In the 1990s, pop culture was all about blurring gender roles and partying at the club. There were no limits to how creative young people could be when it came to fashion, dancing, and having fun.
A great way to celebrate this era would be to throw a 1990s-themed party. But before you can have fun with your guests, you need to make sure that you’re properly dressed for the occasion. To help you get ready for your upcoming 90s party, here are some suggestions on what to wear!
Any kind of 90s sportswear looks great.
Any kind of 90s sportswear looks great. However, it’s important to make sure your sportswear is authentic and not a modern day version of a 90s style. Sportswear in the 90s was much different than sportswear today. It featured very bright colors and patterns with sports logos all over them, unlike today’s focus on neutral colors and minimalist designs. Because of this, if you’re going to a 90s party wearing some new Nike sneakers or hoodie, it doesn’t really count as “90s” style–unless you buy vintage versions of these items!
If you want to do some actual shopping for your party outfit, look for vintage items from brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok etc. or just troll thrift stores for awesome finds (lots of people love thrifting online too!). Popular styles included tracksuits (especially in neon), sports jerseys (this includes football jerseys), overall shorts, sweatbands and neon visors.
Flannel shirts are an easy option.
Whether you’re going for grunge or Gap, a flannel shirt is a great starting point for your ’90s look. This versatile item can be worn by men and women alike—and it’s a must-have for either gender if you want to nail that “I just rolled out of bed” aesthetic. Flannels can function as an outer layer when the weather is warm, or as an extra layer when the temperature drops. They come in a range of colors; bright plaids are very ’90s, but dark neutral tones like burgundy and black are also worth considering.
To make this outfit really pop, wear your flannel with jeans or shorts (the latter being better if you’re planning to go clubbing). You can mix up your look by wearing your flannel over a T-shirt or just as it is. And don’t forget to roll up those sleeves!
Graphic tees are always a good idea.
One of the best things about wearing a graphic tee to a 90s party is that it can be so incredibly unique. Every other person there might be wearing something similar, but you can almost guarantee you’ll be the only one sporting your exact shirt. This is because today’s graphic tees are mostly designs from people who weren’t even born when the 90s were happening. They’re not designed to look like a vintage band t-shirt or something else that was first produced in the 90s. Instead, they’re designed with current pop culture and modern aesthetics in mind, so they have that student-made feel to them. That means it won’t look like you’ve gone into a thrift store and bought yourself a shirt from 20 years ago—instead, it’ll just look like you’ve got an incredible sense of humor and style.
If it’s not a costume party, you can dress as a 90s celebrity or character.
If a 90s party is not a costume party, you don’t have to worry about this. But if it’s not, you can try to dress up as a celebrity from the 90s. If you do this, try to be unique. Everyone is going to be dressed up as Cher Horowitz from Clueless. It’s been done. Instead, go for something unexpected like Shannen Doherty in 1013’s Heathers or Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell. The same goes for dressing up as a character from a 90s tv show or movie—the key here is uniqueness and originality. Avoid the obvious; really take your time and think about what could be fun but also make people go “wow!”
Denim jackets are great for layering.
While there is no wrong way to wear denim, here are some tips on how to wear a denim jacket that will make you look like a total 90s babe:
- Layer it. A denim jacket is the ultimate 90s layering piece. It adds an extra dimension of texture to your outfit, and can be paired with virtually anything. You can rock it over a T-shirt or tank top for an effortless look, or throw it on over an LBD for a dressier look.
- Graphic tees + denim jackets = awesome! If you love graphic tees as much as we do (which is a lot), there’s really no better way to show off your fandom than by pairing it with your favorite denim jacket. Not only will you effortlessly look cool and trendy, but you’ll also keep feeling comfortable all night long.
Try a mini skirt with tights and boots for a grungey vibe.
Don’t settle for anything less than absolute perfection, and with a mini skirt, tights, and boots you’ll be looking flawless. I personally like to top off this look with a cropped jacket that makes me feel like I’m about to go get laid by some music industry executive at the Viper Room on Sunset Boulevard. But the fun doesn’t stop there: the best thing about this outfit is its versatility! You can pair it with nearly any top, and if you’re going for a dressier look or just want to step it up in general, a pair of opaque tights definitely won’t hinder your mission. The possibilities are endless!
A neon windbreaker is an easy way to have fun with color.
First of all, color is always a fun dimension to add to your wardrobe. A neon windbreaker with a hood and zippers screams, “I’m here for a good time!” It draws attention in the most positive way possible, and that’s why it’s the perfect starting point for any 90s-themed outfit. Neon colors were popular in the 90s, and they’re also popular now. You can find this item at a thrift store; or if you want to go new, Amazon has exactly what you need.
This piece will also serve you well beyond the realm of retro parties—a neon windbreaker is an easy way to have fun with color all year round.
It doesn’t have to be complicated if you choose some simple staples.
You don’t have to go too crazy to create a great 90s look. In fact, you can even keep it simple by choosing some of the decade’s staples.
Some basics you can wear include jeans and t-shirt, or a mini skirt or crop top. You can also throw on a baseball cap or flannel shirt or denim jacket.
What else should you wear? Read on to find out!
While this article may have been more about what you shouldn’t wear to a 90s party than what you should, the main takeaway is that your clothes should be a reflection of who you are! Don’t feel obligated to follow trends; do what makes you comfortable and lets your inner self shine. If that means wearing an outfit that’s totally not in style, then so be it.
Also remember, the party is only one night, but the photos last a lifetime. So if you’re going to go all out and get dressed up in a rad outfit that screams “90s vibe”, big or small, make sure you take some pictures and keep them forever!
Q: Is this a costume party or will I just be dressing in 90s style?
A: It is both, actually. Come dressed in whatever you want from the 90s, but wear a costume that fits the theme of the party as well. We strongly recommend dressing up as your favorite 90s TV show character to get into the spirit of things!
Q: How much should I spend on an outfit for this party?
A: Don’t break the bank for something that you’re only going to wear once, but if you have money to spare and want to make an impression, then why not go all out?
Q: How fancy do I need to dress for this party?
A: The dress code is casual. You don’t have to wear a cocktail gown or anything like that. Come dressed in normal clothes and accessories from the era, and you’re good to go!
Q: Can I buy new clothes at the mall and call them 90s fashion?
A: No. New clothes are not acceptable unless they are replicas of something worn by someone famous in 1990-1999 time period (e.g., Britney Spears’ famous schoolgirl outfit). If it doesn’t look retro enough, then unfortunately it won’t fly at our event! Be sure to check out some local thrift stores instead – they might have what you’re looking for!