Back in 1991, LL Cool J sang “Don’t call it a comeback,” but now, 24 years later, we have to because ’90s fashion trends are returning.
With the forthcoming relaunch of JNCO Jeans — you know, those super-baggy pants rebellious skater kids wore while telling security guards to “eff off” (as if that really made you tough) — we figured it’s time to take a look back at the fashion trends of the 1990s, some of which that are making a return, and some that should never again see the light of day. No, skateboarding is not a crime, and it shouldn’t be, but wearing jeans with 20-inch flared legs is against all decency and probably should land a person in a cell, for a couple of hours at least.
So cue up the cassette tape, dial up the Internet and take a look back at these five ’90s fashions with a long-lasting impact on the collective psyche of anyone who was alive at the time — both for their daring and what-were-they-thinking value.
These weren’t very ugly, but were really hard to make look adult, especially if the intent was to avoid looking like D.J. Tanner from “Full House.” So good luck with this accessory because it’s nearly impossible to avoid Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen references lobbed your way wearing this hair throwback.
Kris Kross and Will “Fresh Prince” Smith made us all want to wear this former country and farmer gear. With one strap down, you were urban. Just don’t ever turn them inside out or backward as the young entertainers of “Jump” fame attempted.
HIP-HOP CARTOON GEAR
Whatever happened to these? Who doesn’t want a T-shirt with the Tasmanian Devil as a baller with a backwards cap? In other incarnations, these classic “Looney Tunes” characters dressed similarly “urban” and were additionally adorned with gold chains or a boombox and a catchy phrase to top it off like, “Here 2 Party.”
In the ’90s, this was the best way to express your teen angst and self-identify with the Seattle grunge scene. Like the rockers, the flannel shirt was also a staple of the I-could-care-less-how-I-look look — and the proto version of today’s hipster.
Or you could be really fashionable and wear the flannel shirt tied around your waist. Hey, never even putting it on your torso, that’s sticking it to “the man” alternative style.
COOGI AND CROSS COLOURS
Mostly prevalent in urban areas — websites call this “hip-hop fashion” — these were worn and targeted at down-white-people and African-American consumers. Cross Colours (as pictured) made it cool to proclaim anti-racist tropes in lime green and pastel colors. The mismatched tones were also popular way before Kanye West thought it was cool. Do something for everyone, Kanye, bring ’em back!
Thanks for taking this trip down ’90s-fashion memory lane. A whole book should be written on the topic because there are so many more fads from the decade that deserve to be included, but unfortunately, space is limited.
What are some of your favorites of this era? Let me know — I could do this for the rest of the month … and maybe will write that book on it.
Noah Zuss is a reporter for TheBlot Magazine.