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Vintage photo of woman working the register at 7-Eleven
Vintage photo of woman working the register at 7-Eleven
Photo by Sharon Miskiewicz
Style > Fashion

Style Inspiration from my Mom in the 90s

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

My mom is the greatest woman on the planet, no questions asked. She picks up my phone calls at odd hours, she gives the greatest advice, and she makes one mean chicken pot pie. The list never ends. Among her many talents, my mom is also one hell of a stylist. Whether shopping for herself or others, she always comes up with something great. I literally let her pick out my prom dress junior year. Talk about trust, right? 

I’m not one for sentiments, but whenever my mom whips out her old photo albums, I get so excited. Oh, to be a twenty-something-year-old in the 1990s. What a dream. I would love to live in a time when halter tops, velvet, and butterfly hair clips reigned supreme. Since I can’t experience one of the greatest decades of all time, I’ve decided to live vicariously through my mother’s photos instead. Thankfully, I’ve found a great deal of outfit inspiration along the way!

Accessories are key 

First things first, my mom really said “let freedom ring” with this outfit. She may have been honeymooning in the Bahamas, but she was not afraid to bring some patriotism with her. My mom has always kept it classy. Too much jewelry can be overbearing, so my mom decided to keep her honeymoon look simple and clean. My mom kept cool in her flowy tank paired with her vibrant jeans, framing her face with large sunglasses.

My favorite part of my mother’s ensemble is actually the most subtle — check out the dainty watch she’s sporting on her wrist. I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw a woman wearing a watch that wasn’t patented by Apple. No lie, seeing a real watch makes me a little bit nostalgic. Anyways, not only is my mom’s watch practical but it’s stylish too! The muted nudeish-pink watch band is sure to go perfectly with any outfit. 


I will forever be jealous when I see a stranger flaunting a cute pair of overalls. I’m too scared to even try them on. My mom, on the other hand, pulled those bad boys off like it was no one’s business. Once again, sporting her signature white shirt and set of sunnies, my mom styled her overalls with a set of simple gold hoops.

Fun fact: I steal that very pair from her all the time. Although this outfit lacks intricacy, I think it is important to go back to the basics every so often. Whether running errands or chasing young relatives around at a family party, this look is sure to be both comfy and stylish. 

Big Hair 

I am blessed to have naturally straight hair and I definitely can’t complain about it. I roll out of bed, run a brush through it, and I’m set for the day. Although my hair is easy to maintain, it gets so boring. I can’t braid very well, I don’t like the way it looks in ponytails, and curls will fall right out.

I’ve always wondered what I’d look like with a perm, but again, I’m too scared to try it. I’ve never met anyone in this century who actively perms their hair. Back in the day, though, my mom was willing to put the work in. She permed her hair throughout both the 80s and 90s. I think the look is super cute and well worth the extra effort in the mornings. 

Cropped Shirts & High-Waisted Shorts

High waistlines are revolutionary in my opinion. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed the waistlines of jeans, shorts and bikinis alike creeping further up. Frankly, high waistlines have become a critical part of my style.

I love to pair a good set of high-waisted shorts with a cute crop top, but I can’t say my idea is all that original; my mom definitely got to this trend first. The cropped oversized tee paired with high-waisted shorts and the white Keds? Chef’s kiss for mom. Don’t even get me started on the adorable purse she’s carrying! 

Babydoll Lace

I started adding rompers to my wardrobe in 2017. I usually associate them with floral prints and solid colors. While flipping through my mom’s honeymoon album, I found this gem from her first night in the Bahamas. She really embraced the bridal look and chose this adorable white romper to match her beautiful french tips from the wedding.

I absolutely love how unique this romper is; I haven’t seen many with lace and cute decals like this! Needless to say, I’ll be on the lookout for something similar; I’d love to add a piece like this to my closet! 

While looking through my mom’s photos, I’ve learned a lot about fashion trends. I feel like white Keds were the original Air Force 1s. In my younger years, I chose not to cherish my mom’s sense of style. As I’ve grown up a bit, I actually found myself loving her outfit choices a lot more than I anticipated. 

Needless to say, I have a lot to learn from her. If my mom’s closet didn’t appeal to you, try sifting through your mom’s, aunt’s, or even grandma’s photo albums. Trust me, you’ll find some timeless fits and valuable outfit inspiration!

Macy is a Pittsburgh, PA native with a passion for reading, writing, tree-hugging and music. She is pursuing a major in Biobehavioral Health, while double minoring in English and Sustainability Leadership on the Humanities Track. Outside of Her Campus, Macy spends her time with her golden retrievers and her camera.