Fashion in the 1990s was a mixture of styles and represented a casual “anti-fashion” theme where items of clothing became simpler but were mixed and matched with all kinds of colors, patterns, fabrics and accessories. The Grunge and BritPop movement was hugely influential, popularized by bands such as Nirvana, Hole and Oasis. Rave music also affected the dress code around this time with an array of faddish wonders and garish neon colors. The ’90s era is known for its “anything goes” style, whereby garments from a charity shop could easily be put together to make an outfit.
Laced-edged, baby-doll dresses with Peter Pan collars were all the rage, copying the look from Courtney Love of the alternative American rock band, Hole, and her contemporary, Kat Bjelland from Babes In Toyland. Love would purchase clothes at thrift shops to get the Grunge look she was going for, which today is still indicative of the ’90s dress code. These dresses would commonly be worn with Dr. Marten Boots and a flannel lumberjack shirt.
“Rave” style featured large, baggy pants. “Parachute pants,” originating in the 1970s, became a popular choice for women two decades later. Stars such as MC Hammer brought them into the limelight by wearing them in ’90s music videos, such as for “U Can’t Touch This.” Bright and garish colors were popular, such as neon yellow, green and pink.
Gothic clothing was also popular during the ’90s and continues to evolve today. Women would typically wear all black, crushed velvet, figure-hugging gowns, floor-length Victorian skirts, blazers or long flowing overcoats. Colors were few and of specific shades: blood or wine red, bottle or emerald green and a deep shade of purple. These outfits were worn with high-heeled fetish shoes or big boots such as New Rocks or Dr. Martens.
Hip-Hop music influenced many people during the ’80s and became even more popular through the ’90s. Very baggy trousers were worn by men and women, as were baseball caps and shirts buttoned only at the top button. Some women preferred to make their interpretation of the street look more feminine by contrasting the baggy pants with tight crop-tops which revealed the midriff and gave them more shape. This look was sported by the likes of Lauryn Hill, Aaliyah and the group TLC.
References and Resources90s 411 Fashion: Whatever It’s All Good: Coutney Love Costume
Kidzworld: 90s Fashion trends