90s fashion: the style we all rocked

Get ready for some serious 90s fashion nostalgia...

Clueless (1995) Stacey Dash as Dionne and Alicia Silverstone as Cher.
(Image credit: Shooting Star/SIPA USA/PA Images)

 In ten short years a style revolution was born, and if you were right there with us (watching Buffy whilst goofing around with your Tamagotchi) then you’ll happily admit to owning at least one, or all of the below. Have we missed anything?

 1. Buffalo shoes 

The Spice Girls 1997 MTV Video Music Awards

Emma Bunton in buffalo shoes whilst posing with the rest of the Spice Girls at the 1997 VMAs. 

(Image credit: Ron Galella Ltd/Getty)

The Spice Girls really started something with Buffalo. Pretty soon, we were all bouncing around on sky-high sponge platform trainers thinking we looked like Baby Spice or Ginger.  

 2. Skirts over trousers 

Gwen Stefani 1998 MTV Video Music Awards

Gewn Stefani rocking the trend on a red carpet. 

(Image credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images)

Lucky you if you were one of those girls that had an actual skant (see what we did there?) hybrid. The rest of us had to make do wearing an actual skirt over trousers… 

 3. Backless tops 

Mel C, the 27th Annual American Music Awards

 Mel C knew how to bring some back to her '90s look. 

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images)

Less was definitely more in the 90s, and that included shameless back flashing. The more you bared, the cooler you were. Total nightmare for those of us generously blessed in the boob department. 

 4. Babydoll dresses 

Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss at Syon House Fashion Show, 1999 in London.

The original '90s it girls, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, were exceptionally great at nailing a babydoll.

(Image credit: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

It started with Whigfield. It ended around 1995. Three decades later and the mall is full of them again. If you want, you can up the My So Called Life ante by wearing a white tee underneath. 

 5. Pedal pushers

Geri Halliwell at Capital FM's Party in the Park 1999

Geri Halliwell was a firm fan of pedal pushers on and off the stage

(Image credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

As seen on 90s stars like Geri Halliwell, these babies made everyone look like a confused 1950s teenager. And not at all flattering on the crotch area. 

6.  Dragon and flame motifs 

Natalie Imbruglia performing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 1998

Natalie Imbruglia was the queen of dragon tees

(Image credit: Margaret Norton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty)

Remember Natalie Imbruglia’s tee in Torn? Yeah, don’t pretend you didn’t try and hunt that one down. 

 7.  Combat trousers 

The All Saints ladies made utility pants a bona fide trend. It basically meant we all walked around with our underwear hanging out. 

8.  Satin everything 

Drew Barrymore during "Indiscretions" New York City Premiere - After Party at Tavern On The Green

Drew Barrymore wowing in a little satin number

(Image credit: Ron Galella, Ltd/Getty)

Shiny satin dresses or maxi skirts (preferably cut on the bias) were the A-list go-to for red carpet glam, and it still is today… Well, pre-COVID when red carpets were actually still a thing anyway. In the 90s, Drew Barrymore sported hers with blonde pixie-cut. What a maverick. 

9.  Knee-high boots 

Mariah Carey at 1996 MTV Video Music Awards

Mariah Carey in a pair of signature 90s knee-high boots

(Image credit: KMazur/WireImage/Getty)

A platform heel was essential, and if you had a pair in white PVC you were the actual bomb. 

10. Leopard-print coats 

Madonna walking her dog Chiquita in New York outside her apartment, 1995

Madonna on the streets of New York in a leopard-print coat

(Image credit: Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty Images)

From rock stars to ladettes, a leopard-print coat gave you instant pub-landlady glam.  

11.  Knee-high socks 

Alicia Silverstone In 'Clueless', 1995

Cher from Clueless sparked this trend following the release of the '90s classic

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures/Getty Images)

 *sigh* Clueless was, like, our '90s movie style bible and, whatever Cher wore, we wore…even if it looked a bit ridiculous for shopping with your dad. 

 11. Square sunglasses 

"All Saints" band singers Natalie Appleton, Melanie Blatt, Nicole Appleton attend the 52nd Cannes Film Festival in May 1999, in Cannes, France

The Appelton sisters showed us all how to wear this shape

(Image credit: FocKan/WireImage/Getty Images)

 12.  Retro sportswear 

BLUR and Dave ROWNTREE and Graham COXON and Damon ALBARN and Alex JAMES

Damien from BLUR in his signature Nike top

(Image credit: Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images)

Damon Albarn (swoon) pretty much created the need for obscenely tight sports tees and Adidas Sambas. 

 13. Bad hats 

Lil' Kim and Missy Elliot during Filming of "Miss You", Aaliyah Tribute Video

'90s hip hop fashion was all about hats, as proven by Missy Elliot and Lil Kim

(Image credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images)

Hands up who didn’t own, or aim to own a Kangol hat? You know who you are. Then there was the Bez bucket, and the Blossom-style velvet floppy style…pinned up at the front, and accessorized with a ridiculously large fake daisy. 

 14. Chokers 

Naomi Campbell attends Benefit Performance of "Rites of Spring"

Naomi Campbell was our inspo for everything fashion in the '90s, even the choker

(Image credit: Ron Galella Ltd/Getty Images)

From thick velvet Victoriana style, to those weird plastic twisty things, every teenage '90s girl owned a choker. The cool high-school girls rocked ones with yin and yang symbols, and we coveted them from the far end of the playground. 

16.  Midriff 

Aaliyah performs at KMEL 106 Summer Jam at Shoreline Amphitheater in 1998

Late R&B songstress Aaliyah was renowned for showing off her toned abs in a midriff top

(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

The ULTIMATE '90s accessory that prevails today. If you weren’t baring your belly, you were basically your grandma. Open Instagram now and you’ll find nothing has changed. 

17.  A Baby-G 

Rebecca Minkoff & Baby-G Launch, 2011

Baby-G watches were an accessory staple in the 90s

(Image credit: Cindy Ord/WireImage/Getty)

Prime arm candy for the technologically-savvy nineties fashionista. The Baby-G had tons of functions, came in a whole rainbow of colours and if you owned one, you were pretty much winning at life — especially if it was pink. Today it’s all about Fitbits and Apple watches, *sigh*

Sagal Mohammed

Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty.  She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.