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Ultimate Vintage 90s Clothing Guide For Authentic Looks

December 19, 2018

Vintage 90s clothing is the trend that just keeps on giving. Its popularity with designers like Christopher Kane, Artschool and various Fashion East designers keeps those mismatched looks coming down the London catwalk, whilst Allesandro Michele for Gucci gives us a far more glamorous version of vintage 90s clothing. His highly embellished pieces are still mismatched yet somehow also matching, and make us feel like we plundered the 90s dressing up box.

90s vintage fashion from Blue17

90s vintage fashion from Blue17

Vintage 90s clothing from the past

 

Luckily, it’s a look we can easily pull together ourselves. One strand of 90s fashion was all about vintage from all eras, and if you look the glamorous outfits from the 1950s and 1960s they absolutely studded with rhinestones and pretty gems, on jackets and sheath dresses in lovely colours. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t in perfect condition, for the best 90s effect in fact they should really look second hand. Take the edge off the high glamour by teaming with a long sleeve cardigan and some lace up shoes, or just go for full on bling.

 

The other version of 90s vintage 90s clothing cool which is more where Christopher Kane tends to go is a layering of trench coats, bomber jackets and patterned trousers which resolutely won’t match each other. You need to introduce unexpected elements like a vibrant scarlet kilt which reminds you of your school days, a cropped cowboy jacket with fringes or a polyester 70s shirt.

90s blue denim dungarees

90s blue denim dungarees

Dungarees in the 90s

 

Dungarees were an absolute staple of vintage 90s clothing dressing, with oversized t shirts layered underneath. In fact, layering is key for this era. A long sleeve t shirt will look great under a short sleeve shirt, and the baby doll, or short summer dress over jeans was a trend that combined the pretty with the practical.

 

Ravers also absolutely loved dungarees, since they were a great way to keep cool. You need to accessorize with an oversize t shirt or bare chest for men, bikini top for women. You can add a bucket hat and little round John Lennon Glasses for true closeness to this look.

Pink Haori, blouse, suede skirt and hat from Blue17 vintage

Pink Haori, blouse, suede skirt and hat from Blue17 vintage

Accessories for the 1990s

 

To accessorize these looks, most things you’ll find at the vintage store will work. In fact, I get the feeling that most of the coolest rock stars of the 90s just went on a rampage through their nearest second hand treasure trove, snapping up whatever caught their eye.

 

The 90s were a particularly unisex time so these tips go for both genders. Pretty necklaces, hair combs, tiaras. Bracelets and rings from different eras, and again, these don’t have to be in perfect condition. If there is a bead or a stone missing that is fine. Your bag should be a big, practical army canvas sack or a bowling bag with the name of a defunct airway printed across it in fading letters. Your footwear should be practical too. Converse baseball boots, army boots, Dr Martens, flat lace ups work. So too do random glittery platform boots.

90s office casua look

90s office casua look

Office Casual Looks

 

If you don’t want to look like a rock star after a festival, a more toned down look could be baggy jeans, a large printed t shirt, with a long sleeve shirt over it. Bonus points if the shirt is plaid, and bonus bonus point if you put a cardigan over that.

 

Creeping out of the office appropriate zone here, you could add just a smudge of eyeliner and some Converse that have seen better days. In fact, if they look like Kurt Cobain trudged through the rainy streets of Seattle in them before throwing up on his own toes, that would be good. Although maybe not for work. Depending on your workplace, of course.

90s blue denim dungarees, suede fringed jacket and tie dye t shirt

90s blue denim dungarees, suede fringed jacket and tie dye t shirt

Tie Dye T shirts for the 90s raver look

 

Tie die your own t shirt for great 90s vibes. A really good and fun effect is had by over dying an actual vintage t shirt. Choose one in a light colour and with a simple slogan, and then tie dye with as many colours as you feel like. Choose bright colours if you want to recreate the raver look, dark and dirty colours like olive, brown or off sludge for Grunge effect.

 

Tie dying is easy, you just need your cotton t shirt, some rubber bands, and dye. Buy some of the all in one dye that you just put in the washing machine for the easiest solution. Then just twist up your t shirt, bind it with rubber bands, and throw in the machine along with the dye. Check to make sure you didn’t accidentally leave your pants, favourite party dress, or white cat in the drum first, they won’t come out as pretty as when they went in. But, apart from unfortunate accidents, this idea is simple, should be mess free, and very 90s. (If these instructions make no sense, check here for ones that do).

 

If that seems like too much trouble, the original heat sensitive t shirts are being re-created, or you might even find a true vintage one that hasn’t lost its sensitivity. With that, you can get a similar effect.

Cool casual 90s sportswear

Cool casual 90s sportswear

Sportswear for the 90s rapper look

 

Ironic shell suits and Adidas stripes turned out to be a practical and sort of jokey look in the 90s, especially if you wore all the same colour and brand, like black with white stripes. In a cross over with the ravers, rappers wore bucket hats too. And lots of gold chains so that you see they were wearing tracksuits because they wanted to, not because they were too poor to do otherwise.

Cropped vintage 90s clothing look

Cropped vintage 90s clothing look

Cropped everything

 

A really adorable style in the vintage 90s clothing was the crop top. It’s particularly a style for women or cute emo boys. If you don’t have a crop top to hand, then shrunken t shirts or even childrens t shirts will do, especially in a sweet little print.

 

Crop tops can be very brief, as in a bra top, or they can be full sized t shirts or jumpers with a few inches off the bottom. There is an iconic image of the top 90s supermodels wearing fluffy pastel cropped jumpers with tiny metallic skirts.

 

The Spice Girls were very keen on different kinds of crop top (sports bra for Sporty Spice, fluffy for Baby Spice, leopard print for Scary Spice, Union Jack emblazoned for Ginger and none for Posh Spice, because crop tops aren’t posh). All Saints, the girl band, also loved crop tops, which they would wear with extra low cargo pants to show off maximum belly.

 

Metallics were big in the 90s too. It looked somehow whimsical and cute, so silver kilts, trousers, and skirts appeared. Hologram prints were also around. You can get some hologram leggings and wear with your big t shirt.

 

An easy trend to buy into

 

As you can see, 90s looks are easy and fun. It’s a style you can play around with. Just get one eye catching item for the vintage shop and play round with adding things. They can match or not. It’s a very practical style because it’s all about layering, which is great for both winter, summer and uncertain weather.

It’s perfect for festivals and gigs, because if you get a little sweaty and scruffy, all the better. You can also add bits and take them off for serious dancing. The shirt around the waist is perfect for this kind of style. And it doesn’t matter if it gets mud or beer on. Just try some vintage 90s clothing looks and have fun!

 

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