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Creating Your Own 1990s Halloween Costume

Updated on September 8, 2012
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie is a huge fan of Halloween and loves everything that is ghoulish. You can often find her reading or writing horror stories.

The '80s are so last decade! Well, really more decades than that...

There was a time when everyone was breaking out their leg warmers, acid washed jeans, and big mesh shirts to dress up for 1980s parties. It was certainly fun, but putting one's hair to the side in a ponytail starts to get old after a while. There comes a time when we must progress past the 1980s parties and move to the next decade. That time is now. Now is the perfect time to break out the flannel and the Doc Martens, and get together the perfect 1990s Halloween costume.

I know some might say the 1990s were a dismal decade and who would want to relive that? Come on... any decade with 90210 and MC Hammer can't be that bad! There are plenty of fun outfits you can come up with if you are going to a Halloween party. Even better, why not have a 1990s themed Halloween party? It is a fun idea, I assure you!

Pearl Jam & Color Me Badd


1990s Outfits for Guys

If you are a guy and want to dress for the 1990s, it is going to easy. First of all, if you are a metrosexual kind of guy, but would like to relax a bit, this is going to be a great costume. Less is more for your '90s look. Make sure to get rid of all that hair gel and, by all means, take off that make up. If you are already a "manly" dude anyway, this is going to work well for you.

The grunge look in the '90s looked just how it sounds. You want to look like you don't care about your appearance. After all, you are a Gen X guy now. You want to look as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders and no one cares. For your grunge outfit you need:

  • Flannel shirt and/or t-shirt (it is best to have layers as if it is really cold, even if it isn't)
  • Leather jacket is perfectly acceptable
  • Lose jeans (the more holes and the less attractive, the better)
  • Big boots, preferably Dr. Martens
  • Unwashed hair, preferably long
  • Goatee (if you can't manage a goatee, stop shaving; you will at least need stubble)
  • Walk around looking bummed out.

If you cannot stand the thought of looking so gross, then fine. You are going to have to dress like MC Hammer or Vanilla Ice. Color Me Badd is also an option. Never forget the babes loved the guys of 90210, so dressing like Brandon or Dylan is completely acceptable.

You are still going to need loose fitting jeans, but you can at least wear something without holes if you are going for a more preppy look. Yes, you can have short hair and you are even allowed to use hair gel. Ewww! People may point and laugh at your look at your spiffy '90s look, but at least you will probably smell nice.


Be a grunge couple!  Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love with Frances
Be a grunge couple! Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love with Frances | Source

1990s Outfits for Girls

For you ladies, 1990s style has something special waiting for you. The look for the gals is to be as cute as possible in adorable dresses, but look like you spent no time on it. You don't want to style your hair; if possible, straight bangs and straight, long hair is absolutely perfect. Here is what you are going to want for your look:

  • A baby doll dress (if there are holes, even better)
  • Tights
  • Mary Janes
  • Child-like hair accessories

If you prefer to wear pants, yes, you can wear jeans, but you can't wear any jeans that are cute and fitted. Remember, you are full of remorse and angst! You can't be full of angst in skinny jeans. If possible, get some flared jeans. You can also wear flannel if you'd like. Apparently, it was just really cold all during the '90s and a lot of flannel jackets needed to be worn. I guess we were all so full of angst that the sun went away forever.

By the way, boots were also a good look for the ladies in the 1990s, too. Granny boots or Dr. Martens are perfectly acceptable to wear. Feel free to wear Mary Jane shoes with your outfit, too. After all, it may have been a dismal decade, but women were still allowed to look a little cute.

Watch this video to get into the 1990s mood...

Get your 1990s party on!

So now that you've got your look, it is time to really get in a 1990s groove. Even if you don't have a 1990s party, you certainly want to get in a Gen X state of mind before taking your look out on the streets for Halloween.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is you are really emotionally disturbed about life in general, but you can't explain why. If possible, try to walk around looking disillusioned and disappointed. For that matter, try to use the word "diss" in a sentence at some point. That was pretty big in the '90s, too. If someone tries to put down your Halloween costume, tell them, "Stop dissing me!" Oh, you are so '90s now!

You might want to check out some movies that really captured the tone for the decade. You don't want to miss:

  • Reality Bites
  • Clerks
  • Singles
  • Empire Records
  • Beavis and Butthead Do America

When you are done watching some fine '90s movies, you definitely want to listen to some great music from the decade. Out of everything from the '90s, the music was probably the best part. Make sure to add to your playlist:

  • Nirvana
  • Pearl Jam
  • Soundgarden
  • Alice in Chains
  • L7
  • Hole
  • MC Hammer
  • Vanilla Ice
  • Color Me Badd
  • Everclear
  • Beck
  • Counting Crows
  • Sponge
  • PJ Harvey
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket
  • Smashing Pumpkins
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Liz Phair
  • Public Enemy
  • Sonic Youth
  • Blind Melon
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Stone Temple Pilots
  • Jane's Addiction
  • The Offspring
  • TLC
  • Coolio
  • Matchbox 20
  • Hootie & the Blowfish
  • Barenaked Ladies
  • Foo Fighters

Once you've got your disenchanted, practically all-alternative music playlist, you are going to be ready to go. So start planning your 1990s Halloween party now. Unless you want to wait the last minute and then make all the guests sad. I guess that would be so 1990s of you to disappoint your guests like that!

Watch this movie clip so you'll feel so "Gen X"...


Submit a Comment
  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks for the comment and for taking a trip down memory lane. I do kind of remember the jackets, but I definitely remember the Airwalks. And now Payless sells Airwalks... they're still good shoes.

  • truefaith7 profile image


    10 years ago from USA

    Another must-have item for any '90s costume is a surplus army jacket. Not the army-style designer jackets that have hit the store shelves over the past couple of years, but the real deal. That was what we wore back in those days along with our Nirvana and Marilyn Manson tees and Airwalks. Oh yeah, and if you wear a pair of genuine '90s Airwalks to the party, don't forget to wear a pair of plaid or solid-colored dress socks with those!;-)

    Thanks for the '90s flashback and have a happy '90s-style Halloween!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I am glad you liked the hub. Thanks for the comment!

  • weestro profile image

    Pete Fanning 

    10 years ago from Virginia

    This hub is great, I want to go as CMB, it reminds me of the motherlover skit on SNL

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    That is so true... Kurt did love the Converse shoes, didn't he? I wasn't even think about that. Sigh, I do miss him so much. If some dude did show up at a Halloween party I was attending dressed like Kurt Cobain, I would stalk him the whole night. I guess it would be fitting if I was dressed like Courtney while doing that. Thanks for the votes!!!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Kitty Fields 

    10 years ago from Summerland

    Love this hub, too! Great ideas. I think the Kurt Cobain costume could easily be done by guys who didn't feel like "dressing up" for a Halloween party. Flannel shirt, holy jeans, pair of converse. Perfect! Voted up and awesome, yet again. :)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I figured not too many people would think of a '90s outfit, so I thought I should write a hub about it. After all, who doesn't have some old, ugly clothes just laying around? Thanks for reading and for the comment!

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 

    10 years ago from San Francisco

    Hahaa, this is the first time I've seen a guide to creating a costume for Gen Xers of all people! Hilarity!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you all for your comments!

    Cloverleaf - Just think, if you go to more than one Halloween celebration this year, you will have a back-up costume. :-)

    FloraBreenRobison - I honestly did not enjoy the grunge look myself either. I like to be girly. However, I did love the music.

    Movie Master - Sounds like everyone preferred the '80s over the '90s. I guess that is why 1980s parties still rule and you don't hear about '90s parties too much. Thanks for the vote up!

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    10 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Jeannie, I must admit I preferred the 80's to the 90's and those years made more of an impression on me!

    Brilliant hub as always, enjoyed it! many thanks for sharing and voting up!

  • FloraBreenRobison profile image


    10 years ago

    I was a teenager during the 1990s and I have to say I hated the grunge look and most of the music. sigh. I never have been one for following my age group in the entertainment industry. Of those hot bands you list from that decade I only enjoyed TLC and The Barenaked Ladies. Ouch.

  • Cloverleaf profile image


    10 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

    Hi Jeannie,

    I had already got my Jersey Shore costume lined up but hey I guess it doesn't hurt to have a backup!

    I have to agree with Cogerson though, I remember the 80's more than the 90's and frequently went to disco parties with the good old side pony tail and spotty frock. Your hub was a good reminder of all fun times!


  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Honestly, I did have a hard time letting go of the '80s, too. Fashion was way better and the movies were better. However, even as much as I love '80s music, I have to say a lot of good alternative music came out of the '90s. I do think '80s parties will always remain more popular than '90s parties simply because the 1980s were more fun. Who wants to dress in flannel and torn jeans when you could be wearing neon colors and leg warmers? Thanks for reading and for the comment!

  • Cogerson profile image


    10 years ago from Virginia

    Sadly I think you are correct...the time of remembering fondly the 1980s....has been replaced by those damn 1990s....I am really getting older. Since I was still stuck in the 80s back in the 90s I missed all of these fashion trends...but now after your hub...I am ready for always you have written an interesting hub.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, it was all about the flare jeans. Oh, how I hated the flare jeans. I am glad skinny jeans are back. I think I blocked out most of the "boy bands" from back in the day, but I do remember Clueless fashion. I believe I even had some plaid skirts like Alicia Silverstone. Mostly, I just remember the first part of the decade being about Gen X and angst. I don't miss that or the fashions, but the music was really good. Thanks for the vote and the comment.

  • nycgrl profile image


    10 years ago from New York

    Ha oh the 90s, how I miss them. I was too young to be part of the grunge angst and was more part of the mid to late 90s that was dominated by pop boy bands and "Clueless" movie fashion (god those were great days!). I do remember wearing jeans so tight they looked painted on but instead of skinny they were flare with clunky platform boots. But now that we are all the way into 2011, a 90s costume really could work. Voted up!


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