Fashion Police

90s Fashion Trends: a roundup

90s fashion trends in Blossom

Way back in the mists of time, we wrote a roundup of 80s fashion trends, with the intention of following it up with a similar roundup of 90s fashion trends a short time later.

And then we forgot all about it, and that was that.

Until now, that is. For today, The Fashion Police are proud to present to you our list of 90s fashion trends. This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to add your own memories of the  fashion trends of the 90s, starting with…

90s Fashion Trend # 1: GRUNGE

Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love


Flannel shirts, ripped up jeans and a generally dishevelled, “couldn’t care less” kind of look characterised the 90s grunge trend, which started with the Seattle music scene, and bands like Nirvana, and Peal Jam, and then moved into the mainstream, as fashion trends are wont to do. For women, long skirts worn with heavy workboots or Chuck Taylors, band t-shirts, long, centre-parted hair and the ubiquitous flannel shirt tied around the waist were de rigueur.

90s Fashion Trend # 2: CLUELESS

Clueless girls in their 90s fashion gear

If you were in your teens or early 20s in the 90s, chances are you watched Clueless and lusted after Cher’s amazing revolving closet – and possibly the clothes it it, too. Think plaid mini skirts, over-the-knee socks and preppy little blazers and hair bands for daytime (Cher was working this look long before Blair Waldorf came on the scene), giving way to tight little bodycon dresses (Calvin Klein or Alaia, who’s “like, a totally important designer!”) for night. Don’t forget the feather boa.

90s Fashion Trend # 3: The Spice Girls

90s fashion trends by the spice girls
The Spice Girls were single-handedly responsible for the popularity of huge, clumpy platform shoes and platform sneakers during the 90s. These were dark days for fashion: a time when it suddenly became acceptable to wear a Union Jack Flag as a dress (“Cool Britannia” was also a 90s thing…)  or wear your hair in pigtails, even although you were in your twenties. The sportswear look favoured by Mel B and the “posh” mini dresses and heels worn by Victoria Beckham formed other branches of this 90s fashion trend, but whichever Spice Girl you chose to be (We always preferred Victoria, just FYI), it was almost guaranteed to be bad.

90s Fashion Trend # 4: 90210

90210 cast in the 90s with denim jeans
The original 90210 (or Beverly Hills 90210, to give it its full title) exemplifies everything that was wrong with 90s fashion, as you can see from the shot above. Are you getting that high-waisted jeans were big? And that they were tapered? And were possibly the least flattering things EVER, other than the platform boots mentioned above? Body suits, hair scrunchies (still going strong after the 80s), fringes (bangs) which stood straight up from the forehead and were held there by hairspray, and little boxy jackets worn with mini skirts also all made appearances on the show, and in the closets of women everywhere.

Some other 90s fashion trends, in no particular order:

  • Hats with flowers, a la Blossom
  • Velvet or lace chokers, often with embellishments
  • Crop tops
  • Babydoll dresses
  • Mini backpacks
  • Denim overalls
  • Hammer pants
  • Strappy floral dresses, worn over white t-shirts
What did we miss? What do you think were the best and worst fashion trends of the 90s?


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