Summary: It may be over 30 years, but every trend from this era is starting to feel brand new again. Popularized by the rise of hip hop and pop culture and defined by the grunge and rock 'n' roll music scenes like Nirvana, everyday 90s fashion had everything from acid-wash jeans to plaid skirts getting us all nostalgic these winters.
The 90s were the time of experimentation with fashion, and we're seeing a lot of those trends making a comeback. There are plenty of reasons to get excited about the 90s trend coming back in style. For one, it means you can all break out your old Nirvana t-shirts and flannel shirts! But it also means you can get creative with your fabrics and design choices. So don't be afraid to get creative and have some fun with fashion this winter!
Keep reading to find out what to expect in terms of fabrics to recreate these iconic looks with a vintage feel.
Crushed and smooth velvet took the center stage at every 90s glam party and was often seen in slip dresses and velour tracksuits sported by the rap gods. From cut-outs, burnout, and embossed detailing to embellishments and patterns, this fuzzy fabric is the key to everything warm and cozy and is perfect for winter. Surface ornamentations and techniques like flocking and appliqués can improve the textural interplay of these materials for experimental reinvention.
The rise of flannel plaid shirts peaked in the 90s fashion trend scenes with icons like Kurt Cobain taking it to street style. Preppy pleated plaid skirt sets from shows like “Clueless” also became a fan fave with most brands recreating this look. Flannel can be made from cotton, wool, or a synthetic depending on the end product desired.
The safest and most sustainable choice is merino wool flannel. However, cotton flannels are highly sought after for soft, rich clothes. Manufacturers can also opt for Flannelette, which is a soft woven fabric that imitates flannel but is much coarser in texture.
Classy yet timeless a leather jacket is officially the fall fave. Shiny and sleek were the buzzwords of this era with moto jackets in boxy silhouettes taking any winter layering game from 0 to 100 in an instant, Pleather and patent leather also took over the fall/winter inventory to showcase vintage outerwear aesthetics.
Cropped cardigan sweater vests and chunky knits were the ideal sweater weather ensembles of the glorious urban 90s fashion. Brands can opt for lightweight, breathable cotton to medium gauge and comfy rib knits to heavy and thick cable knit for cardigans.
Luxe, light, and durable cashmere has a soft feel and is ideal for long-wearing knits. Cotton cardigans are lightweight and easy to machine wash and dry, making them better than heavier wool for warmer weather. Merino wool is prized for its moisture-absorbing qualities, which help to stay dry.
Some of the affordable options include wool blends which are insulating and more moisture-wicking than cotton. Synthetic fabrics like acrylic and polyester are not breathable like cotton but are affordable and can be made to feel high end. These fabrics are also more wrinkle-resistant and machine washable but aren’t as soft and comfortable nor do they have the same insulating qualities as natural wool.
Neon and bright prints were a major part of 90s fashion trends. Colourblock windbreakers as seen on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air worn by Will Smith are the perfect piece for fast cold winds and chills. Nylon was the only choice of fabric back then but due to the embarrassing swishing sound of this fabric. Other alternatives were used for manufacturing later on.
Polyester windbreakers designed with a mesh or cotton lining were much heavier than nylon but micro polyester jackets are lightweight, water and wind-resistant. Tricot-brushed polyester fabric is not water resistant but due to its softness, it is extremely comfortable to wear.
Non-stretch heavy-weight denim - be it mom jeans or acid-wash distressed jeans - synonymous with authentic 90s grunge fashion can be reinvented with a contemporary twist. The stone wash, sandblasting, and faux cuffs on everything from boot-cut to baggy jeans may not be everyone’s cup of tea but are some of the 90s icon-approved styles, making up for the designs reminiscent of this era.
Keeping it edgy like Usher in a faux fur coat was all the rage in the 90s. Animal print and faux fur were wild ways to express oneself just like the Spice Girls. Fur is no longer the status symbol. Owing to the campaigns by animal rights groups and with celebs like Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford promoting the slogan "I'd rather be naked than wear fur," brands like Calvin Klein announced that they will no longer be using fur in any of their products. While vegans oppose fur of any kind, the market is flooding with fuzzy Teddy bear-esque styles, and faux fur accents coveted by every 90s diva.
Undoubtedly, the 90s are the moment. All the iconic looks from your fave sitcoms are resurfacing with influencers on Instagram sporting them. So what are you waiting for?
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