1. John Fluevog “Munster” Shoes
Lady Miss Kier
Deee-Lite’s Lady Miss Kier was known for her glammed-up ’60s drag queen aesthetic, a look that was all the rage in the early ’90s NYC club scene. Trash and Vaudeville on St. Mark’s Place used to sell rows and rows of these colorful shoes, and John Fluevog even reissued them last year with little hoopla. Perhaps they’re just really hard to walk in, but I predict a comeback after this whole Lita trend dies down.
2. Leggings With Pucci-esque Prints
Clarissa of Clarissa Explains It All
On a related note, Lady Miss Kier wasn’t the only one swathed in Pucci during the early ’90s. Here’s Clarissa Darling, wearing an odd pairing of Pucci-esque leggings and Bermuda shorts. The last time I saw a pair of these, they were going for $200+ on eBay.
3. Tiny Buns
Top: Gwen Stefani, Bjork; Bottom: Gwyneth Paltrow, Random Chick
There are probably still some new-age yoga instructors that still sport this style, but these so-called “hair turds” probably hit their peak of popularity at Lilith Fair ‘97.
4. Butterfly Clips
Top: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen; Bottom: Sarah Michelle Gellar, A Guinea Pig
These tiny things were such a pain in the ass. But if you wanted to look like a Delia’s model, you had to put in the time, twisting little strands of hair into makeshift cornrows.
5. The Short-Sleeve Over Long-Sleeve Look
Top: Eddie Vedder, Angelina Jolie; Bottom: Beck and Thurston Moore on 120 Minutes
Unfortunately, I think Abercrombie bros have co-opted this ’90s grunge look for themselves, which makes it a lot harder to pull off in modern times. You’ll end up looking like you’re on the way to a kegger instead of the actual tomboyish Kim Deal look you’re really going for. Angelina’s polished version layered over a long black leather skirt still looks pretty chic by today’s standards.
6. Tinted Sunglasses
Left: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen; Right: Justin Timberlake, Beck
You can probably find these crappy sunglasses at a mall kiosk or a street vendor for like $4. See above: Justin Timberlake is smirking and making a stinkface at your expensive $200 Super sunglasses.
7. “40 Acres And A Mule” Clothing
Upper Left: Spike Lee
I still get a kick out of seeing a Cross Colours jacket (the now defunct clothing label made popular by TLC) hanging up in the window of a vintage store, but whatever happened to 40 Acres and a Mule? Spike Lee started the clothing line in the ’90s by the same name as his film production company, and still releases a hat or two every once in awhile. The vintage pieces are really hard to find, and were probably bought up by some niche Japanese boutique. Sigh, Brooklyn just isn’t what it used to be.
8. Tight Mesh Printed Shirts
In the ’90s, people dared to dream. You could be anything. You could be a lonely tree branch swaying in the wind, or the ceiling of an ancient European cathedral. Just remember to wear the right undergarments or that dream will quickly shatter.
9. Seed Beads
Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow
Jewelry has gotten so much more complicated since the days of making seed bead necklaces for your BFF.
10. Karl Kani
Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G.
Wearing Karl Kani was a sign in the ’90s that you’ve really made it in the hip hop community. I totally forgot about it until I spotted this photo of Tupac wearing Karl Kani briefs. Check out these vintage Karl Kani ads featuring Nas, Tupac, and Diddy. Much like Esprit and Benetton, the brand still exists but doesn’t hold the same caché that it used to.
11. Ruffled Poet’s Blouses
Jerry Seinfeld, Shannen Doherty on 90210, Alyssa Milano
This shirt brings back such fond memories of my favorite Seinfeld episode and shopping at the Limited. But now, the puffy shirt is usually only worn by pregnant women.
12. Tight Gelled Curls
Top: Beyoncé, Keri Russell, Madonna; Bottom: Justin Timberlake, Melissa Joan Hart
Curly-haired people thrived in the ’90s, and those with straight hair had to get stinky perms in order to get these crunchy tendrils. Now, with the popularity of Japanese hair-straightening, tight curls are almost totally extinct. Everyone’s got boring soft wavy hair now.
13. Work Pants
Upper Left: Gwen Stefani; Lower Left: Alyson Hannigan; Middle: Drew Barrymore; Right: Helena Bonham Carter
Gwen Stefani’s attempt to look like a sexy postal worker actually caught on, and teenage girls were suddenly buying up all the Dickies from the local Sears. Then there’s the frumpy androgynous look that Helena Bonham Carter is sporting. Is it just me or is there something slightly erotic about a girl who dresses like her dad?
So there you have it. Time to fire up those eBay searches and eke out some more of the ’90s before 00’s nostalgia (ewww) starts creeping up.