90's Now: What's Working ... And What's Not

Cyclical fashion is a tale as old as time. Trends come, and trends go, but one thing will always remain true: not all trends are created equal. We’ve seen style resurrections from plenty of eras, and what we’ve learned is that sometimes there are winners. But, as life doesn’t always deal a fair hand, there are almost always losers too. It’s inevitable.

I was thrilled when the 60s shift dress made its reappearance. I rejoiced when the 70s returned to us with free-flowing silhouettes and an overall easygoing spirit. I could have skipped over the return of neon-colored hair that was the 80s, but hey, that’s just me. The latest in cyclical trends brings us back to the 1990s, and maybe it’s because I lived through the 90s that make revisiting this era more of trepidation than an embrace, but I’m only halfway jumping in. Borrowing some choice language from the era itself, we’re going to take a little journey through the hit-or-miss styles of the 90s that have miraculously revived themselves today. Below, explore a top-to-bottom ranking of what’s working, and what’s not.


As far as we’re concerned, if you’re able to wear the crop top, there’s nary a scenario where you shouldn’t be wearing one. Work aside, this look fits almost every recreational activity in our agendas. Brunch with your girls? Check. Lazy afternoon in the park? Check.

"You're bugg'n."

Scrunchies are in a category all their own. When you consider that they look ridiculous on both Hillary Clinton and Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All, you have no choice but to acknowledge that they fit no age group. But that’s not all. Adding little to any outfit, they’re beyond the style spectrum. Sure, you could argue that they’re within the bounds of utilitarian decoration. But if you ask us, there’s little point. If you want to accessorize, choose wisely and opt for a little neck or wrist decoration.

"No duh"

We’re accessory fiends, and the choker necklace is one of the 90s trends we can’t get enough of. Maybe it’s because it goes with everything or that it’s so simple to throw on that makes it a no brainer. Whatever the case, this trend is one we’re happy to see again – and one we’re sure to be often wearing.


The fanny pack was Barbie’s best accessory, not yours. It would be in poor manners to try to steal her thunder like that. In this case, do let Mattel have all the fun. There are plenty of better and cuter ways to stow and tote your essentials.


If Blossom taught us anything, it’s that the floral skater dress fits any scenario. When Clueless debuted in 1995, it only reinforced our affinity for this patterned silhouette.

"As If"

We’re entirely on board with boyfriend jeans, but mom jeans are a special breed of denim. We have a special spot in our heart for denim, but to nail mom jeans is a feat in and of itself.

The 90s gave us things like Gameboy, jelly shoes, Fruitopia vending machines, and permission to wear flannel with glitter hair. At best, it was a decade of exploration. At worst, it was a test of our style limits. One thing we know for sure: Leave the scrunchies at home.

Buy Fashion, Music & Entertainment Content

More writing samples