A few things lately have made me feel a bit old. The laugh lines don’t immediately disappear after I smile. The other night I left a concert early because it was too loud. Things I wore in my late teens are apparently back in style.
This winter sees the 90s back in a big way. Which is strange, because I actually remember living through the 90s and thinking that the decade had no discernibly different style from any other era. But it only takes a few re-runs of Friends and a second viewing of Reality Bites to realise there was definitely a 90s vibe going.
But how do you wear it when you saw it come in the first time?
Do you love it? If not, forget the trend. The great thing about getting older is that I own my own style. There is no more blind adoption of trends with little regard to whether they suit me or not. So, if you personally think the nineties are well left behind you, find another winter trend that you do love. There are lots.
Figure out the base elements. Once you figure out the defining elements of a fashion decade that sees a re-run you can use them as inspiration. Some of the returning elements of the 90s include: grunge, underwear as outerwear (slip dresses), contrast of tough and casual foot wear with delicate outfits, minimalism and t-shirts under dresses. I have a Pinterest board full of ideas.
Subtle Incorporation. Once you have figured out the base elements that appeal, incorporate them into your outfits in a subtle way. Maybe find a chunky boot you could wear with something pretty. Or rather than a full-on slip, incorporate a silky camisole into an outfit. You want a slight nod to the decade – not head to toe homage.
Add a modern twist. I remember wearing floaty, floral spaghetti-trap dresses with a white t-shirt underneath and sneakers/big black boots back in the day. The white t-shirt under dress thing can still look modern, but try a structured dress in a tougher fabric and a block colour. Rather than the super-short, silky slip dresses that Kate Moss made famous in the 90s, try a longer version that looks more 20s glamour and less 90s “I-bought-a-vintage-nighty-from-Camden-markets”. It’s your call as to whether you want to marry your slip dress to a pair of chunky boots, but I’ll be choosing subtler footwear. A pair of sweet ankle boots still channels the vibe.
Be careful with authentic item. If you still have things from the nineties, or you chance upon them at a thrift store, try to modernise the look. Could you alter the garment slightly to fit you better or give it a more modern silhouette? Is the hemline right for now? Do you have jewellery or shoes that could lift the look?
I don’t believe in the old adage that you should only wear fashion the first time it comes around. Fashion is way too fast and cyclic for that. But I do think that as we get older we get better at understanding what suits us. And it’s just a matter of cherry picking the stuff we loved way back when and figuring out what still works.
Will you be wearing 90s again in any way, shape or form?