Remember a time when you’d offer to shake someone’s hand, before quickly retracting it and exclaiming, “Can’t touch this”, M.C. Hammer style? It was also the time when Kris Kross wanted to make you jump (while wearing your baggy pants backwards), and the Spice Girls were telling you what they really wanted. In the 90s, kids and teenagers were consuming fashion like never before, and what you wore depended on the subculture you belonged to: Goth, surfer, skater, sporty, rapper/hiphop or girly. Surf and sporting labels were booming in popularity, and trends were being set by singers in music videos, beamed into our homes via RAGE and Video Hits. Looking back over these brands and trends, you’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, and you’ll be wishing some of them were still around today! Oh and there were snapbands! #allthesnapbands #allthecolours
Clothes of the 90s
Many of the surf brands that were popular in our childhood and teenage years have stood the test of time and are still commercially successful today… think Billabong, Ripcurl, Quicksilver, Roxy, Mambo and Kuta Lines. Piping Hot was the home-brand equivalent of the surfing apparel world (and the closest I ever got to donning a surf label!). This was also the time that the skate culture became mainstream, along with all the associated brands and clothing… and Avril Lavigne.
Equally popular were the sporting brands: Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Converse and Dunlop, all of which are still sold today. But if you weren’t into the sport/skate/surf brands, chances are you were part of the “homeboy” or “homey” culture, which was easily identifiable thanks to the oversized jeans, parachute pants, bomber jackets, and the associated bling.
For the lovers of high fashion, Esprit, Sportsgirl, Jeans West, Just Jeans, Portmans and Dotty was where it was at. That’s most likely where you would have purchased your bodysuit and tencel jeans. Cross Colours, Umbro jackets and hypercolour clothing were possibly some of your more regrettable purchases from the period… And then there was the Girlfriend fashion label, based around the 5-piece girl-band of the same name! #flowerhats #takeitfromme
Shoes of the 90s
They weren’t cheap, but Reebok Pumps were the must-have shoes of the decade. And who could forget Nike’s Air Jordan’s, heavily endorsed by basketball star Michael Jordan. Doc Martins were the super cool “anti-fashion” shoe, and Vans or volleys were the shoe of choice for skaters. As for me, I was tottering around in ridiculously high platform shoes…
Accessories of the 90s
Anybody was anybody in the 1990s owned a Roxy rainbow belt, a choker necklace (which has incidentally made a huge comeback this year), a Stussy hat and a Country Road or Sportsgirl duffle bag. Plus you were probably driving around with a “No Fear!” sticker plastered on the back of your car. At home you were watching “Saved by the Bell” or “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” on telly. And you were addicted to Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers on your new Nintendo console… Cos we were cool like that.