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Fashion Industry Trends: 6 Signs ’90s Nostalgia Is Back

The '90s style revival proves what goes around comes around. What was worn at one period will inevitably be worn again in the not-so-distant future.

The 1990s is swiftly becoming the decade that refuses to go away. Whether it’s rehashes of ‘90s movies stocked with aging cast members, new augmented reality games based around our childhood crazes, or regular social media nostalgia sessions focused on Pogs, Pokémon, or old Playstation favorites, it seems we can’t get enough of the decade–and this has become especially true when it comes to fashion.

Today, it appears that some of the ’90s most weird and most wonderful fashion trends are re-emerging. But why is style so cyclical?

“Trends circle around as many designers tend to get inspiration from the past whether it is a fashion show or red carpet looks,” said Karine Laudort, a fashion trends expert, in an interview with The Metro. “Designers may see these past looks as iconic and want to bring them back but with a modern twist to make it fit today’s generation.”

“Also, let’s not forget social media plays a huge part in this. For example, this generation is always going back and being inspired by past looks such as the 90s, particularly TV characters such as Hilary Banks and Ashley Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Laudort added.

“I would say Instagram, Twitter, or even Pinterest have a big role as the youth are constantly bringing the 90s looks to these platforms.”

With the 1990s representing the beginning of the digital age, it’s become a widely documented decade, helping to fuel more social media intrigue in the final few years before the internet really took off. This has helped the ‘90s to gain connotations that it was an age of innocence.

Steeped in nostalgia, we have seen many ‘90s trends reemerge on the fashion scene over the years, and today it seems like the avalanche of nostalgia for the decade has taken on a life of its own. With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at six key signs that 1990s fashion is once again returning and stronger than ever.


1. Double denim is no longer fashion’s biggest faux pas

As Megan Fox has shown of late, double-denim hasn’t been confined to the history books after Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears’ somewhat adventurous outing in 2001, the look that oozes ‘90s style is back and bolder than ever.

Today, double denim can regularly be spotted as a staple of men’s and women’s fashion, with jeans and even maxi skirts arriving via the medium of denim. Aside from Fox, there are plenty of celebrity admirers of the look, with Bella Hadid a particular follower of the trend.


2. Grunge grinds back into gear

After lying dormant throughout much of the 21st Century, grunge fashion is undoubtedly roaring back into life. 1990s icons Drew Barrymore and Courtney Love were among the biggest followers of grunge fashion, and the look was always an impressive feat to pull off due to the difficulty of striking a balance between the casual carelessness of the genre and painstakingly perfecting the visage of apathy.

At the core of this style are ripped jeans, loose-fitting cardigans, check shirts, rock ‘n’ roll t-shirts, and combat boots. Fashion house Givenchy has driven this revival, which delivered a ’90s-inspired collection within its 2022 fashion shows.


3. The return of claw clips

The 1990s was an expressive decade, and having a colorful claw clip was the ultimate accessory to suit the vibrancy of the ‘90s. Although the banana clip became the staple of the 1980s, we’ve seen more celebrities embrace its later counterpart today, with the likes of Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, and Bella Hadid all notable admirers of the claw clip.

The beauty of the claw clip is that it’s an accessory that can perfectly complement your style while bringing you the comfort you’re seeking. Colors and patterns can easily be matched to your wardrobe to generate an eye-catching appearance.


4. Revisiting the sheer dress

The sheer dress became a quintessential part of ‘90s fashion, and although we’ve seen it reprised sporadically on the catwalk, the trend appears to be primed for a full re-emergence.

It was Kate Moss who started the scramble for sheer dresses in 1993, and reviving the spirit of the decade was Brandon Maxwell, who brought back the look for his Fall 2020 collection at New York Fashion Week.

Now, many years on from Maxwell’s reimagining of the look, the sheer dress is set to reemerge with more neutral colors and bold themes taking charge to give the ‘90s classic a modern makeover.


5. Returning to baggy cuts

As an extension of our grunge fashion revival, we’re also seeing the ‘90s staple of baggy clothes make a triumphant comeback. This means that the pursuit of figure-complementing wardrobes can take a hiatus while we slip into something a little more comfortable and relaxing.

Driving this trend will be baggy-cut denim with wider legs and large-sized sweaters and cardigans. While Katie Holmes has long been an advocate of the baggy look, other fashion icons have jumped on the 1990s craze to embrace a little more comfort within their wardrobes.


6. Bold accessories are back

The ‘90s was the decade of fashionable accessories. Chokers became synonymous with the era along with bright plastic jewelry and eyewear.

These trends are working their way back into the limelight, and the recent celebrity appetite for ‘gas station’ sunglasses was an early indication that our taste in eyewear was changing from the aviators and wayfarer staples. Now it’s clear that eyewear is taking a leaf out of the ‘90s style guide along with other colorful accessories.

It’s not just color that’s making a 1990s-inspired comeback though, and more traditional glasses styles like the popular but classic frames offered by Dolomiti with more circular shapes and natural tones are making waves again in the fashion stakes.


For better or worse, ‘90s fashion is refusing to confine itself to the history books. For lovers of color and bold styles, this is likely to be a big victory. The decade that keeps infiltrating trends is unlikely to go anywhere fast, and this means we get to enjoy more vibrancy in our looks, and much more character throughout our wardrobes.


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