Women’s 90s Fashion: Spice Up Your Life With This Throwback Aesthetic

Is it just us, or is there serious 90s nostalgia in the air? From the triumphant return of wide-leg pants to the rise of platform shoes, we’re going back in time. Feeling a little “Clueless” when it comes to navigating the end of the 20th century? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Grab your favorite flavor of Lip Smackers and keep scrolling for our top tips on achieving a totally 90s wardrobe. First, let’s break down women’s 90s fashion into four of its most popular style aesthetics.

4 of Our Favorite 90s Aesthetics for Women

If you’ve ever shown up to a 90s theme party, odds are you’ve noticed that everyone has their own idea of what the typical 90s aesthetic looks like. That’s because this decade was basically the Spice Girls of eras—there was something for everyone. The same rules apply to the revival of women’s 90s style. Are you a clad-in-plaid Nirvana lover, or an aficionado of Missy Elliot’s tracksuits? Right here, right now, there’s a type of 90s look with your name on it. 

Women’s 90s Grunge Fashion

We couldn’t talk about grunge style without starting with its muse. The grunge music movement began in the Pacific Northwest by bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Nirvana. There’s no doubt that Kurt Cobain set the stage for the ultimate 90s aesthetic. For those dipping their toes into the brooding pool of women’s 90s grunge fashion, his “MTV Unplugged” performance stands out. Replicate his historic outfit with a textured cardigan, band tee, and wayward straight-cut denim. Bonus points for thrifting your look to echo back the grunge movement and build a more sustainable wardrobe. With grunge style, it’s always cool to sink into dark or muted colors and opt for oversized clothing. If you’re craving a more gender-neutral approach to your closet, this Northwest vibe may be for you. Grab a burgundy plaid flannel or a sized-up trucker jacket from the men’s section to send you into 90s fashion bliss. 

Want a punk twist to your grunge gear? Take cues from fashion rebels like Winona Ryder and Fiona Apple by adding leather layers and mesh tops to your style set list. Alternative women’s fashion in the 90s embraced DIY details. Don’t hesitate to sew on patches or fasten as many safety pins to your clothes as your heart desires. All that’s missing is a pair of Converse tennis shoes, and you’re ready to hit a mosh pit. Or, if you just want to stay home with your Beanie Babies for a Tim Burton movie marathon, that’s chill too. 

Women’s 90s Preppy Fashion

It’s time to move out of the Seattle grunge scene and into the sunny world of women’s 90s preppy fashion. With this trend, you can finally live your dream of dressing like Cher Horowitz every day of the year. Yes, not just as a homemade Halloween costume. Ready for the 411? Just like traditional preppy style, the 90s version loves collegiate-inspired clothing, such as  plaid skirts, sweater vests and collared shirts. For a throwback spin, choose short hemlines and cropped sweaters in candy-colored hues like Tang orange, Hubba Bubba pink and gel pen green. Basically, any shade that would look right at home on the set of “Saved By The Bell.” 

Of course, women’s preppy 90s style also has a sophisticated side. Give your outfits the royal treatment and channel your inner Princess Diana with pastel sweaters and coordinating capris. Stay effortlessly low-key with kitten heels and a white button-down tucked into pleated-front trousers. While we’re on the subject of simplicity, let’s hop on over to our next 90s aesthetic to look out for: normcore.

Women’s 90s Normcore Fashion

The normcore fashion craze we know today has roots firmly planted in women’s 90s fashion. Instead of borrowing from memorable style moments, normcore comes from the casual, everyday look of the decade. Picture what you’d see on an episode of “Seinfeld” rather than at the “MTV VMAs.” What’s the deal with trying to stand out, anyway? To cop this trend, start off with a tried-and-true staple of the 90s: the mom jean. High-waisted, purposefully shapeless and so cool. This high-cotton content denim may need a refresh over time to stay looking new. We recommend laundering them sparingly, then shrinking them back to size with each wash and hang dry session. Add a solid-colored sweatshirt and chunky sneakers to the look. Whoomp! There it is. 

Another key 90s normcore style clothing piece is an oversized blazer. For a contemporary twist, style a shacket in its place. Just as baggy clothing gave grunge its nonchalant reputation, it’ll lend your 90s women’s outfit a trendy level of anonymity. Now you’re all set to meet your friends at the coffee shop, and yada yada yada, you’ll look great.

Women’s 90s Hip-Hop Fashion

Get your bucket hats ready, ladies. Women’s 90s style wouldn’t be complete without a salute to the flyest aesthetic of all: hip-hop. Though hip-hop music was born in the 70s, the early to mid-90s was part of the genre’s golden age. It was also a prime time for fashion. Unlike normcore style, this aesthetic is all about making a statement with colors, textures, patterns and daring silhouettes. Animal prints were all that, and by the end of the decade, bejeweled details were hard to resist. Female hip-hop artists like TLC, Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah influenced runways and street style the world over.

To get in on this slammin’ style, start with a pair of cargo pants. A textured vinyl pair or with logomania prints all over is a must. Partner the pants with a baby tee or tank. Looking for a night-out ensemble? You can’t go wrong with a body-con dress with daring cutouts and a cozy faux-fur coat. Step aside, Will Smith. There’s a Fresh Princess in town now.

90s-Inspired Outfits for Every Season

Now that you’re an expert on some of the decade’s most popular aesthetics, it’s time to talk seasons. Because what’s a bigger bummer than not being able to wear your favorite 90s outfits all year long? Let’s keep the nostalgia train going with these tips on how to wear women’s 90s fashion, no matter the season. All you need to complete the look is a Tamagotchi on a keychain.

Women’s 90s Summer Fashion

Overalls, anyone? Seriously, there are few fashion pieces as synonymous with women’s 90s summer fashion as these bad boys. Peep this style of shorts as seen on Topanga in “Boy Meets World” to Jennifer Aniston on “Friends.” This comfortable one-and-done fashion piece dominated TV screens during summer break. Lucky for you, they’re back and on trend for summer 2022. This season in the sun, capture your inner leading lady with an acid-wash pair over a bralette or cropped tee. Bring home the look with a pair of always stylish white kicks. Don’t trip about stains — these days cleaning white sneakers is a snap with a toothbrush. You can also use overalls as a swimsuit coverup beachside, or while rediscovering your love for the slip n’ slide. Just don’t go chasing waterfalls because it’s time for push-pops.

Women’s 90s Fall Fashion

Maybe it’s the rust-colored hues of the leaves or the sudden chill in the air. Something about fall has us leaning into the laid-back, subdued side of 90s women’s fashion. This is the perfect opportunity for a denim on denim outfit. Reach for your go-to high-rise jeans and find a jacket in the same wash. If you have a long-sleeve denim button-up or chambray shirt, you can wear it countless different ways. Style it unbuttoned to show off your favorite vintage tee, tied at the waist or buttoned up. With this three-in-one outfit combination, you can go from layering up for an apple-picking ensemble to streaming “Hocus Pocus” in a snap. 

Women’s 90s Winter Fashion

Considering the 1990s love affair with sweaters, you’ll have no shortage of looks to wear during the coldest part of the year. For the ultimate everyday winter 90s outfit for women, reach for a thin, fitted turtleneck. Layer a crew neck sweatshirt on top. Fold it up at the waist, or if you can, tuck it into your jeans to define your waist. Bundle up in a calf-length leather or plaid coat and keep your feet warm with combat boots. Are you looking for something to wear to a holiday party this winter? In that case, try a long-sleeve velvet dress with a baby doll silhouette. Pull up your hair in butterfly clips and get ready to party like it’s 1999.

Women’s 90s Spring Fashion

What could be more glorious than women’s 90s spring fashion? This time period was already defined by Lisa Frank’s colorful and wild prints, so why not channel this decade every spring? Time for sundresses to reign supreme. A slinky slip dress will create a standout look at your next garden party. For a casual take, find one you can wear on top of a short-sleeve white T-shirt. Strap on platform shoes and don small oval sunglasses to round out the look. You’re set to chill at a BBQ while your favorite 90s playlist blasts in the background. For a romantic French style, throw it back to “Romeo + Juliet” with a smocked-detail top with puff sleeves. Time to daydream like a “Lovefool” about Leo. 

Dress Like Your Favorite 90s Fashion Icon

A women’s 90s fashion trend post without a section on style icons of the decade? As if! Every era has its fashion pioneers and game-changers, and the 90s are no exception. Far from it, in fact. This decade has no shortage of women who defined the era with their one-of-a-kind outfits. We couldn’t fit them all here, so we’re sharing four of the many worth mentioning, plus, ideas on how to dress like them today.

Kate Moss: the 90s Trendsetter

Let’s kick off our list with the OG supermodel herself, Kate Moss. She rose to fame for her uniquely stunning features and impeccable sense of style. Many famous images of her come from paparazzi shots, not just magazine covers. There, her party girl lifestyle was on full display. Remember that slip dress we mentioned earlier? She was the queen of this 90s female look. Replicate one of her many late-night outfits by scooping up a silky simple frock. Accessorize with a fitted trench coat and square-toe slide heels.

In addition to soft, feminine attire, Kate Moss was also known for women’s 90s grunge outfits. She wasn’t afraid to appear a little disheveled for the sake of fashion. Try out her edgy take on chic style by wearing a thigh-length vegan-leather jacket and matching straight-leg pants. Commit to the look with a smokey eye and unstyled hair. Consider yourself runway-ready.

Lisa Bonet: Free-Spirited 90s Boho

Zoe Kravitz may be one of the current icons of boho style, but don’t forget her mom did it first. Lisa Bonet dominated the world of eclectic and quirky outfits in women’s 90s fashion. After starring as Denise Huxtable in the 80s, she took the 90s by storm. Just look through her 90s street style shots, and you’ll see her sartorial choices run the gamut. From a multi-colored kaftan and sandals to a sparkling mandarin collared dress and a velvet robe, she shines. 

Embrace her nonconformist vision with a pair of flared jeans. The more distressed, the better. Pop on a bell-sleeve blouse with lace or crochet details to match the craft culture 2022 fashion trend. Give it that classic 90s touch with platform sandals and oversized necklaces. If you’re willing to take a walk on the wild side, embrace Lisa Bonet’s love of layering. Start off with a maxi skirt and tee, throw on a duster cardigan and finish with a men’s work jacket. Shoes are optional.

Selena: 90s Glam Aesthetic

The late Queen of Tejano continues to inspire music and fashion lovers. Even though her career and life were tragically short-lived, Selena Quintanilla made incredible strides for her community and music. She brought Tejano music into the American mainstream and did it with a one-of-a-kind style. A characteristic of her take on women’s 90s fashion is her love of bustiers, bralettes, gold chains and mariachi-influenced bolero jackets. 

Who can forget the purple sparkly jumpsuit she wore in her last major performance? Though some of her most iconic looks might not feel wearable day-to-day, you can still incorporate elements of her style into your 90s outfits. Seek out a pair of trendy bell-bottoms and partner them with a matching colored crop top. Put on gem-encrusted earrings for a limelight-catching detail and cowboy boots. Now, you’re ready to cumbia the night away. Estas lista?

Aaliyah: Sleek 90s Street Style 

Aaliyah was the princess of R&B, revitalizing the genre into what it is today. But music isn’t the only arena she made her own. Though her life was also sadly cut short, she had a major impact on 90s culture. Her trend-setting 90s style for women continues to influence streetwear. While many of her peers in the music industry leaned in to highly feminine looks, Aaliyah loved an androgynous spin. One of the cardinal pieces in her iconic look, both on and off stage, was men’s-style underwear. She wore them so the brand logo on the elastic was visible above the waistline of her baggy, low-rise pants. That’s right, while so many people were still holding on to the high-rise silhouette, she was an early adopter of low-riders. 

Take on her One-In-A-Million style with wide-leg low-rise jeans, a sporty jacket and Timberland-style boots. Nail the reference with logo-band briefs peeking out. For another ensemble, style trendy biker shorts with an oversized tee. And don’t forget your most important accessory—a Walkman and headphones so you can listen to your favorite Aaliyah tracks. Speaking of accessories, it’s time for those finishing touches that are sure to make your 90s women’s outfit da bomb dot com.

Essential 90’s Fashion Accessories and Shoes for Women

We’ve come to the icing on the cake, the cherry on top and the scrunchy on the high pony. No 90s outfit would be complete without accessories. Though these pieces are the backup singers, they’re still an essential part of this fashion girl group. Let’s begin at the top with hair accessories. We’ve mentioned scrunchies, but headbands and hair clips are also easy ways to 90s-ify your style. Then there’s jewelry. Chunky gold-chain necklaces are back en vogue, as are statement-making earrings. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold.

Up next, bags. The baguette bag was a go-to of the late 90s. Pick up one in a tantalizing tangerine shade or with a youthful flower print. We know Carrie Bradshaw would approve. Last but not least, shoes. We’ve mentioned sneakers and platforms, but make sure you have loafers on the list too. Add them to a workwear outfit for a subtle nod to the 90s. If you’re looking for retro heels, test out a strappy metallic pair with your favorite midi dress. Call back to a female 90s aesthetic with a low square-toe heel in a pastel purple pop.

Have we convinced you to travel back in time with us? If so, take your style quiz and ask your stylist to send you 90s-inspired outfits. Binge reruns of your favorite 90s sitcom while you wait for your box of five items to arrive at your door. With try before you buy, you only purchase what you love and return the rest.. Or, head over to Stitch Fix Freestyle™ to instantly purchase pieces curated for your style and size. Shipping, exchanges and returns are always free. No dial-up connection required. 

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