Fashion is cyclical. It changes and returns like the seasons. Maybe slightly different than we remember, but still largely familiar. The ’90s was an interesting time for fashion with oversized jean jackets, long and flowy floral dresses, and neon bright colors. If people thought the ’80s had weird fashion tastes in that decade, they also forget that the ’90s had its fair share back in the day. Being a pre-teen for much of the ’90s, I did have some styles I absolutely adored or would probably never want to wear ever again from that period of my life. Surprisingly, the last few years has become the time for ’90s styles to make a resurgence on the fashion scene.
Then: The bodysuit was actually a favorite style piece I liked owning growing up. It was the lazy girl’s way of having your shirt tucked into your jeans or skirt without actually needing to stuff the tail end of a shirt inside your waist. Not to mention that if you don’t tuck it in right, you’re stuck with a weird scrunching or bunching around the waist and tummy area. It’s not the seamless, chic look you’re going for, right? The bodysuit ensured you wouldn’t have to fret over any bunching around the waist. It was clean and smooth all the way down to the hem of your skirt or the cuff of your pants. Everything was a simple slip on.
Now: The bodysuit, like the one pictured from H&M, is still exactly how I remember it. Not much has changed. You slip it on like a regular top and you fasten the bottom part around your lady parts. Having seen some of these in stores, I can’t really say I’d buy and wear them again. This has partly to do with the added step of snapping the bodysuit in place before slipping on your skirt or pants. Then there’s also the bathroom situation when you have more to undo before you go about your business. It may not be the same hassle women may experience when they wear a romper, but going to the bathroom shouldn’t be a complicated challenge that your own clothes presents you with.
The Front Knot Shirt
Then: Baring some skin around your midriff or navel was a thing back in the ’90s. The peek-a-boo effect created a little sexiness without it being too overt for even the more bashful ones to feel comfortable wearing. It was quite easy to take any T-shirt you own, gather some of the fabric in the front, and tie a knot to show off that smooth skin. Another variation of the front knot would be a side knot on the shirt with the same intention of exposing that skin. It really wasn’t necessary to buy shirts that have strips of fabric designed to tie a knot at the front of a shirt.
Now: I have one top that’s a front knot shirt, and that’s the one I used to wear as a kid growing up in the ’90s. Being a largely shy girl at the time, it made me feel good to wear a shirt like that. I wanted to feel confident wearing that kind of shirt, while it remained mostly modest. If the weather was warm enough again, I would have tried wearing a similar shirt like this one by H&M. It’s about making bold fashion choices from time to time, while also still feeling good in your own skin when you wear it.
The Faux Leather Skirt
Then: A lot of experimentation went on with ’90s fashion. There were a mix of styles, pairings you think wouldn’t go together but ended up working so well, like giving feminine styles an edgier twist by throwing on a leather jacket over a flower patterned dress or pairing combat boots with longer skirts for a more casual style. Part of that girly girl with an edge theme saw leather or faux leather skirts being all the rage during the ’90s. There was a coolness factor to wearing a leather skirt. You were able to convey a sense of toughness and vulnerability at the same time when you had this particular skirt paired with a light and airy top.
Now: I had to have a faux leather skirt growing up to emulate some of the actresses I saw wearing them in the TV shows or movies I watched. One scene in Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone, comes to mind where her character Cher walks around in a leather skirt paired with a sheer white top. Clueless was THE movie for ’90s fashion, and I loved almost everything the characters wore in it. For a time, I thought I was as cool as any girl who wore a faux leather skirt. Looking back on it now, I think I was largely silly. The skirt sometimes was a bit confining and not always the most comfortable piece of clothing to wear. When I see these skirts in stores, I keep moving along because I’m far older and wiser now to no longer think faux leather skirts was something I needed or wanted.
The Platform Shoes
Then: And finally, no journey back to ’90s fashion would be complete without talking about these particular shoes. Almost every shoe were platforms—sneakers, boots, and high-heels. Apparently, we were obsessed with elevating everything. To feel taller than we really were. Or maybe we just wanted to be a Spice Girl. I’ve always been a short girl, so of course I want to add a few more inches to my feet. I can’t say I was really into platform shoes. It’s more like I never really made a distinction between the platform shoes and regular high-heels. But the difference between platform shoes and any regular shoes is how chunkier the bottom sole and heel of the shoe can be. Wearing one of these really does feel like you’re standing on a platform, hence the name.
Now: I’m not entirely sure platform shoes would be something I’d readily choose to wear. Not that I would completely rule out the possibility of wearing one of these again, but I don’t think I like the overall thickness this shoe provides. I vaguely remember being a pre-teen wearing one of these at my junior high school’s dances and feeling as if I was clopping against hardwood floors in the gymnasium like a horse. The shoes I had were really cute, but I didn’t like how cumbersome they felt on my feet. These days I’m all for regular, non-platform shoes.
Are there any fashion staples from the ’90s you would wear today or leave completely buried at the bottom of your closet?
8 thoughts on “Fashion Rewind: Revisiting ’90s Fashion That Made A Comeback In The Last Few Years”
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I have to admit that I remain a little bit surprised that platform shoes have become completely mainstream. When they came back in the 90s, they were oddball novelties, but I loved them! Around the turn of the 2000s, my shoe stash was more platform shoes than not. I love how creative people have gotten with platform styles, from the utterly ridiculous to the super chic. I still have a couple pairs in my wardrobe, but they’re for special occasions only. And as much I enjoy vicariously living in other people platform shoes (haha), I kind of harbor a “been there, done that” feeling about them. But if the fashion of recent years is any indication, we’ll be seeing platform shoes around for awhile!
Isn’t it funny when you look back on fashion and view it as a little odd sometimes? But hey, it just works too! I can’t really say I like or dislike platforms when I first saw them in the ’90s as a pre-teen girl. They were just kind of there. I think I was more focused on finding any shoes that would give me height, haha! When it comes to some of these styles from my past, I may feel like I’ve been there and done that with no interest to revisit it someday but never say never, right? You don’t know what you might decide you want to wear again from a long past decade! 😀
Great post! This is such a blast from the past. I just bought a bodysuit shirt, I had no idea they were called bodysuits until your post though. Thank you! I love it.
I have to say that I do have a faux leather skirt which I love. It’s surprisingly comfortable, but you definitely have to get one with the stretchy fabric!
I’ve also noticed how belly shirts are making such a comeback, which a part of me hates because I’m getting too old (in terms of my metabolism haha) to pull those off. But they can be really cute. I like to pair them with high-waisted skirts and shorts when it’s warm, so I only expose a little bit of skin there and it’s a more flattering part of the stomach!
Yeah, I remember back in the day those shirts being called bodysuits in the ’90s! It’s so interesting to see these come back. I thought it might have been a one-time fad thing from a now past decade. Guess not!
The one faux leather/vinyl skirt I had was definitely NOT the stretchy kind. Probably if I had those, I may actually wear these again, haha!
I agree, and we’re definitely of the same opinion with mid-driff and belly shirts. 🙂 I don’t like exposing anything around the navel too, but above the navel isn’t too bad! It’s the part of the tummy I actually do like. 😛 But these shirts definitely go nicely with high waisted skirts or shorts for sure!
I still wear my jean jacket…though that’s kinda 80’s-maybe-early-90’s.
I think it still applies! Jean jackets were also big in the ’90s, but then again, jean jackets are pretty classic and hardly ever go out of style.
I feel vindicated haha.