The trends that have endured for the past two decades have done so because they resonate with societal wants and needs and because they are easily incorporated into one’s wardrobe. ‘90s trends are among us in a unique way, they are so prominent, yet reside under the surface undetected. Most likely, these trends already occupy a piece of real estate in your closet and are worn unconsciously. Need proof? Grab a sandwich, sit in the Sombrilla and survey the garments of the masses.
At first, you may not notice the resurgence of grunge, mostly because the androgynous eyeliner, bracelets, black painted nails and loose fitting man dresses are gone. The band tees (you’ve seen those Nirvana ones out there), flannels, Dr. Martens, ripped jeans, camo baggy cargo pants and oversized sweaters have stayed. Popularized by Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen, these garments transmit the idea of gender neutrality, a theme still relevant today, making grunge so fitting for modern-day wear.
Artists such as SWMRS and Hozier reflect and propel grunge into the public eye, keeping the look and the gender neutrality message relevant.
Another fun trend to decipher are track suits. This athletic look from the ‘90s, a matching tracksuit typically paired with Nike Air Maxes or spiced up with any of the 20 versions of Air Jordans, returns in the form of the Adidas tracksuit. The Adidas tracksuit can be spotted on Instagram accounts modeled by celebrities such as Eddie Murphy, Kanye West and Selena Gomez. Millenials have taken the tracksuit to a different category all its own, athleisure.
Athleisure is a word you won’t find in the dictionary just yet, but you will find it sitting right behind you in your calculus class. This look is a sporty, casual combination including, but not limited to, hoodies, vans, joggers and Nikes. You can enhance the look with your G-Shock watch, a windbreaker or platform shoes.
The ‘90s were also full of bright, iridescent fabrics and patterns, which took form in sweatshirts, socks, fishnets, mesh and large hats. While these colorful maximalist trends are still prominent, just taken down a notch, they have mostly been replaced by the trendy neutral-toned, minimalist look. In the same manner, ‘90s kids would naturally gravitate to bold statement pieces, kids today are approaching minimalism and easily incorporating it into their everyday outfits. The minimalist trend first appeared in 1995 with Calvin Klein’s spring collection and has been recently approved by celebrities such as Victoria and David Beckham and Solange Knowles. Another contributor to the minimalist trend is technology and social media. These have had a large impact on our habits when it comes to our sartorial choices and our modern tendency for efficiency. Perhaps closets are losing their saturation due to the ease of a pair of neutral colored shirt with any bottom desired.
The ‘90s saw a mix of creative expression, movements and community through clothes. Each person expressed his or her individual twist while being apart of a larger scheme that kept him or her close. The times were as light, fun but mostly nostalgic, and that is something now brought to life through our clothing. While the seemingly simpler times of landlines and dial-up are gone, the clothes of those days still inspire.