The ’90s isn’t exactly a decade known for its style. The decade that brought you frosted boyband tips, snap bracelets and necklaces with your name on a grain of rice (it’s real, Google it) had quite a few iconic style moments worthy of embarrassment.
Admittedly, color-changing heat transfer shirts like Hypercolor weren’t that cool when the only place they changed color was your armpits.
But what about the funky fresh keepers?
Here are the top 10 ’90s style moments worthy of a comeback:
These are the shorts that taught us all what bulges were about.
The silky soccer short didn’t leave much to the imagination when you saw someone hot wearing them. The sporty/sometimes-reflective patterns were cool and sleek, and they evoked thoughts of Europe and South America, where soccer is king.
If these come back in vogue, break out the binoculars, because it’ll be bird-watching season all over again.
Ah, there’s nothing like having the comfort and feel of pajamas in math class!
Skidz were my middle school dream. They had bold, fun patterns that allowed you to “express yourself” as Madonna was suggesting but also stay right in line with the current looks on MTV.
Their comfortable and bold fashion statements deserve a comeback. Maybe Skidz and joggers should have a baby and we’d realize we’re totally butt-crazy in love with them!
3. Hip-Hop Looney Tunes
Who doesn’t love anthropomorphic characters wearing hop-hop gear?
When worn, these shirts showed you knew what the cool trends were, but you also had a sense of humor. This is also one of the few trends where the bootlegs were just as good as the originals. If your shirt had Taz’s girl checking her beeper, pissed off, or ti had Bugs, Daffy and Taz dressed in TLC drag, you were on point for the day.
These would be great today with some Hip-Hop Adventure Time or Emo Rick and Morty. Someone page Hot Topic and let’s get on this ASAP.
4. Safety pin bell-bottoms
This was the answer to my big-and-tall trendy dreams.
Lots of designers weren’t making the trends for us big boys, and when the baggy leg pant craze came out — from Jncos to bell-bottoms — we were left out.
The joke was on them, though, because this trend taught us all how to modify our clothes, and with a little bit of creativity and a lot of safety pins we were turning heads at the warehouse raves before you knew it.
These shoes burst onto the scene and in, like, two seconds everyone was wearing them.
The next two seconds everyone wasn’t.
I don’t know why they didn’t last, because the cleated teeth at the bottom of the sole gave such great traction, and the puffy inside of the shoe felt so chic! I would take these over Crocs any day.
It’s rare that a trend goes across all style boards. From slim fit to big-and-tall, hip-hop to grunge, this fuzzy fabric trend could be seen everywhere in ’90s style.
The big ’70s comeback during the ’90s certainly helped, but stores like Aeropostale had this in every color and style, from long-sleeve shirts with a razor stripe down the arm to full-on track suits.
It was the coziest way to show you had flavor.
7. Button-fly jeans
“Excuse me, are those Bugle Boy jeans you’re wearing?”
“Nope, they’re Levi’s button fly.”
Your wardrobe was not complete without this cultural necessity, and while it has never fully left us, it hasn’t had its day again as an essential trend.
Copycat designers put button-flys on everything from suits to shorts to in-between. It was a great way to feel free without the rub of a zipper. You better have the right fit, though, because while a zipper can stay up, a button fly will free willy at the first sign of an ill fit.
Nothing says ’90s style like this classic fresh look.
Lil Yachty may have brought us beads again, but this style is totally worthy of a kid at play.
When you see a dude with a flat-top you know he’s down for a good time. This is a look that says “I am cool AF. Let’s do this.”
9. Blazers with solid tees
Leave it to ’90s style to keep comfort first. Men looked super chic in bold tees with even bolder blazers, experimenting with color and style while managing to keep their cool.
The “I don’t care” vibe of this look is ultimately leading us towards the death of toxic masculinity.
Rules be damned, let’s all break out the teal again.
10. Wallet chains
These were staples of ’90s style for men.
The wallet chain told people not to try it at first glance, and they gave guys another outlet to show they had a little taste in adornment and jewelry.
While the wallet chain may have come and gone, maybe it’s time for it to be reincarnated as a cell phone chain.
If the new iPhone X costs $1,000, I am willing to be chained to it.
Featured image by RyanJLane via iStock