The 90s… The last decade of the 21st Century. The rise of grunge, hip hop, and technology. A time when pop culture started to grow into the machine it is today. A period of peace and prosperity. A calm before the storm some would say. The 90s aesthetic speaks to all of these defining points.
Like all decades, the first half of the 90s had some hangovers from the 80s. We’re talking about bright neons, big hair, and Reagan politics.
However, once the 90s were in full swing, it started to take on some throwback elements of the 1970s while also cultivating a relaxed, flannel-filled style of its own.
Come with us as we head back to a nostalgic world filled with Gen X attitude and a booming economy to take a look at some of the things you can add to your world today to create a truly 90s aesthetic.
1. Mini Butterfly Clips
While we all didn’t dress like Cher in Clueless, we all wanted to. She was the epitome of 90s fashion. Her long, straight blond hair was the same hair every teen in the late-90s craved.
What better way to dress up your hair than with mini butterfly clips? They were all the rage in the 90s. Girls would wear multiple ones all over their heads to hold braids or twists or to just dress things up a little.
Flannel found its place when the grunge music scene became huge. Those who took to this style would wear a t-shirt, often a band shirt, with a flannel over it. You’d see flannels tied around people’s waists, too.
In the ’90s, the traditional colors were most popular, including red, black, and blue. If you ask many people, “what is the 90s aesthetic,” they would answer flannel because it is such an iconic symbol of this decade.
One way to really make your space feel like you’ve gone back to the ’90s is by hanging posters featuring the pop culture icons of the time, and there were many. You can hang posters featuring music, movies, and television.
The rise of grunge music occurred during the ’90s. It was also a time when video games started to become popular, and pop culture really began taking on a life of its own. All of these things can give you poster ideas.
From Nirvana to Tupac, you can find many music posters to hang up. When it comes to television, you could find posters relating to some of the biggest shows, including Friends and ER. Disney released some of the classics this decade, including The Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast.
Sports were also having a nice time with celebrities emerging, including Michael Jordan and Dale Earnhardt or the Dallas Cowboys and the women’s U.S. gymnastics team.
Chokers came in a range of styles, but the most popular was probably the woven plastic ones because they looked much like a tattoo and spoke to the edgy style of the time. Plus, they were simple and cheap.
However, you can do the choker style in any way you want, including ribbons and fabric with charms and jewels.
5. Flared jeans
Flared jeans were a throwback of sorts to the large bell-bottoms of the 1970s.
Flares had a fitted style where they were not as loose along the thighs, and they slightly belled out at the bottom. They were also usually low cut, and sometimes, they had decorations, such as patches.
If you had a ponytail in the 1990s, then you probably pulled it up with a scrunchie. Scrunchies were the most popular hair tie of the decade.
They came in a range of styles, colors, materials, and designs. Most people would match the scrunchie they wore to their outfit for the day. One really ’90s option you may want to try is a velvet scrunchie.
7. Chunky or Platform Shoes
Another nod to the 1970s in the 1990s was the trends in shoes. Platforms and chunky heeled shoes were all the rage.
For those leaning more towards the grunge scene, the choice of footwear was chunky combat boots. Those more into pop culture would wear platform Mary Janes, and people trying to embrace a more simplistic style might don Birkenstocks.
Comfort was also pretty big in the 1990s. One item of clothing that found its way into all the subcultures of the ’90s was overalls.
These jeans with a bib were pretty popular no matter if you paired them with a cute crop top, a tracksuit jacket, or a flannel. They were also super comfortable, which only made people want to wear them even more.
9. Colored Lens Sunglasses
Colored lens sunglasses are another way the ’90s played tribute to the ’70s.
They were pretty huge and you would find many people wearing them anywhere and anytime. The lenses were typically pink, blue, or orange.
10. Earth and Jewel Tones
As the 1990s moved further from the 1980s, people began to tire of the bright colors that were such a staple in the ’80s. They wanted something calmer and more muted, which brought about a rise in the use of earth and jewel tones.
You could find rich, deep colors everywhere from clothing to home décor. The most popular colors were hunter green and burgundy.
While the grunge music scene was really hot and influenced fashion, it wasn’t the only music that was taking off. Hip hop was also seeing growth, and it influenced a whole different casual look. Streetwear, including tracksuits, sneakers, and baggy jeans, were everywhere.
One element of the streetwear scene was wearing popular brand names. Some companies, such as FUBU, relied heavily on the streetwear trend.
Nike, Reebok, and other similar companies did amazing business at this time, but it was those organic companies growing out of the hip hop scene that really took off.
12. Inflatable furniture
If you really want to know how to attain a 90s aesthetic, you will need to buy some inflatable furniture.
It was a thick plastic that was usually in bright colors, such as pink, blue, and purple. You could get couches, footstools, and chairs. The inflatable furniture was fun. It was easy to move, and above all else, it was affordable.
The ’90s inflatable furniture wasn’t much on comfort. You would often have to peel your legs off it when getting up. The offerings today are a little more functional.
For example, an inflatable couch will usually have a velvet surface and may even include a pull-out feature so it can become a bed, too.
13. Peace Signs
Peace signs were a way for the modern hippies of the ’90s to pay tribute to the forefathers and mothers of earlier decades.
You could find them everywhere. People would paint them on their walls, put them on jeans, and wear them on necklaces. A peace sign is a simple way to get that 90s aesthetic.
14. Black and White
One of the simple trends of the 1990s is black and white color choices. Often done in a checker pattern, black and white spoke to the look of the early ’90s and those who were bored with the neon of the 1980s.
This style trend was a nod to the 1950s and added an edge of sophistication to décor.
15. Canopy Beds
To create a bedroom with a 90s aesthetic, you cannot go wrong by choosing a canopy bed. These beds feature a tall frame that holds loose fabric you can spread around the bed.
In the ’90s, it was common to use see-through fabrics as the canopy. They often featured ruffles and were very feminine.
16. Sponge-Painted Walls
If you really want to capture the ’90s in your home décor, then you need to sponge paint your walls. There was hardly a home without at least one sponge-painted wall.
Created simply by dipping a sponge in paint and patting it on the wall, this is a trend you can easily do yourself. Although, we would suggest not going overboard. One wall as a focal point is probably going to be enough.
17. Cucumber Melon Fragrances
If the ’90s had a smell, it would be cucumber melon. Bath and Body Works introduced this scent that soon became the go-to for every teenage girl. Saying it was a popular choice is an understatement.
The fresh cucumber melon scent was so popular that those feeling nostalgic got Bath and Body Works to bring it back in 2017 for a limited time, according to Allure.
In addition, the company also brought back two other scents that were almost as popular as cucumber melon in the 1990s: sun-ripened raspberry and country apple.
18. Levi’s Jeans
Jeans in general were a staple of the ’90s, but one of the most popular brands was Levi’s. Button fly jeans from the brand were seen everywhere, but the main standout was the SilverTab.
Wearing SilverTab jeans just made you feel like you were high-fashion and cooler than cool. Add a flannel and some chunky sneakers, and you were good to go.
The hippie subculture of the 1990s wanted to embrace all the psychedelic goodness of the past. This included blacklights.
Blacklights were pretty awesome, and if you were part of this subculture, you had one in your bedroom. While mom probably wouldn’t have used blacklights in the living room, you dressed your room in blacklight posters.
I’m not sure that tie-dye has ever gone out of style. It’s still pretty popular today. However, it was also a staple in the ’90s. The hippie subculture of the 90s would tie-dye almost anything. No fabric was safe.
You can still get this look easily today, and it makes an ideal way to get a taste of the ’90s without looking too retro. For example, try a tie-dye 90s aesthetic wallpaper on your phone.
21. Beaded Curtains
So many teen girls in the 1990s begged for beaded curtains in their rooms. They weren’t too comfortable to walk through. There were plenty of us who ended up smacked in the head by a wayward bead strand.
However, they looked really cool, and the clicking sound was a great security system to know when your younger sibling was in your room.
22. Bean Bags
Another trend of the 1990s that is still a thing today is bean bags. They are simple to toss on the floor and create extra seating. Plus, these squishy bags are quite comfortable.
You can really grasp the ’90s aesthetic by looking for a bean bag in a crushed velvet material or one in hunter green.
To be more specific, crushed velvet was everywhere in the 1990s, and we mean everywhere. You could wear it. A crushed velvet spaghetti strap dress with a crushed velvet headband would have you labeled as quite fashionable.
You could decorate with it. Add crushed velvet curtains in your living room and you’d be the trendiest of all your friends.
For whatever reason, people loved crushed velvet in the ’90s. Maybe it was because this is a seriously soft fabric or because it came in rich colors, such as blue, green, red, and purple.
Perhaps it was because it suited so many different styles. Regardless of the motive, you can’t find a fabric that is more ’90s aesthetic than crushed velvet.
Blast From the Past: 90s Asethetic
Taking this walk down memory lane has been awesome. The 1990s were the last decade before we started living our lives online. They were a simpler time and a time of prosperity. The ’90s aesthetic speaks to that freedom and the overall carefree nature of the decade.
The ’90s were also a time of huge growth in technology, and perhaps we knew it was the end of an era, so we had a need to grasp at the past. This reflects in the many ’70s throwbacks you see in the trends from the ’90s.
Whatever was happening with us, the 1990s are a time of huge nostalgia for many. It’s no wonder that people want to revive the ’90s aesthetic. It can bring a bit of peace and happiness to today’s crazy and wild world.
Last update on 2021-06-20 at 00:33 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API