The Late '90s Trends You Didn't Think Would End

by Amanda Richards

There I was, standing at the school's threshold before fifth grade picture day, decked out from head to toe in late '90s trends. A large hat with the brim turned up, a choker, and a pair of (reasonable, mom-approved) wide leg jeans: I was a late '90s queen, and in my mind, the school was my kingdom. With an outfit so fresh and daring, I would have never believed that my overall killer look could ever go out of style.

Flash forward about 20 years, and 30-year-old me realizes that those trends might not be totally gone, but they are probably much better off forgotten.

That's the nature of most late '90s trends, isn't it? While you were wearing them, you likely felt like an epic badass who was moments away from being cast on All That at any given time. Looking at photos now, you might realize that your look may have been a little bit cartoonish — but then again, so was everybody else's.

Below are some of the late '90s trends you never thought would go out of style (but at the same time, you're probably grateful that they did). Let the ridiculousness transform into nostalgia, because hey: You looked amazing for picture day.

1. Blossom Hats

Admit it: You lived for a wide brim and an inexplicably large floral situation affixed to the top of your head. Despite being slightly over-the-top, the look just always worked.

2. Butterfly Clips

Fantasia 12-Pack Butterfly Hair Clips, $4.80, Kohl's

Because how else were you going to keep your hair pinned back, if not for an arrangement of colorful arthropods? Bonus points if you had the ones with mobile wings.

Try: Cornucopia 90s-Style Butterfly Clips, $11.99, Amazon

3. CK One

Calvin Klein ck one, $69, Amazon

It's hard to say whether everyone smelled like ck one, or if one fragrance rookie in your middle school classroom doused on so much of it that your nostrils were tricked into thinking as much. Even better: Maybe that fragrance rookie was you.

4. Chunky Sneakers

Vintage D&G Palladium Platform Chunky Sneakers, $51, E tsy

Big, heavy, and capable of transforming the most delicate of feet into massive, rubbery stomp-machines, these sneakers were absolutely necessary to make a statement.

Try: Superga Platform Sneaker, $79, Amazon

5. Strappy Tanks Over Tees

Never mind the fact that this didn't look very good (and caused some unpleasant bunching around the shoulders): If Cher and Dionne did it, you were going to do it, too.

6. Wide Leg Jeans

Mammoth 32" Leg Opening, $74.90, Amazon

You may find it disturbing that these bad boys are still available for sale, and I can only surmise that it's for one of two reasons. One, people are really, really into nostalgia. Two, they're coming back into style. If the latter is correct, that means that all of us now late 20 and 30-somethings have a place to hide our babies: Just pop them under a leg and chill.

7. Bucket Hats

It's hard to believe that at some point or another, we all wanted to look like sad fishermen. Alas, that was definitely the goal — and our hat hair has never been worse.

Try: GP Accessories Fashion Bucket Hat, $16.99, Amazon

8. Jelly Shoes

ASOS For You Jelly Gladiator Sandals, $21, ASOS

Another one of those '90s trends that is still on the market, the jelly shoe can teach us a valuable lesson: Just because something is technically "back in style" doesn't mean you should buy it. If you're on the fence (I get it, they're cute), just remember the blisters and move on.

9. Studded Belts

Three Row Pyramid Belt, $14.25, Hot Topic

Here's how the story of the studded belt went for many late '90s kids: You begged your mom for it, she finally caved, you wore with with your wide leg jeans, and someone called you a poser. Then the studs started falling off like tiny metal pieces of your dignity and it went to the back of your closet, never to be seen again.

Try: Bewild Classic Pyramid Studded Belt, $10.99, Amazon

10. Tattoo Chokers

'90s Stretch Choker Necklace, $0.99, eBay

Admittedly, these are still kind of cute — but only in that super ironic, kind of obnoxious sort of way. In other words, you might still feel compelled to wear one of these, but if you do, everyone will probably peg you for the aging hipster that you are. Feel no shame, aging hipster.

Try: Girlprops Stretch Choker Necklace, $5.99, Amazon

11. Toe Rings

The tagline for the toe ring should have been four words and four words only: Never comfortable, always lost.

Try: Sterling Silver Toe Ring, $4.99, Amazon

12. Massive Scrunchies

Because you definitely needed to support that skimpy quarter ponytail with a voluminous scrunchie that took up half of your head.

Try: Scunci Thermal Scrunchies, $5.49, Amazon

13. Platform Flip Flops

Platform Flip Flops, $19.99, eBay

And finally, these incredibly hideous but surprisingly comfortable gems: The kind of shoes that felt appropriate to wear to the beach, with your wide-leg jeans, or under your winter formal dress. These sandals are kind of a metaphor for late '90s fashion: Obtrusive, exaggerated, and best if never heard from again.

Try: Chunky Platform Flip Flops, $29.99, Amazon

You may have thought these late '90s fashions would never go out of style, but now that it's 2016, you're probably glad they did.

Want more fashion and beauty? Check out the playlist below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle's YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!

Images: Warner Bros. Television (2); Courtesy Brands; Fotolia; ABC; NBC; Fuzzy Bunny Films; Paramount Pictures