Ah the ’90s; arguably, the best era for fashion! It was a time when a fashionista could don baggy clothes one day and an article of clothing that’s both skin-tight and low-cut the next, and still look stylishly fabulous. To top it all off, the trends we rocked in the ’90s have continued to come back in style, as what goes around eventually comes back around.
But which trends were the most popular with the cool kids back in the day? Let’s visit the past and dive in to see what the coolest of the cool were sporting during the decade.
If you wanted to be seen as one of the coolest kids in school in the ’90s, then you had to own a pair of PacSun jeans. These jeans were baggy, had plenty of room for movement, but not as much as the low-coverage jeans that were later popularized by ’90s bands.
PacSun was an in-demand brand in the ’90s, particularly among those in the skateboarding and “surf” (surfing) scene. The brand was founded in 1980 in Newport Beach, California and perfected the fit for their jeans to meet the needs of their customers—active lifestyles, comfort, and a perfect fit!
Fruit-themed prints became popular in the ’90s, especially cherries. For example, cherry-printed jeans, skirts, and tops showed up quite often in window displays or catalogs. From any type of clothing imaginable, if it had fruit-themed designs, then it was likely a nod to the ’90s youth culture.
These cherry prints often took the form of appliqué pieces, hand-embellished patches, or even entire garments. You could get these pieces from stores like Limited Too, Guess, or even Target. We loved the way that these styles sometimes complemented one another, and you could often find ensembles with cherry-themed tops paired with a matching bottom.
Trench coats were a wardrobe staple for any fashionista growing up in the ’90s. These coats were often long and floor-length, sometimes reaching up to mid-calf for a dramatic effect. These trench coats were often made of lighter materials like cotton and polyester to make them easier to wear for everyday activities.
Trench coats were available in plenty of colors, from classic tan to electric blues and reds. Sizes ranged from slim-fit slim to loose and comfortable. For those looking for super cool style, sporting a trench coat was definitely the way to go.
MTV Inspired T-shirts
We all have fond memories of watching MTV all day in our living rooms in the ’90s. The music channel was an essential part of many of our lives, so it was no surprise that the fashion world was influenced by the MTV wave.
Popular designs like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Hip-Hop illustrated tees with savvy song lyrics took over the scene. These t-shirts allowed us to express our affinity for music, while displaying our knowledge of the music scene to the rest of the world.
Though something of a fashion faux pas now, overalls were incredibly popular in the ’90s. Whether you were wearing a pair of denim overalls or khaki shorts, you were sure to stand out from the crowd.
For a look that was both comfortable and fashion-forward, ’90s kids of all genders donned a pair of overalls with a fitted tank top or loose-fitting t-shirt. With a variety of colors and styles to choose from, it was easy for us to find a pair that suited us best.
If you’re a ’90s kid, then you probably remember the fanny pack trend. While the trend might seem dated now, they were popular with the youths of the time. Some of the most popular designs at the time included ones that were shaped like animals or cartoons.
Fanny packs were used to hold our most important items, like lip gloss, a music player, and movie tickets. But the trend also served a utilitarian purpose. After all, bags had to be worn on our waistbands when we went rollerblading.
Vintage tees ruled the fashion scene in the ’90s. Whether it was a band tee, a graphic tee with a pop-culture reference, or a vintage style tee, it was hard to go wrong with these jerseys. They could be paired with jeans or shorts, and they always looked cool.
For those who wanted to make a statement, they could opt for a big and baggy vintage tee or one with a crazy print. And if you wanted to go extra bold, you could choose a vintage tee in an eye-catching color or one with a logo or piece of artwork.
The high-waisted jean trend made a powerful statement in the ’90s. We could wear our favorite bottoms higher than the mid-rise styles that were popular a few years before. Not only did high-waisted jeans look fabulous on their own, but they also paired well with crop tops and cropped sweaters for a super cool look.
We could get these jeans in a variety of styles and cuts, including high-rise straight-legs, ankle-length skinny jeans, and high-waisted bell bottoms. Plus, we could find our high-waisted jeans in any color imaginable, from a light wash to distressed washes, acid-washed jeans, and more.
Graphic sweaters and knitwear were an essential part of our wardrobes in the ’90s. From bold and bright sweaters to sweater vests to oversized sweaters, there were styles to suit all preferences. We could find sweaters with Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe motifs, as well as sweaters with sparkly details, sequins, and more.
And, speaking of sweaters, the school uniform staple, the v-neck pullover, was a favorite among the cool kids. We could find them in muted shades of grey, navy blue, and black—a perfect choice for a laid-back and comfortable look.
The ’90s was a time when footwear truly began to make a statement. And the trend that reigned supreme was the Bogue, a type of shoe that was originally created for basketball players, but soon gained popularity for its versatility.
These shoes were worn by people from all walks of life, from street kids to grunge rockers to hip-hop “haters” (as they were called in the ’90s). And they were available in a variety of colors and styles, including slip-ons and high-tops, so everyone could find a pair that suited them best.
One of the hottest trends of the ’90s was the chunky shoe. While this style had been around since the ’70s, it really gained steam in the ’90s with the emergence of “grunge”. Platform shoes and Dr. Martens boots made their way into the wardrobes of many, regardless of gender.
The chunkier the shoe, the better. We could find shoes with everything from large blocks of material to colorful patterns and lacing details—and these were perfect for pairing with a “grunge” outfit.
A fashion staple for generations, denim jackets enjoyed a resurgence in the ’90s. With their rugged good looks, denim jackets were perfect for pairing with jeans, t-shirts, and other pieces to create that cool “grunge” aesthetic.
We could also find ones with oversized fits, cropped cuts, and lighter washes that made them easy to throw on for any occasion. As for designs, there were everything from patched-up lives to frayed hemlines, making these pieces versatile and stylish.
As we can see, the ’90s were filled with fashion trends that would never be forgotten. From PacSun jeans to chunky shoes, our wardrobes were filled with styles that have come back with even more fervor in the present day.
Though some of these looks have been modernized, they have maintained the essence of their original ’90s charm. Whether you’re looking for bold, colorful pieces or something with a more classic feel, these ’90s trends have some great options for you.