July 13, 2024

5 Best ’90s Fashion Trends, Per Style Experts

The 1990s were a vibrant and eclectic decade for fashion, marked by bold experimentation and a blend of contrasting styles. From the grunge-inspired flannels and ripped jeans to the sleek minimalism of slip dresses and chunky sneakers, ’90s fashion trends were all about expressing individuality and breaking away from the conventions of previous eras. This article delves into the best ’90s fashion trends, highlighting the iconic looks that defined the decade and continue to influence today’s style. Whether you’re nostalgic for the era or looking to incorporate some retro flair into your wardrobe, these trends offer a nostalgic journey through one of the most dynamic periods in fashion history. That’s why StudyFinds put together a list of the five best ’90s fashion trends, according to 10 style experts. We compile our lists by combing through existing consumer rankings and weeding out the top consensus recommendations. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!

1. Overalls

If you were a child in the 1970s, at some point you probably wore a colorful pair of corduroy overalls. But in the ‘90s, overalls got a trendy denim overhaul. From celebrities to musicians, baggy overalls became a must-have wardrobe item. Glam suggests, “no denim look is more ’90s than baggy overalls. Overalls are an almost complete outfit in one piece. While overalls are assumed as a less fashionable piece, they are easy to make fashion-forward when paired with the right accessories.”

A woman in jean overalls
A woman in jean overalls (Photo by Mike Von on Unspllash)

Complex calls the overall trend, “so awesome—whether you rocked it with one strap or both straps down. Also, it had to be Guess, or else you were just playing yourself.”

The Trend Spotter adds, “to rock this look in pure ‘90s style, try partnering a pair of classic blue overalls with a crop top and sneakers.”

My personal pro-tip: A baby tee also works nicely under a pair of overalls.

2. Slip Dresses

A slip dress was another fashion essential. Especially when dressing up for a night out in the ‘90s. “Equal parts sultry and effortless with a dash of rock n’ roll energy thrown in courtesy of Courtney Love’s Hole-era looks, the slip dress iconically celebrated the divine feminine starting in the ’90s,” according to InStyle.

A woman in a fur coat and slip dress
A woman in a fur coat and slip dress (Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels)

Why are these dresses simply so cool? “The silky fabrics and spaghetti straps of these dresses have a flirty vibe without trying too hard, and they’re easy to throw on and dress up with some accessories,” adds Mental Floss.

POPSUGAR points out, slip dresses “almost always look cooler grounded out with a chunky platform boot, a combination that hails from the ’90s.”

3. Chunky Shoes 

And speaking of chunky shoes, this footwear trend takes the number three slot on our list. Our favorite singers and actors embraced this style choice. “The year is 1995, and Clueless just decided that yellow plaid is the new It look. Naturally, you were going to have to wear the print in the chunkiest, highest heels you could find,” notes Cosmopolitan.

Doc Marten chunky shoes
Doc Marten chunky shoes (Photo by Syd Wachs on Unsplash)

This is a trend that has definitely resurfaced recently. “Platforms were seen everywhere, from the Doc Martens of grunge kids to the sky-high sneakers of ravers (and the Spice Girls!), and even the Mary Janes and loafers of trend-loving teen girls,” suggests Mental Floss.

Music was also a major influence on ’90s fashion. “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,” according to The Trend Spotter.

4. Flannel / Plaid

That brings us to the next ’90s fashion trend— flannel and plaid. “From Kurt Cobain to Screech on Saved by the Bell, it seemed like everyone was wearing plaid flannel shirts in the ’90s. These days, it’s easy to find flannels at clothing stores and vintage shops if you’re itching to recreate the casual, cozy style,” points out Good Housekeeping.

 

“If we had to pick an ambassador for plaid skirts, it would be Sarah Jessica Parker! She popularized the look to such an extent that it is still associated with her,” suggests Fashinza.

Teen Vogue adds, “there aren’t many (casual) situations where flannel isn’t a good choice: it’s perfect for hikes, grocery store visit, lounging at home, or going out with friends.”

5. Chokers / Fanny Packs / Bucket Hats

Of course, no outfit would be complete without some accessories, and these three tied for the most iconic add-ons to ’90s outfits. Choker necklaces were a ’90s jewelry staple. Today they’re making a comeback. Some chokers are stretchy, while others consist of leather, fabric and metal. “You can go bold or keep things simple and sleek with a choker. Either way, rest assured these babies add some edge to any ensemble,” suggests Cosmopolitan.

Woman wearing black leather choker
Woman wearing black leather choker (Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash)

Another ’90s fashion accessory that’s having a modern moment? Fanny packs. “By the mid-‘90s, they were everywhere. Its highly functional nature is making this belt popular again. It can hold the phone, wallet, and keys. In their current form, the ingenious bags have gone through a lot of enhancements, and brands are experimenting with funky prints, patterned belts, and more,” points out Fashinza.

Topping off your look with a bucket hat, made any ’90s outfit complete. “Today you can find them in various styles, fabrics, colors, and designs. Style influencers have also been spotted styling them with all types of outfits, including chic summer sundresses, casual denim jumpsuits, and sporty athleisure,” adds Teen Vogue.

 

 

 

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