Black, White and Khaki


Nineties fashion wasn’t all hard to wear. The easiest fashion fad of the nineties to wear was the preppy Gap look. The Gap was the place to shop, and they were the biggest advocates (with Banana Republic close behind them in second) for the khaki trend and the minimalist black and white trend. This fashion trend towards the more sedate was a major departure from the flamboyant and color-loud decade of 80s fashion. It represented a mellowing of sorts, and that mellowing could be seen in both the color and style of clothes as well as in 90s hairstyles (which came down in size and volume considerably).

Khaki made a regular appearance in my wardrobe and was one of the more wearable fashion fads of the


1990’s. I had cargo pants in original brown khaki, a super short halter neck top in blue and black khaki and a skin tight lycra mix ankle length spaghetti strapped dress. This was later shortened to just below bum length and finally ended up as a just above tummy button top (when I had my belly button pierced). The Grunge kids wore khaki, the Spice Girls wore khaki and high street stores positively pounced on the fashion. Gap not only had a super cool advertisements for their khaki range (beautiful people doing beautiful swing dancing in clean classic beige khaki) but also had whole sections of their stores dedicated to their many different variations of khaki pant.

Khaki wasn’t just a 1990’s women’s fashion statement but one for the whole family. What could you wear with khaki? Everything. Being mainly in neutral colors (although there were a few wacky pink and orange versions around) this meant that you could go as bland or Uma Thurman's black & white Pulp Fiction lookbright as you wanted on the top half. They went with chunky shoes, Doc Martens and Birkenstocks but were best worn with sneakers. Khaki came in every item of clothing available and every cut of pants possible. The best 90’s fashion for women was to wear them on the hip so that your belly button ring and obligatory lower midriff tattoo were displayed to full effect.

Black and white also represented a hot trend, especially for women. My wardrobe held black dresses, opaque black tights, black cat-suits and black hot-pants but my absolute favourite black and white high nineties fashion outfit was my Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction look (see pic at left). I had tight black Jasper Conran pedal pusher pants, a white fitted women’s shirt with three quarter sleeves (worn with the top 2 buttons undone) and black ballet pumps. With my black bobbed hair and my Chanel Rouge Noir nail polish and lipstick I was every inch the Gap girl.

The absolute best thing about these trends is that they may go up and down in popularity but have yet to fade out of fashion completely. Let’s face it khaki, black and white are easy to wear, effortlessly stylish and a capsule wardrobe staple. Long live 90’s fashion.

> Watch Gap Commercials of the 90s


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