The saying “what goes around comes around” may be intended to describe karma but it also works perfectly to describe the cycle of fashion. Trends and styles that were once considered modern and daring eventually become old and ugly, only to be reborn and re-worn decades later. And that cycle seems to be turning quicker than ever. Less than 20 years later, fashion that was considered cool in the 90s is cool once again. Whether it’s on the catwalk, on the street or in the stores, 90s trends are appearing everywhere. So embrace those crop tops, chokers and Doc Martens and we’ll show you how to master the 90s fashion trend in 2017.
Fashion in the 1990s
Fashion in the 1990s brought forth a youthful movement and offered carefree styles which dabbled in rebellion. Grunge and minimalism were the main trends of the decade with casual streetwear and “sexy school girl” styles also trending. Designers such as Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen pioneered grunge and took inspiration from the gritty streets. Supermodels were traded in for a new breed of waif models with Kate Moss, and her “heroin chic” look, leading the pack. Everyone wanted to emulate Moss’s “too cool to care” style, and fashion was infused with this attitude. Heavy duty, Doc Martens were paired with delicate slip dresses creating a juxtaposition of femininity and masculinity. Plaid, layering and low-rise, ripped, wide-leg jeans were also everyday wear. Music and fashion went hand-in-hand as fans copied the unique styles of their musical idols. Pop music and iconic films, such as Clueless, inspired the other end of the spectrum. Still sitting in the theme of rebellion, mini skirts, knee-high socks and platform shoes created the schoolgirl look. And it was all capped off with some playful body glitter.
90s Celebrity Fashion
Celebrities were the style icons of the 90s. Musicians, actors and the odd model inspired the sartorial choices of a generation. Outfits were copied and styles recreated, all while never failing to celebrate individuality. Everyone wanted to look like their favourite musician, be it Britney Spears, Madonna, Gwen Stefani or one of the Spice Girls. Britney offered the schoolgirl look while Gwen Stefani promoted grunge, and Madonna had her unforgettable Jean Paul Gaultier, cone bra. The Spice Girls celebrated originality with each offering a different persona. And every 90s girl knew which Spice Girl she was whether it was Posh, Baby, Scary, Sporty or Ginger. Kate Moss was the ultimate style queen while Drew Barrymore and Winona Ryder were just as stylish off the screen as they were on.
90s hairstyles were anything but boring. Youthful and playful, hair in the 90s gave birth to several iconic styles. “The Rachel” was the most popular haircut of the decade with women everywhere taking photos of Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Friends’ character to their salons. Choppy layered and framing the face, “The Rachel” epitomises 90s hair. For those who didn’t do the chop in the 90s, up-dos were standard. The half-up-half-down look was simple and modern while the schoolgirl look gave us pigtails which morphed into two mini buns. Adding more fun to 90s hairstyles was an array of hair accessories. Scrunchies, butterfly clips, bandanas and coloured hair streaks were all worn with pride. And how could we ever forget about the crimping?
Like the clothing, the shoes of the ’90s fell into the same trend categories. The grunge movement created an army of men and women alike wearing heavy-duty, combat boots. They were tough, gritty and paired with everything from slip dresses and florals to flannel shirts and frayed jeans. The minimalist trend also had its staple shoe in the way of Birkenstocks. Simplistic and comfortable, Birkenstocks came in a variety of styles and colours but still had that uniform feel. Platforms were popularised by the pop music scene, in particular, the Spice Girls. Chunky and often brightly coloured shoes were often paired with mini dresses. Converse’s Chuck Taylors, Manolo Blahnik’s Mary Jane style shoes, and classic pool slides were also on high rotation.
90s Clothing Which Made a Comeback
The 90s are currently experiencing a huge revival on the fashion scene. Countless styles and trends which were popular 20 years ago are popular once again. Designers, brands and celebrities are all embracing the revival and reworking classic 90s pieces into their modern looks. Crop tops and choker necklaces have seen a huge resurgence in popularity, particularly with celebrities. Celebs like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Rihanna have all been spotted rocking these trends paired with chic modern pieces. Along with chokers, hoop earrings are also making a comeback on the jewellery scene while rich, dark, berry lips offer a makeup throwback to the ’90s. Frayed denim, combat boots and dresses layered over tops have brought back the grunge to the runways while Birkenstocks and slip dresses revisit 90s minimalism.
How to Wear 90s Fashion Style in 2017
To wear the 90s fashion trend in 2017, styles need to be reworked so that they are relevant in today’s culture. Instead of copying looks exactly as they were in the 90s, recreate them in a modern and updated way. The trick is to still capture that “too cool to care” attitude of the 90s whilst looking fresh and on-trend. Blend classic 90s pieces like crop tops or chokers into your everyday wardrobe with skinny jeans and heeled boots. Pair your favourite new dress with 90s half up, half down hairstyle, or add layers by wearing a t-shirt underneath. Go light on the grunge to balance ’90s references with today’s more sleek and polished aesthetic. But most of all, have fun with your style and embrace the carefree, youthful feel of the 90s!