Thursday, 1 August 2013
It was a strange feeling when I started seeing clothes I had worn as an awkward teen back in the shops again. And even more disconcerting when I realised the high percentage of my iPod still given over to 90s dance meant I probably hadn't left the decade behind in the first place.
Even if your instinct is to run away screaming, the 90s revival seems pretty inescapable at the moment (I think I pinned the whole of Topshop's 'new in' section while researching this post). How do you negotiate the trend as an adult who definitely knows better this time round? Well, for starters, I'd say that definitely means no gold scrunchies - sorry River Island - or fluro bumbags - naughty Topshop!.
One way perhaps to avoid looking like a fashion victim is to look for people who emerged from the decade relatively unscathed. I think the Reality Bites ladies still manage to look pretty cool for starters - who doesn't love a floral frock? I can imagine Vickie in this River Island black floral playsuit, only £25 (she would obviously accessorise with yellow tights and black clumpy heels), or in Louche's Daisy print dress. If you're more of an Winona-waif type, shuffle around town looking angst-ridden in Diesel's floral jersey dress.
Ah, Clueless. Perhaps the film that had the greatest influence on my wardrobe in the 1990s. But - regardless of what New Look might suggest - I know I can't get away with a mini kilt this time around. My new tartan heroines are the ladies of Twin Peaks. Audrey Horne would look great in Topshop's Check Chiffon midi skirt, and its lovely colours just about keep it away from school uniform territory.
Much as I love Liv Tyler's Empire Records look, I don't have it in me to rock a cropped mohair jumper (but if I did, Louche have the perfect candidate). Fluff, though, I'm fully in favour of. Topshop's fluffy sweat (see, Topshop truly hearts the 90s) manages to make it look slightly more sophisticated. It's £29.
Glitter. I used a lot of glitter in the 90s - on my face, in my hair, over my top secret diary. I still love glitter, though I perhaps now draw the line at glitter jelly sandals. The Vans trainers pictured manage to combine two 90s trends - glitter and a chunky sole - and yet somehow look like they could be worn by someone other than Baby Spice. These are £52 from Urban Outfitters.
Even in my teenage years where I tried really really hard to make it work, the cami top has never really suited my figure. It's a shame, because they can look really fab - Sliding Doors Gwyneth Paltrow fab. This embellished cami top looks a lot more luxurious than its £36 price tag might suggest (Topshop again!) and is the prettiest kind of 90s minimalism.
And, finally, backpacks, the 90s schoolbag of choice. While I think ASOS's backpack actually once was my schoolbag, there are some more sophisticated versions too, such as Herschel's city backpack pictured. Practical, and just enough fluro to pretend you're still with the kids - if you want. It's an all grown-up £50 from ASOS. I'm going to proudly carry it on both of my shoulders.
Oh, and one very important 90s thing remaining to tell you about. Get your 90s togs on, and go Unleash Heaven.