The Greatest '90s Fashion Trends to Keep Wearing Today
There’s a reason everyone’s still wearing trends and fads that come from ’90s history. From preppy, Cher Horowitz-esque checks to baggy, high-waisted jeans, there are some pretty iconic looks from the decade that we still incorporate into our wardrobes. Of course, our modern day approach means we’re either trying revamped silhouettes from designers who source inspiration from the ’90s, too, or that we’re gracing our outfits with a tinge of ’70s, ’80s, or ’00s for a mixed bag aesthetic.
That’s why we’re singling out 30 specific looks that definitely have ’90s roots, but breaking down the best methods for styling them right now. While that may mean shopping for a throwback item you don’t already own (OG sport sneakers with a recognizable brand logo? Pedal pushers that extend lower than a Bermuda short, but are not quite as long as capris? The perfect denim jacket for tying around your waist?) we’re sure you don’t mind curating a new list of must haves.
Ahead, see how stylish people all over the world continue to proudly sport tie-dye, cargos, biker shorts, fanny packs, tiny sunglasses, platforms, tube tops, track suits, slips, and more, and don’t forget to keep their hacks in the back pocket of your overalls.
A Shirt Around the Waist
Stretching back to the grunge days when Nirvana was king, a button-down tied around the waist was the ultimate ’90s styling trick (bonus points if yours was plaid). Today, we’re loving the look as an easy way to make a pulled-together outfit a bit more casual.
While our allowances might have once gone exclusively to investing in these funky necklaces from our local Claire’s, these days the trend is unexpectedly grown-up, and does not always come complete with stretchy wire.
Long considered the preferred footwear of granola-munching earth-lovers (when they’re not barefoot, of course), this comfortable style has gotten a high-fashion seal of approval through the years. Paired with boyfriend jeans or even worn with joggers at home, Birks are a symbol of laid-back cool.
Baseball caps are forever, but using a bright bucket hat to infuse a little more color into your outfit feels particularly ’90s.
OG Sport Sneakers
From Reebok and Adidas to Puma and New Balance, these OG sneaker brands are just as popular to collect now as they were in the ’90s. Flashing your label love is highly encouraged.
In the ’90s, we were collecting these in iridescent colorways (remember Lisa Frank?). Bold pops of color like cherry red are still a popular way to rock this trend.
You better believe women are still wearing their overalls, rolled and cuffed to show off a flashy pair of sandals.
Whether worn in combat boot form or brogue style, Docs ground out menswear-inspired looks and feminine dresses alike. Style them with your socks for ultimate ’90s flair.
Not just for the gym, co-ord sets that provide comfort are still cool too, particularly in monochrome colors that you can break up with a bag or sporty bomber jacket.
Styled with denim and sneakers, crop tops are particularly on-trend when they’re smocked or complete with ruffles, a popular look for summer.
The material might have started off on sexy, chainmail dresses, but we love how it’s repurposed onto bags, particularly from Paco Rabanne, today. You can also channel the look in a killer going-out halter top.
A simple thong or T-strap sandal with a kitten heel is not just easy to walk in, but seamless to style with your midi dresses and denim. The simplicity of the minimalist sandal means it goes with mostly everything in your closet.
Shop for sheer, gauzy, mesh pieces in an all-over print to get the tattoo-effect shirt look that the ’90s made famous.
Whether you fold yours up and tie it around your neck or show off even more of the paisley print like so, we especially love the look when complete with a baby tee, cargos, and creepers.
Slip dresses have been a staple in our wardrobes for years, but they almost always look cooler grounded out with a chunky platform boot, a combination that hails from the ’90s. Whether you’re looking for a simple monochrome color or something with prints, this no-brainer outfit will always be a standard easy outfit.
Shop for a tube top that looks just as good on its own as it does under a blazer, bomber, or cardigan sweater. Complete with denim and a shoulder bag, and your look is complete.
Baggy High-Waist Jeans
The high-waist silhouette with just a little give for movement is one we can all get behind. While the mom jean has stuck around in recent years, we’re seeing a resurgence of the super roomy wide leg that lends a casual touch to any look.
The Steve Madden flatform sandal has been reintroduced in so many variations – you’ll even find a similar sole on Dr. Martens and sneakers. Just make sure if you’re wearing yours with pants to opt for something ankle-length so you can revel in the shoe moment.
From hair accessories to midi dresses, the luxe look of velvet is forever eye-catching and particularly fun to play with during the holiday season. Opt for crushed velvet for added texture and a look with more dimension.
This in-between pant length gained popularity in the ’50s and then again in the ’90s, begging for a shoe moment or an ankle bracelet with personality.
We love how designers are reinventing the wheelhouse when it comes to the new skirt suit, playing with deconstructed elements and two-tone effects. While they were coordinated with pumps or sneakers in the ’90s and considered a workwear staple, now they’re perfect for going out with a strappy stiletto or heeled lug sole boot.
There’s a key difference between a simple fabric headband and one shaped with a bit more form and structure, à la Blair Waldorf. We love how easily the hair accessory completes a feminine, pouf-sleeved dress styled with a fun stud earring that pops.
Consider them the Matrix sunglasses shape if you will, but these have been brought back with edgy touches, like thick, cat-eye rims that appeal to the person who likes making a statement but refrains from a frame that’s oversize.
Cher Horowitz Plaid
Cher Horowitz’s yellow skirt suit from Clueless still inspires the schoolgirl aesthetic, but the pattern and colorway has also been repurposed onto shoulder bags and trousers as a subtle nod to the iconic film.
While today people are wearing fanny packs swung over the shoulder and even twisted to the back, the waist bag worn as a belt is timeless and speaks to its original hands free purpose. A sporty nylon pouch that actually has room for essentials helps meet flair with function.
Another “Matrix look” that might take subtle influence from the film, the leather blazer is the shortened, easier-to-wear version of the longer trench – and way more appropriate for all seasons. Style yours over a grungy vintage graphic tee for maximum effect.
The psychedelic print that actually hails from the ’70s feels particularly ’90s on a cardigan, crewneck, or t-shirt. Style the more playful piece with a slick trouser or boot to elevate.
Gwen Stefani still inspires every outfit we’ve ever made with a pair of cargo pants. These days, you can combine them with a corset top to strike harmony between regencycore and ’90s skater vibes.
Vests as Tops
We love that this effortlessly sexy look is coming back. Rather than worrying about what you’ll wear under your vest, use the statement piece as the foundation to your look, and build upon it from there. (Also see: so many of Rachel Greene’s outfits on Friends for further inspiration.)