Velvet and crop tops and chokers—oh my! The 90s fashion revival is in full swing! Check out which of your fave trends have received a modern makeover.
I 'm a 90s kid. Pokemon, mood rings, slap bracelets, and tattoo chokers were my childhood. It’s hard to believe there was a time before every eight year old had a cell phone and a tablet to match (a modern phenomenon I still don’t understand). Those were simpler days! Let’s get nostalgic because 90s fashion is flooding fashion trend reports everywhere!
Let’s be real, kids’ television just isn’t the same. I feel sorry for today’s kids who have to face growing up without the help of vital life lessons from Full House, Sister Sister, Boy Meets World… The list goes on and on.
The 90s acted as a vanguard for many dramatic fashions. Tattoos, piercings, and other body modifications were becoming more widely accepted, sparking an all-around anti-conformist attitude toward fashion. This resulted in the grunge style clothing we all know and love.
But what is grunge? I’ll tell you one thing: It’s about way more than fashion. Born from rock-and-roll, rebellion and chipped black nail polish, the bane of 90s parents sweeps the nation. (They just don’t get it, you know?) Cropped tee shrouded beneath her boyfriend’s flannel button down, denim up to her navel littered with holes, Grunge Girl and her trusty sidekick Doc Marten skip class to go smoke cigarettes with the seniors in the school parking lot. That’s grunge. Grunge is a coming of age story. It’s a story of teenage angst and heartbreak. Craving that sought after sense of belonging and identity. And that’s when you realize: Fitting in is so overrated. That is grunge.
Overdramatic? Maybe. Accurate? Definitely. I know I say this with tongue-in-cheek, but, in all seriousness, grunge really is way more than a fashion choice. We’ve all (well, most of us, anyway) felt that darkness—that sense of alienation from those around us—when you just feel like you don’t belong anywhere at all. You feel isolated. Then you get bullied, which, in turn, causes you to isolate yourself even further. A cruel cycle. Grunge is tossing those negative experiences out the window. Grunge is thinking outside the box and flaunting your individuality. Grunge, to me, is all about loving yourself. Bet you weren’t expecting that in a fashion blog post, huh? Well, I think you get my point so let's get to talking about the 90s fashion revival and why I'm all about it!
Ahh, velvet. Nothing says 90s style clothes more than a velvet crop top! As you already know from my NYE post, I am a little (okay, a lot) obsessed with velvet. It’s just so rich and soft and magical. So, naturally, Drew and her velvet wrap crop top are making another appearance just for this post! That smirk says it all: If you got it, flaunt it.
Velvet is practically perfect in every way. Blazers, skirts, pants, dresses, the options are endless! Check out this amazing red velvet blazer! (Side note: a good blazer is a must-have for any closet, women and men both. However, as clearly illustrated by the current menswear trend, girls just do it better.) 90s jackets like this one can easily go from super grunge, to high class with the right accessories. So, you can have your 90s vintage clothing and still be good with current trends!
I would like to take a moment to stare at the gorgeous blue velvet maxi skirt below. Are you looking at it with me? Good, because it’s stunning! I kind of want one in my life so I can wear it out. Or maybe even to class, who knows? 90's clothes are coming back, so why not?
My first thought when I saw this 90's dress was “Go, Go Power Rangers!” It’s probably the style of the keyhole in the velvet, but I definitely see Power Ranger here. If I owned this dress, I would probably run around pretending to be one, humming the theme song to myself. What, it’s not like I’m 24 or anything. Oh wait.
Crop Tops & Sweaters
Let that midriff breathe! So scandalous. Sorry to be picking on you, Drew, but I never before realized how much of a 90s girl you actually were! I love it. And, Topanga, that girl-next-door look never gets old. You were always so comfortable in your own skin and knew exactly how to just be yourself and rock that 90s clothing style.
Super simple, but super dramatic look. Maximum sex appeal with minimum nudity. My kind of outfit! She’s sexy AND fully clothed, all at the same time!
There are so many ways you can style a crop top. Just because it’s a crop top, doesn’t mean it’s got to be cropped super short. Check out these examples of longer crops. They're still crop tops, but longer, sleeker, and ultra-stylish!
Oh, I love the cut on these types of reproduction 90’s shirts. The asymmetric hem gives it both that long and short crop look, and it’s just so pretty! It pairs great with these high-waisted trousers. Perfect for a night out on the town.
High-Waisted & Destroyed Denim
All. Denim. Errrrthing. Shirts, pants, shorts, vests, jackets. You name it. The 90s had a denim version of it. Brit and Justin though...I’m sorry, I just can’t with y’all right now. I mean, I love denim as much as the next girl, but I think there should be some sort of law limiting the amount of square feet that can be used in one outfit. It’s for the good of humanity, really.
There's been a fair amount of hate on the jorts trend as of late and I really don’t understand it. 1) They make my butt look great so I don’t know what you’re even talking about. 2) I dress my bum for myself, not others. 3) Actually, no, I don’t need to further justify myself! Anyway, if you, like me, are a ride or die on the jorts train, don’t let anyone cramp your style.
Acid wash denim was like the pentacle of denim fashion. Just look at how awesome that vest is. Oh, I want one again. What did I do with my acid wash vest?
I’ve tried a few times to pull the destroyed denim boyfriend jeans off, but just haven’t been able to get it quite right. Oh well—try, try again! This is a trend that just hasn’t gone away. Now, you can find pre-destroyed 90s style jeans almost anywhere!
Originally created for military use, the popularity of the combat boot has grown exponentially, becoming a staple in every modern girl’s closet. Combat boots are like this omnipresent unspoken connection between us. From the tomboy to the outcast to the girly girl—we all have a pair. And, why wouldn’t we? You can dress them up, down, or anywhere in between. They’re the go-anywhere-do-anything of women’s footwear. Don’t believe me? Clarissa here will explain it all to you.
Can’t go wrong with a classic. Gotta love Docs! Nothing says 90’s boots more than Doc Martens! Combat boots are great for romping around and getting a little dirty, but they also clean up oh-so nicely! Plus, I love this shade!
I was made fun of so much in my late elementary/middle school days for wearing chokers. HA WELL JOKE’S ON YOU! They’re back and better than ever! I remember wanting the choker Mathilda wears throughout The Professional so, so badly. Well they sell them on Etsy! Dreams do come true...
Also an Etsy find! These “tattoo” chokers are the kind I usually wore. Or, sometimes I would cut strips from old black tights to make them. (Yeah, I know, I was really cool.) If nothing else, I certainly was resourceful.
Via Lauren Messiah
Another trend I absolutely adore. These collar chokers are the secret ingredient in making anyone look like a fashion goddess. It’s a nod to the 90s, with a modern twist. Plus, it’s just stunning. I love it!
Soft, cozy, and comfortable. Like a fine wine, flannel becomes even better with time. Time to go raid dad’s closet. Getting a little warm? No worries—simply remove your flannel shirt (pro tip: wear something underneath), tie it around your waist, and become somehow even cuter and more fashionable. Seriously, everyone’s doing it. Thanks for the idea, Joey!
So much love for this outfit. How is it possible to look like you’ve just haphazardly thrown on random items from your closet and still look so dang good?! Teach me! The lace shirt with the flannel and the booties and gah. I need this grunge clothing in my life, please and thank you.
Working the denim AND the flannel. Get it, girl. Another fabulous example of nineties clothes. Actually, I think I have that flannel shirt. Or, something very similar. Pro tip: buy your flannel from the men’s department. They are thicker, cozier, and have real usable pockets!
Keds & Converse
I don’t know about you, but I practically lived in my high-top Converse as a kid. And, what about the Keds? It's all about the Keds! Taylor Swift even has her own line of Keds that chronic Keds-wearer Kelly Kapowski would surely adore. Oh, and so does KATE SPADE. It’s okay to freak out. I did too when I first found out—just take a deep breath!
I have a thing for the color maroon. It’s a great way to keep everything in a deep, neutral tone, yet still have a nice pop of color.
These gold polka dot Keds are part of the Kate Spade collection and I want (read: need) them. Like, now. They’re just so pretty! Metallic, shiny polka dots, people. This is not a drill.
I can’t tell you how many pairs of Converse I have literally worn the soles off of. I stopped counting. I still wear Converse all the time. High tops were my fave as a kid, which was the most popular of the 90s shoe trends, but I have grown to love low tops as well. Pair either with skinny jeans and some flannel tied around your waist, and you got yourself a killer look.
Via We Heart It
Like this. See? Killer. Skinnies and converse are my go-to for a casual chic look. From grocery trips to dog walks, chucks are the perfect fit. And, this is a totally acceptable nineties outfit for today’s time! I bet you didn’t even know you were dressing grunge when you dressed like this.
Feeling nostalgic yet? Please share and comment with anything and everything 90s: The good, the bad, and the OH GOD WHY.
**Featured image via Ryan McGuire on Gratisography