Friday, 17 April 2015

Let's Talk 90's

Happy Birthday! And Discussing Late 90's and 00's Fashions

It's been a full year since I started Bien Aimée! To celebrate I figured I would revisit a popular topic on this blog: 90's fashion.

In my This is NOT the 90's post, I discussed recent trends that have failed to correctly reflect the fashions of the early 1990's. These garments are paraded around and labeled as grunge, however, most of which are actually more reflective of late 90's early 00's fashions.

As I had vented before, today's fashion trends are not grunge. Grunge dealt with layered, thrifted clothing. It was an anti-capitalist movement...and when you consider all of that, the idea of big name clothing labels reproducing "grunge fashion" is just nonsensical and stupid. Grunge wasn't about fashion as much as it was a movement. Aside from grunge, there was also a time in the early 90's when everything looked "bedazzeled", country western or art deco. Much of which I'm sure the youth of today would cringe at. No, today's youth seem to be smitten with the mid to late 90's fashions but they're apparently completely unaware of that fact. I guess it makes sense considering the majority weren't even alive to witness it. I find it humorous when people twenty-one and under say they remember the Spice Girls because they had reached their popularity when those kids were born! In fact I recall teaching a group of third graders when I was sixteen and my friend had asked them about the Spice Girls, their reaction was "Who?!" Those children would be in their twenties by now and I would laugh to hear them say "I love the Spice Girls!" Hell, I don't even love the Spice Girls and that was my generation lol.

I did love the fashions though. The late 90's was more about club wear and the Euro-invasion, which in simpler terms was a time when European pop groups and techno artists were popular in Canada. It was a time of glitter. Literally. Everything was glitter. Nail polish was glitter. Lipstick was glitter. Hair gel was glitter. Body gel was glitter. I even had glitter body wash. EVERYTHING WAS GLITTER! It was beautiful *tear*. Now I know what you're thinking, I was a pre-teen during this time, how into fashion could me and my peers possibly be? Apparently a lot, because as I was dining with my friend the other day we had recalled a good handful of fashion trends that we remember wearing. Today, I'm going to discuss a few of those heart felt memories with you...

***Please do not redistribute my drawing from the top of this post without my permission, thanks! ;)


When I was really little I wasn't allowed to wear any makeup, my mom didn't give way until around the fifth and sixth grades when everybody else started wearing makeup. And when I say makeup I don't mean caking on concealer and eyeliner, I mean some girls wore nail polish, lip stick or lip gloss, body glitter and sometimes eyeshadow. It was pre-teen makeup. 

I wasn't much for wearing lipstick, I didn't like the feel of it, but I remember popular colours were metallic blue, glittery purple, fuchsia, silver (which made your teeth yellow, yuck!), maroon and sometimes black. In the later half of the 90's copper became a popular lip shade to sport and it looked freaking fabulous on red heads. I've seen a lot of unusual lip colours in most online stores nowadays but I'm not really into them, they have this plastic matte look. If you're attempting to channel the fashions of mid-to-late 90's, I encourage you to find metallic, sparkly lipsticks because that's more in line with what was popular at the time.

Nail polish colour trends were almost the same as the lipstick colours: teal, cobalt blue, purple, dark plum, fuchsia, ice pink, black, silver, green or mutli glitter were the hottest trends. As for eye-shadows, I don't recall much but I think things were mostly kept minimal and neutral. I remember subtle blues and lavenders, as well as matte shades of plum, taupe, dusty rose and other red based browns.

Body glitter, hair gel and hair streakers were popular at this time. Hair streakers were the equivalent to today's hair chalk, they came in funky colours. I knew someone who had blue, purple, and pink and I had gold and green. I can't remember if it was '95 of '96 but body glitter was really hot shit around the time Eruo-pop came onto the scene. I remember I bought body glitter for this girl's birthday and she nearly shit her pants she was so excited over it. I stopped wearing body glitter because it clogged my pores and gave me break outs. Now that I'm older (with better skin) I'd like to try it again, just once. :)


I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that I still own a lot of my old clothes from the 90's lol (pictured above). Then again, at least I'm in fashion now. Some of the things I remember about popular mid 90's to early 00's clothing are as follows:

Silver pants. Holy frig they were hot, like literally. I bought a pair of pleather silver pants from Le Château, back when they actually sold club wear and not business attire. I loved them but they were so thick and heavy that I was sweating buckets even on cool spring days. I had to wash the stupid things with a sponge because they were so fragile. I regret getting rid of them but they probably wouldn't fit me today anyways. The good news is that I have some four way stretch silver fabric, so I might make a more modernized version of my old pants.

In the later half of the 90's and just into the 00's bell bottoms became popular. I got a pair that were gorgeous, they featured mirrors and rhinestones all along the bottom. The mirrors were these little pieces of plastic (like sequins), over time they faded and warped out of shape. They were one of the biggest pairs of bell bottoms I ever owned and I owned quite a few of them lol. Cargo pants were also in fashion, I recall owning a pair of those despite not liking light coloured bottoms much. I also remember peasant skirts; if you like boho chic you would have adored mid to late 90's fashion because I remember long floral chiffon maxi skirts and peasant skirts being popular. I wish I had kept my peasant skirts they were so comfy.

Around the millennium microfiber was huge on the scene, Mod Robes was a hot brand name. They made these big baggy pants that were really comfortable (sometimes out of microfiber sometimes fleece, they were like pajamas). I owned a skirt by them, I'm not sure what it would be called, but it was like a sweatshirt skirt, it had a pocket on the front and a drawstring. I guess I could call them sweat-skirts??  Snakeyes raver (or "phat") pants were another fad from this time. I still own ten of these pants, they range from wide leg to super wide leg elephant pants. I don't have the heart to get rid of them.

During the mid to late 90's there were a lot of printed polyester shirts with ethnic motifs (ranging from Indian to Japanese), animal prints, paisley or butterflies. I still own a handful of these. There were also these shirts missing a back panel that tied up, although I have no clue as to what the hell they're called in fashion terminology, the best I could find is "tie-back top". Like the tie-back tops, halter tops and dresses were another popular style. Everything was fairly simplified in design, it was just a lot of prints (which ironically we see occurring currently in alt and goth fashion). I've owned a few crop/belly tops from the 90's despite not having the figure for them, but I recall them being all the rage one year.

Accessories & Shoes

I still have a handful of my jewelry (photo above the last section). Hot trends were belly chains, mood rings, necklaces that featured peace symbols or yin yangs, Chinese power beads, or chokers. I remember in particular that there was a strong tribal/aboriginal trend going on, too. I still own a necklace I bought from Le Château when I was a kid, I've kept it and I intend on fixing it and wearing it. Thinking back, I also recall wearing lots of plastic bracelets, enameled rings, and a giant pacifier. Friendship bracelets and macramé were quite stylish and complimented the peasant skirts I mentioned above.

Hair accessories ranged a fair bit, there were bun cages, butterfly and dragonfly hair clips, miniature hair claws, regular hair claws, and hair rhinestones (which I own some plastic versions of). Some girls wore their hair in pigtails, double buns, braided, short and spiked, and whacked out styles that I can't even find definition for (club hair). I remember lots of girls having shoulder length hair, mostly because my hair was long for what seemed like ever. Curly up do's were super hot for special occasions. When not styling our hair in the late 90's, we wore bucket hats and into 00's it was visors.

Purses came in a variety of styles and colours. I remember owning (and still own) some unusual bags. I recall metallic silver pleather purses, purses in brightly coloured faux fur, purses that featured printed images on them (like cats or Asian subject matter), purses in animal prints, and little bitty backpack purses. I remember messenger bags being hugely popular towards the end of the 90's into the 00's.

One of the things being accurately revived by today's fashion designers are platform shoes. These shoes carried forward in popularity well into the new millennium, where they began to fizzle out with the dying rave scene. Now, the shoes you see today aren't exactly like the 90's platforms. I find today's versions have a higher heel whereas the older platforms tended to be uniformly flat and smaller overall. Some of the YRU shoes have successfully recreated this look, although they take it to extreme heights. Knowing how poorly those shoes fared over time in the past, I'm not sure how I'd feel on a six inch platform sandal which is destined to fall apart some day. There were also platform runners, which again were more uniformly flat and don't look quite as stylish as today's shoes. For dressy occasions, a strappy sandal was a sure choice, sometimes with a chunky 70's heel in lucite, holographic, or black velvet material. And of course, we can't forget the traditional 90's leather loafers which stayed in stores for what seemed like ages (in fact, I know a store that still carries them).


The 90's I remember will forever hold a special place in my heart and absolutely nothing can replace that. There will be imitations but nothing will come close to the real thing, which is why I'll hold onto all of my vintage clothing and jewelry. It's a part of my childhood and I get a kick out of it. Do you still have some 90's pieces? What decade are you holding onto?


  1. the nodding i had reading your article will give me headaches for days i guess <3 so much yes! my mom during the 90s sold avon makeup stuff so i was a happy girl who had all the pearl, glitter and metallics she could have been asking for *__* at the end of the 90's moving to glitter silver & black though since babybat days began... - i still NEED one of those summer coats one was able to find in all 90's alternative shops, so next sewing project ist here! (and i have to admitt, glitter still gets me.) and plateau shoes. btw glad for you to have so many things from that time left around! thats something i sadly can't say of myself (moving = throwing out most of the stuff, moved a lot.) btw, i was at a H&M i think two days ago - goddamn, that was strange, looked like the 90s but then again like today. i was a good girl and only spent 5€ on some of those silver clinging wristbands that i remember i had WITH GLITTER back then. (guess i'll go back on my next days off though and take a tiny peek into the clothing stuff and other glitters... 'just for memories' you know *cough*)
    as you can guess, 90's for me too plus since i'm a 'tiny city girl' - means everything might be 5 years behind - and my parents loved that time i also dig 80s (born 1987 i know i didnt actually LIVE the 80s) anyways, i thihnk a lot of those years can be combined anyways :-)

    1. A family friend has sold Avon makeup since the 90's! It's the only brand of makeup that makes a concealer light enough to go with my pale complexion. I often had makeup given to me as a preteen by my mom, I think so she could control what I could and couldn't wear when I was younger. I remember buying my first lipstick and nail polish, the nail polish was hot pink and the lipstick was silver! I used both of them up in a matter of months lol.

      Funny that you mention coats, I passed up this adorable purple faux fur coat a month ago (it was damaged and missing buttons) but it was so 90's, now I'm determined to sew my own! I'd love to see the coat you end up making. :) I have seen a lot of glitter emerging in stores like Forever21 and Claire's. I'm excited to see some old fashion favorites resurfacing. I dig the 80's as well, like you I only saw a few years of it but I remember trying on all my mom's leg warmers and sweatshirts lol.

  2. I remember the glitter hair gel! I used to love that stuff. I also remember Le Chateau selling club wear too. I do miss the 90's.

    1. Hells yeah glitter hair gel! My favorite doll growing up was Glitter Hair Gel Barbie lol. I don't know why Le Chateau stopped selling club wear, it's sad. The groomer I work with attended a bachelorette party last weekend and she was looking for something "fun" to wear. She discovered that nobody sells club wear any more, it's all formal business attire. I remember club wear being every where in the 90's, even in Suzy Shier's!

  3. You draw really well, that first picture is really cute! This post was a nice combination of information and your own experience of the 90's fashion, I liked it very much. :) And I am old enough to say that I remember many of those things, even though I was not that interested of fashion when I was pre-teen. :D

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this post. :) I'm surprised at how into fashion I was as a pre-teen considering I was more of a tom-boy lol. I owned plenty of dresses but felt uncomfortable wearing them because I had low self-confidence and issues with my weight. >.<

  4. Wow - those are your drawings? You are so talented!

    1. Thank you! They are my drawings, I sketch them on paper and colour them in Photoshop. :)

  5. your drawings are so jaw-droppingly good. wow. and spot-on. also omg you were so thorough on your 90s trends. I was nodding along too. I remember the low-rise bellbottoms (the wider at the bottom, the better...which completely hid our platform shoes) and the crop tops and then getting yelled at at school about my "midrift" showing...dude what were we supposed to do? I still have a thing of superfine glitter from the 90s that I used to wear AS lipstick. you were supposed to mix it with vaseline and put it wherever. I can't remember what we did for eyeshadow either, but I remember having all kinds of crazy eyeliners in different colors and colored mascaras. I think the khol-rimmed look was pretty big.

    1. Thank you! :) It was definitely the worst time for dressing school appropriate, all of us wanted to wear cute crop tops and low rise jeans and it drove teachers nuts. It was still fairly tasteful...although I remember when low rise jeans went too low and I could see girls' pubic bones!! That was brutal lol. Your lipstick memory reminds me of how I had "mood" lipstick - it went from black to hot pink!! Nobody remembers those things but you could get them at the drug store. I think kholed eyes were popular but for some reason my memory just hangs at the 2000's when girls were wearing thick pastel eyeliners that made their eyes look super small... It was around the same time that it was popular to wear brown lip liner without lipstick, although I never gave into that fad.

  6. Happy Birthday to your blog ;o)
    I remember the 90's and I think your post is brilliant! I loved shopping at Le Chateau ;o) I still have my mood ring!
    Take Care; o)

    1. Thank you!! I'm happy to hear that enjoyed this post. :) That's so cool that you still have a mood ring! I no longer have my original mood ring, I wore it until it rotted off my finger (not even kidding lol).

  7. This brings to mind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Dawson's Creek and a big dollop of all those deliciously terrible 90s high school movies of the 1997-2001 range. I love them all so much! I am 23, and actually was a humongous Spice Girls fan. But I was 5, so I was like those little tiny ones obsessed with Bieber and One Direction today. Adore this post! I spent 2005-2007 trying to recreate the 90s due to an intense devotion to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At the time I was just out of style but now I'd be trendy again, go figure!

    1. I watch a lot of the old nostalgic favorites, even though some of them are really bad lol. I haven't watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch in ages, it's definitely worth revisiting. I spent the greater part of my high school days hoarding up 90's clothes, which were plentiful because the 90's had just ended and no one wanted that stuff any more. Had I known then what I know now I would've stocked up on way more items and not been so quick to purge my wardrobe. There are still days when I scold myself for getting rid of my camo cargo pants and some dresses I had. It's nice being on trend again but even after this late 90's fad blows over I'll still keep all my stuff lol.


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