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90 Fashion Trends of the 90s

Updated on October 11, 2016
"Blossom," a revival of Hippie fashion, "My So Called Life," many musicians and movies, as well as individualism, inspired looks like this in the 90's.
"Blossom," a revival of Hippie fashion, "My So Called Life," many musicians and movies, as well as individualism, inspired looks like this in the 90's. | Source

Before We Reveal the Top 90 Fashion Trends of the 90's, Let's Take a Look at 1990's Fashion and Why it is So Cool!

1990's fashion started late, as the 80's lingered well into the early 90's... but when it gained ground, it began, in some ways, as a rebellion against the overblown looks of the 1980's. Minimal makeup, natural or even ill-kept hair, ripped jeans, baggy clothes, and lots and lots of flannel took over. But the 1990's soon gave way to so much more; it became a true time of fashion freedom and expression. From street looks to goth looks to the retro looks of flower children to futuristic pop-star and naughty school girls looks, people were pretty unique in the 90's. So, in a way, this list was really difficult to write, because there are just so many iconic fashions from the 1990's. So, if I miss any of your favorites, please let me know in the comments section at the end of the list.

1998 - Britney Spears Began Her Reign as The Princess of Pop and a Major 90's Fashion Icon

The 1990's - The Most Comfortable Era of Fashion?

For many people in the 90's, comfort was everything! There were lots of hoodies, sweatpants, oversized t-shirts, and baggy clothes in general to be found.
For many people in the 90's, comfort was everything! There were lots of hoodies, sweatpants, oversized t-shirts, and baggy clothes in general to be found.

90's Fashion Icon Gwen Stefani with her band No Doubt

Get Ready to go Retro!

It is almost weird to think of the 90's as "retro" for this writer, as the 1990's perpetually feel like just a few years ago to me (which is obviously not the case); but I lived my elementary, tween and a portion of my teen years in the 90's, after all, so I experienced in full force the years of 80's fashion hangovers, rebellion against 80's fashion, the grunge movement, the "preppy" look, flower child revivals, raver culture, hip hop culture, goth nation, the idolization of "supermodels," the major entertainment industry influence in everyday fashion, an acceptance of street wear & not trying so hard, global influence, the internet, & yes... Jennifer Aniston's famous (or infamous) haircut: "The Rachel." So, it doesn't seem so "retro" to me, especially as my closet is actually still full of 90's fashions and I myself still wear many of these looks...

But I think I can understand how it would feel "retro" for others. Actually, it is probably much like in the 1990's when we were all pulling out iconic looks from the 1960's and 1970's. Only I now feel as they did then. (No, not old. Well... maybe a little.)

"Retro" or not, there is "No Doubt" (get it?) that 90's fashion is still influencing fashion today.

But what influenced fashion in the 1990's?


Fashion Icons: Posh Spice, Ginger Spice, Baby Spice, Sporty Spice, and Scary Spice!

Major Fashion Influences of the 1990s:

  • Supermodels such as Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen, Christy Turlington, Heidi Klum, Tyson Beckford, Tyra Banks, and Jason Lewis
  • Entertainers / Celebrities such as Winona Ryder, Drew Barrymore, Liv Tyler, Gwen Stefani, Selena, Johnny Depp, Princess Diana, Madonna, Reba McEntire, Mariah Carey, Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain, Britney Spears, The Spice Girls, Shania Twain, TLC, Tupac Shakur, Jennifer Aniston, Neve Campbell, Nicole Kidman, Christina Ricci, Marky Mark, MC Hammer, Will Smith, Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Brad Pitt, Gwenyth Paltrow, Claire Danes, Lisa Bonet, Shirley Manson, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Will Smith, Melissa Joan Hart, Sandra Bullock, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rider Strong, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Keri Russell, Sarah Michelle Geller, and RuPaul.
  • TV shows such as: "Friends," "Blossom," "Beverly Hills: 90210," "Moesha," "Full House," "Boy Meets World," "Married with Children," "My So Called Life," "Party of Five," "Living Single," "Saved by the Bell," "Sister, Sister," "Home Improvement," "The Nanny," "Mad About You," "Dawson's Creek," "Daria," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Murphy Brown," "Melrose Place," "Twin Peaks," "Felicity," "Martin," "Clueless," "Ally McBeal," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Charmed," "Will and Grace," "That 70's Show," and "Sex and the City."
  • Movies such as "Empire Records," "Reality Bites," "Clueless," "Dazed and Confused," "Thelma and Louise," "Pretty Woman," "The Craft," "Tank Girl," "Practical Magic," "10 Things I Hate About You," "Pulp Fiction," "Jawbreaker," "Cruel Intentions," "Ghost," "As Good as it Gets," "The Bodyguard," "The First Wives Club," "Waiting to Exhale," "She's All That," "Hope Floats," "Sabrina," "The Crow," "Soul Food," "Point Break," "The Faculty," "French Kiss," "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "Out of Sight," "Now and Then," "Boogie Nights," "That Thing You Do," "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar," "Selena," "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," "Poetic Justice," "Can't Hardly Wait," "Benny and Joon," "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Sense and Sensibility," "Emma," "The Matrix," "Titanic," "Stealing Beauty," "Poison Ivy," "Hackers," "Before Sunrise," "Go," "Mallrats," "Boogie Nights," "Playing by Heart," and "Spice World."
  • Musical Genres such as Grunge, Hip Hop, Punk, Metal, Emo, Alternative, EDM, R&B, World, and Pop (As well as a huge surge in the number of female singers/songwriters)
  • MTV
  • Rave Culture / Skater Culture / Goth or Punk-Goth Culture / Country or "Cowboy" Culture
  • Hippie fashion / Beatnik fashion / 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's fashion
  • Lilith Fair
  • "Rent" (Broadway show)
  • Fashion magazines
  • The Internet
  • Personal Expression / Friends / Family

Yup, even tie-dye was big in the 90's!
Yup, even tie-dye was big in the 90's!

Time for those 90's Fashions!

Now that you know a bit more about 1990's fashion and what influenced it, we can now explore 90 fashion trends of the 90's!

These are in no particular order, because how do you really rate and rank freedom of expression, fashion, and art?

That being said, if you feel it is possible, and want to rank them yourself and share your ranked list in the comments, feel free to do so.

For now, please enjoy 90 Fashion Trends from the 90's!

-------------------- 90 Fashion Trends of the 90's --------------------

  1. Chokers
  2. Over-Alls
  3. Flannel
  4. The Use of Symbols / Animals in Clothing and Jewelry Design (peace signs, Yin/Yang, smiley faces, Ankhs, butterflies, stars, unicorns, horses, wolves, eagles, and dolphins)
  5. Fanny Packs
  6. Mini-Backpacks
  7. Snap Bracelets
  8. Crop Tops
  9. Spaghetti Straps (dresses, tank tops, etc.)
  10. Scrunchies (in the hair or on the wrist)
  11. Combat Boots / Doc Martens
  12. Low Rise, Flare Leg Jeans
  13. Babydoll T-shirts (sometimes layered with spaghetti strap tank tops)
  14. Mini Skirts and Mini Dresses
  15. Jean Jackets
  16. Hoop Earrings
  17. Ripped Jeans (self-made or store bought)
  18. Platform Shoes and/or Thick Soled Shoes
  19. Sandals and Flipflops (jellies, Birkenstocks, Adidas...)
  20. Rolled/Cuffed Jean Shorts
  21. Track Pants
  22. Cargo Pants
  23. Bandannas
  24. Velvet (dresses, shirts, pants, scrunchies, etc.)
  25. Butterfly Hair Clips
  26. Chain Wallets
  27. Pleather
  28. Backwards Baseball Caps
  29. Wide Leg Jeans (like JNCO...)
  30. Converse Sneakers
  31. Leather (or Pleather) Biker Jackets
  32. Floral Skater Dresses
  33. Glitter - Lots and Lots of Glitter
  34. Black Nail Polish
  35. Maxi Skirts
  36. Jelly Bracelets
  37. Hoodies
  38. Mood Rings
  39. Biker Shorts
  40. Mary Jane Shoes
  41. Bucket Hats
  42. Buttons / Pins / Brooches
  43. Friendship Bracelets and Necklaces
  44. Cardigans
  45. "Granny" Sweaters (vintage sweaters, usually long, with pockets...)
  46. Clogs
  47. Headbands
  48. Black Eyeliner (on all sexes and genders)
  49. Wine / Berry / Burgundy Lipstick
  50. COOGI Sweaters
  51. Bustier Tops (think: Selena)
  52. Tube Tops
  53. Sweatpants
  54. Skater Shoes
  55. Tie Dye
  56. Images of Tweety Bird, Betty Boop, Cathy, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn
  57. Baggy EVERYTHING
  58. Body Conscious Dresses
  59. Layering Jewelry
  60. Matching Tops and Bottoms
  61. Mixing Flannels and Florals
  62. Belly Rings, Eyebrow Rings, and Tongue Piercings
  63. Ballet Flats
  64. Halter Tops
  65. Sports Bras Worn as Tops
  66. Vintage Band T-Shirts
  67. Animal Prints
  68. Tinted Sunglasses
  69. The "Sexy School Girl" Look
  70. Capri Pants
  71. White Canvas Shoes
  72. Pop Can Tabs Tied to Shoelaces
  73. Pukka Shell Necklaces
  74. Knee High Boots / Go-Go Boots
  75. Berets
  76. Fleece
  77. Tailored Pant Suits
  78. The "Little Black Dress"
  79. Black Nylons and Black Fishnet Tights
  80. "Stonewashed" Jeans
  81. Turtlenecks
  82. Pashminas / Wraps / Ponchos
  83. Trench Coats
  84. Popcorn Shirts (the tiny shirts that look like doll clothing, but stretch...)
  85. Polo Shirts
  86. Ski Goggles
  87. Lip Gloss (especially LipSmackers)
  88. The "Smokey Eye"
  89. Peasant Tops
  90. Every Crazy Hairstyle Under the Sun

A Few More 90's Fashion Trends that Didn't Quite Make the List

  • The Importance / Status of the Brand Name (TOMMY, JNCO, Starter Jackets, Vans, Adidas, Old Navy, etc. / Brand Names on T-shirts, embroidered on jeans, on hats, jackets, purses, backpacks, etc.)
  • Cotton Candy Pink Hair
  • Hair Dyed with Kool-Aid
  • Spikes (on necklaces, collars, belts, etc.)
  • Cowboy Hats and Cowboy Boots
  • Soccer Socks
  • Skorts
  • Tankinis
  • "Wife Beater" Tank Tops
  • Razor Back Sports Tank Tops
  • Jeans from Head to Toe
  • Khaki Pants and Shorts
  • Wristwatches
  • Jean Skirts
  • Backwards Pants
  • Vests
  • Henna
  • Chopsticks in the Hair
  • Bindis on Westerners (think: Gwen Stefani)
  • "Mom" Jeans
  • Corduroys
  • Stirrup Pants
  • Leotards with Jeans
  • Fingerless Gloves
  • Legwarmers
  • Thick Tights / Leggings / Stirrup Pants Worn Under Skirts, Dresses, and Shorts
  • Messy Ponytails, Braids, and Buns
  • Beach Hair / Bed Head
  • Long Sweaters Worn as Dresses
  • Varying Thickness in Neckties
  • Crimped and Permed Hair
  • Embracing Natural Texture in Hair

Drew Barrymore - 90's Fashion Icon

Do You Love 90's Fashion?

Are you a fan of these 90 fashion trends of the 1990's?

See results

Did I miss any of your favorite 90's fashion trends?

The 1990's were such an amazing time for fashion and self-expression, so I know that there is a chance that I, in fact, missed some of your very favorite 90's trends.

If I did, please let me know which ones in the comments below!

And if there are a few 90's trends that you are just DYING to bring back, let me know those too! (For me, personally, it's all about crop tops, jean jackets, chokers, and... who am I kidding... I love it all! Well, except maybe the whole "backwards pants" thing...)

I do hope you enjoyed this list of 90 fashion trends of the 90's. I look forward to your feedback and to seeing these trends on the streets!

For now though, "I'm outtie."

COMMENTS

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    • aylaadamsart profile image

      aylaadamsart 14 months ago

      "wear" did you get them there so cute

    • profile image

      feri77 14 months ago

      she is beautyfull