Childhood was never our most fashionable era. With most of our outfits laid out by our well-meaning but ignorant moms, let's just say most of us were not the coolest kids on the block. Ironically enough, the inevitable fashion cycle means that dusting off some of those same looks can now make you the chicest, sleekest woman in the room.
If you are a '90s child, now is your style moment. In the ever-changing sartorial world, '90s fashion is as its prime, proving that despite time, there is an intrinsic pining for the past. Fashion in the 1990s instigated a youthful movement and offered carefree styles that dabbled in rebellion. And thankfully, grunge, minimalism, casual streetwear, and mod androgynous styles are all back and better than ever.
So the next time you're scrolling through your old pictures for a perfect #tbt, don't forget that your youthful self actually had some serious style mojo. Although there are some throwback memories we would definitely rather forget, these six trends as worn by our beloved ‘90s style icons are still totally applicable to your adult wardrobe. Join us on our trip down memory lane as we recount the most fashionable—and notable—moments of the decade.
1. Lindsay from Freaks and Geeks: Iconic Military Jacket
Judd Apatow's teenage dramedy Freaks and Geeks hardly warrants an extended introduction. The show's accolades alone should pique your attention: Time voted it as the third best comedy of the era. Lindsay's style is a distinctive fusion of her inherently nerdy style mashed up with some newfound grunge. She's often seen sporting knit sweaters, blouses, and striped tops, but her most iconic piece is the signature military parka she wears throughout the entire show. Her "anti-fashion" approach to style creates a casual look that brilliantly emulates the new, rebellious social group she becomes entwined in.
2. Cher from Clueless: Knee-High Socks
Cher defined the sleek and on fleek prototype that we all wanted to be. Not only was her closet every girl’s deepest fantasy, her witty dialogue and unconventional, feminine fashion ushered in a departure from ’90s grunge into an era of contemporary glam. One of her most iconic statements were the knee-high socks we’ve grown so familiar with in the past few seasons. They're snug, ultra flattering, and becomes the perfect schoolgirl sexy ensemble when paired with the iconic plaid skirt. Stockings? As if!
3. Rachel from Friends: Overalls
Nowadays, denim overalls have become synonymous with utilitarian attire—something about rugged street style meets runway just clicks in the most aesthetic way. Nobody taught us that better than Rachel Green from Friends, arguably one of the most inspirational style models of all time. Back in the '90s, overalls had not yet become a catwalk staple—in fact, they were the choice ensemble for shows such as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and the NSYNC boys. Kudos to Rachel for showing us how to make this chic or else we might have tragically never realized this was a closet go-to.
4. Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chokers
Otherwise known as the turtlenecks of jewelry, chokers have thus far been lurking on the brink of the trend wave. But as is the case with all classic '90s fads, their return to the style spotlight is preordained. Good news is, chokers are finally having a moment on the accessory front. Instagram enthusiasts and indie brands alike have been styling them with every look, from swimwear to formal attire. To quell any lingering naysayers, take a cue from our queen Willow. More so than any other character on the vampire series, Willow depicts a clear style evolution throughout the show that parallels her rising confidence and self-assurance. Her '90s-licious love is mainly incarnated in quirky oversize sweaters and beat-up sneakers, topped with the perfect choker, of course.
5. Jessie from Saved by the Bell: Off-the-Shoulder Tops
Grab your hall pass and scrunchie, and fasten your driver's ed seatbelt. Demure yet seductive at the same time, off-the-shoulder tops were a favorite in the celebrity circuit during the '90s and present day alike—Kelly Kapowski, Olivia Palermo, and Kendall Jenner all remain fans of the trendy number. Saved by the Bell’s onscreen wardrobe has been influencing women's personal style since the '90s. Jessie’s skintight biker shorts, off-the-shoulder crop tops, and canvas shoes always reigned supreme. Providing sartorial inspiration to an entirely new generation, we’ll always look to Bayside High for advice about fashion, friends, dating, and the tumultuous ride that epitomized high school.
6. Aunt Becky from Full House: Mom Jeans
Protective dad Danny Tanner always made it difficult for his daughters to adhere to the increasingly risqué trends of the ’90s. But still, as one of the most iconic, cherished shows of the decade, Full House surprisingly gave us some seriously wistful outfit inspo. Its quirkier, conservative ensembles sparked an unassuming treasure trove of ’90s style. One of our favorites will always be the mom jean, because really, what could be better than a high-waist pant and tapered leg?