If one didn’t know better, this picture of the Spice Girls from the 1990s could pass for a group of friends today. Fashion is cyclical and what is old will be new again. This year, it looks like we’re revisiting the best, and worst, parts of the pre-Millenium.
There could be some reasons why we got here. Blame it on the pandemic, which made everyone an instant homebody. Stripped from brunches, bars, and the glitz and glamour of live fashion weeks, 2020 was the year that we got back to basics. And there’s nothing more basic than 90s fashion.
Or it might be that Earth is dying and we’re trying to lessen our carbon footprint. Preloved goods are a more sustainable approach to fashion than shopping on the high street. As seen by the explosion of secondhand platforms like Depop and Carousell in lockdown, we might be putting our money where it is worth. And what’s in vogue are oldies but goodies from the yesteryears.
Either way, here are five ways 90s fashion is back in trend and how you can incorporate them into your wardrobe.
Strap In For Sleekness
Nothing oozed sleekness like Kate Moss and her spaghetti straps in the 1990s. Dolled up in a silky slip dress for the red carpet or running errands in a tank top, the supermodel was the poster child for the timelessness of this strappy silhouette. While straps have returned in 2021, it’s now paired with a contrasting fit for an update on the trend. Think little tops paired with loose jogger pants or slip dresses worn with heavy boots. The result is sexiness with a twist of sensibility.
Activewear Gets Nostalgic
Jogger pants and workout tights may be signature staples of the athleisure trend. But get ready to add throwback classics like bicycle shorts and sweatshirts to your activewear collection. Whether you were inspired by Princess Diana in 1995 or the Kardashian clan in the past year, comfort and function are key here. Familiar 90s icons like Champion and FILA have also made a comeback, as did the Adidas slide sandals seen on Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. All the better to bring about the return of coziness!
Baggier is Better
After a whole year of staying in, we’re gearing to go out in the only way we know how — with a comfy blanket on our backs. Or as close to that as we can get. Clothes with relaxed fits like mom jeans, t-shirts and wide-legged jeans have been a pandemic favourite with its forgiving form and cozy factor. The patron saint of this trend, Billie Eilish, has been normalising this style since her arrival in 2017. While Eilish confesses to dressing baggy as a way to protect her self-image, we can take a leaf out of her book and embrace this fashion as we slowly find our way back into the new normal.
Accessories That Are Big On Aesthetics
If the Olsen twins wore it in the 90s, it’s back again in a big way. What these accessories lacked in function, they made up for in statement. It might be the bucket hat with its laid-back RnB cool. Or the flower hair clips and tiny sunglasses channeling cosmopolitan insouciance. Even the rise of septum or nostril piercing carries tinges of edginess popularised by Fairuza Balk in The Craft and Travis Barker in Blink-182. How you added to your outfit in the 90s told the world what you believed in. And we’re seeing the repeat of these statement pieces in 2021.
Ugly Soles Have Soul
Put away your stilettos and kitten heels for a trend that will bless your soles. Whether it’s a pair of Converse platform sneakers that would make Baby Spice proud, girly sandals like in the Lazy Oaf X Melissa nostalgic collaboration, or just good ol’ fashioned FILA dad sneakers, ground your outfit with a pair of chunky shoes. The heavier the footwear, the closer you are to the 90s footwear of your dreams.