Monday, October 14, 2013

Dressed to the Nineties

I'm one of those people who says stuff that they end up regretting later. Sometimes it's about music or food or movies, but I've been particularly close-minded about nineties fashion. I have said in previous posts that its ugly and tragic, and right now I am here to tell you I was wrong. As you may have noticed, it's coming back. And surprisingly, it's looking pretty good. With celebrities like Perrie Edwards and Cara Delevigne getting their nineties on, it's easy to see why pre-Y2K duds are making a return.

Looking good, ladies!
Seriously though. For a long time I just thought the nineties was the worst decade ever. But as I saw more and more of these looks appearing on runaways and magazines, I studied it a little closer, and began to realize that the nineties were actually a very pivotal time, and not just for fashion. Gay rights and AIDs research were starting to get more attention, more women were starting to join the workforce than ever before, and Nickelodeon was playing some of the best shows and cartoons ever created. (If you disagree with that last one, I don't want squares like you reading this blog.) If anyone hasn't seen the Dream of the 90's music video on Portlandia, google it, because in it, one of the character reminisces about the nineties saying that it was a time where you could just be yourself. I agree, and I can absolutely see that in the fashions of the time. After all this was when the grunge look got big, and nothing says "I don't give a f**k"
like grunge. See?

Do these girls look like they care what you think? They don't care. Grunge.
Another cornucopia of nineties style comes in the form of soap operas. Seriously. There's nothing I like more then taking fashion notes from some vintage 90210 over a bowl of popcorn. I kid you not. Inspiration abounds, see for yourself.

Perfection. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
And the best thing is, you can find nineties staples anywhere. The thrift store, the mall, pretty much wherever.
My suggestions? American Apparel, Topshop, and NastyGal. Their pieces have attitude and style, pretty much like the nineties themselves.
That being said there is some rocky ground being tread here. There is one look in particular that died back then that should stay dead.

 Don't ever wear these out of the house. Ever.

These are Parachute Pants, a late-eighties leftover that should have died along with the hair-metal craze. I'm only going to say it once ladies. Pants like these will never do anyone any favors. They are baggy, they are unflattering and they are ugly. I'm fairly sure that only the lovely pictured-above Miss Delevigne, who is a professional supermodel, could make these work. So unless you have a slender, athletic and/or straight up and down body type, avoid these. At sleepovers? Absolutely. Bumming around the house? Feel free. In public? Nope. Not even once. Unless you're Cara Delevigne.

Now that we've covered the Don'ts, it's time for the Maybes.

Maybe #1-Hats
The nineties were a great decade for hat companies. I have no idea why, but that's just how it was. And hats are great. However, like with any accessory, there are some you should embrace, and there are some you should avoid. A general rule of thumb?
If it looks like something Willow Rosenburg would've worn on Buffy, you don't need it in your life. Trust me.

I love Willow to death, but those hats just are not working for me.
That being said, some hats that were huge in the nineties that are still awesome today?
Porkpies are a small roundish hat with a thin curled-up brim, a low flat or slightly domed crown with a crease running around the inside top edge.
PORK PIE HATS photo | Deborah Gibson, Demi Lovato
It works for both Debbie and Demi. (The girl on the left is Debbie Gibson, a singer from the late-eighties/early nineties. Ask your mom about her.)
Next are bowler hats, a hard felt hat with a rounded crown.

Werk it, gerlie.
Last but certainly not least are beanies. These are a bad-hair-day essential for me, but you can rock them any day, like Rita Ora.

These hats are great for any ensemble, nineties or otherwise. Just stick with neutral colors to avoid looking like Willow.
Maybe #2-Denim on Denim.

Don't do this to yourself. It will hurt you and those around you.
The key to mixing denims is making sure you don't look too matchy-matchy, like the above Chambray Sisterhood. Take a cue from Ashley Greene and mix the faded denim with something crisper and darker.

Add a porkpie and some Docs to this outfit and you've got an awesome look.
Maybe #3-Crop Tops
Crop tops got really huge in the nineties, mostly due to their appearances on shows like 90210 and  Saved By the Bell. I love both of these shows so much, it's not even funny.

Why are these a maybe? Well because there are people out there rocking crop tops who should not be rocking crop tops. I know, Body Peace is important, but once you see big person with their midriff hanging out, you never un-see it. Ever. If you're a bigger person who wants to wear a crop top, fine. Just pair it with a maxi skirt that can be pulled up and belted, or pair it with a skater skirt or high-waisted jeans. If you have the figure to pull off a crop top, congratulations. If you don't, congratulations anyway, you're an average human being who eats. My general rule of thumb is, if you have a muffin top ditch the crop. There are other, more flattering nineties staples you can wear that look marvelous.
Maybe #4-Overalls
I personally am not a fan of overalls. I didn't even like wearing them as a kid. But I can see why certain people like them. They're convenient, easy to put on, and in some cases, very flattering. Plus I mean, Alex Mack wore them, and we all know she was a cool kid.

If you're bustier though, like me, it just doesn't look right. But if you're flatter chested, go for it. Overalls are quite unique in that the can slim people down and create curves as needed. Look to the girls of Little Mix for some inspiration. They are the queens of overalls.

Work the stonewashed look, Jade.
Jesy goes classic with a faded blue look.
Lookin' good, ladies. It's a yes from me.

Now on to the good stuff! It's time to the Do pieces, such as:
Do #1-Flannel

Flannel shirts are a special gift from heaven that arrived in the nineties, first snatched up by the Grunge crowd. They can really go with anything. You can throw them over a dress, as shown above, or tuck it into some jeans or a skirt. They are versatile, comfy, and can easily become your own signature piece. If you really wanted to, you  could be Flannel Shirt Girl. You can do anything you set your mind to.
Do #2-High-Waisted  jeans
I used to tease my mom for years about her "Mom Jeans" but once at a sleepover, my friends dared me to try them on, so I did. And you know what? They actually looked pretty good. My waist looked smaller, my stomach looked flatter, and they really elongated my legs. I don't have to steal them anymore, because now they're all over the place. In a million different washes too. I prefer a sleek dark pair myself, but if you want to rock a pair in acid wash, go for it.

Did I lose weight? Nah son, it's the jeans.
Do #3-The Attitude
As I said before, the nineties were a time when everybody had just comfortably settled into being themselves, which is something I think we should all strive to do. Everybody was figuring it out and loving their lives, and they weren't all tied up with all the social media and technology we have today. They just went out and did things. I'm not particularly good at that, but I'm working on it. The point is the nineties was a decade of being unique. And that's pretty cool.

See ya next month, girlies, and while you're at it, tell me what you want to see next!