Okay so I’m an 80s baby. Specifically I was born two months in to 1980. At times I tried to hide that fact because my friends born in the 70s (admittedly, most of them only in the last two years of the 70s) would often assert their coolness. Since they were older they were more grown up and that made them cooler, no? Well, guess who’s cooler now?! I can now assert that I am younger! I’m turning 34 on the 12th of this month and while I don’t think of that as old, I think most of my friends would now agree that youth is something with which we want to be identified.
Bragging aside, I don’t know why I really wrote that paragraph as an introduction except to say that having been born in the 80s I was a teen in the 90s. And boy was that rad.
Our pop culture icons were pretty fun- We had Romeo & Juliet (the best version ever starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio), we had Nirvana, we had the Spice Girls, and Winona Ryder in Reality Bites.
Fashion was equally cool- We had Delia’s (which I only ever ordered from once but whose styles I coveted like it was my job!), we had Birkenstocks, we had the fashions of Clueless and Britney, and we had grunge.
These were all wonderful things. The first time around.
But honestly, when I heard that the 90s were back, I panicked. Could we really be looking to that decade for “new” fashion trends?!
Apparently the fashion world is looking back. And unfortunately, it’s not to the Lisa Loeb baby doll dresses or Gwenyth Paltrow’s hair in Sliding Doors, but to all the worst trends.
I began seeing the signs at the mall. I took the following pictures on my phone (apologies for the poor quality but I was too in shock to let my camera focus!) right before Christmas:
Can you see them on the right there? Can you believe there was a kiosk set up to sell the ugliest of 90s fashion trends?! That’s right folks, across from Pottery. Barn Kids, you could pick up a Baja shirt. Or as I called it back then, the Mexican blanket shirt. It was awful then and it’s even worse now. I wanted to make my own picket line to protest anyone spending their hard-earned Christmas cash on something so heinous.
Then you can imagine my horror as I opened my Lucky magazine (not quite sure how I ended up with a free subscription, but somehow I have one) a few days later, and there were countless examples of 90s fashion! First it was Doc Martens. Comparatively, these are perhaps the most tolerable of all these 90s revivals. But that doesn’t make them a good idea!
As if the Docs weren’t enough, I had an even uglier trend confront me a few pages later. It was a blurb on the return of the comfy shoe. As in Birkenstocks sandals. It was punctuated with this wretched picture of an ENTIRELY 90s OUTFIT being worn by a fashion blogger!!! Complete with a cropped top and overalls!! This could have seriously been cut out of the pages of my 1996 Seventeen magazine. It was scary. While this was perhaps the most blatantly 90s outfit comeback, I was most upset by the next picture:
I’m gonna save myself the trouble of addressing the problem of the guy’s Boy Meets World hairstyle and move right into the girl’s cropped sleeveless sweater. Sorry Lucky, you just can’t convince me that the lower-rib-to-upper-waist-section-of-my-body is one that should be on display. While the other pictures are big bummers to me, this one actually makes me sad. Why?
Because of the jeans that go over the navel. I distinctly remember my BFF Annie showing me how she decided to fold her jeans down after buttoning them so that she wouldn’t have to feel the extreme uncomfortable-ness of a jeans button pushing into her stomach. I proclaimed her a genius and followed suit.
And then, in the late 90s, Mariah Carey wisely did the same. Admittedly her version was more sl*tty, but the concept was the same. She cut off the waistband of her jeans and freed herself from tummy smooshing jeans torture. This led to one of the best things that came out of the late 90s – low rise jeans. I don’t like them as low as I did back then, but seriously, I haven’t worn jeans that pinched my middle in a long time! THAT was a good fashion trend! Freedom from pain. Why oh why would we try and go back to this over-the-navel torture ladies?! Sadness.
So now I ask you readers, is this really what we want? I admit that I often resist the reincarnating-the-past trends (I was perhaps the last woman in the USA to buy a pair of leggings when the brought that 80s trend back), but I am gonna stick to my guns on these. I am boycotting the 90s-are-the-new-black trend. And if you are wise, you will join me.