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How to style your 90s jazzy shirt for all occasions

November 30, 2018

A 90s jazzy shirt is an excellent way to get into the ongoing trend for 90s styles this season. 90s jazzy shirts look great as layers for both male and female. They are also perfect festival wear, for those who are too shy to wear them to the office.


90s jazzy shirt with denim jeans, jacket and Doc Marten boots

90s jazzy shirt with denim jeans, jacket and Doc Marten boots


The key thing about 90s styling is its mismatched nature, so you can start with a t-shirt, layer a slip dress over that and a shirt on top. Finish with cute shoes or Doc Martens. It doesn’t matter what pattern the dress, t-shirt and shirt are – they can have a theme, or be completely clashing. A fairly subdued example might be a white t-shirt or tank top, black floral slip dress, and red plaid shirt with cherry Doc Marten boots. These would be really typical 90s staples.


You can also pair your jazzy shirt with much more neutral base layers, for example black skinny jeans and a black polo neck, or wear it over a white t-shirt and jeans. Going back to a 90s look, that would be baggy jeans and a band t-shirt with the patterned shirt open over that. Of course, you can always skip the t shirt and just go for the shirt and jeans, in a more traditional manner, or shirt and shorts if it’s hot.

90s jazzy shirts rock god or pop queen look

90s jazzy shirts rock god or pop queen look

The rock god or pop queen look

If you’re really keen on the 90s look you also need long, preferably unwashed hair and to accessorise with a guitar band, a la Nirvana and other Seattle bands. Kurt Cobain will always spring to mind with his gender bending plaid shirt wearing style, where a touch of eyeliner, badly applied, makes all the difference.


But to be honest, you don’t have to go with the simple unwashed rock god look. Even Madonna’s backing dancers for her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour went for an open shirt over white tee and belted blue jeans when not on stage. Onstage it was a lot of skin-tight rubber look lycra, but partying at home they wore carefully ironed open shirts over a white tee and belted blue jeans. With their short, neat hair and dazzling white smiles they could not have been more the opposite of grunge.

For festivals

For festivals

90s jazzy shirt for festivals

The baggy printed shirt is an excellent festival staple. Want to show your fun side but don’t want to overdo it? Voila. The perfect time to get out your shirt. It’s not outrageously tiny, it’s not weird like a male romper suit, hot like a furry onesie, won’t give you strange tan lines like a lace shirt and shorts set or polluting to the ocean like an all-over coating of glitter would be. Of course, these are all valid festival choices (choose biodegradable glitter, people!) but some festival goers are shyer than others, so if you’re something between shrinking violet and party peacock, to mix a metaphor, then the vintage jazzy shirt is for you.


It’s colourful, looks good, and protects you against sunburn (very important when you’re stuck waiting for the band for ages with no shade) and gives a little bit of cover against rain, a little bit of protection against the breeze, and can be tied around the waist or stuffed in a bag if its not needed. Plus it’s handy to spread out as an impromptu picnic blanket! It’s also, being vintage, a good environmental choice, because vintage and second hand clothing doesn’t use up resources in its production since, er, it’s already been produced.

90s jazzy shirt Prints, patterns and colours

90s jazzy shirt Prints, patterns and colours

Prints, patterns and colours

There are also so many different kind of patterns, prints and colours you’ll be completely spoilt for choice. You can go for the relatively drab – there are plenty of 90s shirts that come in shades of olive, khaki, faded blue or brown. There is also the classic plaid, which, although it comes in bright shades or red or royal blue, is so traditional it barely counts as jazzy at all. Or, for a bit more colour you can go for the classic Hawaiian shirt– colourful, baggy, designed for hot weather – what’s not to love?


The Hawaiian shirt screams holidays and fun. The prints are either traditional or, since the 1950s, have come in a range of amusing motifs. Sometimes they are quite subtle or at other times they are printed quite large. So you can choose whether you would like people to see your love for vintage cars, guitars or naked ladies from a mile away or if you prefer it to be a more intimate conversation starter.


The colour range is also pretty wide so you can choose to match your blue eyes with a turquoise print, your red hair with something orange or your sunburn with a nice red pattern.

90s jazz

90s jazz

90s jazzy shirt for the beach

All the advantages of the 90s jazzy shirt for the festivals also hold true for your holidays. A shirt is the ideal quick cover up, which is great when you come from the hot street into an air conditioned café or shop. It can be carried around very easily, and it doesn’t matter if it gets a bit crumpled at the bottom of your bag. Put it on when you want to look a touch more respectable for that museum or church visit.


And again, if you’re out on the street or the beach and you feel yourself getting a sunburn, it’s easy to slip it on and cover the parts that are exposed. If you’re actually on the beach, it’s useful to sit on and it doesn’t matter if it gets wet, salt stains won’t really show if you pick a busy enough pattern. That also goes for driblets of ice cream that might fall on it, droplets of wine, or small squirts or ketchup which are the inevitable effect of holiday gastronomy.


Many vintage shirts are also made of polyester or rayon, which has a huge advantage in being quick to dry, so if you need to give your shirt a quick rinse in the hotel sink you can squeeze it out and it will likely dry by the morning.

An example of a 90s jazzy shirt for the office

An example of a 90s jazzy shirt for the office

90s jazzy shirt for the office

It is also possible to choose a 90s jazzy shirt for straight up office wearing. There are loads of brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani, or Ralph Lauren Polo that can be found as vintage shirts. These offer both fun patterns and more subdued options. There’s nothing wrong with showing your personality at the office with a jazzy pattern, but if pinstripes or tiny repeats are more your thing, search these out. They are available in office appropriate blue, white or pink, and with button down collars.


Pair them with your usual office trousers and shoes, or with jeans and sneakers for dress down Friday. Remember vintage doesn’t have to equal outrageous. You can find something just a little bit different without standing out too much.


This type of “office” shirt is also great when worn by women. Buy one very oversized, belt in the middle and you have a very good shirt dress.

The right size of a 90s jazzy shirt

The right size for this trend is oversized. You’re not looking for a slim fit shirt here, the vibe is casual and baggy. Ideally you can fit it over your t shirt or dress. Choose a men’s size small only if you are indeed very small, otherwise size up. Blue 17 do uk delivery shipping straight from the uk to get the shirt as soon as possible in time for your festival, holiday, or general shirt wearing occasion.

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