Friends is turning 25, we've remade Sabrina: The Teenage Witch, and Filas are clogging up our Instagram feeds — '90s nostalgia is in full swing, baby. We're glad for the return of crop tops, leopard prints, and platform sneakers (although we could've done without the tiny sunglasses revival, TBH), but we won't be happy until we see these twenty '90s trends back with a vengeance. Our society needs a Cher Horowitz-style makeover ASAP because some of these newer trends are full-on Monets.
Mandy Moore's refined butterfly clip look in 2001's The Princess Diaries was this ethereal '90s trend's last gasp before dying out in the last twenty years. '90s fashion icons like Britney Spears, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the Olsen twins rocked these cheap plastic clips in a major way, and all hip '90s kids know that the more perfectly-spaced butterfly clips you wore, the more clout you had, whether you were fighting for social dominance in your elementary school lunch line or avoiding loadies in high school.
How are we supposed to know if our friends are feeling happy, sad, or mad without a dolphin mood pendant to show us the way? Picking up on social cues has been made way harder since mood rings and their color-changing accessory brethren have been relegated to the annals of history. Our favorite Claire's add-ons can still be found in stores, but finding someone brave enough to actually wear them in public is another story. All we need is for Bella Hadid to do for mood rings what she did with tiny oval sunglasses, and we'll be back in business.
Yes, this is a photo of me in a retro '90s neon windbreaker, but my plea for their return to relevancy has no ulterior motives. Weirdly enough, stores like Urban Outfitters have tried to bring this useful trend back into the zeitgeist with offerings from the ultimate windbreaker OG, Adidas, but society hasn't been brave enough to shell out $70 on a jacket that can be seen from space, even if it is the perfect fall cover-up. All I know is that this item is my most-complimented item of clothing, so your fears are unfounded. Mark my words, VSCO girls will find this trend sooner rather than later.
Billie Eilish is the only modern celebrity bold enough to rock a bucket hat, but this universally flattering style is way more accessible than her usual upscale streetwear lewks. Use this fancy headwear as a way to incorporate some of Billie's much-hyped look into your wardrobe without going full-blob monster and embrace an accessory that can cover your greasy roots without giving you hat hair. Bucket hats were first popular in the late '80s because of LL Cool J, who we had no clue was *that* old, but their '90s revival was huge. It's about time for round three.
Once known as a "Bill Cosby Sweater," we think it's probably best if we call this '90s trend by its actual name: a Coogi. We're not sure where that poorly-aged nickname came from since Bill Cosby never ~actually~ wore the Coogi brand, which was popularized by Notorious B.I.G. in his song "One More Chance" during the summer of 1995, but Coogi is long overdue for a rebranding and a revival. Their colorful clashing knits align perfectly with our new ugly clothing trends like the resurgence of Birkenstocks and normcore with a new, vibrant flair.
Messing around with slap bracelets was our favorite, most obnoxious '90s nervous habit, and our millennial burnout culture could really use the sweet, satisfying release of smacking everything and anything with these innovative marvels and seeing what sticks. They're dirt-cheap, they still come in packs of 25 or more on Amazon, and there's no end to their crazy and colorful print options. You could have one to match every item in your over-stuffed closet and perfectly color-coordinate your outfits while only shelling out $30 for a couple dozen of these fun-for-the-whole-family accessories.
We are *so close* to a tattoo choker resurgence. We've got velvet and chain chokers everywhere from Brandy Melville to Target, but the OG is still chilling with Clarissa Explains It All in the "Gone But Also Forgotten" part of our memories. Sure, these plastic chokers stretched out pretty easily and chaffed in the heat, but they were somehow way less tacky than the chokers we've got today. Maybe it's because they were more subtle and didn't awkwardly cut off your neck, but tattoo chokers are the more flattering choice, and like everything in the '90s, they're way cheaper than the alternative.
Sun-In is a fun and easy way to self-sabotage with break-up hair, no pricey salon visit required. Shockingly, Sun In still exists, and its creators have added botanical extracts and aloe in the hopes that it won't make your hair fall out when you try to use it for a beach balayage. Honestly, you do have to be careful with this stuff (it *will* stain your face if it drips in the sun during application), and it'll only give you platinum blonde hair if you're already blonde to begin with, but there's no way this stuff is worse than incrementally lightening with literal bleach.
Either you know *exactly* what Steve Madden platforms I'm talking about, or you were a total geek in '98. Urban Outfitters has gotten so good at pre-empting nostalgic comebacks that they've collaborated with Steve Madden to bring back the versatile sandals in an online exclusive, but they haven't reached the TBT trendiness of other '90s shoe revivals like the platform Filas that are practically inescapable on social media. These shoes are a more upscale '90s trend for when you only want to make a bit of a statement or want to class it up at brunch.
Out feet were way more flossy in the '90s. Our tacky fave, toe rings, have sadly been relegated to small Floridian towns that never really left the early-'00s and Amy Poehler "cool moms" who haven't caught up with the times, but there's no reason you can't let your toes match your bussdown watch. Honestly, let's bring back all of our blingy bygone feet trends anklets: french tip pedicures, Hawaiian-inspired rhinestone pedi art — embrace it all. The '90s gave a whole new meaning to styling from head to toe, and it's time we got on their level.
There was a lot of crossover between the late-'90s and the early-'00s, but somehow, only the most polarizing trends made their way past Y2K. These "Chinese" mesh slippers might also need a 2020 name change, but flip flops' fancier cousin is poised for a comeback. They're perfect for soft girls' pretty pastel aesthetic and ironic enough for whatever new form of hipster pops up this year. Buying these colorful floppy house shoes online hits a bit differently than finding them at a booth in your city's fashion district or some weird budget dress store, but nothing is more nostalgic than seeing these sequined flowers back in action.
Festival culture has its own form of these rhinestone sticker tattoos, but we're shocked concert-goers haven't embraced this more subtle, retro style of bedazzled temporary body art. Instead of gigantic jewels place on your clavicle or between your brows, these tats embrace a minimalist aesthetic and are far superior to flaky flash tattoos or messy single gems you attach to your body with eyelash glue. Sadly, it's pretty hard to find these online *or* in the wild, but there are still some floating around Etsy to get the ball rolling.
Jelly sandals had the briefest of resurgences a few years ago, but the barely-there revival didn't make much of an impact on social media or IRL. Jelly shoes are a way cuter way to show off your pedicure than those disgusting clear boots the Kardashians have been wearing, and their funky, glittery colors are a color coordinator's dream. They're also basically indestructible, entirely washable, and they'll never give you blisters. Simone Rocha, Alexa Chung, and Giorgio Armani tried to bring jelly shoes back on 2019's runways, but the masses just haven't gotten the memo — yet.
If Cher and Dionne wore something, it can never truly go out of style. Layering a white tee shirt under a tank top was the ultimate middle school hack, and it can be again. This trend is sneaking back into fashion but with a twist. Putting your white tee under a Reformation or Urban Outfitters sundress is getting super popular with the hyper-trendy urban elites, but it's time we go the distance and return to the trend that started it all by embracing a tee-shirt and tank look with a denim skirt or mom jeans.
Its been a quarter-century since Friends was unleashed on an unsuspecting world, and we're all still trying to live up to Rachel Green's fashion example. The trendiest ~friend~ was a big proponent of the once-chic accessory, and Alexander Wang tried to bring them back in their F/W '18 runway show, but they've yet to return to our day to day lives. Claw clips are way healthier for your hair than hair ties, which cause breakage, and they're a more "laid-back" look than their '90s teen brethren, scrunchies.
Ugg boots in the summer never made much sense, but there's something inherently hot about wearing these bad boys with a denim skirt (and we're not just talking about the weather). Uggs became synonymous with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's aughts antics, but the Australian monsters were first popularized in the U.S. during the late 1990s. Actually, if we're getting technical, the '90s Ugg trend was a revival of their use during '70s surf culture, which is deeply strange considering how unpleasant it is to wear a wet Ugg. Otherwise, Uggs are the epitome of comfort, and even today's celebs have been caught in a weak moment grocery shopping in their throwback slipper boots.
Fashion Nova girls are ahead of the curve, with the fast-fashion retailer seeing matching plaid all over the F/W '18 runways, but this revival has been relegated to only the boldest influencers. The '90s trend made eternally popular by Clueless is bound to make waves in baddie culture sooner rather than later, but we want matching plaids back for *everyone*, not just slim thicc girls on Instagram and YouTube celebrities. Until kids are out here wearing plaid sets to school, this battle is far from over.
Another F/W '18 pick, Elle freaked out over zig-zag hairbands showing up all over Prabal Gurung's runway in what the designer explained as a "yoga bun" hair look. Even the designer brand admitted to buying their headbands from Amazon and drugstores, which were put on the Hadid sisters and Ashley Graham for all of the world's fashion elites to see. The hairband was chosen for function rather than fashion (but apparently was deemed aesthetic enough for the show), which is exactly why we want a zig-zag hairband resurgence. Nothing has been more effective at pulling back your hair and keeping it fly-away free since.
Blisters are out, so socks with heels have to come back in. They don't have to be the frilly white ones you rocked with Mary Janes in the seventh grade, but with so many adorable special-occasion socks being sold by retailers like TopShop (especially during the holiday season), it's about time we show our socks to the world. Wear them with stilettos, wear them with sandals. We don't care, as long as you actually wear them. Harpar's Bazaar did a spread on the TBT trend's possible comeback in 2019, so we've got a lot of hope for their second wind.
Long before The Row and Elizabeth & James, when Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were wildly-successful child actors instead of wildly-successful designers, the Olsen twins were already fashion icons. Whether it was their littlest looks on Full House or their trendy tween days during the Olsen twins' iconic straight-to-VHS movie phase, these girls knew which trends were worth their time. Tinted sunglasses functioned both as a great way to tell the girls apart and a bold style statement, and even in our 20s, we're still trying to be as cool as Mary-Kate and Ashley were at ten years old.