Ah, the 90s. The decade of really, really baggy jeans and baby Ts and slip dresses with work boots. God, I miss all that. Although, I never wore a slip dress. I did have an awesome pair of orange Vans sneakers though. They had a shiny vinyl top and were loud. They cost $44 at JCPenney and I remember thinking they were too much money and my mom would make me return them (she didn’t). Actually, she never balked at the price. (I think my dad did though. Dad: $44 for sneakers?! Mom: That’s what they cost nowadays.) Thanks, Mom! Within weeks the vinyl cracked and my grandpa sweet-talked the cashier into allowing me to exchange them for a green pair with no vinyl. They lasted a lot longer. After all, they had cost $44.
As you can see, my 90s style was pretty simple. Carpenter jeans from Old Navy and long-sleeve t-shirts were my uniform. I also enjoyed the layering look. I had a Hawaiian shirt I wore over my long-sleeve Ts. That outfit looked better than it sounds now. I never really did have good style. Kinda, still don’t.
The 90s were not about polished looks. Teens put thought into what they were wearing but the look was far from fussy. If anything it was the antithesis of fussy.
I decided when writing my main character, Lainey, that I wanted her style to be simple, but a little edgier than mine (and Wilder’s style is edgier than Lainey’s). I imagined her scoring finds in vintage shops and thrift stores. Also, bell bottoms had made a huge comeback so I also pictured her rummaging through her mom’s closet. Since Lainey and I are the same age (theoretically), her mom would be my mom’s age (theoretically) and she would have owned bell bottoms or she’d be shopping for super flared Mudd jeans. Below, you can see what clothing I thought Lainey would wear on a typical September day in 1996.
Danny’s clothes reflect his musician persona. He’s not a glam rock star; he’s into grunge and alternative rock. He wears his favorite bands on his t-shirts and his black Converse are torn up. His look is laid back, like him. And his jeans are baggy. Below is Danny’s typical wardrobe.
Wilder’s look is definitely edgier than Lainey’s. She likes dark colors and ripped fabrics. Holes in the knees of her jeans and loose flannel shirts. Shredded fishnets. Corduroy and leather skirts. Doc Martens. If it was up to me, she’d have an eyebrow ring but alas, Uncle Carl won’t allow it. I doubt he’d allow her to wear those stockings, but they are immensely cool.
I’m curious, what was your favorite 90s style? What did you wear in 1996? What do you miss most?