Have you ever heard people talk about the 90s aesthetic? Maybe on Instagram or TikTok, or a friend has mentioned it. You’re probably wondering what the heck it is and how to dress like it if you love that grungy, retro look. Don’t worry—it’s easier than you think.
Although it’s recently surged in popularity, the 90s aesthetic has been around since (surprise!) the 1990s, when trends included flannel shirts, crop tops, and high-waisted pants..
The term itself refers to a fashion style that takes inspiration from this decade of fashion and pop culture. And in our current 2020s moment of social distancing and quarantine dressing, this look is more relevant than ever!
If you need some tips on rocking the 90s aesthetic yourself, keep reading!
Most importantly, the choker. Whether it’s leather, velvet, plastic or with a charm on it, the choker was and still is a favourite accessory that is bound to add an edgier dimension to your outfit. Also worn by everyone from model Kate Moss to actress Winona Ryder during the 90s, they were more than just a trend; they became a symbol of nineties fashion. If you want to keep this style cool and current then why not try pairing your choker with a pair of ripped jeans?
TEES & BODYSUITS.
Coming out of the grunge style of the 90s, crop tops are a must. A short crop top can be worn to school or with a high waisted skirt over a long tee and it looks amazing.
Tees are an important part of the ’90s aesthetic because people wore them with everything! You can wear tees that are more fitted or oversized, depending on how you want your look to be.
A bodysuit is essential for your wardrobe if you want to fit in with the ’90s aesthetic. It’s sexy, practical, and appropriate for so many occasions.
HIGH-WAISTED SHORTS, SKIRTS, AND JEANS
Surely you have heard of the high-waisted look. It’s one of the easiest ways to achieve that 90s aesthetic without buying a whole slew of thrifted clothes. High waisted pants, shorts and skirts were hot in the 90s, and they’ve made a come back today. Thinking about giving it a try? Here are some tips to help you master this trend:
- Know what fits: For starters, you’ll want to find high waisted bottoms that fit well. This can be easier said than done—high waisted jeans are notorious for creating unflattering bulges rather than flattering ones! If you’re new to this trend, give yourself some time to get used to it so that you can find high waisted bottoms that work best for your body type. Booty or pear-shaped girls will probably have an easier time pulling off this look than those with smaller hips or rear ends because the extra fabric needed for high rise jeans isn’t always forgiving on small bums.
- Beware of too much skin: For example, if you’re wearing high waisted jeans with a crop top, don’t wear anything too short or tight on top so that your outfit doesn’t make people uncomfortable by exposing more skin than necessary. Keep things classy and tasteful if you go this route!
- Pairing options: The great thing about high rise bottoms is how versatile they can be when paired with other pieces from your closet! You could wear them under loose fitting sweaters for an effortless casual look or tuck in button ups like blouses tops which create more structure up top which balance out any bulkiness down below (think mom jeans). Another option would be pairing these pants with oversized tees; just make sure that whatever shirt goes overtop isn’t cropped too short so as not show off any midriff accidentally exposed from underneath all those layers! Again–classy not trashy! That goes for your shoes too—
FLANNELS, BUTTON-UP TEE’S, PEASANT TOPS AND LONG SLEEVED SHIRTS.
Now that you’ve got the dark jeans and obligatory combat boots, it’s time to add some more color and patterns to your 90s wardrobe. Flannels are a staple 90s look, especially plaid flannels. You’ll want to make sure that your flannel is an oversized fit so it can be worn over a long sleeved shirt or graphic tee. If you don’t own flannels, peasant tops, button-up tee’s or long sleeved shirts will also do the trick!
Your dress should be short enough to show off your legs, but not so short that you look like a tramp. The best place to look? Thrift stores. Or maybe your mom’s closet. If you are feeling ambitious, and have $7,000 lying around, a Proenza Schouler print dress could do the trick.
Now that you know how to make your own, it’s time to put this all together!
- Tailored jackets, denim and otherwise, are a staple in any 90s aesthetic wardrobe. They’re comfortable, versatile and can be dressed up or down as needed.
- Denim jackets are particularly valuable because they come in every color of the rainbow and can be paired with a wide range of other clothing items, from slacks for work or school to jeans for casual occasions.
- Denim jackets also layer well over t-shirts, sweatshirts or sweaters when the weather turns cool. You can even throw them on over your pajamas for an impromptu trip out of the house.
PLATFORM SNEAKERS OR DOC MARTENS.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you can never go wrong with a great pair of platform sneakers or a classic pair of Doc Martens. No matter what the style or trend, chunky kicks are always in. They’re also extremely versatile. Black leather platform sneakers have become my go-to shoe because they will literally go with every outfit. Whether you dress them up or down, they never fail to look cool and trendy.
If you don’t already own a pair yet, now is your chance! These shoes are an absolute steal on the internet right now (thanks to online retailers having end-of-season sales). Plus, they can actually help you stay balanced when walking through the snow… Because nothing says 90s aesthetic like slipping on ice and falling flat on your face in front of everyone at school.
Here are 7 ideas for how to dress like the 90’s aesthetic
You’re reading this because you want to know how to dress like the 90’s aesthetic. Whether you are a 90’s kid or came after the era, this style is unique, distinct and obviously unforgettable. The decade is remembered for its iconic fashion trends from chokers to overalls which have made their way back into the millennial wardrobe. So if you want to look like a 90s kid too, here are main ideas on how you can do that:
- CHOKERS – these satin or velvet neck accessories were worn in so many ways with things like sweaters, dresses and even tees! They were a simple and easy accessory that became extremely popular in the mid-90’s.
- TEES & BODYSUITS – whether it be with spaghetti straps or long sleeve, fitted and loose tees paired with high waisted jeans or overalls were a staple look of the 90’s aesthetic.
- HIGH-WAISTED SHORTS, SKIRTS AND JEANS – These items of clothing are the epitome of 90’s fashion as they have returned full circle into current fashionable trends today! Wearing high waisted shorts/skirts/jeans was an easy way to get rid of your mom jeans look and achieve something more stylish instead!
Lastly, you don’t have to go crazy to throw together a nostalgic outfit—if you’re busy or just not in the mood, remember that role-playing as your favorite 90s TV character can be as simple as wearing a specific item of clothing. You could pull off a whole look based off a single accessory that reminds you of the decade you love.
Think chokers, spaghetti straps, overalls, baseball caps, crop tops with high-waisted jeans… the list goes on and on! Taking inspiration from your favorite shows is an easy way to get into this cool style. And hey: why not name your outfit after one of your favorite 90s sitcoms?
The possibilities are vast and wonderful (and are bound only by your imagination). It’s enough to make me want to watch Clueless right now. Do you have any questions for me?
- To dress like the 1990s, you’ll need to dig through your mother’s closet and uncover some baggy jeans and a grungy flannel.
- You can also look for these items in thrift shops or online stores that specialize in ‘90s fashion.
- To get this look, you’ll want to pair those jeans with a Slipknot t-shirt, throw on a jacket over top, and finish it off with some chunky boots.