The 90s were a time of economic growth, the birth of both hip-hop and grunge, a budding tech industry and an explosion of an eclectic mix of new fashion trends. If you’re looking for a good throwback splurge, read ahead for the best trends of the decade that are making a second splash in 2017.
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The Guess Logo Shirt
Who didn’t idolize the blonde bombshells of the Guess Girls of the 90s? From Claudia Schiffer to Anna Nicole Smith, Guess didn’t discriminate between high fashion and low fashion, and in turn, didn’t make us feel like we had to look or be a certain way to wear their clothes. Chief among their must-haves was the iconic inverted triangle logo tee.
Guess has since moved on to more celebrity brand ambassadors — like Fifth Harmony singer, Camila Cabello — but their logo shirts have made a comeback for both men and women in new yet nostalgic ways. – Tim Chan
Inspired by Jennifer Aniston, every girl in my middle school had the Rachel hair cut. There may have been less than 30 of them, but the fact that this hair trend made it all the way to a Catholic K-8 in rural West Virginia speaks to how popular it was, and still is. It even got a shout out from InStyle.
The layered lob is young, fun, messy but still together –just like the 90s. It looks good on just about any face, but is especially great for oval, square and heart-shaped faces. Just stay away from it if your face is round — it may overemphasize your cheek bones.
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Get The Look
Jennifer Aniston knew that her hair was her brand. She even helped to launch Living Proof Haircare (though she’s no longer involved these days).
When I was in high school, Abercrombie & Fitch was the brand to wear. I had a really awesome bright yellow snowboarding jacket that held up way better than anything I bought from fast fashion brands in the 2000s. I think it’s still somewhere in my parents’ house.
After all the controversy surrounding former CEO Mike Jeffries, I was happy to see the “This Is Abercrombie” campaign that launched in late 2016, featuring a diverse cast of models and a fresh creative direction that included athleisure looks and black apparel, a colorway that had been banned under Jeffries.
I’ve been seeing it pop up on guys at my gym. Now given their age, it’s totally possible that these dudes were at their peak game when A&F was the thing, and they never stopped wearing it in the first place. Either way, their jeans always fit well, and the quality is pretty good for the price. I’m into it. -MK
While they weren’t dubbed “mom jeans” back in the 90s, this resurrected denim style has become one of the biggest trends in denim that we’ve seen since the advent of the skinny jeans over a decade ago. Despite their less-than-flattering portrayal on the now infamous SNL skit, so-called “mom-jeans,” are dominating the denim industry right now.
You don’t have to go with an authentic vintage look to rock the trend, either. Most contemporary fashion labels have re-created an updated version of the throwback style, with modern details. For those want a slimmer cut look for styles that are referred to as “girlfriend jeans,” “slim boyfriend,” or “vintage.”
While I didn’t take to the revival of the vinyl “tattoo” choker trend that exploded last year (think Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Natalie Portman’s character in the 1994 movie, Leon:The Professionalhas been a longtime source of accessorizing inspiration. I never thought I’d be emulating a 12 year old’s fashion, but between her the gold-rimmed aviator frames and signature black velvet charm choker, I am now the owner of several of this 90s jewelry staple.
But you don’t have to channel Matilde’s teeny bopper-goth aesthetic. Gold and silver metal chokers look dressier and feel somehow much more age appropriate than the fabric, vinyl, and charm versions.- MM
Lip liner has its perks: fuller looking lips, the ability to customize your lipstick shade, and making your lip products last much longer than applying lipstick alone. But in the 90s, lip liner was all about sharp contrast—outer lips rimmed with eyebrow-pencil-brown shades and filled in with light nude hues. Pamela Anderson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Gwen Stefani, The Spice Girls, and even supermodels like Naomi Campbell all fell victim to the porn-star chic “trend.” Flash forward twenty years later, and lip liner is back on the beauty scene thanks to Kylie Jenner and her Instagram-famous lip kits, along with a slew of beauty vloggers with viral lip-enhancing YouTube tutorials.
While the matte brown trend is back in style, at least the inner parts of our pouts are being filled in with color this time around. Extending the shape of your lip liner just slightly outside your natural outline will help your lips look fuller, in addition to the benefits mentioned above. But for modern day, it’s advised to stick to colors just a shade or two darker than your natural color, or the same color of your lipstick. – MM
My teenage style icon was Saved by the Bell’s Zack Morris and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve tried copying his looks head-to-toe on more than one occasion. I’m also not ashamed to admit that I would still wear many of Zack’s “preppy”-meets-90s-casual looks today.
A prime example: the oversized denim jacket from ASOS on the next slide. Zack Morris would probably wear it with matching denim jeans, white chunky hi-tops and a neon shirt. And guess what? So would I.
It could have sprung from dumb blonde jokes in the early 90s, or our national obsession with the OJ trial and blonde bombshell Nicole Brown may have caused it. Either way, by the end of the decade, being “bleach blonde” had gone from connoting ditziness or worse, trashiness, to dominating everything from the party scene to the fitness scene to the (pseudo)intellectual art scene.
Now it’s back, most notably on Karlie Kloss, Kylie Jenner, Zoe Kravitz and of course, Gwen Stefani, Queen of the 90s. Guy celebs are doing it too, like Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto and James Franco.
If you do the dye job at home, remember getting to such a bright shade of blonde can damage your hair. You’ll have to condition it well and avoid using a hairdryer so that you don’t completely fry it. You don’t want to end up with hair like straw. Otherwise, happy bleaching!
This trend may have made its debut in the late 80s, but we all known Pamela Anderson et. al popularized the look in the Baywatch series during the 90s. The Baywatch bombshells weren’t the only ones rocking the high cut look during the decade—Kelly Kapowski made several appearances rocking the one piece versions of the style, while Jessie Spano opted for high-cut bikinis on Saved by The Bell.
Above the hipbone swimwear may look dated to some, but the trend undoubtedly resurfaced this summer in conjunction with the Baywatch reboot—and for good reason. A high-cut leg swimsuit makes your legs look longer and offer you the illusion of a lifted backside. What’s not to like?
My fashion icon has—and will always be Cher Horowitz. I first convinced my naïve parents to let me watch Clueless (despite their ban of PG-13 + movies) when I was about 7 years old. After insisting on renting it on VHS nearly every weekend for the next two years at Blockbuster Video (yet another 90s throwback—RIP) I found myself really into the girly mary-jane shoes Cher wore to Beverly Hills High every day.
In the iconic “nice stems scene” in which Cher intentionally drops her pink, fluffy pen on floor to earn the admiration from her love interest Christian, she wears white patent mary-janes with a kitten heel and t-strap. There’s also the silver pair she wears during her shopping spree after a fit of rage ensues following Josh and Ty’s budding fling and her failed driver’s license test.
If you’re trying to avoid reverting back to your high school footwear selections, opt for a Mary-Jane with a higher heel, pointed toe, or choose a metallic color for a more grown-up, updated take on the trend.
Also known as the George Clooney (ER was in its heyday and Dr. Doug and Nurse Hathaway were in competition with Ross and Rachel for the hottest will they/won’t they) I rocked the hell out of that forward styled hairdo.
Now as I creep into middle age and a bald version of myself is knocking on the front door, I’m glad to know the ceasar is a solid option for men with thinning hair, as it hides sparse patches and makes the most of the mop you still got.
I miss the days when my cell phone could tuck easily into my pant pockets without creating an unsightly bulge, or when I could actually put my phone away in my bag without needing to clear space for it first. Samsung and Apple may refer to their new smartphones as “slim” and “sleek,” but when it comes to a truly thin, low-profile, lightweight phone, you can’t beat a flip phone. Samsung is reportedly launching a new flip phone in Korea. Verizon just launched its first-ever LTE flip phone in the U.S.
Flip phones are just way more practical and fun. Also: if there’s anything I learned from watching 90s soap operas and teen dramas, flipping down your phone is a great way to add dramatic flair when ending a call. – TC
One of the most awesome things I wore in high school was a pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans with the logo flag on the crotch. What can I say? I liked undue attention even at a young age. I haven’t seen anything exactly like those jeans yet, but the popularity of the Tommy x Gigi collection has me hopeful. – MK
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