It’s not that 2020 fashion has been bad so far. Not that there’s been much to go off lol.
We weren’t exactly reaching maxxxx potential before we were locked inside our houses for the foreseeable future like little infection gremlins. Now, our wardrobes contain mostly hoodies, tees and workout gear with the occasional appearance of jeans when we feel like feeling bad about ourselves.
But, w/e your opinions on current trends, it’s hard to deny that vintage fashion did, and still does, slap. And slap hard.
Bellbottoms and monochromatic co-ords in the ’70s? Serve. Unironic acid wash and loud prints (and the rise of scrunchies!!!!) in the ’80s? A bop! There was even a little something in low-rider denim and babydoll tops in the noughties.
But, if you ask us, ’90s fashion reigned supreme.
I mean, where else was it socially acceptable to wear that many layers, jeans that big and proportions that wild? Gotta give credit where credit’s due, babyyyy.
Some humble suggestions, below.
90s GRUNGE STYLE
Can we say one thing? Flannel. Seriously. If I wore as much flannel as they did in the ’90s it would look like I absconded to the country droving plains to farm cattle for a living. But the difference is: when Tai from Clueless wears it, she looks fucking chicccc.
Grungy flannel works perfectly with another ‘90s fashion staple: the mom jean. Pair a flattering denim cut (look for a high-rise waist and a roomy leg; you can either wear them straight out or cuff ‘em at the ankle; they also look better the more customised they are, so get happy w/ the patches and markers) with a band tee (bonus points if the band was ’90s adjacent, but still cool if it’s an Ariana vibe), a super-soft flannel and some high-top shoes (Converse, Vans or Docs are classics).
If you’re not into flannel (sidebar: what the fuck! Get into flannel!), try a thick stripe or animal print.
If you wanna take it the extra mile (& ofc you do), avoid sleek hair and throw in some hairspray for some deliberately undone-done locks. Brownish-nude lips, square sunnies and silver jewellery all add to the vibez.
90s PREP STYLE
Tbh we don’t know quite enough about American high school dynamics to decode the whole frat-prep-normie fiasco, but what we do know is that wearing a sweater over your shoulders looks sick.
Add your sweater (ideally pastel coloured, but if you can’t get that, store-bought is fine) overtop some ’90s prep classics: a crisp white button up or close-cut sweater (a sweater over another sweater? Pls cue Hans Zimmer’s BWA BWA BWAAA Inception soundtrack), a mini-skirt or straight-cut khakis and a classic white sneaker.
Optional accessories may include a headband for the long-haired among us, a scrunchie on the wrist and a single, simple gold necklace. And also picking up your phone and saying, “Ugh, yes, daddy?” no matter who’s calling.
You will encounter social problems with that last point. Fair warning.
90s POPULAR STYLE
Now you may think there’s no difference between the prep and the popular girl, but you would be mistaken. In the world of stereotypical ’90s archetypes, the popular girl’s style is more laidback and sweet, to the prep’s put-together approach.
Hallmarks include floral skater dresses paired with beat-up sneakers, overalls worn over singlets or cropped tees and the perfect slip dress worn with a denim jacket tied around the waist.
Nailing this particular vibe is all about one thing: balancing that Big Girly Energy with a little rock ‘n’ roll.
Opt for a cute printed tee under some relaxed-cut overalls, and add classic high-top Converses into the mix. A coloured hair accessory and a mini backpack brings the look home.
Cropped t-shirt by P.A.R.O.S.H., $180 at Farfetch; Overalls by Tommy Jeans, $249 at Universal Store; Love Fearlessly Canvas High Top, $100 by Converse; Scrunchie by Faithfull the Brand, $19 at The Iconic.
90s SPORTY STYLE
When it comes to the sporty ’90s look, your opinions/views/thoughts/thots on actual sports are irrelevant. In fact, we’re only bringing up the sporty look because the ’90s gave us tracksuit culture. Thassit.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to go Full Track Suit. Oftentimes, Half Track Suit is the way to go. It says, “Yeah I’m sporty, but I’m choosing not to be right now.” We recommend either pairing the sweats/tracksuit bottoms with a plain tee or croptop, or flipping it and wearing a windbreaker/zip-up with a pair of denim cut-offs.
Sporty-adjacent ‘cool sneakers’ (think: VEJAs, New Balance or the louder of the Nike varieties), skater socks and—if you can hold your own against the GC—a bum bag.
90s CLASSIC STYLE
Classy ’90s fashion? We have two words for you: Princess Diana Shopping In Knightsbridge In 1994 Wearing An Olive Blazer Over White Jeans And A White Sweater.
Oh wait, that’s 17 words and a number. Anyway! All those chasing the ’90s classic fashion holy grail should take a Diana 101. The rules of which are thus: wear a slim-fit neutral bottom (denim, beige, white) with a light-coloured top (white, cream, grey) with a blazer overtop. Be super mindful of proportions because the classy ’90s lady doesn’t generally fw with the oversized/baggy life.
Adding in a top-handle bag (totes are acceptable if you think carrying stuff all the time sucks), loafers (no socks! Important) and classic sunglasses (aviators! Who knew?) bring it together.