Trends on Trial: Spice Up Your Life — The ’90s Are Back

in their latest column, molly and colleen hurford look at fashion’s current clinton-era revival …

If you’ve been to a mall recently, you may have felt like you had entered a time warp as you walked into a Forever 21 or Macy’s. Gone are the skinny jeans and tunic tops once so proudly displayed in the front windows. In their place, skinny mannequins decked out in floor length skirts with crop tops exposing their stomachs stare at you from behind the glass, as if to say, “Aren’t you depressed you put this same outfit in a Goodwill bag in 2001?”

And the sad part is: You really are depressed by that. Because somewhere deep inside, you know that the ’90s are back in style.

Floral patterns, floppy hats, chunky soles on shoes, high-waisted mom jeans, and the dreaded crop top that — let’s be honest — does absolutely no one any favors, are all back in style. And it may just be a good thing, because after all, who doesn’t love their old Doc Marten boots and (admit it!) Union Jack dress?

Trends we’ve spotted recently include boxy jackets (the return of the Dana Scully power suit that we all remember from The X-Files), high-waisted pants in all varieties, from jeans to slacks and long skirts (best worn with a crop top and cardigan combo, a la Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You). So come on, get nostalgic and experience the ’90s all over again — but this time, older, wiser and armed with photographs of looks you now know not to attempt.But why exactly do people now want to look like they’re partying like it’s 1999? Maybe it’s because they want to pretend that Clinton is still in office. Maybe they really miss rewinding cassettes and flipping them to fast forward in their Walkmans. (Come on people — remember the good old days?) Perhaps it’s because the ’90s bring to mind a simpler time, when Oregon Trail was just 50 pixels on a screen, when car phone were king and high tech was an answering machine and a personal computer. While the ’90s aren’t so long gone that they’re escaping our memories, it is possible to remember them fondly as we yearn for a simpler time, where if someone wanted to get in touch, they had to wait until your landline — that’s right, landline — wasn’t busy.

Fashion-wise, it makes sense: High-wasted jeans are back in, and why? Could it be that pants in style finally got to the point where they were so low they were turning into thigh-high socks? Because there was nowhere more scandalous to go other than up? Ditto the trade we’re seeing of miniskirts for long skirts so popular in 1996. It’s cyclical, and the most shocking trend is going to be the exact opposite of the current trend, which is merely the opposite of the trend before that. So, if fashion in 2000 was the opposite of fashion trends in the 1990s, the opposite of 2000 would have to be — mathematically — the ’90s.

How can you get on the ’90s (soul)train? We have to admit: Both of us adore ’90s fashion. However, we both go very different ways with it, so in a separate-but-equal style, we’ll highlight our favorite “new” trends.

Colleen — whose style is best described as hippie chic, calling to mind an amalgamation of Claudia Kishi and Dawn Schafer, for all you Babysitters Club aficionados — highlights some of the best of the ’90s:

High-waisted floral mini-skirts: There is something so charmingly childish about them, probably because our mother dressed us in similar, although slightly longer versions when we were kids.

Long skirts: And now that it is winter, in come the floor length skirts, and we have even witnessed some done in sparkly fabric.

Mom jeans: They’re no longer mom jeans. These things are high fashion now. And an added bonus about the high waistline coming back in is that it makes short girls like us look taller, and we generally appreciate anything that can achieve that.

Hugely chunky shoes: these babies have been given an update, while they are still sky-high platforms, the heels are a bit slimmer and the toes tend to be less rounded.

Leggings: anyone out there remember how your mom put you in leggings and a sweatshirt on a regular basis as a child? We do. And we remember stirrups on the bottom of leggings. Today, throw a pair on with an oversized plaid shirt and you’re not outdated, you’re channeling the (teen) spirit of Kurt Cobain, one of our ’90s fashion icons.

Basically, you should be striving to look like an episode of the first season of Friends (just do everyone a favor and don’t attempt the iconic “Rachel” haircut). So, let’s bring back the denim vest, since we really miss those. We can even wear them with the floral miniskirts and Doc Martens.

God, we love the ’90s.

So, we hope you saved your floral jumpers, mom jeans, floppy hats and chunky platforms, because it’s all in again. But please don’t get rid of your low riding skinny jeans, microminiskirts or tunic tops just yet — give it 20 years and we’ll be back to 2000 soon enough.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank God tunic tops are going out. Not that crop tops are any better. When do we get tops for short busty girls???