As seniors at the American Embassy School, we’ve noticed that the student body and faculty are all very fashionable whether they’re following popular trends or making a fashion statement themselves. But over the years, we, as the Generation Z, have accumulated a collection of  fashion choices that society constitutes as ‘improper.’ And as advocates of equality, we have decided to debunk said controversies. But before making any claims, we would also like to point out that fashion, at the end of the day, is a choice and an opportunity to express yourself. Don’t let society’s judgements deter you from wearing what you love.

Here are five of the most controversial fashion combinations and choices - in no particular order -  that are both bewildering and debatable:

1. Crocs and socks

Perhaps the greatest controversy since the dawn of time: Crocs and socks. This combination, as iconic or repulsive as it may seem, plays with the idea of wearing crocs in colder weathers. But while most people grew up wearing Crocs throughout their childhood, adults are shunning the idea of bringing this footwear into their future. Crocs are considered to be worn without socks because they are waterproof. Many users point out that we don’t wear socks with flip-flops and sandals, so why would we combine Crocs and socks? Others, however, use Crocs as an opportunity to show off colorful, patterned socks and make a fashion statement. Crocs are also very comfortable and provide support and breathability for your feet. From a personal standpoint, we do not understand the controversy. Crocs may not be the best-looking footwear out there, but pairing them with socks nevertheless seems like a sound decision; comfort triumphs above all. While we have never actually worn Crocs and socks, we respect people who do. And for those who still consider this combination as a controversy, remember that Crocs, if anything, have made a name for themselves - you may hate them but you’ve all still heard of them.

2. See-through plastic jeans

To be quite honest with you, the fashion world seems to be going through a denim revolution - an obsession even. We have mom jeans, skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans. But have you heard of see-through plastic jeans? That’s right, if fashion designers didn’t already explore the possibility of combining different fabrics to create a statement, then these see-through plastic jeans definitely go above and beyond such experimentation. These jeans come in different styles, from plastic in the ripped holes of the jeans, to completely see-through pants without the presence of denim at all. While both of these styles are different, we will focus specifically on the latter. The idea behind these jeans is to provoke conversation for their uniqueness; essentially the designers have created the jeans to spark a controversy. Unfortunately, however, we do not understand the goal or benefit of these jeans. Firstly, consider wearing these jeans in the summer. Plastic is an insulator - it traps heat - and if you are not already sweltering during Indian summers, then these jeans will recreate the sauna experience for you. Secondly, the purpose of pants is not only to fulfill societal expectations of modesty but also to cover and protect our lower bodies. And somehow these jeans seem to counteract their very purpose. We may not be fans of these jeans, but we understand the controversy that surrounds them and their ability to make a statement.

3. Hairy chest bathing suit

Have you ever heard of a piece of clothing that is “disturbing?” A hairy chest bathing suit is every bit of disturbing as it is laughable. In case you haven’t heard, there is a one-piece skin coloured bathing suit with an image of a hairy body circulating the internet. It comes in three different colours to match different skin tones because you definitely want the “body” to look as natural as possible. This swimsuit was made by the brand Beloved Shirts and judging by their homepage slogan, their mission is to “make the pool say WTF.” With their latest bathing suit, their mission is more than just accomplished. The brand seems to take silly memes or things that make you laugh or roll your eyes and plaster them on clothing, which is exactly what they did with their latest launch. Nevertheless, while some people absolutely hate the hairy chest bathing suit, there are many praising the uniqueness and the hilarity of it. Either way, if you’re still looking for a beach attire for the summer, you know exactly what to buy.

4. Ugg thigh length boots

Just when you thought you’d seen it all on the runways, Ugg collaborates with French brand Y/Project to create thigh-high heeled shearling boots. Ugg had previously created tan coloured mid-calf boots which peaked in the early 2000s and decided it was time to bring back Ugg boots with a twist to celebrate Ugg’s unique fashion history. These thigh length boots come in different colours from brown to white and have numerous folds and are actually huge and spacious. They came out in 2020 and are made for both men and women. While some have been unamused by this latest creation, many are excited to have these boots in their wardrobes. But this may due to their description; Martens has compared slipping into these boots to “putting your foot in a warm pot of butter.” The boots have been rumoured to cost more than $1,000. Though people thought that this new internet trend would leave us at the end of 2021, it has followed us into 2021 and many have mixed feelings about that.

5. Denim on Denim

This is a subject that has been talked, and re-talked, and talked about again. Perhaps the biggest fashion controversy has been wearing denim on denim. It seems as if people would never be able to come to a consensus of whether the right way to wear denim is by matching it with another denim clothing item. Denim first peaked in the 1990s and 2000s - remember when Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake wore full denim at the American Music Awards in 2001? And it is still with us in 2021 (who wears any other kind of jeans except denim anymore?). However, people have had mixed feelings about how to wear it. The “right” way to wear denim has been considered pairing it with non-denim items of clothing. But if you really want to wear double denim, many pair dark coloured jeans with a relatively lighter colour of denim shirt; this even contributes to a slimming effect. But not everyone goes by the “denim rules.” Recently, celebrities like Hailey Beiber and Jennifer Lopez have been challenging this fashion controversy by wearing the exact same shade of denim as a top and bottoms. While some have shook their heads at the match, many fashion experts have praised their boldness, indicating that denim on denim is a fashion statement. It seems like we are still far away from making a collective decision, but if you really want to wear denim on denim, the “safe” way to wear it is by pairing darker denim jeans with a lighter denim shirt.

Some of the Biggest Fashion Controversies

Namita Pise and Lylah Taank