So we’ve rehashed styles from the ’90s we never want to see again. But it seems like lately things are popping up left and right that take me back there, and not in a bad way. It’s safe to say fashion these days — at least the accessible kind — is kind of a smattering of everything. Some have even said that kids from now on won’t have shameful landmark fashion trends that make them both smile and face-palm with nostalgia, but I did. And in hindsight they were actually pretty cool. Here are some trends embedded in my memory that instantly transport me to being a pre-teen in the ’90s.
Holograms. Something about the late ’90s took the most unflattering shapes (baby-tees, I can’t) and blended them with this cyber-punk obsession with all things space-age and futuristic. While the older kids were going to raves and taking touchy-feely designer drugs, us young’ns were just experiencing the runoff of the corresponding fashion scene. Music videos of clinically sterile white rooms and cyborg-esque technology on MTV influenced our need to wear white eyeshadow and look ethereally sparkly. So naturally, we were OBSESSED with holograms. Walk into Claire’s or Afterthoughts: There’s a hologram ring-watch? Think: GOOD GOD NOTHING HAS EVER BEEN SO AWESOME. Holograms were seriously the best.
Happy faces. While a club kid thing was dying, somehow the 1970s hippy thing was making a return. So suddenly happy faces were all over everything. I know my mom hated it because they were so tacky and they were all I wanted. She would have loved to see me in preppy stuff but that wasn’t cool. Now I wouldn’t dream of wearing something with a happy face on it (kind of reminds me of Wal-Mart’s little mascot anyway) but when that stuff comes back (hello Selena Gomez) I’ll try to have a good sense of humor about it.
Adidas slides. Why. Seriously, why were these cool? I paired them with Adidas track pants and thought I was so cool. With my awkward-length haircut and baby bangs… some jelly bracelets. What were we thinking? But now when I see a pair I’m like “Those still exist. Well-played Adidas.”
Knee socks. Clueless should never be underestimated as one of the strongest forces in fashion for kids my age. The knee socks were the easiest way to cop Cher’s style, so we went a little crazy. They were hideously impractical for kids growing up in the Florida heat, but we did not care. Fashion is pain sometimes.
Tamagotchis and Digipets. We wore them around our necks or on keychains, and they were the symbol of some kind of technological prowess in the ’90s. That futuristic thing was always done bigger and better over in Japan, so the resulting influence was electronic pets that we had to feed and play with so they didn’t grow up to be ugly. That’s right, the game was to make sure they grew up cute instead of ugly. Great life lesson.
…I think the funniest thing is how none of this stuff goes together. And we put it all together anyway.
Something in me wouldn’t mind these trends making a comeback. I mean granted, I wouldn’t wear them all but it’s about time kids wore some embarrassing stuff instead of looking cool all the time. With as inexpensive as cool clothes are now, kids 15 years from now aren’t going to look back and say “Wow, I super regret that nautical sweater-dress and those leggings from when I was 9.” When I was nine, I looked like a freaking goober, and in hindsight… I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
What are your favorite fashions you rocked as a kid?