Taking the ’90s Back: How Fashionistas & Brands Have Revamped this Decade of Style

From the colorful splashes of color defining 1990s fashion to the bell-bottom jeans of the 1970s, if there was any specific way to define modern fashion, it’s through the idea of ditching decade-specific attire and making old trends new again. 

It’s completely normal to see someone pairing a 60s-style hat with a late 90s shirt or pair of shoes. In a time where the rules have been broken in all the best ways, let’s explore a few specific trends we continue to see come back in style. 

Retro Fashion Trends Making a Comeback

The way we dress is more than just an outfit choice — it’s a reflection of our inner style and a method of self-expression. More than ever, we take inspiration from fashion history to create uniquely modern yet timeless ensembles that delightfully catch the eye. Let’s look at a few of our favorite retro styles that are still shining in the spotlight. 

Trend #1: Fall in Love with Shoulder Pads

Of all the 90s-inspired fashion trends we see coming back into the mainstream, shoulder pads are the reigning champ. Channeling numerous iconic figures of 90s television, a sleek blazer with shoulder pads pairs perfectly with countless modern and retro ensembles. 

For a business-savvy yet fun look, consider pairing a shoulder-padded jacket with a pair of skinny jeans and sexy heels to create a casual, cosmopolitan outfit. You can also combine one of these timeless blazers with a dress, or a skirt and blouse combo, for an elevated office-day fit.

Trend #2: Fun and Funky Colors are Back

Another 90s-inspired trend that seems to be making a huge comeback is bold, vibrant color. The late 00s and 2010s introduced minimalist and muted tones to our wardrobes, likely to defy the neons of decades prior. 

But nowadays, Gen Z has embraced these colors as an easy way to add an eye-catching statement piece to any modern look. For example, it’s completely normal to spot colorful hats on the street or neon jewelry at the club. As far as modern fashion trends go, the color scheme seems to have stepped into a time machine. 

Trend #3: All Hail the Punk Princess

One of the most prominent trends of the 1990s was the surge in popularity of punk rock music, especially in pop culture. Heroin-chic was huge, and opting for dark tones was a fun way to express yourself and create an edgy, perfectly imperfect look. We can identify some of these major trends making their way back into our current social zeitgeist, especially in regards to preferred footwear and accessories. It’s completely normal to create an edgy and elegant ensemble by pairing a flowy dress with a leather jacket or combat boots. The lines between pop and punk have stylishly combined.

Photo by Jason Yoder on Unsplash

Trend #4: Timelessness of Tie-Dye

In the 90s, it was difficult to walk down the street without spotting at least one tie-dye shirt amongst a crowd. Dating back to popularity within the 1960s and 70s, tie-dye apparel seems like it’s here to stay for the long haul. 

This may be in part due to its inherent accessibility and customization — after all, with the right supplies, you can create your very own tie-dye shirt or jacket with little effort at all. In our current fashion landscape, it appears that tie-dye doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and can be worn during any time of year. 

Trend #5: 90s-Inspired Accessories

One of the simplest yet most eye-catching ways the 90s have made a comeback is in the world of accessories. From charm bracelets to choker necklaces, the 90s created many of the iconic accessories we still know and love today. 

This is one of the easiest ways to incorporate retro accents into modern styles, as 90s accessories tend to involve fun colors, unique designs, and excitingly eye-catching pieces. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Embrace Fashion History  

No matter which decade you decide to look back on, one concept will always reign true: nostalgia sells. While many fads might get thrown to the wayside throughout time, the 1990s brought along numerous trends that are very obviously here to stay. We see the 90s not only in the specific ensembles we love but also in the way we wear them. Baggy is back, colors are cool again, and different is daring. We can only hope that we continue to embrace the fashion of eras past as we expand our style horizons!

Featured Photo by Hàn Vi Phạm Thị on Unsplash

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