Folks, it’s official….
I don’t feel nearly old enough, but I have finally reached that age where I can look at new trends and say, ‘I had one just like that when I was young…‘ God help me, how did this happen? I remember my Mum saying the same to me and thinking, ‘GOD JUST SHUT UP MOTHER, WHY ARE YOU SO OLD???’ so this is a distressing revelation for me.
It finally dawned on me recently, not long after a discussion about clothes at work. I mentioned to a colleague that it confused me how the younger members of the team dressed. ‘Why do they all dress like 12 year olds??’ I pondered, as yet another one sauntered passed in culottes. It was something that had been bothering me for a while, in fact. Eventually, after noticing it wasn’t just my team of young Millennials, but basically most people under the age of 30 (and the odd fashion forward lady over….) I finally came to the realisation – they aren’t dressing like 12 year olds, they are just dressing the way I did when I was 12, because fashion has once again gone full circle, friends, and the 90’s has become the decade that seemingly everyone wants to emulate.
I, for one, don’t really understand why anyone would want to resurrect the fashions of this era – I don’t remember it being all that flattering. I mean, I know we all wanted to look like Kate Moss and have Jennifer Aniston’s wardrobe at the time, but we were young! What did we know?! Those looks could not be further away from the feminine, ladylike styles I favour these days. But they’re all back! With a vengeance! A quick trip around New Look confirmed that to me and my sister last week, as we discovered garment after garment that reminded us of our ill-advised outfits of our youths. Mom denim. Slip dresses. Chokers. Gypsy tops. Circular sunglasses. Teeny tiny backpacks. Who’d have thought body suits would have made a comeback?? Or clumpy shoes, affectionately named ‘clodhoppers’ by my dad? I lost count of the number of times I picked up a pair of mules and said to my sister, ‘You SO would have loved these 20 years ago!’ And she agreed that she really would have! Now though? No thanks. I just don’t think I could pull any of this lot off:
Jean Skirt, £24.99 – White Bardot Top, £11 – Chokers, £5.99 – Floral Dress, 24.99 – Mules, £34.99 – All by New Look
It’s not that I think they’re bad. Ok, that’s a lie, I think some of it is pretty bad. I personally can guarantee I won’t ever be wearing a bodysuit, ever, ever again. The mental scars burned deep, guys. It’s just all a little too childlike to me. I know it’s probably just because I’m an old fart, and I get the irony since I like to wear retro 50’s style clothing, but it just all looks so, well, dated. Maybe if I hadn’t worn it all when I was a pre-teen I might be more open to it, but it just all borders on the wrong side of nostalgic for me to get on board.
How to do 90’s if you’re old like me…..
So what is a girl to do when every high street store is stocking clothes that scream #THROWBACKTHURSDAY? Well, as with most trends, my best advice would be to lift one or two aesthetics and pair them with more modern – or more you – items. For example:
For someone like me who favours the 50s look, slip dresses are not our friend. Sure, when I was 13 and straight up and down slip dresses rocked. It wasn’t common for it to be thought of as a benefit not to have boobs as a teen, but it most definitely worked in this case. These days, of course, they don’t just ‘hang’ there, all androgynous like. They cling nicely to my rounder-than-I’d-like tum and make me look as though I’m 6 months gone. It isn’t the spaghetti strap that is the enemy here though – it is unforgiving fabrics and a lack of shape. A flash of some bare shoulder and collarbone is never a bad thing (says 90’s queen herself, Cher from Clueless!) so opt instead for soft, floaty fabrics, and cinch in at the waist with a sash or a skinny belt. If dresses aren’t your thing, make a casual nod to the trend with a satin and lace cami instead, but bring it into today by adding skinnies and a blazer with some killer heels. Layering with a tee underneath and some Doc Martins is optional, but a step too far for me….!
Blue slip dress, £24.99 – Red Slip Dress, £22.99 – Dark Red Cami, £15.99 – Pink Cami, 19.99 – All by New Look
Off the Shoulder
As above, it isn’t the off the shoulder part that turns me off – shoulders are a very attractive part of the body that most people don’t mind showing off, but the 90’s version normally comes coupled with far too much frou frou for me (see my last one of these posts about ruffles!) or flash an alarming amount of stomach. I might have just about got back on board with crop tops, but strictly with high waisted bottoms! My choice instead would be to avoid voluminous sleeves and go with something flowy and folky, like these beauties.
Mint Bardot Top, £20 – White Lace Bardot Top, £22.99 – All by New Look
Thankfully, slim stilettos are still around and aren’t going anywhere right now, so you can easily avoid this trend if you just can’t stomach it, but you can’t ignore the fact that the clumpy heels of the 90’s had their benefits. Those thick heels pretty much never need re-heeling, and never get stuck in grates or between pavement slabs! They are definitely easier going on your feet when wearing for long periods, but to me they just don’t have quite the same visual appeal. That said, there are still one or two pairs of chunky platforms in my collection, because the right pair can still look sleek if the right shape. Go for strappy versions where possible, which just look a little more delicate rather than heavy, and pick height over chunk – a higher heel will naturally look slimmer and less clumsy – besides, those huge platforms will balance them out so you needn’t worry about being able to walk in them! Here are a couple of pairs I don’t hate. Just don’t talk to me about kitten heels…..
Gold Sandals, £32.99 – Black Sandals, £29.99 – All by New Look
And with that, I’m off to see if I can dig out some original pics of me in my 90s outfits to give you all a laugh seeing how I did it the first time around! I just hope they don’t bring back floppy velvet hats….
How do you feel about the 90s look? Are you young enough to still find it fresh, or if you’re older do you relish the trip down memory lane? I’d love to hear about your 90s fashion favourites!
10 thoughts on “Things I’m Not Cool Enough to Wear – 90’s”
Let’s just hope butterfly clips don’t make a comeback! Looking back, those looked sooooo ridiculous!
Ha, I was OBSESSED with those! I used to wear the with my hair twisted into little cornrows! Not forgetting those stupid dangly bits that I simply HAD to have hanging down at the front!
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Thats exactly what I used to do!!
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Ah how could you not want to relive the ’90s?! Steve Madden slide and chokers are too good haha xx.
I remember buying a black velvet choker on holiday when I was about 13 and I literally thought I was the most sophisticated girl ever 😂
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Haha I love it xx.
I’m the same age as you so wore mules etc although I always hated chunky clodhoppers (my Dad called them that too and still uses the term!) and still wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole. I loved bodysuits back in the day, I used to get all different colours in Tammy Girl and wear them with coloured jeans…. They were really high waisted too. Jeez. I loved it at the time though 🙂
Tammy Girl was my all time fave! I remember my favourite outfit from there were some awful stretchy boot cut trousers with a white stripe down the side and a blue striped crop top with a high neck! I think I really thought I looked like Sporty Spice 😂 I also remember an awful Ying Yang mood necklace that I wore with EVERYTHING! That was the start of my hippy phase!
Yes, I recall too well. Better than 80s, though. It really is a question of balance in fashion. A bit of one decade might work here and there, but I’ve seen women stuck in their past so badly that it looks like Hallowe’en.
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Ha, agreed, the 80’s were dark times fashion wise! I think because I was still quite young in the 80s I hadn’t really started noticing fashion yet, whereas in the 90s I was just starting to be conscious of what I wore, so maybe that’s why I have this specific aversion. Still, looking back at pictures of me in the 80s (when I was actually wearing hand me downs from the 70s!) does make me cringe! x