It was the Best of Times, it was the Worst of Times

By Abbey McNeill

90s2Let’s take a nostalgic trip back to our childhood. I know that this can be somewhat scary and that there may be things from the 90’s you might never wish to revisit, but it is what it is and maybe some time travel would do you well. After all, what’s not to love about the 1990’s? From butterfly clips to scrunchies, revealing belly shirts to jean overalls; what an unforgettable and easily identifiable era. The decade ushered in a collection of memorable trends, pop stars, singer/songwriters and TV shows we all know and love.

90s3If you had older siblings as I did, you may remember all too well riding in the car and having to listen to a painful rendition of N’ Sync, The Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears. Those are things I do not miss, however there were several influential TV shows that made a statement of their time: you know the one’s: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Cosby Show, Full House, Boy Meets World, Family Matters, Friends, Sister Sister, and the list goes on and on. Pop culture had more influence than one would realize at the time. Shows like Sex and the City portrayed a wild mix of fun and flirty with high emphasis on the latest fashion. It was becoming more and more acceptable for woman to be sexy and to display their bodies with contemporary revealing confidence. Teenage actress Tiffani Amber Thiessen was a role model for teenager’s nation wide. TV show, Friends, took comedy to a new level and also had some affect on style of the 1990’s among younger crowds. MC Hammer’s rapid rise to fame contributed greatly to the evolution of hip-hop. And who could forget the beloved Spice girls, a phenomenal global act of the decade. As entertainment progressed it seems like style regressed.

90s4Economically, the country was in great condition and making remarkable advancements technologically, culturally, and socially. In 1991 poverty rate was 10.7% and by 2000 it had declined to 8.6%, which was the lowest it had been since 1959. This bull market produced wealth and turned millionaires into billionaires. Peace, love and prosperity, times were good, so why so grunge? In the early 1990’s people and their style were reacting to the economics downfall of the 80’s. American’s overindulgent nature led to recession, which greatly affected the fashion of the times. Floral print dresses, cargo pants, oversized sweaters, flannel shirts, highwaisted jeans, and outdated logo-fied t-shirts let 90s5teenagers expressing their anti-materialistic philosophy. This fad caught on like wild fire and had gone mainstream in no time, making its way into designer lines on the runway. As James Truman, editor of Details Magazine, put it best, “It’s unfashion. …Grunge is about not making a statement, which is why it’s crazy for it to become a fashion statement. …Buying grunge from Seventh Avenue is ludicrous.”

Boy bands, scrunchies, denim overalls are now a thing of the past, and we have the millennium to thank for that. But keep your high waisted jeans and shorts close because you might be needing them again.

I Love the Nineties!

By Megan O’Brien

I love the nineties! And honestly who doesn’t? Bright colors, androgynous style and rocking tunes? Count me in! Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, Gap and FUBU ruled this decade. Doc Martens? Bet you had ‘em. Overalls? You wore ‘em. Bright colors? They were all over your bod, from your sweet teni-runners to your oh so fashionable terrycloth sweatband around your head. I mentioned rocking tunes. Who were you rocking out to? Kurt Kobain? LL Cool J? Alanis Morisette, perhaps? Or maybe you were a boy bands only listener and jammed out to the voices of N*SYNC, Backstreet Boys, or even Boys II Men. Let’s not forget the Spice Girls, you know you bought that CD. Speaking of CDs, your outfit would not be complete without that Discman. Those headphones around your neck were just as crucial to your style as the music blaring out of them. So what was the style exactly?

      There were many different styles during this time but they all had one thing in common…no judgment.  According to Complex Magazine, Designers supported styles that could be worn by anyone. Calvin Klein introduced a unisex fragrance with an ad campaign which featured androgynous-looking models and interracial couples. Benetton also sported racy ads with same-sex couples as well as interracial couples supporting the idea that anyone could wear anything. Fashion was a pretty level playing field at this time because there was something for everyone.


   Not into getting fancy? Neither was anyone else, unless you count a short spandex dress or an ill-fitting suit with a t-shirt underneath as “fancy”. The 90s were pretty casual. Take the Grunge look for instance: ripped jeans, flannel shirts, long hair with a middle part, and combat boots paired together with an attitude that said “I view bathing as optional.” You can’t get more casual than that.  I actually thank Kurt Cobain for introducing this trend because it makes my everyday school look not look so bad. If Grunge wasn’t your style you had nothing to worry about there was plenty more out there for you to explore. My personal fave is Will Smith’s vibrant style. Brightly colored shorts, sweaters, shirts, shoes, hats, you name it, the Fresh Prince had it. He made everything look cool. Actually, EVERYTHING WAS COOL. Even cheesy things like mood rings and that necklace with a grain of rice sporting your name on it. There’s no wonder why some of these trends are starting to return.

The 90s represent a time of care-free fun and a better economic state. People are trying to bring these feel-good things back. Just look around. Flannels, man-tanks, brightly colored items and much more are inching their way back into our lives. Even nerd glasses are back in style. Shout out to Urkel (you know you watched that guy)! People are ready for fun again. Let’s just hope biker shorts and midriffs stay in the nineties. I’m not so sure my eyes could handle those trends again. But really, once is enough.

Can’t get enough 90s?  Then read on:

The 90 Greatest 90s Fashion Trends. (2011, September 22).  Complex Magazine.