10 Fashion Trends That Look Cool On Instagram But Stupid IRL

We all know Instagram is a mere facade in comparison to actual reality. Even still, that doesn’t stop us from coveting the clothes, homes, and lifestyles of our favorite influencers. The thing is, just like most of the overly Facetuned Insta models on our feeds, a lot of what we see on Instagram looks significantly better in a curated and filtered post than it does in real life. Case in point: a lot of the “fashion trends” that are popular on social media don’t translate well to real life. I mean, just think about it. For the amount of girls in berets on your Insta feed, have you ever actually seen someone just casually wearing a beret to CVS on a Tuesday? Makes you think…

There are a few Instagram fashion trends right now that look cool on the ‘gram but would you make you look like a fool in real life. And don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly support the aesthetic of these trends on my feed; I just need to point out how dumb they would look out on the streets.

1. Ankle Purse

Ankle purse? Anklet bag? I legit don’t know what else to call it, so lmk if you have suggestions. This trend looks very G.I. Jane cool-girl vibes on Insta, but gives off very “is she or is she not on house arrest?” vibes in real life. The concept is actually a good idea in theory, because the bag itself is useful. As the friend in the group who is notorious for leaving my wallet at the bar, this could be a stylish alternative for bringing my ID and all my cards out in a foolproof device that even I can’t lose. Of course, we’re clearly not going out to the bars and getting wasted right now, so it’s all moot. Touch base with me this time next year, and fingers crossed life is back to normal and you may actually see me out and about, doing shots in these Kim Possible boots.


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A post shared by MOLLY-MAE (@mollymaehague)

Public Desire Intention Black Chunky Sole Pouch Ankle Boots, $52.99

2. Over-The-Top Skiwear

Not going to lie, watching the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City has made me long for a full Chanel ski suit… but then I remember I have -$14 in my bank account and am nowhere near a slope. Like, yes, Kylie looks cool in her full leopard print ski set, but try to imagine actually wearing this to your closest sh*tty ski resort. I’m just picturing my yearly ski outings with my family out in bumblef*ck Pennsylvania and me showing up in this high-fashion lewk, meanwhile, my twenty-something siblings are still wearing their childhood skiwear from Gap Kids. Unless you’re headed to Aspen or just buying the outfit solely for the picture, this is a trend I love to see on my feed, but that would make me cringe if I saw in the wild.


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A post shared by Kylie 🤍 (@kyliejenner)

ASOS 4505 Ski All In One 80s Printed Ski Suit, $190

3. Mesh Jumpsuit

I can’t even entertain this trend because I’m already annoyed imagining all the passive-aggressive comments I’d hear from the Boomers in my life. Again, this trend looks phenomenal on Instagram and everyone looks so hot, but its practicality is, well, nonexistent. That being said, we should probably just leave this one on Instagram — or just like, to the Kardashians and Kardashian-adjacents to handle.


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A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby)

Pretty Little Thing Green Marble Print Jumpsuit, $18

4. Long Sleeve One Piece Swimsuit

Long sleeve one pieces are the perfect swimsuit for Instagram and Instagram only. I guess they could also work if you’re Kim K and you take your inner circle to a private island after two weeks of multiple tests and quarantining — then you could pretend it’s normal to wear this there too. Personally, I just picture myself at my local Jersey Shore beach looking like I’m an extra in Free Willy in this wetsuit.


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A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian)

Gigi C Cici Surfsuit, $260

5. Bras as Tops

Honestly, I’m a big fan of this trend. It’s so chic and gives sexy pin-up vibes. I’m here for it — for Instagram. Or, like, a Miami club, then sure. But  I’m not going to CVS in a straight bra top and blazer. (Also, I know I bring up going to CVS a lot here, but nowadays that’s the only destination I leave my house for.) So if you’re not wearing it for Insta and not going to the clubs (which you shouldn’t be), then where on Earth are you wearing it? Just get a great Insta picture, rack up the likes, and then leave the trend there until we can go to festivals and sh*t again.


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A post shared by MAURA HIGGINS (@maurahiggins)

Tobi Liberated Diamante Crop Top, $38

6. Micro Purses

This trend has officially gone TOO far. Purses have continually gotten smaller, but lately they’ve become Polly Pocket sized. They are completely useless, so you’re literally just carrying them around to look trendy and cool. And tbh, you look stupid. Leave this trend to the celebrities who have people to carry all their actual sh*t for them.


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Forever 21 Top Handle Crossbody Bag, $12.99

7. Exposed Thong

Apparently this was a trend in the late 90s and early 2000s, but I had no idea, probably because I was in grade school at the time. Bella Hadid obviously looks cool on Insta (and I’m sure in real life too) with her thong casually exposed. However, I have a suspicious feeling that, unless you’re an edgy runway model like Bella, the rest of us would just look trashy.


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A post shared by Bella 🦋 (@bellahadid)

Garage Lace String Thong, $9.95

Coal N Terry Combat Pant – Sand, $90

8. Full Latex/Leather Outfit

Yeah, so remember that episode of RHOBH when they’re in Berlin and Erika Jayne wears that red latex top and almost gets hit by a biker because she can barely move? That was just her trying to navigate through the streets in a latex top, so imagine trying to wear a full latex or leather outfit. The head-to-toe latex/leather ensemble has become a signature favorite of the Kardashians but makes zero sense for the rest of us out here trying to live our lives, because you literally can’t move in them.

Cath Paname Pants Charon, $102

9. Exaggerated Sleeves

My fellow Bravo fans will know that all Real Housewives live for an exaggerated sleeve interview look. It always looks fantastic on our TVs and Insta feeds but sometimes a bit absurd in person. If it’s too exaggerated, you instantly look like the most extra person in the room. Great camera look indeed, but I’m going to suggest you minimize the exaggeration factor to prevent all the hassle.


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A post shared by Olivia Pierson (@oliviapierson)

Nocturne Balloon Sleeve Wrap Top, $52.99

10. Socks With Sandals

’90s kids will know from Nickelodeon’s Rocket Power that a person wearing socks with sandals is a shoobie, and you do not want to be a shoobie. Maybe it’s this conditioning from my favorite childhood cartoon that makes me now unable to wear this trend. Of course, I love how it looks on all the cool go-with-the-flow beachy Insta girls, but in person? Ehh, not so much.


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A post shared by Federica (@valliifederica)

J/Slides Leighton Black Metallic Leather, $89

STAX Unisex Crew Socks, $16 

Look, I’m the first person here to raise my hand and admit that I have bought something exclusively to wear it for an Instagram picture, knowing full well it will never actually see the outside of my house. Which is also why I kindly provided you the products if you too need to up your IG game — no shame in that.

Images: Dmitry_Tsvetkov /; mollymaehague, kyliejenner, stassiebaby, kimkardashian, maurahiggins, lizzostinybag, bellahadid, kourtneykardash, oliviapierson, valliifederica / Instagram; Public Desire; ASOS; Pretty Little Thing; Gigi C; Tobi; Forever 21; Garage; Coal N Terry; Cath Paname; Nocturne;  J/Slides; Stax

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Shannon McCormick
Shannon McCormick
Shannon McCormick (previously under the alias of 'Betch Dressed') is a self-proclaimed fashion expert with a sick obsession for all things Bravo. She primarily writes about everything fashion, but also dabbles in other areas because she's a talented overachieving Virgo. Follow her on Insta (@shanmccormick) and comment/DM topics you want to hear her incredible take on next!