Most Iconic Fashion Trends of the ’90s

Most Iconic Fashion Trends of the ’90s

A little more than two decades have passed since the 90s came to an end. The 90s era was known for hit shows like “Friends,” the death of Rodney King, the collapse of the USSR, and Nickelodeon cartoons getting their initial start on television. The 90s marked the rise of technology, girl groups like Spice Girls, and music platforms like Napster.

Times have certainly changed. There are new TV shows to binge-watch, new police brutality cases unfolding, and new military-related stories being discussed in the media all the time. While Nickelodeon is still around as a kid-friendly network, technology has changed in significant ways. Girl groups have expanded beyond Spice Girls with Fifth Harmony and BlackPink at the forefront. Napster has been replaced with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. Fashion (as a whole) is something else that’s been through some massive adaptations.

Since people born in the 90s are Millennials now, tons of 90s fashion is still beloved to this day by people in that age range. The younger generation of Gen-Zers might not be impressed by every fashion fad from the 90s, but that hasn’t stopped designers from going out of their way to bring 90s trends back to the surface every year. It’s perfectly reasonable for designers to tap into ideas from whatever was popular back in the day as they round up fresh ideas moving forward. On the topic of fashion, click here to uncover all the trends that deserve to go out of style in 2024.

To gather this list of fashion fads in the 90s that were totally iconic, 24/7 Tempo consulted several fashion-centered sources. These include Teen Vogue, InStyle, Who What Wear, Marie Claire, and Fashion Gone Rogue.

Slip dresses

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People in the 90s loved wearing slip dresses.

There’s something super edgy and iconic about slip dresses. Slip dresses look like revealing pieces of clothing that should be reserved for the bedroom, yet young women were wearing them out and about throughout the 90s. Slip dresses are typically made of super thin materials. They’re also often paired with high heels and some sort of jacket.

Cargo pants

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Cargo pants were iconic in the 90s.

There’s no denying that cargo pants were iconic in the 90s. They allowed people to stay comfortable and casual when hanging out with friends or running errands. One of the benefits of cargo pants is that they’re designed with tons of oversized pockets. It’s true that most people wearing cargo pants never actually utilize every single pocket, but that never stopped fashion designers from adding them to the mix.

Bomber jackets

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Bomber jackets were another iconic 90s fad.

Bomber jackets were popular in the 90s, and they’re still considered iconic today. Fashionistas who love the idea of wearing jackets that aren’t too formfitting can achieve their desired look by wearing bomber jackets. Way before the 90s, bomber jackets boomed in popularity in the 50s. Bomber jackets are a true sign that fashion trends come in waves.

Flannel jackets

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Flannel jackets were iconic in the 90s.

Some people might believe flannel jackets are boring and basic, but that’s not what people thought of them in the 90s. These days, fashionistas love pulling flannel jackets out of the closet during the fall season to go along with the weather and overall vibe of that special time of year. Flannel jackets are worn in casual settings these days and are often paired with leggings or jeans.

Bra tops

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Bra tops were popular in the 90s.

Bra tops were popular in the 90s since women were feeling more comfortable in their skin than ever at the time. As of now, crop tops are super popular, but they aren’t always as revealing or edgy as the bra tops that rose to fame a few decades back. Bra tops, also known as bralettes, were designed to add some stylish flare to your outfit as a young woman living life in the 90s.

Plaid skirts

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The 90s was a great era for plaid skirts.

Plaid skirts were iconic in the 90s thanks to the classic film “Clueless” which premiered in 1995. The movie starred Alicia Silverstone in the leading role and her most memorable outfit included a plaid skirt with a matching blazer. It became quite apparent that plaid skirts shouldn’t just be reserved for girls forced to wear with their school uniforms.

Leather jackets

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Leather jackets were adored in the 90s.

The same way leather jackets were considered iconic in the 90s, people adore them just as much today. Leather jackets provide the ultimate level of warmth when you’re spending time out on a cold evening. On top of that, they offer a chic vibe to most outfits based on what you choose to pair your leather jacket with. Another benefit that comes along with leather jackets is that they are gender neutral.

Denim jackets

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Denim jackets were all the rage in the 90s.

Just like leather jackets, denim jackets were also super popular and beloved in the 90s. Some fashionistas of today still consider denim jackets to be all the rage, but their true era of popularity was a few decades back. The 90s gave denim lovers a chance to start wearing it in the form of a jacket instead of reserving denim material for jeans only.

Crop tops

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The 90s was a great time for crop tops.

Crop tops are similar to bra tops aside from the fact that they provide a little more coverage. Crop tops rose in popularity back in the 90s, which was an era of time when women loved showing off their midriff. Having a flat stomach to show the world was a huge flex back then. stars like Jennifer Lopez, Tyra Banks, Angelina Jolie, and Salma Hayek were constantly spotted wearing crop tops at red carpet events.

Horizontal striped shirts

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Horizontal striped shirts were beloved in the 90s.

These days, horizontal striped shirts don’t always get the stamp of approval from fashion designers. Still, that doesn’t mean they weren’t all the rage back in the 90s. Horizontal striped shirts have a reputation for making your body look wider than it is, but back in the 90s, not many people were heavily concerned about that aesthetic detail. Horizontal stripe shirts had their moment during that decade.


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Overalls were super iconic in the 90s.

Plenty of generations have done their best to make overalls popular again, but they’ve never been as beloved as they were in the 90s. No matter how many influencers try to enforce their trendsetting powers by rocking overalls on social media today, overalls still never seem to garner as much as respect as they once did a few decades ago. Celebrities like Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were often spotted wearing overalls in the 90s.

Faux fur coats

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Faux fur coats were worn by many people in the 90s.

Faux fur coats are still popular today since the movement to protect animal lives is stronger than ever. In the 90s, faux fur coats had a massive resurgence in popularity after their initial release in the mid-1960s. Faux fur coats were appreciated as a cheaper alternative to real animal fur, but the fight to protect animal lives became another reason for consumers to lean in.

Biker shorts

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Biker shorts were iconic back in the 90s.

Most recently, Kim Kardashian went out of her way to bring biker shorts back into the realm of fashion popularity. Her efforts actually worked because stores like forever 21 started selling biker shorts in troves. Prior to her most recent development, biker shorts were undeniably popular in the 90s. Biker shorts come in tons of colors and prevent your thighs from chafing against each other, which is part of why they’re so appreciated.

Sequins dresses

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Sequins dresses were for the party girls of the 90s.

Sequins dresses were all the rage in the 90s since they gave just about everyone a celebratory feel. The sparkle of sequins dresses added something fun to your closet lineup. These days, people will still grab sequins dresses out of their closets when celebrating events like their birthday or New Year’s Eve. After all, sequins dresses are designed for exciting moments and parties.

Tie-dye fabrics

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The 90s era was all about tie-dye fabrics.

It wasn’t uncommon to step outside and notice several people wearing tie-dye fabrics back in the 90s. While tie-dye was certainly considered iconic at the time, this is one of those trends that hasn’t actually stood the test of time. In the 90s, tie-dye fabrics were used for designing dresses, shirts, skirts, bulky jewelry, and more. These days, tie-dye isn’t something designers think about.

Colorful sunglasses

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Colorful sunglasses were a fad of the 90s.

Plenty of people don’t love wearing colorful sunglasses anymore at this juncture. Still, they were fun to wear on warm summer days back in the 90s. Colorful sunglasses with lenses made out of yellow, red, or blue material was more common than you might guess. The sunglasses frames were often super vibrant as well. Nowadays, sunglasses made with typical black lenses are the norm.

Sheer fabrics

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Dresses made of sheer fabrics were adored in the 90s.

Sheer fabrics started growing in popularity during the 90s. The reason why? Sheer fabrics allowed outfits to appear more edgy than they would’ve been otherwise. As a reminder, the most sultry dresses of the 90s were totally sheer. They were worn by celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Kate Moss. Recently, fashion lovers have noticed celebrities like Rihanna and Dua Lipa emulating the style.


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Another 90s fad was tracksuits.

Tracksuits and sweatsuits are another fashion fad of the 90s that people still love and appreciate beyond the era. One of the biggest reasons tracksuits and sweat suits are highly appreciated as that they’re super versatile. Sure, you can wear them to exercise at the gym, but you can also wear them when socializing with your friends. Tracksuits are designed to have matching jackets and sweats.

Graphic design T-shirts

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Graphic design T-shirts were well-liked in the 90s.

It seems that graphic design T-shirts will never go out of style. Giving folks a chance to represent their favorite bands, song lyrics, artistic quotes, and more is an amazing way for people to experience true self expression. Graphic design T-shirts were super popular in the 90s, and they’re still adored today. Some graphic design T-shirts don’t have any words at all because a picture can say a thousand words.

Corset tops

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People loved corset tops in the 90s.

Corset tops were another iconic 90s trend that fashionistas still appreciate now. One of the benefits that comes with wearing a corset top is that they cinch your waist by giving you the appearance of an hourglass figure. Corset tops were once designed with thick boning, but now it’s easy enough to find alternatives made with stretchy materials instead.

These fashion fads were certainly iconic in the 90s, but some trends haven’t been so well-liked. Click here to uncover all the fashion trends famous designers openly despised.

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