The 90’s are the New Black


Believe it or not, the 90’s are kind of back! The decade that I thought was kind of ehh, is making a resurgence all over the place. So watch out neon clothing of the 80’s because I think you’re about to be gone for good, thank g-d. Seriously, there’s clothing out there that is completely seizure-inducing. Shopping should only be painful for my husband, not for me!

These days, we seem to be pining for all things grungy (think $200 flannel shirts and $1200 Chanel combat boots), vintage (the older the better, as long as it’s Louis Vuitton or Hermes!), slightly dirty (you know you love your brand new, distressed denim, ripped jeans) and completely mismatched (stripes and floral…I can almost feel the spinning fashion cycle coming back ’round).

So before attending a 90’s/college party this past weekend, I studied up on all of the decade’s fashion trends in order to plan my outfit.

Typically, I would have donned my sorority letters proudly but due to a storage issue (the issue being that lots of my clothes are in storage), I had to scrap my plans to wear my A-E-Phi-nest.

Instead, I hit the information highway to virtually discover, I mean, recover, images of my teenage wardrobe. And being the pop-culture junkie that I am, I went directly to the source, hitting up 90’s movies and TV shows. Let me take you back…

In 1990, a series called Beverly Hills, 90210 aired. I didn’t watch. I lived on the North Shore. I didn’t think I needed to watch a show about going to high school with a bunch insecure, spoiled children (myself included). But boy was I wrong. I had no idea that there was more to being a teenager than my own personal experience. There were kids living in their own houses in the Hollywood Hills without parents and with unlimited trust funds; kids using guns as after school entertainment; and a 29-year-old woman passing herself off as a Jewish honor student from the wrong side of the tracks. And the fashion! Oh, the unflattering fashion. Bowler-esque hats, babydoll dresses and suspenders for the ladies; pleated pants, light blue jeans and t-shirts with rolled sleeves for the gentledudes. It was not a cute look. However, back then, I was determined to keep up, hence my extremely high waisted, oversized slacks with the double wide suspenders. When I wore those, I thought I looked awesome even though it took about 15 minutes to actually find me inside the pants. Then again, Courteney Cox wore a version of my suspender catastrophe on Friends after I bought mine, so who’s the trendsetter, thank you very much?

During my Sophomore year in college, I discovered a show called My So-Called Life. It became my own so-called life as I spent almost as much time watching each and every episode as I did studying geology. But I hated geology. I did NOT, however, hate Rayanne Graff. And I certainly DID NOT hate Jordan Catalano (Oh, Jared! How I loved you pre-guy-liner…).

Hour after hour, my friends and I would sit and listen to Claire and the gang talk like really stressed out teens while copying their coiffures by braiding our hair into little who-gives-a-shit-what-I-look-like-(I totally DO!) braids and throwing plastic flower barrettes into our tresses here, there, and everywhere. They might have been younger than us on the show, but we still looked up to them for their careless, but oh-so-cool style. If only we had realized that they looked like complete slobs, maybe we wouldn’t have looked so weird ourselves, but you know what they say about hindsight…

That said, to this very day, nothing screams 90’s to me like Reality Bites. I loved that movie. I still love that movie. For me, that movie was the game changer of the decade because it kind of made the Gap cool, definitely ignited the vintage clothing craze, and taught us how to make the most of having dirty hair and how to restyle unwashed laundry.

I remember walking out of that movie with an incredible urge to put on lots and lots of red lipstick. I’m pretty sure I went directly back to my dorm room and threw on my darkest shade of MAC lipstick (it was more purple than red, but I think Winona would have approved) and a sleeveless chambray denim shirt ala. Lelaina Pierce.

So in the end, I had to go with Reality Bites as my 90’s party clothes influence. Remember Winona Ryder’s ivory crocheted dress that Ethan Hawke calls a doily? That’s the one I picked to wear on Saturday night and just like the movie itself, it’s a classic! Paired with dark red lipstick and white powdered skin, I could have easily danced around a gas station to My Sharonna. Sadly, it turned out my motorcycle boots were in hiding, so I didn’t look totally grunge-chic, but at least I tried!

In the meantime, I figure I’ll save the crocheted dress for my daughter…I imagine one day she’ll be thrilled to have a 2012 vintage dress that’s so old, her mom once wore it to relive her college days!

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