This summer, it seems we all woke up one day, looked around, and collectively realized we had gotten in a time machine. The fashion of the 90s and early 2000s is back! Britney Spears is bopping around with Melissa Joan Hart to “You Drive Me Crazy.” Cell phones are shrinking down from the size of a brick. What a time to be alive!
Of course, we haven’t time-traveled exactly, but many styles from the 90s and early 2000s are popping up in stores, magazines, and online. Some of these styles returning are an upgrade from the original, sleeker, better quality, and builds on two decades of fashion evolution.
However, like with all throwbacks, sometimes the worst of fashion faux-pas sneak their way back into our lives. We expect to see the latest in attractiveness, but instead, we find something nobody looked good in back in 1999 is back on the shelves.
Embracing retro styles can be fun, but everyone has opinions about what is good and what is bad in trending styles.
Here are five 90’s style trends we are loving and five we wish blew up with Y2K.
We love…slip dresses.
The slip dress was the quintessential go-to for many celebrities on the red carpet and love interests in movies like Meet Joe Black. They could be styled up with heels and a great piece of jewelry or styled down with a denim jacket (more on those later) and a pair of great sneakers. Today, there are more material options to flatter any shape.
We hate….zig-zag and comb headbands.
Most 90s girls have some memory of a particularly uncomfortable headband digging into her skull – the culprit was most likely a zig-zag or comb headband. While they do pull the hair off your face while letting you keep it styled long, they hurt like crazy. Instead, try butterfly clips; they can create the same effect, still a great throwback, and hurt a lot less.
We love…denim jackets.
Why do we ever let denim jackets go out of vogue? Every decade we pretend for a few years like we’re over them, but they always come back. The silhouettes and wash may change, but the love of the denim jacket never truly dies. Throw them on for rain, for sun, over dresses, skirts, and anything else. They’re a great touch to any outfit.
I get the logic, believe me. Enjoy the aesthetic of a skirt with the freedom and coverage of a pair of shorts. But they never look quite right, do they? I’ll grant you I’ve seen some in stores that are less hideous on the hanger than others, but they never translate on the human body the same way. Unless you’re about to play tennis, skorts are a hard pass.
Banishing the scrunchie from the fashionista’s accessories bag was a mistake. They’re practical, look cute in their hair and on the wrist, and the best ones don’t rip out your hair. Jaw clips (which are also making a comeback) are another fun 90s accessory that is attractive and practical. Hooray for a return of good hair tools!
Keeping long hair out of your face can also be important for nailing interviews and networking in a virtual world where the screen focuses exclusively on your face. For more tips about professional dress, check out our articles on networking and virtual interviews.
We hate…jelly shoes.
Surely something named after a soft dessert would be like a pillow for your feet. No. Jelly shoes are uncomfortable. They are also unprofessional, limiting their versatility as a shoe. They also never last long enough to justify spending any money on them. While their unique texture and fun colors may lure you in, just so no.
There is nothing more practical for a day at home than a pair of overalls. They never get too tight on the waist, come in a variety of colors and fabrics, and can be styled up with a hat and a pair of wedges. They’re not just for OshKosh B’Gosh kids anymore. Most stores carry chic options for the comfy-casual individual.
We hate…awkwardly cropped pants and shorts.
In the 90s oversized jeans, bermuda shorts, and capri-length pants of all lengths came in and out of style. Some of those odd-lengthed bottoms are creeping back onto shelves. Trolling through old pictures of celebrities wearing these styles back in the day, seeing those funky capris is super cringy. Adults find pants that fit well, not bottoms that make them look like they’re still wearing clothes from middle school.
We love…oversized band t-shirts.
A great graphic t-shirt that shouts out your fandom for the best rock-n-roll artists of all time has been an important fixture in alternative fashion since the 1970s. From punk to hair rock to grunge, rocking an oversized band t-shirt is a great way to have a vintage flair that will never go out of style when styled with a great pair of jeans and sneakers.
We feel lukewarm about…sweater vests.
Sweater vests always look good on the model but can be very hit or miss on everybody else. They have to fit just right. While baggy can look good, too baggy can be unprofessional or stifling. The unique style can be attractive on all kinds of people with different body shapes, but it can take a lot of searching to find the perfect one. Is it worth the effort?
Of course, the beauty of trends, fashion, and style has lots to do with personal taste. Are you all about the 90s throwback look? Do you agree or disagree with us about which should stay and which should go? Let us know in the comments!