Whether you’re attending a 90s themed party and need some outfit inspiration, or you just want to relive the decade from your youth, I’ve put together a list of inexpensive but showstopping outfit ideas inspired by one of the (in)famous decades in fashion history.
The 90s was the decade of grunge, the Spice Girls, and 90s hip hop. We immediately picture oversized knitted jumpers, overalls, and the dreaded fanny pack.
While some of these trends are best left in the 20th Century, a lot of them have circled back and are in style again. As with any themed event, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the look. Thrift stores can be your best friends for this type of occasion, so let’s go rummaging!
90s Theme Party Outfits: Flares
They come and go out of fashion every couple of decades. They were introduced and hugely fashionable in the 1960s and they came back around in the 1990s.
In fact, they’re back in fashion again now so there’s a good chance you have a pair of flared pants in your closet right now. If you’re going shopping, consider either culottes or full-length pants.
The benefit of a pair of flares is that they are really comfortable and they go perfectly with block heels too. For the shorter wearer, they also have the added benefit of making you appear taller. Add a pair of white sneakers and a tube top to complete your 90s outfit. Or add a bodysuit and heels for a more modern look.
Double Denim 90s Style Outfit
Denim never goes out of fashion, but one look that almost always has a polarizing effect is the double denim.
A bit difficult to pull off properly but easy to come by. This is another look that is pretty easy to achieve since you probably already have both layers of denim – it’s just that you wouldn’t normally consider wearing them together.
Grab a denim skirt or mum jeans, along with a denim shirt, and go all out by combining it all with a denim jacket for a triple denim finish. Try to match similar shades or chose really dark denim and match it with really light denim.
PVC – Awesome 90s Style Party Dress
PVC clothing of the 1980s was stiff and had a tendency to make you itch and leave marks.
Fortunately, if you buy a modern pair of plastic pants or a plastic skirt, they now tend to be a bit more pliable and a lot more comfortable. (Thankfully). Ideally, go for the matching top and bottom for a true 90s look or look for a PVC tube top to combine with your flare jeans for a less itchy and movable look.
90s Hip Hop Party: Pair a Crop Top and Disco Colors
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a cultural phenomenon. Along with launching the career of Will Smith, it was known for its bright, hip hop inspired outfits.
Think bright. bold colors like neon pink and yellow, and make sure every item of clothing is really oversized. Add a backward baseball cap and you can easily rock the hip hop look. Dungarees and big puffed jackets were also part of the craze so you can really go big and wild with this look.
Rollerblades 90s Party Style
Rollerblades were a sensation in the 1990s. They were fun, encouraged people to get out and exercise, and they were considered an upgrade on the traditional roller skates.
They also complimented the Sony Walkman from the same era. This particular trend might be best avoided if you don’t think you’ll be steady on your feet all night, but if you can remember how to roll in them, they will certainly make an impact. Especially if one needs to make a quick exit from an awkward conversation during the night.
There’s a chance you or one of your friends still have a pair of these bad boys in the back of their closet. But if they don’t, you can grab a pair at any sports store or online.
90s Plaid Shirts Perfect to Pair with High Shorts and Classic Sneakers
Britney Spears hit the charts in the 1990s and she certainly wasn’t above jumping on some of the more questionable fashion trends of the decade. Along with being a regular wearer of double denim, she encouraged women of the time to add plaid skirts to their everyday look.
Go for a similar look with a tied shirt or, or just add an oversized plaid shirt to your flared jeans for a more comfortable look.
Plaid was literally everywhere during this decade. It was a huge part of grunge fashion, as well as pop fashion, so if you’re still a fan, it should be a major part of your outfit choices.
Scrunchies – One Essential 90s Made Attribute
When it comes to hair, you can go big and go wavy, or you can go grunge. But if you’re going to tie your hair back, you need to go “scrunchie.”
Scrunchies were massively popular, and by using one to tie a top knot, you’ve basically owned the 90s hairstyle look immediately. Braided hair was another popular choice, so there are alternatives to the scrunchie top knot look if you’re feeling creative.
Like 90s Wear – Crop Top (Trending look for 2020)
Can we even talk about the 90s without mentioning the iconic crop top? They were hugely popular in the 1990s and not only with women. I recall an episode of the Fresh Prince where Will was participating in this iconic look.
Put a crop top under your denim jacket, tie your hair in a top knot and you’ll be feeling the 90s more than ever. Or wear one under your oversized overalls.
Mini Dress – The Best 90s Party Outfits (Add Some Spice with Animal Prints)
They may have been British but The Spice Girls were a global phenomenon. They championed the girl power movement and encouraged women to be confident in everything they did and in everything they wore.
They were almost as well known for their mini dresses as they were for their platform shoes. If you can find a plaid mini dress, you get extra points for combining a number of the decade’s favorite trends.
Or the bum bag was as practical as it was popular. They gave women the freedom to out and about in style without lugging around a giant purse with them.
They could be worn as a belt, which was the intention behind their original design, or thrown casually over the shoulder. They are still available in a host of stores and places.
Go for the leather, see-through plastic, or a simple plaid for a truly authentic look.
90s Party Outfits: Overalls with Tops and Sneakers
Overalls were basically the same as dungarees. They were typically (but not always) made from denim, but you can also find a corduroy pair or chinos.
Wear them with one strap hanging down for the authentic Fresh Prince look. Or combine them with a choker and add a denim jacket if you want to pull off the double denim look.
Speaking of chokers, these were hugely popular in the 1990s too. And made a mini-comeback recently, so they should be relatively easy to find. You can even make one, either from some cloth (denim cloth if you want to stay on theme) or old, unused jewelry.
Keep in mind that the choker shouldn’t be too tight – not only does this have the potential of causing serious restriction to the airways, but it can also make your neck look swollen around the choker and can make your neck look really thick.
What to Wear to a 90s Party? Cargo Pants
Cargo pants are coming back into fashion once more. They were worn by girl bands like All Saints, who were popular at around the same time as The Spice Girls, and they were typically worn baggy. Such was the fashion in the 1990s.
They were usually floor-length, so if it’s a wet night, expect your pants to get soggy right up to the knees. They tended to be green or brown, and the more pockets the better for the true 90s look.
Shirtdress for a 90s Party
The shirtdress was effectively a really, really long shirt that finished just above the knees. Incredibly comfy and easy to get if you rummage through your boyfriends/husband closet. Hopefully, they have a denim one, if not a plaid or flannel one will do nicely.
Buttons ran all the way down from the top to the bottom of the dress, and there are denim variants of the dress available, allowing you to go all-out 1990s. Just add a pair of white sneakers and high socks and you’re set!
Knitted Sweater & High Waisted Jeans
It wasn’t all girl power and hip hop in the 1990s. In fact, it was the grunge decade as well.
Grunge fashion was typically bought from thrift stores, where it is still readily available. Clothes were loose fitting so as to de-emphasize the body’s form, and there was no way of differentiating men’s and women’s grunge clothes.
Big knitted sweaters were a common part of the grunge look and, if you’re struggling to picture exactly what we are talking about, just Google Kurt Cobain. If you can find a long-sleeved sweater with holes in the sleeves–that is the winner.
90s Theme Party: Floral Print & a Slip Dress
The floral print was another common clothing trend at this time. In fact, you could get floral print on everything from headbands to dresses and even jeans.
If you’re going to a summer or spring garden party, then a floral slip dress is perfect. If it’s winter, go for the floral mini dress with thick stockings and some combat boots. Add a leather jacket to finish off the look.
90s Look: Cardigan
A cardigan would make a great and easy choice. They are very versatile so there were a number of styles of cardigan that were popular.
The grunge style knitted cardigan was obviously a common choice, but windbreakers had become popular and those with a floral pattern were also seen on the backs of women at the time.
As with a lot of fashion of this era, they tended to be baggy or oversized.
Trending 90s Fashion – Leggings
Leggings are another fashion item that is in and out of the fashion scene almost as often as the decades change.
You probably already have some leggings lying around somewhere in your closet. Combine a pair of plain black leggings with an oversized knitted jumper or cardigan and you have basically perfected the everyday 1990s look. Super comfy and cozy look for a chilly night outing.
Flannel Shirts for a Grunge Look
Flannel shirts, which have to be oversized and can also be plaid in their design, are another good choice, especially if you think you’re going to be cold in your 90s do.
They could be tied at the waist or draped over a band t-shirt at the time, but both of these looks are easily achievable today.
So there you go. I hope I was able to help you with outfit ideas on what to wear to a 90s party!