Summary: The 90s was a decade of fashion, music, and technology. It gave us iconic figures in the fashion industry and some of the most influential artists in music and the world. We also saw the beginning of tech that we still use today. Let’s look at some of the biggest looks and the most iconic 90s outfits.
While some fashion trends go down in history never to be looked at again, some re-emerge every few years, almost with a vengeance. Labeled the golden decade of fashion, the 90s left us with many unforgettable looks. These iconic 90s outfits, seen in their 2023 adaptations, still bring flashes of celebs in music videos and style icons on the red carpets.
The decade is being celebrated in pop culture these days with the release of shows like Big Little Lies and Stranger Things. It's also the time of the year for New York Fashion Week, where designers are pulling out their most iconic looks from the decade. Let’s take a look back at some of the most iconic 90s outfits.
Many of today’s popular trends were born in the 90s. Varsity jackets, vest tops, mom jeans, and slinky chainmail dresses radiate all that big 90s energy. It was also the decade of the first influencers – television celebs, supermodels, and A-listers – who paved the way for trends in fashion.
The most iconic 90s outfits were sported by Spice Girls, Winona Ryder, Princess Diana, and Andre Agassi and have made it to the current decade, with clean lines and neutral color palettes emphasizing elegance. Trends inspired by grunge, hip-hop, and post-punk fashion made the 1990s one of the coolest and the baddest decades in fashion!
Here’s a rundown of all the iconic 90s outfits that are still making waves:
Will Smith’s acid wash overalls from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air have that classic 90s vibe. The classic 90s overalls and denim dungarees were seen in music videos, on the ramp, and in the movies. The style was loose and baggy, worn with one or both straps down. Sometimes there was even no shirt underneath. Remember Jodeci?
This trend rode high on the popularity of the grunge scene and post-punk fashion in the 1980s. Nineties-style combat boots, especially Doc Martens, were the baddest of them all. They go with any outfit, including acid-washed jeans, denim overalls, cargo pants, or baggy trousers. These chunky boots can nail the 90s vibe when combined with flowy dresses too.
On more than one occasion, Gwen Stefani performed in just cargo pants and a crop tee. Then again, military-style khakis and cargo pants were already part of mainstream fashion. These were among the iconic 90s outfits popularized by movie stars like Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise and hip-hop artists like Busta Rhymes and Notorious B.I.G.
Could we trace the roots of athleisure back to the 90s? There were tracksuits all over, and they were loud, bright, and colorful. A 90s-inspired collection has to feature tracksuits. These iconic 90s outfits came in from Adidas & Fila’s 90s sportswear collections and are best remembered through the Cheetah Girls’ tracksuits. Also memorable are Britney’s public appearances in velour tracksuits.
Talking of velvet suits, how can we forget the iconic ruby-colored suit Gwyneth Paltrow wore to the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards? The velvet suit was designed by Tom Ford for Gucci’s fall 1996 collection. Velvet was probably used the most as a fabric in the decade. Designers today are styling looks by combining the 90s cool-girl vibe with classic style to bring these iconic 90s outfits back to life.
Faux fur coats unapologetically ruled 90s fashion. Whether it is a cheetah print to top it up or just a brightly colored fabric, it is one of the iconic 90s outfits that lent an edgy appeal to the wearer’s look while keeping them warm in fall and winter. Case in point: Usher walking in at the Ninth Annual Billboard Music Awards in an all-yellow faux fur outfit.
If there is one piece of garment stylists can use with their patron’s favorite clothing to recreate iconic 90s outfits, it would be the blazer! They were everywhere and went with almost everything. Women’s fashion in the 90s saw oversized blazers with slip dresses, tees, skirts, flared jeans, and even dungarees! The look was practical and chic, allowing people to ease into work, dinner dates, and movie outings.
Ripped jeans made more of a political statement than a fashion statement. It was an expression of the wearer’s anger toward society. Celebs like Madonna and Kurt Cobain oversaw the shift toward making it a part of mainstream fashion. The women and men of the 90s lapped the trend, wearing ripped jeans with crop tops, bandannas, and beanie hats.
Supermodel Naomi Cambell flaunted the leather skirt suit, one of the most iconic 90s outfits that still makes a big fashion statement. Pleather skirts and dresses told us that jackets were not the only way to wear this material. The trend saw Nia Long in a sleek, shiny dress at the 1998 VH1 Fashion Awards. Leather and pleather are slowly making their way back into mainstream fashion.
Fashion icons of the 90s, including Britney Spears, Will Smith, and Jennifer Lopez, made a lasting impression on the music, film, and fashion industries. The iconic 90s outfits sported by these celebs have made their way into fashion trends today. While designing a 90s collection, designers and brands can take a cue from these hot looks of the decade. With the help of Fashinza's AI-powered platform that connects brands, designers, and suppliers, you can create a unique collection to relive the fashion of the 90s.
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