90s Fashion Trends for Women

90s Fashion Trends for Women

Over a year might have passed since we first heard Taylor Swift sing, "I come back stronger than a 90s trend" into our wireless earphones. But if anything, our love for all things 90s has only grown since then. 

Technology has come a long way since those pre-millennium days of Discmans, Game Boys, and G-Shock watches. But it seems that Gen Z's Y2K obsession has us all winding back the fashion clock to those heady days before we welcomed in the 21st century.  

The first time round, 90s fashion trends for women didn't feel that ground-breaking. But looking back, there was a certain innocent yet undeniably cool aesthetic exuding from every key 90s trend that hasn't been matched since. 

So, how do you get the 90s look? Keep reading to learn the key trends to consider incorporating into your wardrobe!

Slip Dresses

Not one item of clothing evokes the 90s quite like the slip dress. Kate Moss was rarely out of hers, while everyone from Courtney Love to Winona Ryder made the look their own. Yes, it can look like you forgot to change out of your nightie if you don't style it right. But, with a structured bag or an oversized blazer and the latest iPhone in your hand, you'll soon give off some serious 90s vibes with a hint of new millennium magic. 

Dark Lipstick

One of the 90s fashion trends women thought they'd never see again has to be brown lipstick. But the real issue back then was how 90s styling had everyone combining dark shades with a pale powdery base. When paired with fresh and dewy skin and natural eye makeup, even brown shades of lipstick can look fresh and fashionable. 

For a cool, modern take on the dark lipstick look, we recommend leaving this look until the colder months of the year. But, once autumn rolls around, feel free to try out brown-tinged shades of red, deep plums, and even full-on brown lipsticks. You never know, this hot 90s fashion trend could unleash a whole new side of you!

Striped Jumpers

Whether you were inspired by Freddie Kruger or Kurt Cobain, striped jumpers were one of those 90s fashion trends that the girls loved to borrow from the boys. The baggier the better, 90s knitwear was all about drowning in yarn and letting your sleeves hang down over your hands. That was, if you weren't pushing them up to show off your growing collection of friendship bands. 

Fast forward a few decades and striped jumpers are just as easy to wear now as they were back then. Today's fabric is softer, though, and holey knitwear isn't as cool as it was back then. Plus, you're more likely to see an Apple iWatch on someone's wrist than DIY bracelets and bands. 

Boob Tubes

Not all 90s fashion trends are as easy to wear as striped jumpers. Case in point - the boob tube. These strapless tube tops gave that desirable cut-across look when worn under shirts and oversized jackets. But, they often meant you'd spend a lot of time pulling them up and worrying about a potential wardrobe malfunction. 

Of course, fashion isn't always functional and sometimes you have to suffer to look good. That said, finding a boob tube with tiny 90s-style spaghetti straps would make life a lot easier. 

Chunky Black Boots

Chunky combat boots - preferably in black - were another key trend from the 90s. Paired with a slip dress in summer and an oversized knit with black opaque tights in winter, these were the hardest-working footwear look around. 

Luckily, it's easy to get your hands on combat boots since these have been in fashion for a long time now. But, to give your boots a 90s edge, undo a few of the top laces, scruff them up a little, and make sure that you show them off at all times. They might be functional but they're also super fashionable if you style them right. 

Popcorn Fabric

One of the most distinctive late 90s fashion trends has to be the popcorn top. Reigning supreme towards the end of the decade, t-shirts made from this squishy, wrinkle-free fabric offered an instant ticket to cool 90s style. And, according to the catwalk stylings of chic French designer, Marine Serre, popcorn tops are set to make a major comeback. 

Back in the day, popcorn fabric was most often seen on t-shirts and tanks. But this time around, every 90s child's favourite fabric has made its way onto mini skirts, dresses, and even accessories like gloves and scarves. That said, the best way to get in on this look before everyone else is to check out local op shops and online vintage suppliers like Etsy...or even your mum's wardrobe!

Cycling Shorts

No trend screams 90s quite like cycling shorts. Yet they're versatile, comfortable, and easy enough to wear for them to have stuck around for a good few seasons now.

Pair your bright bike shorts with a slouchy sweatshirt and structured bag to recreate the now iconic Princess Diana post-gym look. Slinkier cycling shorts in unexpected fabrics such as velveteen and faux leather look great worn with an oversized blazer or a flowing camisole top. 

90s Band T-Shirts

Yes, we know that band t-shirts are not exclusive to the 90s. But what better way to throw things back to your favourite decade than with a t-shirt featuring a band that ruled the airwaves back in the day? 

From The Spice Girls to Savage Garden, Natalia Imbruglia to Hanson, there's no denying that the 90s were a golden age for pop.

Runners and Socks

This is one of those 90s fashion trends that female influencers on Instagram and TikTok have really embraced with a passion these last few years. But if you're looking for original inspiration from back in the day, no one did runners with socks better than Princess Diana during her post-gym dashes to the car. 

Like a lot of 90s trends, this one was a lot more unconscious back then. Cut-off socks weren't a thing so there was no option but to show off your socks when wearing shorts and runners. As such, for a true 90s take on the high sock trend, you'll need to tap into that carefree, innocent spirit. 

The best way to capture this is by avoiding buying heaps of new items or over-styling your look. Instead, go for basic white runners and matching socks, gym shorts, and a baggy logo sweatshirt. The one big difference is, of course, that this time round, you can strap a Fitbit to your wrist rather than a Casio digital watch!

Ribbed Tops

Even if you were born way after the 90s, you'll likely know about a lot of these trends. In contrast, ribbed tops probably aren't yet on your 90s girl fashion trends radar. 

Ribbed tops - often with buttons down the middle - were an everyday staple for anyone who lived during the 90s. These were the kinds of tops you wore after school with your high-waisted jeans and combat boots. Or under your slip dress with an oversized denim jacket thrown on top at the weekend. Ribbed tops don't scream 90s but that's what makes them perfect for anyone looking to embrace 90s fashion trends without jumping on the same bandwagon as everyone else. 

For the ultimate in 90s chic, ribbed square-neck vests are must-haves. Likewise, ribbed t-shirts with scoop necks and sleeves cut a little above the elbow are a key trend that's sure to look as cool today as it did back then. 

Checked Shirts

The epitome of grunge styling, checked shirts took your look in a whole new direction during the 90s. While they might conjure up images of farmers, preppy students, and country-dwellers, the checked shirts of the 90s were edgy, cool, and subversive. 

Again, a lot of this has to do with how people styled them. The best tactic was to buy a checked shirt a few sizes too big. Or even better, borrow one from your boyfriend. This oversized style made 90s checked shirts perfect for wearing over band t-shirts, ribbed tops, and slip dresses. Or, many people used their checked shirts as a kind of accessory, tying them around their waists to create a slouchy silhouette with plenty of laidback attitude. 

The 90s Fashion Trends for Women You Need Right Now

As this guide to 90s fashion trends for women shows, there are plenty of different styles to choose from if you're looking to inject some 90s nostalgia into your wardrobe. From flirty boob tubes and cute ribbed tops to grungy checked shirts and insouciant slip dresses, 90s fashion trends really had something for everyone!

That said, while we're happy to embrace 90s fashion, we're very glad that we don't have to go back to relying on the limited technology people had in those days! 

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