What do you think of when you think of 90s fashion? Is it scrunchies and platform boots, or velvet jogger’s suits? Well, when it comes to iconic fashion trends during the 90s, there is a lot to choose from.
Why were the 90s so popular in terms of fashion?
Even during the 90s, it was essential to be on top of all of the trends and to be wearing the latest fashion. Over the span of 10 years, the 90s had some pretty unforgettable moments. The trends were changing rapidly over the years, and some of them have even resurfaced in recent times.
90s fashion was famous for its “anti-fashion” looks. Although in reality, anti-fashion was only a small part of the 90s era, it did play a significant role in popularizing the fashion of the era. People moved away from the acid wash jeans of the 80s, the hairspray heavy and high hairstyles and embraced fashion trends that can only be described as “laid back and relaxed.” During the early 90s, grunge fashion (along with the music) was trendy. After, as time progressed, Retro looks which were inspired by the 60s and 70s became pretty popular as well. By 1996, punk and alternative styles were growing increasingly popular, and by 1997, the Gothic look was embraced even by some 90s fashion icons of the time. Although grunge and retro-hippie looks dominated most of the 90s era, the preppy style was favored among teenage girls during the later half of the 90s.
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The 90s were a time for straight-cut relaxed fit jeans, platform heels, and unbuttoned overalls; some fashion trends that are considered to be popular even today. What made 90s fashion so popular was that rather than just being style statements, the clothes that people rocked during the time were more about being comfortable while looking fabulous.
What looks made the 90s fashion trends so popular?
The 90s had some unforgettable, and timeless fashion trends. Almost two decades later, some 90s fashion trends have still stuck with us (albeit the current looks are a revised version of those iconic trends).
From bike shorts to plaid shirts, you may find a few clothing items in your closet that were trendy even during the 90s!
Mesh tops were the height of fashion during the 90s; if you had anything see-through in your wardrobe, it meant that you were one of the cool kids on the block. Backless tops were also quite popular during this era. As the Preppy style gained popularity during the later part of the 90s, so dd babydoll dresses and butterfly clips.
Thigh-grazing skirts were all the rage during the 90s (especially if they were denim), and you could pair them with knee-high socks to get the ultimate Alicia Silverstone look during the 90s (as popularized by Clueless).
Additionally, bright colors and large prints were also a favorite of some celebrities, while others preferred a basic white tee.
It was not rare to see male celebrates wearing an ill-fitting blazer over solid color tees; for a more casual look many preferred plaid shirts over slogan tees to give off “cool guy vibes.”
Who were the fashion icons of the 90s?
The 90s fashion icons helped in popularizing the fashion trends of the time. Most celebrities were not afraid to step on the red carpet in something daring and experimental. At the time, most red carpet looks were unique, and it was not rare to see some questionable yet bold choices as well.
Let us take a look at some the fashion icons of the 90s that made a splash during that time:
- Kate Moss
Kate Moss is considered to be a fashion icon even to this day. In the 90s, she became a household name when she was just a teenager, and her boyish figure and heroin chic look won everyone over. Moss seemed to be way ahead of trends and was never afraid to experiment with her own style. From thigh-high skirts and spaghetti strap camisoles, she made the minimalistic style work for her before it was a popular trend. Even now, after almost 25 years in the limelight, her style seems as impeccable as ever. She has been the face of many brands like Burberry Top Shop, Mango, Rimmel, Chanel and more.
- Hugh Grant
This actor’s aversion to ties gave his red carpet looks a carefree touch. His tousled, yet stylish main was probably what made him a heartthrob for several girls over the years. His laidback style and tendency not to take himself too seriously are what made him stand out in a crowd, and what made his style sense so iconic.
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- Winona Ryder
Have you seen someone effortlessly go from a gothic chick to a girl next door look? Winona Ryder not only pulled it off with ease but she completely nailed it. From leather jacket and denim to her glitter bombshell looks on the red carpet, there was never a time when Winona Ryder did not embody all your fashion icon dreams. Now, with the immense popularity of Stranger Things, we are on the lookout for all her sure-to-be fabulous red carpet looks.
- Will Smith
This fresh prince of Bel Air also brought about a fresh new change in fashion trends. His oversized patter t-shirts paired with denim dungarees are a look that could be classified as iconic even today. With his backward baseball cap and his charming attitude, Will Smith became a fashion icon of the 90s without any effort at all. His colorful and vibrant clothing helped in expressing his personality, something that people are fond of even today. He still loves to experiment with his style, and even now, you could probably catch him in some of his iconic 90s styled clothes, looking as fresh as ever!
- Jennifer Aniston
Friends was perhaps, the most iconic thing that came out of the 90s apart from its fashion trends. Take anyone from the cast, and you could probably hail them as a fashion icon of the decade, but no one more so than Jennifer Aniston. From her clothes to her haircut, the Rachel Green style was something that many girls aspired to attain. Her style embodied confidence and timelessness. You could probably find clothing items which closely resembled the ones she wore on the show at your favorite fashion stores even today!
- Leonardo DiCaprio
No one deserves the title of “heartthrob” than a young Leonardo DiCaprio. With his windswept hair and his smoldering smirk, he could even make Hawaiian print shorts work for him. DiCaprio made relaxed tailoring look like an appropriate way to dress, and pulled it all off effortlessly. He rocked a chunky knit sweater and tartan trousers and looked good doing so. He made comfortable clothing look stylish, a feat that no one has managed to pull off quite as well as him.
- The Spice Girls
This girl group gave a lot more than just their hit song “Wannabe” to the 90s era. The group as a whole had quite an eclectic style, yet they helped in popularizing scrunchies and crop tops (something that is still considered to be in style). Their mantra was Girl Power, and they dressed like it as well. They did not have a uniform style, rather, each member dressed in a way to express their unique personality. The group celebrated individuality, and what it meant to be different, yet still be fierce and fabulous women of the world, which helped them become famous 90s fashion icons.
- Kurt Cobain
He was the somewhat reluctant face of grunge fashion in the 90s. In his short lifetime, Cobain used his position as a fashion icon to express his ideologies to the world. He embraced his status to put his ideas across to the masses, and often wore t-shirts and shoes with powerful statements scrawled across them.
- Drew Barrymore
Her personal sense of style often flowed onto the characters she played as well. Hence, she was able to rock slip dresses, platform heels and chokers both on and off screen. Her carefree persona enabled her to experiment with her style, and it was not rare to see her in eclectic, yet fashionable outfits. All her red carpet looks are unforgettable, but even more so during the 90s. Throughout the years, Barrymore has embraced her unique personality and has never been afraid to express her individuality through fashion.
- Luke Perry
Another iconic show of that was a hit during the 90s was Beverly Hills 90210. This is widely regarded as Luke Perry’s breakthrough role. As he gained popularity through the show, so did his fashion. He made wayfarers look stylish, and embodied the art of laid back fashion.
The 90s gave us some fashion trends that have lasted over the years. Although the style of fashion icons of the time has evolved over the years, what made them stand out was their ability to express their individuality through their looks, while also not sacrificing on their comfort. It is a philosophy that has inspired many people over the years; and has led to some iconic and unforgettable moments in fashion history.
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