’90s Fashion Staples That Are Calling To Your From Your Closet

Clueless popularized the plaid miniskirt and a multitude of other styles. (Photo by Paramount Pictures)

Like many decades before it, fashion is merely nothing more than a trend. While some pieces are classic to a wardrobe, others cycle in and out over the years. The ’90s, for one, are back. Along with the return of choker necklaces, dusters, slides and an influx of denim, ’90s fashion has returned to runways and retail stores.

For this writer, who grew up in the ’90s and forever wishes she could fit into peasant blouses and velvet dresses, saving my would-be iconic fashion statements would have been ideal. Then again, do I really want to go back to wearing butterfly clips in my hair and Jellies sandals?

Check out our list for ’90s fashion staples and see what you would wear today.


If only I had saved my slinky, black Steve Madden mules, sigh. The Spice Girls gave us a love of platform shoes, and while a few of those popped up here and there, this spring and summer saw the return of the slide, a comfortable and on the go but fashionable slip on sandal. The mule, a covered slide, will also continue to make a statement come fall. (Photos by Target)

Bra strap headbands and butterfly clips

We have Friends to thank for one of the most famous haircuts of all time, The Rachel, and aside from bold highlights for girls and frosted tips for guys, hair accessories also had a moment. Bra strap headbands were the self-explanatory answer to a thin wraparound headband that still looked sleek (I thankfully, still have mine). And if your head wasn’t adorned in a colorful crown of butterfly clips, did you even grow up in the era? (Photo by Claire’s)

Tattoo necklaces

Every girl had the classic stretch tattoo choker necklace in black and a plethora of other colorful choices, but the whole goal of this accessory was to make it look like you had a tattoo…around your neck, or ankle, or wrist or wherever you chose to wear it. Velvet choker necklaces with a pearl or pendant hanging off of it were also popular. (Photo by Amazon)


JNCO, a Los Angeles, CA based clothing company that specialized in boys’ and men’s jeans may have been founded in 1985, but JNCO Jeans were all the rage in the ’90s. The baggy wide leg look was embraced by both boys and girls.

The denim trend continued in the early 2000s when Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake became the King and Queen of denim when they debuted their matching Canadian tuxedos at the 2001 American Music Awards, a moment that solidified their couple status in Hollywood history.

And let’s not forget the importance of a good denim jacket. (Photo by JNCO)

Tube Tops

Tiny tops were all the rage back in the ’90s from crop tops to tube tops. The latter was a must for any wardrobe and was usually accessorized with a chunky necklace or oversized earrings. Go from day to night with ease with the bonus of avoiding those strappy bathing suit tanlines while outdoors. (Photo by Forever21)


We have Clueless to thank for plaid school girl outfits, knee high socks and jumpers, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer gave us spaghetti strap tank tops, midriffs and leather pants. But what about the duster? Appropriately named as they were long enough to dust the floor when you walked by, long cardigan sweaters that tied at the waist were a must in your closet. It also completed the jean and crop top look with platform shoes that was so very in. (Photo by Shopbob)

Check out more from Long Island Weekly‘s ’90s issue:

Jennifer Fauci
Jennifer Fauci is the former managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group's award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.

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