May 31, 2020
The annual return of warm weather and sunnier days has once again forced everyone to dig through their closets, finding new outfit inspiration among their favorite swimsuits, shorts and tees. But millennials may not need to look any further than their parent’s outfits from their glory days for inspiration this summer.
That’s right, ‘90s fashion trends have made a comeback and are here to stay through the summer. Why would we want to return to the styles that the older generations recall with disgust, one might ask? Shawn Carter, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said, “Fashion always evolves and references the past. It’s because we’re nostalgic.”
As for why fashion trends from the ‘90s have made comeback, it’s due to the iconic grunge style that dominated the decade. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Robin Givhan explains, “Grunge was comfortably imperfect. It looked worn and beaten, but it felt luxurious.” The ‘90s grunge makes a relaxed outfit look effortlessly classy. Not to mention, the loose clothing from that decade is a nice break from the skinny jeans that are simply old news.
The yearnings for the grunge look of days past can be satisfied by walking into almost any clothing store. The racks are filled with satin slip-dresses in every color under the sun, distressed mom jeans and matching tracksuit sets. Accessories such as bucket hats, choker necklaces and fanny packs are some other must-haves that complete the look.
As for the shoes, sneakers are dominating the market. Whether it’s a clunky “dad” tennis shoe or a more courageous platform sneaker, athletic footwear has made its appearance in most young people’s wardrobes. Combat boots, like Dr. Martens, have also made their way back into fashion, lining almost every shoe rack.
Popular brands that made their debut in the ‘90s have also made reappearances. Brands in the athletic department, like Champion, have found their way back into the younger generations’ closets. CNBC reported, “In the past quarter, the HanesBrand-owned label posted global sales growth of 75%, after accounting for currency fluctuations.” Champion can surely thank this second wave of ‘90s fashion for the increase in sales.
Calvin Klein and Fila are other trendy brands that are coming back in style as they recreate some of their famous advertisements from the ‘90s. However, the beloved models that originally bore these brand names have been replaced by younger faces. “We don’t have Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg in their Calvin Klein underwear, but we’ve got Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber (and Lara Stone) recreating those iconic ads,” Givhan wrote.
There are many sources that can inspire our youth’s summer styles. Whether it’s the iconic outfits from the movie “Clueless” or the bold looks from the runway, millennials and Generation Z don’t need to look too hard for any fashion ideas. A lot of fun can be had by mixing-and-matching the daring styles from this rebellious decade. Just grab a cheetah-print bucket hat, snap a scrunchie on your wrist, cut up your mom’s old jeans and you’ll be set to make a statement this summer.