Current fashion reflects the nineties nostalgia of the Internet Age


Photo courtesy of Sophie Plzak

North sophomore Natalie Painton exemplifies the modernity of nineties fashion.

Sophie Plzak, Contributor

The first internet generation has finally grown up, and with them they’ve brought some sweeping changes to what some consider to be trendy. Millennials have begun opting for scrunchies, crop tops and mom jeans–clear staples of the nineties. Brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are bringing back the looks they marketed twenty years ago.

American Apparel was one of the first to bring back this trend, forming a brand entirely centered around 1990s and early 2000s minimalist attire. It was ridiculed at first for its “archaic” style but has slowly begun to garner attention. Anyone can stop into Urban Outfitters or Pacsun and see the old Calvin Klein logo back on t-shirts, the iconic red-white-blue Tommy Hilfiger patch that has returned to jean waistbands, or Adidas’ new collection Adidas Originals, a total throwback to their old nineties image.

Oddly enough, trends often made fun of in the past decade, such as bucket hats and fanny packs, made a comeback this year, though not everyone was willing to hop on the bandwagon.

A more agreeable example is overalls, with almost every clothing store marketing to teens joining in, they’ve turned out to be a summer staple. Echo Club House is a brand gaining notoriety through their online store that found their niche providing affordable, but cute, clothes entirely inspired by the nineties.

Nylon Shop has quickly become the place to find 1990s inspired plaid skirts, cheesy t-shirts, and crushed velvet everything. Never before has there been such an influx in old trends made new.

Yes, the nineties are back, but why? The most conclusive answer as to why millennials experience this early-onset nostalgia is the simplest: they have grown up with unlimited access to the past through phones and computers. They’re products of the age of information. At their fingertips now is every old TV show, cartoon, or movie they loved as kids, and even the ones they missed.

Fashion blogs have begun to reminisce, writing about fashion influencers of the era- with icons like Cher from Clueless, Mia from Pulp Fiction, and Kat from 10 Things I Hate About You fronting the trend. With this ever present access to childhood memories skyrocketing with the popularity of the internet, millennials have developed an attachment to the nineties, and with it, a powerful idea dictating much of pop culture today. So, what about the nineties is so appealing?

Natalie Painton, a sophomore at North, gives her insight. “Nineties fashion, to me, somehow manages to swiftly pull together masculinity and femininity by using such simple and minimalistic pieces. It’s impossible not to look like you are ready to take over the world and not let anybody or anything get in your way, whilst rocking a velvet choker and chunky Docs.”  

With a whole new school year to dress up for, and the return of the nineties inevitable, feel free to experiment with berry lipstick, Doc Martens, embroidered silk bomber jackets, the American Apparel pencil jean, oversized denim jackets, acid wash, scrunchies, or even the controversial fanny pack.