck-ups - particularly for men. Everyone points to the New Romantic movement, or Wham! and yet those styles slowly came back in. And let's not forget how cool the likes of Michael J. Fox, Eddie Murphy and Matthew Broderick looked back in the day.
If we're talking about a decade in which sartorial elegance took a battering, then look no further than the era that also bears the worse name - the 'noughties'. Here we look back in utter dread (and terrible dreads)...
Justin Timberlake, NSYNC and denim overkill
Justin Timberlake has always been cool, right? So wrong. We're not going to act all too-cool-for-school about it - 00s-era JT featured on some absolute bangers; along with his NSYNC pals, he picked up the boyband baton from the Backstreet Boys and made some great pop. But the clothes were a complete disaster.
The worst offence by far was the denim obsession. Justin and the boys loved the fucking stuff. As well as the heinous crime of going double-denim, they insisted on random jean patches all over the shop.
— E! UK & IRELAND (@EOnlineUK) January 8, 2016
Even David Beckham looked (relatively) shit
Becks has always been willing to try new things, and this of course leaves him open to ridicule - especially in hindsight. But never has the international style icon looked more ridiculous than in the first decade of this century. It was truly crash crash stuff.
There were two looks that were particularly galling. Firstly, there was the ex-rocker greasy mane that was parted in the middle, and made him look a rejected All Saint. Then of course there was those tragic cornrows he wore to a meet the late, great Nelson Mandela. What an impression to make.
Hard as fuck gel and plenty of it
There's a lot of blokes in their thirties and forties walking around with hardly any hair these days, isn't there? Ever wondered why that is? It'll be down to an increase in male-pattern baldness, surely...WRONG! It's because all their hair snapped off in the great gel avalanche of the 2000s.
It was a period in which a value tub of hard gel lasted a week rather than the advertised six months. The likes of Liberty X and 5ive were the main offenders, substituting talent for spikes, and firm-hold shards of brittle hair for holding a note. Many a romance was cut short by accidental impalements.
The Matrix had so much to answer for
The Matrix trilogy of films were released between 1999 and 2003, and no one can deny that they were a cinematic revelation. We'd never encountered such a slick and futuristic aesthetic before, even if they did start to make less and less sense as the franchise progressed. Everyone agreed they looked very cool.
The downside is that they inspired an army of Neo and Morpheus wannabes. It is unclear as to whether they truly believed that they were the chosen ones, but they adorned long leather jackets and pitch black oval glasses with such laughable seriousness that unplugging them would've been a small mercy.
Posh blokes and multiple collars
What the actual fuck was this all about? If a singular 'popped' collar of a polo shirt didn't immediately mark you out as a wrong 'un, it was often multiplied by two, three, four or even five erect collars in a ludicrous display of Russian doll-esque wankshaftery.
The abysmal fad was imported over from the US via the always grotesque 'frat boy' sub-culture, and it was adopted on these shores by posh blokes who wanted to seem 'hip' and 'relevant' in a way that daddy's allowance never could. This was the absolute nadir for this or any other decade. Kill it with fire.
Soul patches and shaped goatees
We've covered facial hair in detail previously, but the 00s were a decade when we had the time and inclination to get creative with our chin adornments - and not in a good way. There was no such thing as trying too hard at a time when carefully carved-out stubble was positively encouraged.
The main offenders were gravel-voiced Michael Greco, who played Beppe di Marco in Eastenders, and of course Craig David, who probably spend Monday through Friday in the bathroom cultivating his look. As you can seen below, the author of this piece can hardly talk...