When fashion comes full-circle: Six ways 90s fashion trends are resurging today


Alyse Zuiderveen

Mannequins at Old Navy model oversized plaid shirts and loose jeans, trends from the 90s that are resurging today.

Alyse Zuiderveen, Copy Editor

While the phrase “what goes around comes around” often comes across as cliche, it seems relevant to today’s fashion. Many brands seem to be reusing the styles of the 90s and rebranding them, using terms they feel will appeal to their audience like “vintage” and “mom jeans.” These have been made popular through stores like American Eagle and thrift stores. Junior Hayden Evans is one of many students who enjoy finding styles of the 90s while thrifting. “Thrifting is a lot more popular today than it was even a few years ago and I see girls of every grade participate in some way,” she shared. This resurgence has shown up in many ways including the following six trends:

      1. Loose jeans

Many stores are selling loose jeans advertised as mom jeans, but did you know that these jeans were first made popular by MC Hammer in his music video for “Can’t Touch This”? Hammer started one of the biggest trends of the 90s, as many chose to follow his lead by wearing the jeans displayed in this popular song. These straight-legged, loose jeans are popular among students today and come in a variety of washes and distressing levels. Carri Nolte, who worked as a buyer for Von Maur from 1994-2000, is able to offer a unique perspective on the return of these jeans styles. “The high waist jeans have returned, but the fit and fabric has changed. With the comfort and flexibility of stretch denim, the jeans are much more fitted than they were in the 90’s,” she shared. She also shared that Levi’s brand jeans are cycling through; they were popular in the 1990s and are popular once again. 

      2. Platform shoes

Platform shoes have experienced the cycle of fashion multiple times. They were popular in the 1970s, the 1990s and are making a comeback today. Many modern casual sneaker brands like Converse, Vans and Keds have embraced the element of platform in their classic styles; Converse, for example, now has platform Chucks that are gaining popularity. While platform shoe trends in the 1990s revolved around closed-toe shoes, modern platform shoes have expanded beyond this. The most popular platform shoe style today comes from brands like Steve Madden and Dr. Martens and is an evolution of what was trending in the 90s – sandals. 

      3. Corduroy 

In a world where the material of athleisure from brands like Lululemon, Athleta and Nike is popular among students, other materials tend to stand out as they are an exception to the normal. Corduroy was popular in the 90s and has recently made its reappearance in fall and winter fashion. Corduroy is popular in overalls, pants and skirts, which were popular in the 90s, though emphasis then was on the thickness of the corduroy stripes. These corduroy overalls, for example, are sold by places like American Eagle, a store that has remained popular during the various fashion trends from 1990 to today. 

      4. Claw Clips

Effortless hairstyles have been popular among high schoolers for a while and were made possible through the banana clip in the 1980s, which led to the rising popularity of the claw clip in the 1990s. Today, the claw clip is popular in a variety of colors, styles and for a variety of hairstyles. Many students enjoy coordinating their claw clips with their outfits and find that different styles of claw clips help them make a variety of hairstyles like updos and half-up half-down styles. These hairstyles are effortless ways students can pull their hair back while maintaining an aesthetically-pleasing look!

      5. Oversized Clothing

Oversized clothes have made their reappearance in loose jeans, big t-shirts, flannel shirts and oversized sweatshirts. These items are often paired with a tighter piece of clothing such as bike shorts or leggings. Nolte shared, “Oversized (wide) sweatshirts were popular with the junior girls in the 90’s and again today”. While all aspects of outfits may have been completely oversized in the 90s, specific elements of these oversized outfits carry over into today’s trends. Oversized clothing today is coming in new fabrics and color palettes, which differentiate this resurgance from previous years of fashion. Fall trends of this year include oversized plaid shirts, which were popular in the 90s and are coming back today. 

      6. Bike shorts

Bike shorts were made popular in the mid 1990s by Princess Diana, as she was known to pair them with an oversized sweatshirt and white tennis shoes. Princess Diana’s fashion choices have recently been part of TikTok trends where creators compare their modern-day outfits to hers. These outfits are considered trendy, as many athleisure companies like Lululemon and Gymshark have created bike shorts similar to those worn by Princess Diana. These bike shorts are often modeled with oversized sweatshirts and sandals or a shoe similar to Nike’s Air Force 1. Though these may be paired in a different way than the 90s, bike shorts have certainly made their comeback.

While the trends may be implemented in different ways, students can be sure of one thing – trends from the 90s are resurging and fashion is coming full-circle!