Growing up in the '90s was instrumental to how my teenage-self turned out. Not only did I get to see some pretty amazing bands in their prime, but the fashion was as solid as it comes. There are plenty of '90s style icons that are owed some much needed gratitude on my end. My appreciation for '90s fashion is not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact. Whether it was a preppy style, a moody goth look, or a completely punked out leather ensemble, the '90s had something for everyone. Fortunately, because it was the '90s, it could be brought directly to our homes through our television sets. Even if you didn't own a TV growing up, you couldn't have missed the fashion of the '90s because it was being replicated in school hallways around the globe.
I certainly was not a fashionista in the '90s, but I definitely tried my best to channel various looks. When I look back at photos from my youth, I almost always spot an article of clothing I know I'll need to dig up again when I travel back to the house I grew up in. These fashion-forward thinking celebs paved the way for future '90s fashion obsessions — and a slew of embarrassing photos of our youth as we tried (often unsuccessfully) to replicate their outfits. It's only fair to pay tribute. So tie a flannel around your waist, pop open a Crystal Pepsi, and let's pay tribute to these 30 style icons of the '90s.
1. Kelly Bundy
You may not be envious of the Bundy family values, but I for one have never stopped being jealous of Kelly Bundy's wardrobe. Her metal vibe fit right in with the early '90s dress code that required tight leather skirts at any rock concert. At least Miss Bundy gets an A+ for fashion.
This scene wasn't the first time (nor the last) my girl Mo' turned heads in a badass '90s one-piece. The day I can make denim and braids look that good, I'll know I've made it.
3. Gwen Stefani
Gwen's style during her No Doubt days made her pretty easy for anyone with a sense of style to crush on hard. Those hairstyles were easy to mimic and her makeup was hella good.
4. Regine Hunter
Meet Regine Hunter, she's who mid-90s Kristin assumed she would dress like at age 32 while working some random job that required big hair and tight business skirt suits. If it weren't for re-runs of In Living Single, her outfits would be a distant memory.
Clarissa's outfits could be best described as the fine lines some teens walk between needing to be an individual yet accepted, wild but fashion-forward, and pushing barriers without breaking any actual rules. Her outfits serve as a visual guide to how to dress for junior high in the '90s.
I spent ample time watching Blossom, so, naturally, I learned a lot of life lessons from watching Blossom and Six grow up. The most important is that fashion-forward thinking can only happen while wearing a hat.
7. Denise Huxtable
If you didn't have the pleasure of growing up in the '90s, you may have forgotten how incredibly stylish Lisa Bonnet was as Denise Huxtable. Things only got better when she stepped up her fashion game for college in A Different World. Don't even get me started on her hat and hair game.
8. Courtney Love
Fact: Courtney Love is to my '90s self what Beyonce is to pretty much everyone today. She's terrifyingly fashionable and taught me how to wear a girly babydoll dress with ripped tights.
9. Hilary Banks
Sure, if you had Phil Banks' bank account number, you'd be one of the most stylish people in the '90s too. Hilary had conservative-meets-scantily clad down to a T.
10. Lisa Turtle
Defining '90s fashion before it was even the '90s, Lisa Turtle's outfits were always on point. If you've ever tried to replicate it, you'd know just how much time it would've actually taken to be Lisa Turtle. She must have had to get up hours before that bell.
11. Kim Gordon
Not only could Kim Gordon outplay anyone on the bass while charming us with her melancholy voice, but her threads were the epitome of '90s grunge rock without solely wearing the standard flannels and band tees.
12. Angela Chase
Speaking of cool kids, no one could wear a flannel dress or flannel shirt like Angela Chase. Pretty sure all that plaid was what really stole Jordan Catalano's heart.
13. Jane Lane
She may have only worn one outfit, but dayyyyy-um did she wear that outfit. This animated grunge princess of the '90s belongs on every list of fashion icons.
14. Liv Tyler
From skimpy sundresses in Aerosmith videos to crop sweaters galore, Liv Tyler could do no wrong when it came to fashion.
15. Shirley Manson
Shirley Manson and I have a lot in common: We're both only happy when it's complicated and will never stop wearing shorts over tights. Ever.
16. Brittany Murphy
Brittany Murphy's style may have been overlooked in Clueless, but in all her '90s movies her look was outstanding as were those beautiful curls. The late and great Brittany Murphy has a special place in my '90s-loving-heart thanks to her chic outfits.
17. Laura Winslow
Laura Winslow's outfits were something to be coveted by anyone who wanted to channel class and/or rhythm nation. A lover of hats and hater of Urkel, Laura's '90s game was tha bomb diggity.
18. Bianca Lawson
If there was room for Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell: the College Years, and Saved by the Bell: The New Class on Saturday morning TV in the '90s, then there is definitely room for Bianca Lawson on this list. This girl wore the crap out of some velvet.
19. Donna Martin
One would never know the tumultuous life of Donna Martin just by looking at her well-planned outfits, perfectly shaped helmet of hair, and stylish footwear. Fortunately, her style lived on through the college years thanks to the chants of her fashion followers demanding her outfits move on to higher learning.
20. Neve Campbell
Whether she was gothing it up in The Craft with thigh-highs and attitude, swimming in oversized sweaters as Julie Salinger, or screaming her face off in Scream, Neve Campbell's fashion ruled most of the late '90s.
21. Kathleen Hanna
Kathleen Hanna has been donning incredible outfits since her days in Bikini Kill, with a mixture of punk and mod style that I've enjoyed almost more than her role in bringing a feminist attitude to a male-dominant genre. To say this woman is my everything would be an understatement.
22. Lady Kier
Since we're on the subject of mod fashion: If you've ever questioned where groove is then allow me to remind you that it's definitely in the heart. Lady Kier's style can be easily translated to any decade, which is probably why it's a favorite Halloween costume for any redhead with style.
23. Jennifer Lopez
J.Lo has been Jenny From The Block long before she hit the big screens. Her days as a fly girl are embedded in my memories for her bad-ass dance moves and fly-ass outfits.
24. Drew Barrymore
Oh, how I miss '90s Drew Barrymore. The leather jackets, the dresses, and the messy hair definitely made for one of the most stylish humans in the '90s.
25. Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder took her amazing outfits in Heathers and carried them throughout the '90s making collared dresses and baggy shirts fem and forever adorable.
26. Janet Jackson
Miss Janet had a hold on fashion before her self-titled album, but her fashion in the early '90s was oozing with a sexy mane and belly shirts that I wish my parents had let me wear.
27. Janeane Garofalo
Janeane Garofalo had the total '90s package: a sarcastic wit, awesome accessories, and simple outfits that could easily be recreated and still look sexy AF.
28. Lisa Loeb
Long before Warby Parker was making thick frames, Lisa Loeb was rocking big glasses and pretty dresses. It's a look that is definitely here to stay.
29. Rose McGowen
Obviously, anyone dated Marylin Manson would have to have some serious fashion-game. Rose McGowen's character in Jawbreaker was too hot for high school — which is why most of us had to wait to be an adult to wear those tight skirts.
Age ain't nothing but a number and these outfits ain't nothin' but a thang. Aailyah's sexy-hip-hop attire pretty much paved the way for female rap stars to be hard and sexy. Pour some booze out for our late homegirl who had all the swag in the '90s.
The '90s may have come and gone, but those flannel shirts, leather skirts, and grungy sweaters will live on in my heart (and my wardrobe) forever.
Image: Getty Images / Giphy