When many people hear the word “art”, they think of drawings, paintings, sculptures, and other things of that nature. However, when people hear “fashion”, they usually don’t think of art, and if they do, it’s probably of the avant garde things of the runways. Art is all about self-expression, and fashion is just another way people express themselves. The only difference is, they’re wearing their art instead of looking at it. The fashion trends of the 1990’s were all about self-expression and showing people who you really were.
The first look that was really popular in the 90’s was the “preppy”, “schoolgirl” look. It usually features a pleated plaid mini skirt and either a tank top or a crop top. This was definitely something that started after Britney Spears released her, now iconic, music video for her hit song, “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, which was released in 1998. We quickly saw this look pop up in hit shows and movies such as Clueless.
The next popular look from this decade was the “grunge” look. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the ripped jeans, oversized plaid/flannels, combat boots, and beanies. This is a look that started in Seattle, Washington and quickly swept through the nation. Along with the fashion came the music, the most notable of which is probably Nirvana, who’s most famous song is probably Smells Like Teen Spirit.
The hair trends of the 90’s are probably one of my favorite things, ever. I mean, come on, there were butterfly hair clips, colored streaks and extensions, and crimped hair. These were trends that dominated the latter part of the decade and spilled over into the early part of the 2000’s. The thing I mostly remember is wishing that I could crimp my (naturally thick, textured and curly) hair, use those super-cute, but super-straight clip-in extensions, or crimp my hair (which definitely would not have worked). These were all you saw in stores like Claire’s, and on your T.V. screens on shows like Lizzie McGuire– I know this show came out in the 2000’s, but the girls were growing up in the 90’s and 2000’s, and these trends carried over a bit, as I mentioned above.
As you can see, the fashion trends of the 1990’s were heavily influenced by pop culture and continued to have an influence into the 2000’s. Trends usually run in about 20 year cycles– Meaning that about every 20 years, we start to see the same trends reappear. The styles from the 1990’s are coming back, whether we like it or not. So, the next time you put on that beanie and plaid shirt combo, or even go to the mall and try on some denim overalls (or anything denim, really), remember the era in which these trends got their start.
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