What to Wear to a 90s Party – Outfit Ideas
Who doesn’t love thinking back on the 90s? It gives one a sense of nostalgia, thinking about Tamagotchis, Bop Its, and Furbys. Not only do the toys make us think back on happy times, but entertainment as well. Movies like ‘Clueless’ had a huge impact on 90s fashion.The decade feels like a much simpler time, and the outfits definitely showed that.
Compared to the extravagant trends of the 80s, the 90s was a time of minimalism, with casual outfits of jeans, t-shirts, and hoodies being the norm. Of course, there was also the grunge look earlier in the decade, but this gave way to sportswear with neon colors and more glamorous fashion with metallic and vinyl textures.
90s Party Outfits for Women
1. Preppy Retro Outfits
Preppy retro outfits were not only about the fashion but it was a whole culture. Prep culture was shown in movies and television shows like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ ‘Clueless,’ and ‘The Craft,’ but in different ways. Valley girl language, high school relationships, and even prep with a gothic twist were all shown.
It was the popular girls in high school that wore all the different kinds of prep: California prep, the New England boarding school look, etc. The looks featured plaid, blazers, button downs, and short skirts, not all that different from what preppy is today. And, that is the epitome of the preppy look: classic. A look that can be worn into future decades.
2. Ripped Jeans Outfits
The 80s grunge look was carried into the beginning of the 90s, and ripped jeans were one of the most classic pieces of this outfit. Kurt Cobain made the look popular with plaid shirts, unwashed hair and converse sneakers. However, by the middle of the decade ripped jeans were being worn with other types of outfits.
Ripped jeans became so popular, they were carried into the 2000s and worn by people with all types of styles, including the preppy, Abercrombie and Fitch wearing types. Ripped jeans can go with just about anything; a classic sweater with a button down, a casual hoodie, or high heels and a flashy blouse.
3. Overalls 90s Outfits
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air started off the 90s and gave us the overalls trend, with one strap undone of course. When Will Smith and family came on the scene with bright colored outfits, windbreakers, and sporty clothes, they started quite a few trends that made it into the rest of the decade.
Overalls were super popular in the 90s, but in a much more casual way, worn with sneakers and fanny packs. These days, overalls can be worn in a much classier way, even with heels or a leather jacket. Jumpsuits are incredibly popular these days, seemingly coming off the overall trend, but now with a more modern spin.
4. Retro Windbreaker Outfits
If there was one piece of clothing that makes one think of the 90s, it’s the windbreaker. Jackets, pants, and shorts in bright, neon colors showed how popular the sporty look was during the decade. Windbreakers could be seen on everyone, from children to older people in matching ensembles.
Windbreaker jackets look great when styled with jeans, to give your outfit a flashier, more retro edge. Pair the outfit with sneakers to keep with the sporty look or even a pair of heels for a night out with friends. Add some flashy jewelry and other accessories to a bright colored jacket to really stick out.
5. Retro Hip Hop Outfits
Just as prep became its own culture in the 90s, so too did hip hop and the fashions that go with it. Various clothing and accessories defined the look, including Kangol hats, Timberland boots, baggy shirts, and huge, gold chains that showed off success and wealth.
Hip hop outfits in the 90s had a huge number of looks, from sportswear to military apparel. Rappers like LL Cool J, Biggie, and Tupac all popularized their own take on the look and fans were going out and buying whatever they were wearing; from bucket hats, to Clark’s Wallabees.
6. Pedal Pushers Retro Outfits
7. High Waist Plaid Pants Outfits
8. 90s Movie Outfits
Do you prefer “fashion victim” or “ensembly challenged?” Cher, from ‘Clueless’ was our ultimate 90s hero, with her valley girl language and matching plaid blazer and skirt combo. Who wasn’t jealous of her computer that created outfits from her closet?
90s movie fashion drew a lot of inspiration from the high school, popular clique look; cheerleaders, preppy girls, jocks and football players basically created the ultimate 90s look: letterman jackets, short skirts, knee high socks, button downs, preppy sweaters, and crop tops.
What was better than the fashion of the ultimate popular 90s girl? The same girl giving the unpopular girl a makeover. The makeover montage was huge, with ‘She’s All That’ being the most well-known. A red dress with strappy heels? Definitely the perfect party look.
9. 90s Music Outfits
10. Vintage Denim Mini Dress Outfit
11. Retro Workout Outfits
The Jane Fonda workout look from the 80s was a huge inspiration in the 90s. Workout outfits with neon colors, spandex, leggings, and leotards were super popular during the decade. The look was not limited to clothes either; white, chunky sneakers matched the outfits, with scrunchies and high ponytails finishing off the look.
Leg warmers, fanny packs, and flashy jewelry make this type of outfit a true statement, and you can even combine two trends by pairing the look with a bright windbreakers. Not only were workout clothes super popular during the 90s but crazy, bright patterns are what define the pieces from current workout gear in 2020.
12. High Waisted Jeans Outfit
13. Vintage Mini Skirt Outfits
14. Retro Grunge Outfits
While the grunge look was popularized in the 80s, it made its way into the 90s thanks to bands like Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. Similar to the hip hop look, grunge was brought into the mainstream thanks to music. These bands were featured on MTV, which gave the look a platform to be seen by millions of teenagers.
The look was defined by lots of plaid (though darker colors than the plaid worn by the preppy set), ripped jeans, and Doc Martens. Converse sneakers, fishnet stockings, and t-shirts with bands on them can be worn to achieve this look as well.
15. Vintage Low-Rise Jeans Outfits
16. Vintage Velvet Dress Outfits
90s Party Outfits for Men
1. Retro Hip Hop Outfits
The 90s hip hop look for men was defined by baggy jeans, sporty sneakers, heavy, gold jewelry, and bright colors. Compared to the 80s, the 90s hip hop style took on a higher end, more urban look, with brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren sportswear featuring prominently.
The 90s hip hop look was to be exclusive, and aspirational; to show off your wealth, and success, which is why gold chains were so common, especially among successful rappers. To achieve this look, a mix of sporty, name brands, mixed with chunky, gold accessories, and high top sneakers would be perfect.
2. 90s Vintage Printed Beach Shorts Outfits
If the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air took a trip to the beach, printed beach shorts are exactly what he would wear. Bright colors, and patterns were popular in the 90s, especially a black background with geometric shapes.
Vintage printed beach shorts of course can be worn on the beach, but they can also be worn in city environments with a t-shirt and a fanny pack to really keep the 90s look going. These shorts are definitely casual and can be paired with converse sneakers, a tank top, and a baseball hat for a 90s urban look.Throw on some gold jewelry, and a fanny pack to accessorize for a put together, real outfit.
3. Overalls 90s Outfits
4. Ripped Jeans Outfits
Ripped jeans can go with any type of outfit; from preppy to grunge, and they even made their way into the 2000s with people actually paying to have their jeans destroyed. Pair your ripped jeans with a plaid button down a grunge look, a button down for a California prep style, or Timberland boots for a hip hop inspired outfit.
These days, skinny jeans are super popular and rips can give off a retro vibe, or you can go full out 90s/2000s with baggy ripped jeans and Vans sneakers. A slogan t-shirt with a 90s t.v. show like ‘Friends’ will tell the world the exact decade your look is coming from.
5. Retro Grunge Outfits
Grunge outfits are defined by plaid, and ripped denim; throw these two things on and you’re halfway there already. To wear a grunge look these days, you can add various pieces that were trendy in the 90s, but give it a more modern take. In our decade, the closest thing we have to grunge is the hipster look; man buns, skinny jeans, and urban chic pieces.
The grunge look can be achieved with a plaid button down over a t-shirt, ripped jeans, and Converse sneakers.You don’t have to go full out Kurt Cobain, but you can throw on your Converse sneakers with a more minimalist uniform.
6. Crop Top Outfits
7. 90s Movie Outfits
8. 90s Music Outfits
Music defined the 90s decade, just as it does with most. Music in the 90s had a huge influence on various styles and cultures that became popular, like hip hop, or grunge for example.
Grunge fashion came from bands like Nirvana, and Pearl Jam, but punk rock also rose to prominence when Green Day came on to the scene and the grunge look became darker. Hip hop music also created a cultural movement that had its own look, with artists like LL Cool J, and Tupac influencing the style.
Although those are the most well known for their fashion, there were other types of music that influenced the 90s look; especially when pop music came on the scene and boy bands like NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. Boy bands influenced fashion with a mix of preppier uniforms, blazers, and jewelry.
9. Retro Windbreaker Outfits