Growing up in the 1990’s was a unique experience packed with generation-specific trends. We were the first generation to grow up in the digital age; we rocked out to the Backstreet Boys, Nsync, and the Spice Girls, tuned in for the Rugrats and Boy Meets World, took care of our Tamagotchis and Furbies, and endlessly searched for Carmen Sandiego. On the flip side, the 90’s was characterized by countless awful trends many of us hate to admit we participated in, from frosted tips to scrunchies, the 90’s was a dark time for fashion.
After being led astray by 90’s icons Destiny’s Child, the Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears, 90’s girls everywhere adopted the questionable trends characterized by the time period. Seemingly focused on wearing the least-flattering items out there, 90’s clothing included plenty of mom-jeans, loose flannels, and wacky patterns. The 1995 movie “Clueless” is the epitome of 90’s fashion, with Cher, played by Alicia Silverstone, and her posy, donning period-specific pieces in almost every scene, including plaid pants, thick headbands, knee-high socks, and awful skin-tight workout apparel. Staples of the movie, indicative of the time period, include plenty of tummy-bearing outfits, feather boas, an excess of plaid, and Cher’s pink fuzzy pen, another favorite for all 90’s girls out there.
Aside from “Clueless,” the terrible trends reigned on, with shows like “7th Heaven” and “Dawson’s Creek” setting odd fashion examples for young girls everywhere. Katie Holmes character, Joey, on “Dawson’s Creek” especially characterized bad fashion, with her ill-fitting clothes, jean overalls, and baggy masculine sweaters defining the decade. The Camdens on “7th Heaven” showcased an entire family sporting bad fashion, with Annie, Mary, Lucy, and Ruthie donning frumpy, unflattering outfits fit for the time, including shapeless dresses, and far too many spaghetti-strap tops. Paired with the ever-present butterfly clips, platform sandals, chunky clogs, jelly flats, flared capris, and of course, the signature black plastic choker necklace, any 90’s girl was ready to look like her fashionably-challenged idols.
Men growing up in the decade didn’t have many better options than the women; often displaying the same unappealing style as their female counterparts. Taking ideas from celebrities such as 98 degrees, Justin Timberlake, and Keanu Reeves, misguided 90’s men certainly sported fashions unique to the decade. Starting with frosted tips and too much gel, the ideal 90’s man sported a slight spike in their short hair, as to impress their scrunchie-wearing admirers. Completed with the confusing short-sleeve shirt over a long-sleeve shirt trend, a puffy vest, tinted sunglasses, and unnecessarily baggy and often colorful pants, any 90’s man would feel good about their trendy style. Experiencing an increase in more fashionable trends, our generation has improved immensely in the styles we wear today. With new styles surpassing the old ones, fashion has certainly taken a turn for the fabulous since the 1990’s. However, though we can try to erase those terrible trends, fashion does have a way of reappearing… here’s to hoping we’ll never have to experience the fashion of the 1990’s again.