Saturday, June 1, 2013

STYLE: Five Style Lessons to Learn (and Avoid) from 90s TV


Tia & Tamera enjoyed all these trends at once, so this will serve as your key to these lessons; 
you may want to print a copy to keep in your wallet for reference.
It was the era of chain wallets, butterfly hair clips and sky-high bangs, but not every fashion choice made in the 90s was quite so regrettable - need I remind you of the classic Doc Marten or the super trendy knee high sock? 

While we’re probably better off leaving the baby backpacks behind, there are some positive lessons to be learned from our past, and nowhere are these lessons demonstrated so expertly as on 90s television shows. This visual scrapbook of our younger years is like a fashion time capsule, so here’s a helpful guide to deciding which trends are meant for simply waxing nostalgic and which are primed to be dusted off and tried again. 

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TREND: Super Bold Prints & Patterns

HOW THEY WORE IT THEN:
No one was shy with bold prints or pattern mixing on 90s TV, but if we’re being honest, there were some unforgivable prints that I’m sure we’d all like washed from our collective memory (Zubaz pants come to mind). 
For the refined 90s man who preferred a little flair in his sweatpants.
Cosby sweaters aside, 90s television also brought us some of our favorite print and pattern pioneers, like the adventurous Clarissa Darling, who showed us that any patterns can live in harmony if worn with confidence. My So-Called Life's Angela Chase demonstrated the grungier side of pattern mixing, never one to leave home without a floral and plaid combo, and when the Fresh Prince wore his school blazer inside out to showcase that wild paisley print we just about lost our collective mind.
Why, yes it is, Will. Yes it is.

HOW TO WEAR IT NOW:
Be inspired by that carefree 'tude today by pairing spunky stripes with feisty florals or gutsy geometrics. Pattern mixing is a great way to wear everything in your closet, so you’ll find everyone and their mother mixing prints today, from Fashion Week to the blogosphere to that older lady mumbling to herself at the grocery store (this one may not be intentional).
Sources: 1  //  2  //  3



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TREND: Menswear as Womenswear

HOW THEY WORE IT THEN:
Menswear for women was everywhere on 90s TV, from Monica's unnecessary suspenders on Friends to Alex Mack's ever-present backwards baseball hat to 90210's Kelly Taylor and her never-ending supply of colorful structured blazers. Men themselves were no slouches in the high-waisted-pleated-pants game, but no one rocked an oversized suit like Seinfeld's Elaine Benes. No one. 
She is literally begging you to argue with her on this.

HOW TO WEAR IT NOW:
Luckily, dressing up like the boys is back in full force, and it's now second nature to slip on a pair of loafers, wear a vest over your dress or pull on a pair of boyfriend-fit jeans. With modern menswear icons like Janelle Monae, Tilda Swinton and Gwen Stefani to inspire us, it's only a matter of time before we're all running around looking like Spinelli from Recess. There are worse things.
Sources: 1  //  2  //  3



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TREND: Denim, Denim, Denim

HOW THEY WORE IT THEN:
Condoms optional.
If the 90s were a fabric they would definitely be denim, and chances are good that you can find a jeans-heavy promo photo of your favorite 90s TV show (acid wash backdrop optional) floating around online pretty easily. 
I was not kidding.
Nobody could get enough of this stuff, but as classic as denim may be, there sure were a lot of ways to look just shy of ridiculous while wearing it. The jeans and denim shirt combo, a la Jay Leno, isn’t a good look for most, but the horror of Britney and Justin’s matching denim red carpet wear is painfully unforgettable.
Do you think this started by Justin saying "Eh, I just wanna wear jeans tonight"? Also, please note the denim train on her dress.

HOW TO WEAR IT NOW:
Because of these missteps, you may be hesitant to try denim beyond your trusty jeans, but these days cute denim looks are popping up everywhere from Miu Miu runways to Old Navy racks. The key? Style it a little more Kelly Bundy - think studded jean jackets and frayed cutoffs over tights - and a little less Jonathan Taylor Thomas. 
Sources: 1  //  2  //  3
We know that denim is super 90s, but throw on some colored jeans and you might as well be doing the Macarena with your Beanie Babies at Central Perk. That is to say, colored denim is super, super 90s, and it’s back with a vengeance at pretty much every store in the mall. From pastels to summer brights, colored pants are a great way to channel your inner Lisa Turtle, and they work well as a bold contrast to printed shirts or with solid tops for a color-blocked look. One tip: just say no to the matching scrunchie.
Sources: 1  //  2  //  3



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TREND: Proportions & Layers

HOW THEY WORE IT THEN:
Proving once again that everything looks good on Drew Barrymore.
Proportions were wild, as our stars dressed in baggy sweaters over tight-ankled jeans and cinched t-shirts with leggings, but no look was more quintessentially 90s than the baby tee and baggy jeans combo, and the volume, like that of Jason Priestly's hair, was extreme. 
EXTREME!!!
Layering up, like the classic sweater vest over white tee rocked regularly on Boy Meets World or the more demure vest-over-blouse look favored by DJ Tanner, is also decidedly 90s. Back then, even wearing a short sleeve t-shirt over a long sleeve t-shirt was considered a fashion statement.
Wearing the same outfit as a teacher: don't let this happen to you!

HOW TO WEAR IT NOW:
Sources: 1  //  2  //  3
We've wised up since, thankfully, and now we can play with proportions by pairing swingy blouses with skinny jeans, a tight tank top with a full skirt or a fitted leather jacket over an A-line dress. We can update the layered look to include belted cardigans draped over sundresses, vests and scarfs worn over blouses and that tired hoodie and blazer thing that guys won't stop doing. 
The go-to look for EVERY menswear photo shoot for the last decade.  Men of the world: commit to either being casual or dressy.



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TREND: Hats

HOW THEY WORE IT THEN:
I think maybe Pete is shocked because he forgot HIS giant flower?
From Blossom's iconic flower-topped look to the red-and-black-plaid number always found on Little Pete’s ginger head, 90s television stars were nothing if not hat obsessed. Their constant fixation on head covering was not without merit - most people do look pretty awesome in a hat, and as long as you leave the lesser trends (Starter snapbacks, Dr. Seuss caps and, ewwww, the dreaded bucket hat) back in the 90s where they belong, you can be one of them. 
Literally the only time I will allow a bucket hat.

HOW TO WEAR IT NOW:
Simple beanies always look effortlessly cool and basic black bowlers are still interesting without trying too hard. Use your instincts when it comes to modernizing the look; if a hat could double as either a Jamiroquai concert prop or your little sister's Easter bonnet you may want to rethink things.
Sources: 1  //  2  //  3

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Let's Not Make These Mistakes Again, Okay?

Sweater/Shirt Tied Around Your Waist: 
It just screams "I didn't know I was getting my period today!" This is excused if you actually did get your period unexpectedly; if so, we're all here for you.

Exhibits A, B and C
Bodysuits: 
I think we can agree that taking off all of your clothing every time you need to use the bathroom is a deal breaker.
All the inconvenience of a one-piece bathing suit AND it stays securely tucked into your jorts!
Overalls: 
One strap or two, this look is really hard to pull off past kindergarten and no one really cares to see you try.
Carefree attitude not included.
Frosted Tips On Dudes: 
It doesn’t matter if it worked for Pacey on Dawson's Creek (btw it didn't) - the only thing I want frosted is my cupcake.
A look that worked on approximately 0% of guys. Over-the-sunglasses glances did not help.
High Heel Sneakers: 
I'm not sure what kind of occasion calls for either really casual heels or really dressy sneakers, but I won't be RSVPing. 
Inexplicably, this was NOT a joke.

What great or horrible 90s trends are you loving? Have you ever understood the allure of the heeled sneaker? Do you ever just want to crawl inside your TV and swim in daisy print dresses when 90210 reruns are on? These are the issues!

xoxo,
Michelle


18 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, this post is brilliant and hilarious! The part about the bodysuit tucked into jorts made me bust out laughing!
    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights
    the shop of worldly delights

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, thanks! I always enjoy a good jorts reference :)
      xo

      Delete
  2. I loved this post, and now I want to re-watch a bunch of those shows, like wow.
    I'm actually kind of taken with the crop-top and skirt combo, though I suppose there's something a bit more fifties about that than nineties.
    And the denim thing made me cringe so hard. Haha. Totally brilliant. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the denim was OUT OF CONTROL in the 90s! Glad you enjoyed it!
      xo

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  3. omg i'm LOLing BIG time reading this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Glad you find humor in the ghosts of fashion past too!
      xo

      Delete
  4. ha! This is hilarious! I've actually been seeing that overalls are coming back into style. WHAT?!
    Trish

    www.jellybonesblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I know, people are trying to make overalls "a thing" again...I'm doing what I can to reverse this!
      xo

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  5. This post has me so nostalgic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! Writing this post has contributed to me watching lots of Boy Meets World and Pete & Pete lately!
      xo

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  6. I would just like to join the choir here in saying that this post has WINNING written all over it. For realz.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ooooh this post brings me back! I've done the sweater trick on my period and recall having to take off everything in a public bathroom as a child because my mom dressed me in one of those damn body suits. Never again! Overalls work in situations where you're trying to make yourself an unattractive as possible. Like when you have to paint/garden in front of a bunch of randy construction workers.. ;) Fun blog, glad I found ya. I'll be back to read more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, SO TRUE about overalls! Thanks, glad you enjoyed the read!
      xo

      Delete
  8. Haha, love this. I think overalls (or at least the short versions) are coming back in style, dun dun DUN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will be fighting this trend one overall strap at a time!
      xo

      Delete
  9. Thanks 4 your comments on my blog :)

    I actually lived the pump/trainer heels in the 90's I had a great pair :D

    Fun post :)

    CC

    ReplyDelete

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