Sunday 20 January 2019

Enough! Why some 1990s fashion trends were enough the first time around

Freya Drohan

Freya Drohan investigates why the decade that good taste forgot still continues to influence our modern wardrobe, and remembers the trends that should definitely be left behind.

Scanning your eyes around the high street, you would be forgiven for thinking you had entered a time warp.

From jelly shoes to velvet slip dresses, dungarees to Doc Martens, mainstream fast fashion has become a throwback to the Nineties.

Similarly, jewelled bindis and plastic choker necklaces, tie dye crop tops, sports jackets and cut off levis have become the festival outfit du jour, as if the cast of Saved by the Bell have become the modern ideal.

A scroll through an Instagram or Pinterest feed confirms the prevalence of these retro reference points- from Clueless-inspired two piece suits to Spice Girl’s worthy flatform shoes.

The decade, where the influences of the grunge and hip hop music scenes amalgamated, culminated in an era of outrageous fashion faux pas- evidence of which will forever embarrass us thanks to countless family photo albums.

Don’t get me wrong- I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t romanced by the nostalgia of boyfriend jeans or the simplicity of a minimal sandal, and I do believe that fashion is cyclical, but there are some things that should remain left behind.

The following items helped defined by childhood, and doubtlessly hold a place in my heart- but not my grownup wardrobe.

Butterfly hair clips

Trips to the rainbow-coloured mecca of Claire’s Accessories as a youth were the be all and end all.

Most of us didn’t have the same blond bobs as our hair-idols Kirsten Dunst, Britney and Buffy- but God we tried to make it work.

Mood rings

Because knowing your own feelings was just too much effort when you had a jam-packed TV schedule of Nickelodeon.

mood ring.jpg


While mine were confined to my head, I dreamt of the day where I could pull it off as an item of clothing á la the queen of Destinys Child.

UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: PARTY IN THE PARK, HYDE PARK Photo of Beyonce KNOWLES and DESTINY'S CHILD, Beyonce Knowles (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Slap bracelets

Part weapon, part accessory- hours of entertainment guaranteed, slapping everything from your friends’ wrists to the family dog’s tail.


Crimped hair

Crinkled locks were de rigeur for the quintessential 90s girl- until she made the rite of passage to the Carmen Girl’s pink Angel wand that is.


Baby G watch

In saccharine shades of bubblegum pink, baby blue or lilac, naturally.


Bubble Bags

As long as you didn't try pin on your Boyzone fan-badges, you were good to go.

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