Most notably, the '90s saw a shift towards minimalism after the materialistic '80s. Fashion strove to express individuality, which reflected in a decade-long decline in retail sales. Fashion rules relaxed, and clothing styles became more casual overall, including in the workplace. Silhouettes slimmed down and became more fitted. As the decade progressed, clothing became more understated.Continue Reading
The '90s saw their fair share of fads and trends, which ranged from almost outdoorsy grunge looks to brightly colored hip-hop gear to ultra-preppy plaid skirts, knee socks and loafers. Leather and imitation leather products rose in popularity mid-decade, while the popularity of poppy girl groups led to the widespread adoption of bustiers and midriff-bearing tops among young girls and teens.
Fashion trends of the '90s were heavily marked by the popularity of the grunge look, which was based on items found in thrift stores, like flannel shirts and winter hats. Overalls with one strap undone were also common. The unprecedented popularity of the TV show "Friends" gave rise to the Rachel hairstyle, named after Jennifer Aniston's character. Gaudy nylon windbreakers became common, as did Doc Martens boots and shoes, bike shorts, Skidza and Zubaz. Ripped jeans and flattop haircuts were often seen as well. Baseball caps were turned around and worn backwards. Rapper LL Cool J inspired fans to roll one pant leg up in imitation of his fashion sense.Learn more about Historical Dress