In the fashion world, everything old is new again. That’s certainly true for the best ‘90s fashion trends. After all, 1990s style had big shoes to fill, especially when you think of the colorful and iconic fashions of the 1980s. (opens in a new tab)But ‘90s fashion is also memorable. The decade is responsible for some of the most successful supermodels. Even Taylor Swift sings about the era in her song “Willow” with the lyric — “But I come back stronger than a ‘90s trends.”
So what’s the most iconic fashion trend? There have been plenty of memorable fashion designers over the years, but a poll reveals one piece of clothing that’s simply unforgettable. The survey of 2,000 people in the United Kingdom names the mini skirt as the most iconic fashion trend in history. The mini skirt beat out the “little black dress” and hot pants for the crown as fashion’s greatest garment. British designer Mary Quant has been widely credited as one of the creators of the modern mini skirt of the 1960s.
When it comes to everyday fashion, the survey found that a plain t-shirt and sneakers are one of the most common combos around. The fashion styles of the ‘90s are more than just nostalgia for me. I got to wear most of them in both high school and college. While there were some fashion faux pasthe decade also spawned many wardrobe staples that still stand the test of time.
That’s why StudyFinds put together a list of the best ’90s fashion trends, according to ten style experts. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!
The List: Best ‘90s Fashion Trends, According to Style Experts
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 to be a less fashionable piece, they are easy to make fashion-forward when paired with the right accessories.”
Complex calls the overall trend, “so awesome—whether you rocked it with one strap or both straps down. Also, it limit to be Guess, or else you were just playing yourself.”
The Trend Spotters 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.
“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 slots 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.
“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 Spotters.
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 visits, 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 for ’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.
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, any ’90s outfit is 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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