90s Fashion Trends that Defined the Decade

90s fashion

90s Fashion Trends that Defined the Decade

90s fashion can be defined by an era of influences from the previous decades.  Many trends from the late 80’s were carried over in the early 90’s, mixed with trends from the 1960’s and the 70’s.  Trends such as the acid wash jeans, oversized t-shirts, and leggings were still very popular in the 90’s as they were in the late 80’s.

The most significant trend, however, was the grunge look that very much defined 90’s fashion.  The popularity of the band Nirvana and many alternative rock groups in the 90’s shaped streetwear and even the runways.  But because of grunge fashion’s easy accessibility, it didn’t inject well in high fashion – Marc Jacobs was actually fired from Perry Ellis for his notorious grunge collection.

Many trends made up 90s fashion, and here are 5 key looks that defined the era:


The iconic flannel shirt, tattered T-shirt, dirty jeans and sneakers look was the ultimate 90’s wardrobe.  Couple that with unkempt hair and days of not shaving and you’ve got the look down to pat.  Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love were the symbols of grunge and many men and women from around the world emulated their looks.  While the flannel shirt and jeans was the ultimate outfit for guys, the baby doll dress was the key trend for women.   Short and cute little dresses were often paired with black boots and sneakers, but always with the signature unruly and messy hair.  Until today, the plaid flannel shirt and the baby doll dress paired with masculine boots are looks that are still being worn by the young generation.

Denim on Denim

One of the most popular trends of the 90’s was the mom jeans.  Frowned upon my many stylish women, almost everyone had a pair during the decade.  Characterized by having a high waist that covered the entire belly and a cut that tapered to the ankle, women dressed them with a fitted or loose top that were tucked in, showing the belly in all its glory.  Denim on denim was also very much popular in the decade, as seen on men and women who donned denim shirts or jackets over denim pants.  The denim overall was also a very popular trend, as worn by men, women, and children.

Designer Clothing

Italian and French labels were very in demand during the 90’s and people all over the world were embracing the concept of showing off your money on your clothes.  Celebrities and the rich were starting to value designer clothing and weren’t ashamed to flaunt them.  Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Gucci, and Versace were the very designer names to wear in the decade.

Innerwear as Outerwear

The very trend made famous by fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, innerwear as outerwear was donned by women who weren’t afraid to embrace their sexuality.  Madonna and many celebrities were seen wearing corsets and slip dresses as actual going out clothes.

Hip Hop Clothing

Since rap became very popular in the 80’s hip hop fashion was still a big thing in the 90’s.  The tracksuit was still being worn on the streets, as well as khakis, baseball caps worn reversely, and gold chains and hoop earrings for women were big trends.

The 90’s was also defined as the decade of “anti-fashion” with grunge and the whole minimalist look.  It was indeed a decade of many fashion influences, with some of its trends still being used today.

Author Kristinsson Magz

Kristinsson Magz

My life, my hobby, my everything