Oh, the ‘90s and 2000s… A time filled with major fashion shifts and a generation of new icons to follow. Being born in the early 2000s, I remember picking up teenage gossip magazines, such as Seventeen, from the drug store and taking it home to read it cover to cover. I specifically remember choosing one with a picture of Taylor Swift on the cover and reading about her latest gossip. The magazine had sample ready-to-wear outfits next to Taylor’s latest paparazzi pictures showing her recently worn outfits.
Since the beginning of fashion history, people have all looked to celebrities or icons of their time for the latest fashion. Also, each century had its own shifts. Coming from the covered-up ‘80s, if you compare it to the almost-nude late ‘90s, the differences would be stark. However, this all depends on the culture changes and what the celebrities at the time are wearing. For example, when Jennifer Lopez wore Versace’s Green Jungle dress, the whole world wanted to find one just like hers. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that it became the most searched item on the site after J Lo had walked the Grammys red carpet. People may not know her music, but they certainly remember that moment in fashion history.
So now flash forward to 2021. The rise of ‘90s and 2000s fashion has definitely taken the world by storm. Everything popular then, tube tops, low-rise jeans, platforms and more, is popular now. But because everyone is wearing the same thing, how do you make your outfit stand out? My solution is a hefty answer to a relatively simple question. My answer is to find what style of clothing fits you best and learn about fashion history. You read the word history, and many people don’t like the sound of it, but I can assure you, fashion history is fun to learn about. Fashion is a highly influential business. In other words, everyone is inspired by something that someone else created. For those who want to call themselves fashionistas or claim to be heavily versed in the fashion world, I suggest knowing some of the basic origins.
Being on what I call “fashion-TikTok,” I’ve seen a plethora of people claiming to be well versed in fashion, but they don’t even know the history of their newly thrifted items. Vivienne Westwood has been a huge fashion icon for decades. Her punk style back in the early 1970s-‘80s was a major hit surrounding London’s punk rock phase. Now, people sell dupes of her iconic Bas Relief collections and wear them because it’s a major part of the newly punk-influenced trend. With stars such as Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid sporting the choker, there’s no stopping the influx of people wanting their own.
I love seeing when people upcycle clothing on the app Depop! This is a great way of getting influenced by the ‘90s-2000s trend, but making it your own. Depop is a great way of making your designs known and starting small trends that can inspire others to do the same. It’s cliche, but true: your style is what makes you, you! Rock it and embrace it! College is a great time to explore what you like to wear and where to get it. Like someone’s outfit? Ask them where they bought it! This is a great conversation starter too!
So, my advice for those who want to be sucked into the ‘90s and 2000s storm: the evacuation route can lead to a new style that reaches new heights. By learning about what makes a trend, you can find what interests you in fashion. If you like rings, for example, check out some of the latest trends and maybe even make your own! Fashion is a world of possibilities, and possibilities you can expand and grow upon. Be the trendsetter and look to history for inspiration!