25 Fabulous 90s Trends That Should Come Back

We can all agree that the 1990s were iconic in terms of fashion. So iconic, that most of these trends have already made a comeback because of how amazing they are. So today, we’ll look at 25 fabulous trends from the 90s that should definitely come back, if they haven’t already!

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#25. Bomber Jackets

Before bomber jackets became a staple of 90s fashion, they were worn by pilots in the air force. The bomber jacket was designed as a versatile piece to keep soldiers warm in the military, especially while they were flying because planes used to be extremely cold at the time of World War II.

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Years later, the jacket made its way into the punk culture of the 70s, and later boomed in the 90s thanks to designer Raf Simons. Not only that, but thanks to the success of Top Gun, Tom Cruise popularized its use for men, and Natalie Portman also added women to the trend when she starred in Léon: The Professional. Nowadays, bomber jackets are in again.

#24. Slip Dresses

There was a huge underwear-as-outerwear trend during the 90s, which basically allowed people to go out in minimal clothes that were once considered undergarments. The incredibly sexy slip dress made its way into the most famous catwalks, hugging every curve of women’s bodies and leaving little to the imagination.

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But these bad boys also appeared in red carpets, magazine covers, and advertisement. Even Princess Diana of Wales mesmerized the world by wearing them, which changed royal fashion forever. Supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss also helped popularize the minimalist hot style.

#23. Fanny Packs

During the early 2000s, fanny packs were ridiculed to the point that they were eliminated from the fashion industry, and its use was limited for dads over 40 and tourists. But these guys didn’t deserve one bit of the hate they got, and there was a time when fanny packs were the fashion accessory everyone had to get.

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Practical and comfortable, fanny packs were extremely popular in the 90s; so popular, that huge couture brands like Chanel produced their own version of the beloved item. Karl Lagerfeld was a pioneer of the fanny pack movement in 1994, and all other big designers followed. Luckily, fanny packs are actually making a comeback, as they should’ve done a long time ago.

#22. Plaid Flannel Shirts

Plaid flannel shirts can make anyone look 10 times cooler instantly, no matter their size, age, or gender. As grunge music became mainstream during the early 90s, thanks to the success of bands like Nirvana, the plaid flannel shirt became a symbol of this new movement in pop culture, and this didn’t go unnoticed.

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From rockstar Kurt Cobain to heartthrob Jonathan Brandis, and it-girl Claire Danes, flannel shirts were all over the place. The look was also worn by our favorite stars on Friends, and it doesn’t get more 90s than that! Also, the epitome of the look was to have it tied around your waist; what a time to be alive!

#21. Timberlands

As one of the most recognizable fashion items of contemporary history, timberlands have been worn by countless people from all walks of life, and there’s a reason for it. These bad boys were originally designed for blue-collar workers, who needed comfortable leather shoes that kept them dry while working long days outdoors.

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Then, during the 90s, hip-hop stars like Notorious B.I.G. and the Wu-Tang Clan started wearing them all the time, which helped popularize them globally. They were so popular, that even producer and rapper Timbaland got his name because of his love for the boots. Drop that fact in your next family dinner, you’re welcome!

#20. Baby Tees

In line with the minimalistic trend of the 90s, many stars served iconic looks wearing baby tees, which were basically a shrunken version of regular T-shirts. These tight-fitting tees had some kind of phrase or symbol on them and let everyone see these stars’ incredible bodies, so naturally, they boomed during our favorite decade.

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They were so popular that you could even see them on the red carpet. Celebs like Jennifer Aniston and Tyra Banks led this trend, which eventually dominated media. In fact, baby tees are back in, especially in the form of crop tops, which everyone is wearing nowadays. The 90s truly proved that less is more.

#19. Scrunchies

You’ve probably seen these everywhere at some point, but scrunchies initially became popular during the 1990s. This fabric-covered elastic hair tie became the biggest hair accessory of its time thanks to its versatility: after all, you can find it in countless sizes, fabrics, and colors. Just look at any old high school sit-com and you’ll see just how popular they were back then.

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Shows like Full House and Saved by the Bell helped popularize this cheap, fun, and stylish trend, but not only teenagers used it. Even the ladies on the iconic film Thelma and Louise were rocking them, so you just couldn’t escape scrunchies during the 90s. And looking at things now, they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

#18. Chain Wallets

Ok, you might not be ready for this one to come back just yet, but hear us out. Chain wallets are, well…. wallets with a chain. They were originally used by bikers as an indispensable accessory to keep their wallets safe as they hit the road, and to this day, bikers still wear these. But during the 90s, everyone else took notice of this trend as well.

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Back then, the coolest rockstars didn’t leave the house without one of these. Many have called them the Nickelback of accessories because they don’t seem like the most fashionable item ever, but their practicality cannot be denied. Next time you lose your wallet, you’ll wish you had one of these bad boys tied to your pants!

#17. Platform Sneakers

Platform sneakers were a big deal in the 90s, mostly thanks to one of the most famous music videos of all time: Wannabe by the Spice Girls. After the video and the iconic girl group became super popular, their style also did, and with it began the platform sneakers era. Now, don’t think this trend went anywhere.

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Although we don’t see platform sneakers like the ones in the picture, the style has evolved over the years, and nowadays we can see sneakers with a thick but flat platform base everywhere. All major brands have some version of it, and they’re the favorite type of shoe of celebrities who love to look a bit taller.

#16. Boardshorts

Boardshorts started as a type of swimwear mostly worn by surfers, but during the 90s, they became one of the coolest pieces male celebs wore. This was partly because the typical surfer style became mainstream during this time, and brands like Roxy, Billabong, and O’Neill became hugely popular.

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People started wearing them everywhere, even when they were nowhere near the ocean, and women also jumped into the trend with a shorter, tighter version. Not only are they comfortable, but also practical, as they have a velcro fly instead of the traditional zipper. Someone needs to bring them back ASAP.

#15. Combat Boots

Just like bomber jackets, combat boots were designed for soldiers to wear during combat, hence the name. They were designed to provide a lot of support and protection to the feet, while also allowing soldiers to walk through a rugged environment. In the modern world, however, they became a signature look for goths, punks, and heavy metal lovers alike.

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During the 90s, they became completely mainstream, and your badass look wasn’t complete without a pair of these. Doc Martens became extremely successful because they produced them in all colors, designs, and sizes, and are still super popular today. In fact, you probably have a pair of combat boots in your closet.

#14. Penny Loafers

Loafers have been around for more than 200 years, and have evolved into different styles that people wear nowadays. Penny loafers, in particular, started out as part of school uniforms but became a trendy item in the 90s. In addition to the classic plain brown design, different brands started coming out with plenty of different styles to suit everyone’s taste.

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Whether they had a buckle or platform heels, penny loafers were extremely stylish and were usually paired with babydoll dresses, another staple of the era. Nowadays they’re still used, but not as much as they were back then. They’re usually used in a smart casual dress code rather than as a red carpet look.

#13. Overalls

Much like Timberlands, overalls started out as a type of protective clothing for workers in the 1890s. They were invented by what we know now as Levis, and they were the first denim item of clothing before jeans became a thing. Fast forward 100 years, and you’ve got most celebrities rocking the look.

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For both adults and children, overalls became a must-have item and came in all sorts of different styles: long, short, with patterns, you name it. Although they’re not the most comfortable clothes when it’s time to hit the restrooms, overalls are super comfy and are definitely making a comeback sooner or later.

#12. Babydoll Dresses

Following the super popular underwear-as-outerwear trend, babydoll dresses also became a thing – a huge thing – in the 90s. Originally intended as nightwear for women, babydolls are very short, loose-fitting dresses with lace, ruffles, and of course spaghetti straps in true 90s fashion. Instead of keeping them in the bedroom, our favorite celebs would take these sexy items to the red carpet whenever they could.

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Although originally a very girly item, the style was mostly worn by goths, punks, and grunge lovers, paired with combat boots and leather jackets. One of the celebs who helped popularize the trend was Hole frontwoman, Courtney Love.

#11. Boat Shoes

Boat shoes (also known as deck shoes) were for many decades regarded as typical dad shoes. This was because, as their name indicates, they were designed for use on a boat, as the soles provide grip on a wet deck and the leather repels water. But during the 1990s, they actually became cool.

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Actually, if you paired them with long socks, rolled jeans, and a turtleneck, you’d be the coolest person of the era. Both men and women wore them everywhere, and your favorite teen celebs rocked them in the most popular TV shows. Remember: if they were cool once, they can be cool again.

#10. Chinos

Similarly to boat shoes, chinos were considered dad clothes for decades, and no celebrity would be spotted wearing a pair unless they wanted to end their career. But then the 90s gave them a second chance, and chinos started popping up everywhere: movies, TV, ads, and even red carpets. But how?

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Chinos have James Van Der Beek to thank – at least, in part. Dawson’s Creek was one of the most popular shows at that time and having the main star and heartthrob wear them paved the way for all other men to do the same. Whether baggy or fitted, chinos were everywhere, until they stopped being cool after the 90s ended.

#9. Horizontally-Striped Sweaters

They may not seem like much, but horizontally-striped sweaters were a huge thing in the 90s, kinda like flannel shirts, as we’ve already mentioned. The style seemed so effortless that everyone wanted to copy it – and they did, of course. But we have two huge 90s stars to thank for the popularization of the trend.

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Teen drama My So-Called Life was huge back then, and it starred Jared Leto and Claire Danes. Since it was a hit, anything these two wore was trendy, and Jared’s look didn’t go unnoticed. Not only that, but Kurt Cobain was also famous for rocking this type of sweater, so you couldn’t be a cool kid without one.

#8. Chokers

You’ve probably noticed that chokers have become extremely popular in the last couple of years, but the trend began in the 90s, like most iconic trends. Well, actually, it began thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, but the 90s made it a cool-kid accessory for sure. The most popular form of choker was a stretchy plastic tattoo-like version which literally everyone wore.

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Women of all ages were seen rocking some form or another of a choker. For example, Gwyneth Paltrow iconically wore one to the 1999 Academy Awards when she won the Oscar for Best Actress. They were also a popular accessory in the grunge scene, and the goth kids loved them as well.

#7. G-Shock Watches

Nowadays people have smartwatches, but back in the 1990s, the trendiest thing was to have a G-shock watch. They were created by Japanese company Casio, and what made them special was that they were designed to resist mechanical shock and vibration. Oh, and they were like, super chunky.

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They were originally intended for people to wear outdoors and in extreme conditions, but they quickly became trendy just because of their unique look. Casio released over 200 different models of the watch and both men and women all over the world had one. Some even allowed you to load games on them!

#6. Capri Pants

Too short to be called pants, but too long to be called shorts, capri pants were everywhere in the 1900s and even in 0the early 2000s. But what most people don’t remember is that they were making a comeback back then, since they were originally huge during the 50s and 60s, thanks to stars like Audrey Hepburn.

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Among the most famous celebrities who rocked them were Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, either paired with cute sandals or platform flip-flops (remember those?). Tennis star Rafael Nadal marked this trend for men and even the Thirteenth Doctor from Doctor Who rocked the legendary look as well.

#5. Spaghetti Strap Tank Tops

During the 90s, straps kept getting thinner and thinner, until we got spaghetti straps on literally everything, mostly tank tops -although dresses with this kind of strap were also huge. Like we’ve mentioned before, less is more was the motto of this era, so all our favorite celebrities rocked this look wherever they went.

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Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, among others, made them more and more popular, and the trend spread to women of all ages. Although they didn’t show much other than the collarbones and the shoulders, many schools outright banned them for being too scandalous. However, they never seemed to go out of style.

#4. Oakley Sunglasses

Oakley Inc. started making sunglasses in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the 90s that their glasses started to get attention. They were originally intended for bikers, as they had a unique grip that made them stay in place. But like the G-shock watches, this piece of sportswear became mainstream thanks to celebrities.

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Picture this: spiked-up hair, a chain wallet hanging from your boardshorts, and a pair of Oakleys to top it off; that’s how you broke hearts in the 90s. They were so popular that the company went public in 1995 and brought in $230 million. Oh, and they are actually coming back as we speak.

#3. Slap Bracelets

You basically didn’t exist if you didn’t have a slap bracelet in the 1990s or more than one for that matter. They were fun and came in countless colors and designs, and were loved by children, pre-teens, and teenagers alike. But sadly, this essential piece of 90s jewelry was banned from several schools.

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What made them special was that you would slap them against your wrist, and they’d wrap around it. Unfortunately, however, when the plastic covering it would come off, the metal base would hurt your skin and could potentially cause profuse bleeding. If they could figure out a way to make them safe, they should definitely come back.

#2. Cross Colors

Cross Colors is a brand that changed the fashion industry during the 90s. It was launched in 1989 and made color-blocked clothes, usually in red, yellow, green, and black, coupled with inspirational messages that resonated with the youth. After all, the slogan of the company is clothing without prejudice.

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Needless to say, it was a huge hit and everyone from Salt n Peppa to Will Smith loved it. The colors stood out, and the messages were awesome. Some of its most famous designs included phrases like Stop D Violence, Educate 2 Elevate, among others. In 2014, the company relaunched, so we might be seeing these around soon.

#1. Track Pants

Britney Spears herself was a trend during the 90s, so you can imagine that whatever she wore instantly became popular. When Baby One More Time came out – literally one of the most successful music videos in history – track pants became everyone’s favorite piece to rock basically in any place or event.

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And, what’s not to like? After all, they’re as comfortable as they get. Either worn with a matching jacket or a sports bra, celebs were wearing them on the daily. The full tracksuit was big in the 80s, but the 90s retained only the pants and matched it with different items. Whether it’s the whole thing or just the pants, we can’t wait for them to come back.

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    Angeles

    24 - Argentina.

    She's a journalist and a website developer based in New York.

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