44 Images That Capture Iconic ’90s Fashion Trends In Full Effect

Published August 27, 2018
Updated September 5, 2018

Crop tops, high-waisted jeans, and Converse sneakers are just a few '90s fashion classics we still haven't put away.

Winona Ryder 90s Fashion Trends
Brad Pitt 90s Fashion Trends
Johnny Depp 1990s Fashion Pictures
Sarah Jessica Parker
44 Images That Capture Iconic ’90s Fashion Trends In Full Effect
View Gallery

The 1990s was a huge decade for fashion, as it combined many retro trends with many novel ones. It saw the revival of some looks from the '70s, like floral patterns, and meshed them with new looks like crop tops and chokers. And some of those quintessential '90s combos are still wildly popular today.

In the roughly 20 years since the end of the '90s, fashion has certainly evolved, but our nostalgia for these '90s fashion looks are certainly here to stay — and with good reason.

Major '90s Fashion Trends And Musical Influences

Overall, '90s fashion is particularly unique because of the wide variety of trends at work during the period.

Grunge and heavy-metal bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains shot to stardom in the early 1990s and so did their fashion choices. Their "I don't care" looks, typified by plaid flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and long, unkempt hair quickly became widespread.

Hip-hop fashion likewise went mainstream thanks to rappers like Tupac, TLC, Eazy-E, and LL Cool J. Their baggy jeans, bucket hats, tracksuits, and sportswear became some of the decade's top looks.

Meanwhile, pop musicians like The Spice Girls were known for their butterfly clips, crop tops, and platform shoes. Plus, boy bands like NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys turned frosted tips and tiny sunglasses into the height of style.

At the same time, casual wear was one of the top trends of the time. Brightly colored tops and bottoms with bold geometric patterns were commonplace and various pieces of exercise clothing like hoodies, leggings, sports bras, and leotards were found in school hallways and on television screens across the world.

Pop Culture Influences

Celebrities, movies, and television shows had an undeniable effect on '90s fashion. Remember when hairdressers across the world were inundated with requests for "The Rachel," a now-infamous haircut made popular by Jennifer Aniston's character on the hit '90s show Friends?

Elsewhere, other shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Full House, and My So-Called Life inspired the fashion choices of younger generations. One of the most iconic shows in regards to fashion influences, Sex and the City, was just getting started towards the end of the decade. Consequently, the couture looks of Carrie Bradshaw went viral. Plus, movies like Clueless made certain trends like the plaid skirt absolutely iconic.

See some of these '90s fashion trends — and more — in the gallery above.


After this look at '90s fashion trends, relive the 1990s in New York City in 51 intense photos. Then, check out some of the most iconic images of the 1990s.

Caroline Redmond
Caroline is a writer and Florida-transplant currently living in New York City.
Close Pop-in
Like History Uncovered On Facebook

Get The Most Interesting Stories From History In Your Feed