It seems to take less and less time for fashion trends to come full circle and start appearing again on runways and retail racks. Fashion trends from the late 1990’s have fully taken hold over the last couple of years. It started with the occasional double-denim ensemble here, a Doc Marten there… now everyone with an interest in the latest trends seems to be rocking full on mid-90’s grunge, and pulling it off amazingly in a lot of cases.
But how can you approach a style that just a few short years ago would almost certainly have landed you a spot on Fashion Police for all the wrong reasons? To really channel this messy era you need to think about the three main cornerstones of 90’s looks…
1) The clothes – Of course the pieces you select for your outfit are going to form the basis of it. There’s room for everything here – masculine, feminine, and preferably an androgynous mash-up of both. Oversized pieces are perfect for mixing and matching, although we can’t say the shapeless jeans and dresses of the true 90’s pioneers look quite right today. You’re looking for the aesthetic – the ripped denim, the pastel colours and edgy-but-kitsch contrast – but in clothes with a more modern fit.
2) The accessories – Here you can really go wild and throw whatever you like into the mix, as long as there’s not too much of it. You want to let the clothes speak for themselves for this look. Having said that, shoes are absolutely everything here. In a way you’re looking for the worst possible match for the rest of your outfit – try paring the most masculine boots you can find with the most delicate dress.
3) The hair – Maybe some of the classic 90’s hairstyles still hold painful memories for too many of us (we don’t see “The Rachel” having a comeback for another 10 years at least), but the hair really finished off all the most iconic looks, from Cher in Clueless to Britney in …Baby One More Time. Above all else, do something as unique as your outfit.
For the best advice on how to pull off 90’s fashion today, you need only look to the celebrity fashion icons of the era, and compare them with our biggest influences today. Gwen Stefani may have moved on from her days as a 90’s grunge pioneer, and the looks ushered in by the likes of Madonna, Britney, Kate Moss and so on may need a little work before being accepted today. We’d suggest looking to Rihanna for ideas on how to pull off any 90’s look, since she’s pretty much done every single one successfully over the past few years. The Kardashian sisters are also into their 90’s throwbacks – Kendall is the most prolific but our personal favourite is Kourtney’s thigh-high boots and oversized sweater combo.
The most important thing to remember with 90’s style is not to over-think it or do exactly what someone else has done. If you pitch it right, with just the right amount of not-giving-a-what attitude, you should be able to twist it into your own original look.