10 Questionable ’90s Fashion Trends That Remind Us How Much We’ve Saved Since
The 1990s stand out as a decade of daring choices and unforgettable styles. This was a time when boundaries were pushed, comfort zones expanded, and fashion norms challenged, often leading to the question, “What were we thinking?” In this nostalgic journey, we revisit 10 iconic fashion trends from the 90s that left an indelible mark on the fashion world. From the wildly popular to the bewilderingly bizarre, these trends reflect the spirit of an era that was unafraid to experiment and express itself boldly. Whether you embraced these styles back in the day or are witnessing them for the first time, prepare for a mix of amusement, surprise, and perhaps a hint of cringe as we explore the eclectic world of 90s fashion.
1. Fanny Packs
Originally designed for practicality, fanny packs became a major fashion trend in the 1990s. They were not just a convenient way to carry essentials but also a style statement. Today, they’ve made a comeback in high fashion and streetwear, often rebranded as “belt bags” or “waist bags” and redesigned with a modern aesthetic.
2. Frosted Tips
This hairstyle, where the tips of short, spiky hair were bleached, was especially popular among male pop stars and actors. This hairstyle reflects the bold and experimental nature of 90s fashion. Frosted tips were particularly popular among celebrities in the pop and acting world. It epitomized the era’s bold approach to personal style but might seem dated or quirky today.
These elastic bands were soft and colorful and could be used to tie up your hair in various styles like ponytails, buns, or braids. But they were also very outdated and plain and could make your hair look flat or frizzy. Scrunchies are not fun or fashionable, they are just dull.
4. Butterfly Hair Clips
These were used to create intricate hairstyles, often with multiple sections of hair clipped back. While they were charming accessories then, they are now more reminiscent of childhood styles.
5. Platform Sneakers
Inspired by pop culture icons like the Spice Girls, these shoes were as much about making a statement as they were about adding height. They exemplified the decade’s preference for bold, attention-grabbing fashion.
6. Baggy Jeans
The 90s saw the popularity of ultra-baggy jeans, a stark contrast to the more fitted styles popular in later years. This trend was part of a broader interest in oversized and comfortable clothing.
7. Velvet Tracksuits
Often embellished and considered luxurious loungewear at the time, these tracksuits are seen as too ostentatious by today’s fashion standards. However, they were a staple in casual 90s fashion.
8. Puka Shell Necklaces
These necklaces, made from small shells, were essential for the beach-going crowd and represented a laid-back, ocean-inspired style. They are less common in contemporary fashion.
9. Inflatable Backpacks
These quirky accessories were more about fashion than function. Made of brightly colored, inflatable plastic, they were a fun, if not particularly practical, accessory.
10. Mood Rings
Popular for their novelty, these rings changed color in response to temperature changes, supposedly reflecting the wearer’s mood. They were more of a fun accessory than a serious fashion statement.
90’s Fashion Trends
Each of these trends highlights the playful and experimental spirit of 90s fashion. They demonstrate a time when fashion rules were more flexible, and personal expression was emphasized in style choices. While many of these trends might seem out of place today, they remain an integral part of fashion history, often evoking nostalgia and influencing contemporary designs in subtle ways.
James Hendrickson is an internet entrepreneur, blogging junky, hunter and personal finance geek. When he’s not lurking in coffee shops in Portland, Oregon, you’ll find him in the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors. James has a masters degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelors degree on Sociology from Earlham College. He loves individual stocks, bonds and precious metals.