Forget your hipsters and millennials – the 90s had arguably the biggest amount of subcultures within its 10-year timeframe to draw inspiration from for fashion purposes. With that in mind, what can we take from them upon reflection to use in our style today?
Let’s face it – things were slightly more bold in the 90s. They didn’t do anything in half-measures, and this political movement certainly didn’t. Taking their anti-establishment-free-thinking and putting it into a form of style sounds hard to do, but when you look at the shaved heads, mohicans, nose rings and thick chains, there’s no doubt about it. There is a lot that you can take from this look, even if it’s just the dyed hair; mix it up with whatever style you like for a slightly punk vibe. Punk footwear is still as common today as it was back then, and Dr Martens are a great example of this; you don’t need to go the full hog to show a Punk throwback element in your style. Iron-on patches and pins are actually making a resurgence nowadays with lots of independent producers appearing on sites like Etsy in an effort to keep Punk alive through the selling of newer and more trend-appropriate style jewelry and fashion adornments that are in keeping with the current political climate.
Black never goes out of style, right? It certainly doesn’t on the Gothic scene. You don’t have to adopt the full look to be able to appreciate from of the finer aesthetics of the Goth subculture, but if you like the darker colors, lace, intricate detailings on clothes and a lot of chunky, symbolic and antique-style jewelry, then it can’t hurt to flick through a few older photos as well as seeing how this style has evolved now to see if this is something that could galvanize you to into taking something from this style to use in your looks today. This style, just like punks, if taken on fully can appear a bit extreme; you can keep the look more low-key and casual by wearing a gothic ring, a dark lipstick or keeping your look entirely black with no hint of color. It can be quite an exciting style to embrace if you get it right, but remember that there are people out there that dedicate quite a lot of time and money to embracing the full look, as it can be an expensive lifestyle to commit to; keep a frugal mindset when you’re looking into this trend to avoid going over the top and spending a lot of money if you don’t know if the style will suit you.
All of the Shiny Happy People! You don’t have to think hard to try and incorporate something from the 90s rave scene into your outfit. Think bright, fluorescent colors paired with over-sized shirts; the bolder and more patterned, the better. It can be as wacky as you like; in fact, the more abstract, the better. It wasn’t a time where you had to be too conscious about what you were wearing (at the end of the night, it’d be a surprise if you were conscious at all), as long as it fit the general mood. The smiley face symbol came into play massively throughout the raving scene, and if you can find a piece of clothing with this on then you have done well at achieving the look – but this can also be used to accessorize rather than take on the whole look. Remember the bubble backpacks that were doing the rounds (if you’re too young to remember, ask an older family member)? Whack one of these on your back and you’ll have practicality as well as the this fairly unique look going on.
Inspired by the likes of Oasis, Suede, Blur and Pulp, those who fell under the influence of Britpop (short for British pop music) were very much focusing on the revival of ‘Britishness’. But what exactly is Britishness? There’s no set thing, but the most logical answer we can get from it is a revolvement around the colors of the Union Jack – so red, white and blue – and a heavy focus on 60s style. Think The Beatles meets the new age, and you’re probably halfway there. In terms of transferring this look into today, try getting hold of shirts with a colored rim on the neck and arms with a slogan in bubble writing. Spaghetti-strap dresses, clashing colors, jelly shoes – the sky’s your limit with this one.