’90s fashion, the drip from yesterday, puddles in today’s culture

Percy Hively, Reporter

The 1990s was a very different time for everyone, all around the world. Fashion, music, a sense of want for freedom, and a rise in teenage angst and rebellion permeated pop culture.  Today we see a few of these trends making their way back onto high school campuses.

The ’90s were a time of minimalist fashion, which was a huge contrast from the trends of the 1980s which were bold, bright, filled with various patterns that did not go with each other at all, but people made it work with what they had. 

Billie Eilish is known for her style, which is emulated by many youths today, much like the grunge style of Kurt Cobain influenced the style of kids in the ’90s.

Whether you had loads of money or hardly any at all, the ’90s were filled with fashion trends that make ‘90’s kids now shudder at the memories.

Cobain (front) pioneered grunge style.

The mainstream adoption of tattoos, body piercings, and body modification (to a lesser extent) such as branding filled the ‘90s.

Just like Billie Eilish is transforming how preteens dress today, Grunge and Alternative Rock music with the help of Kurt Cobain, increased the simple, unkempt grunge look that went mainstream in 1992. The Anti-Conformist style that came to life in ‘92, brought another style with it that lasted until the early 2000s. Casual Chic fashion had people wearing t-shirts, ripped jeans, hoodies, and sneakers. 

People still sport this clothing now, but, in the ’90s the “thrift store” style developed widespread popularity. 

GAP gained a lot of fans in the ’90s

Clothes with very noticeable brands stitched into them, such as Tommy Hilfiger or the GAP  adorned the racks. Nobody could escape the clutches of brand-name clothes. Not even TLC.

TLC brought a bright and fresh style to the scene. Tim Roney/Getty Images via NPR/ Creative Commons

Embellished jeans, JNCO pants

JNCO jeans made plenty of adults roll their eyes. Creative Commons

, DIY jeans, acid-washed jeans along with low-rise jeans made parents writhe with discomfort at family reunions. Skater kids wore baggy JNCO [Add a link] jeans, the preppy girls in high school wore DIY jeans and embellished jeans. The wannabe-preps wore the acid-washed jeans and then there was another group of kids who could wear whatever they could afford.

In the ‘90s, neon colors were very popular trends in the United States, the USSR, South Africa, Egypt, and Japan. These trends had bold geometric-print clothing in electric blue, orange, fluorescent pink, purple, turquoise, and acid green was a common color for exercise wear, which was made popular by Lisa Lopes from TLC, DJ Tanner’s bedspread, and Richard Simmons videos.

Common patterns were triangles, zigzag lightning bolts, diamond, lozenges, rectangles, overlapping free-form shapes, explosions inspired by comic book illustrations, or “pop art” as it’s commonly known. Intricate grids, along with clusters of thin parallel lines in contrasting colors such as white, black, and yellow on a cyan background. 

Many children and adult females wore denim button-down Western Shirts, colored jeans, dark green, red, and purple metallic Spandex leggings, halterneck crop-tops, drainpipe jeans, colored tights, bike shorts, black leather jackets with shoulder pads, baby-doll dresses over bike shorts or sometimes Capri leggings. Skater dresses [Add link/picture] were also common. 

Neon colored shoes and leg warmers were popular along with leopard print skirts, shiny satin/rayon blouses, jeans that were covered in rhinestones, black/white shirts, and leggings and jackets printed with abstract red, blue, yellow, and green geometric patterns colored the people walking into Sam Goody at the local mall. 

In America, popular accessories were court shoes, cowboy boots, headscarves, slouch socks, Keds, ballet flats; Penny loafers or boat shoes were associated with the Preppy look that characters such as Cher Horowitz rocked, in the hit movie Clueless.

While we look back on these styles with a bit of a tilted head and sly grin, there is no doubt that today’s styles will be viewed critically in 2050.  Don’t be so sure that your yoga pants and crop top will be chic, then again, due to how style shifts and changes in a cyclical fashion, hold on to them and be cool before your kids know what’s hip.