Juice. SNICK. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. TGIF. Wayne’s World. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Beavis and Butthead. Feeling nostalgic yet? We sure are. The ‘90s were a great time for pop culture and music, but the style wasn’t as on-point—or was it?
Lately, we’ve been looking back at a time that for many of us here at Complex, were our formative years, and we’ve rediscovered a lot of the trends we forgot about. Plus, it always feels like past trends find their way back into the modern zeitgeist, from classic television shows being revived to iconic footwear that lived in the ’90s still thriving today. Even vintage fashion has become a novelty to many.
The ‘90s was truly a golden era for style and street fashion that continues to constantly be referenced today. One of Dior’s recent runways shows was a tribute to ‘90s Venice Beach style. And the success of massively successful streetwear labels like Supreme was built off rehashing many popular ‘90s clothing trends.
Today, major brands like The North Face have revived jackets that were popularized by many East Coast rappers during that wonderful era. Even those crazy leather jackets from Pelle Pelle and Avirex have made a comeback recently due to how much love fashion still has for ‘90s looks.
In the spirit of reminiscing, we compiled what we believe to be the fashion movements, some short-lived, others that endure to this day, to come out of the ’90s. So throw on your most comfortable wide-leg pants, tie a hoodie around your waist, and flip that baseball cap backwards as we hit you with The 10 Greatest ’90s Fashion Trends.
10. Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger was everything. Girls wanted to look like Aaliyah, and guys wanted to be like Grand Puba. Or Puff Daddy.
All we’re saying is, if you had an EastPak, that was like going to school with your Power Rangers knock-off toys. Nice Super Human Samurai Syber-Squad figure! Not. JanSport was the real deal, Holyfield.
8. Sweaters tied around the waist
Who needs a belt when you got a hoodie knotted around your CK jeans and Veruca Salt T-shirt?
7. Cargo pants
Cargo Pants were like SUVs for your legs. It’s no wonder why both things experienced such a boom in the ’90s.
6. Slap bracelets
Slapping yourself on the wrist was never more fun. Plus, these bracelets came in all the craziest ’90s prints.
Ralph never fell off, but the ’90s were the heyday of the Polo Bear and the Polo Sport brand. Don’t act like you don’t remember that blue-bottled cologne. The American Flag icon almost became as prevalent as the Pony, and this era of Polo went on to inspire brands like Acapulco Gold.
Flannel may have made a comeback thanks to the whole Americana thing, but in the ’90s, flannel shirts were never buttoned unless you were the Bounty mascot.
3. Backward caps
We remember when we first saw Chuck D from Public Enemy rocking his cap this way, but Will Smith in the height of the ’90s is who made us want to rock our caps backwards. Plus, it looks cool as shit.
2. Starter jackets
Starters let you rep your team while stunting in the brightest and shiniest colors at the same time. But fuck around and you had it snatched right off your back.
1. Air Jordans
Michael Jordan won SIX championships in the ’90s. That fact alone made us believe that wearing Jordans gave us magic powers. (Also, they still do.) Each pair of Js released during this era was a banger. Every pop culture icon in the ’90s rocked a pair. Undeniably the greatest trend of the ’90s.