Close your eyes and think back to your mom's '90s style. Back then, you probably didn't exactly consider her a fashion pioneer — in fact, for a period of time in the mid-2000s, you very likely helped her clean out her closet in horror. But if you think very carefully, you might realize something shocking: Mom's 1990s style is ever-present in your 2016 wardrobe.
I know, I know. It's a hard pill to swallow. Believe me when I say that no one assumes you have pleated, acid-washed denim in your closet or shoulder pads in your blazers. Still, mom's look back then has crept into current fashion in sneaky ways, and once you realize what they are, you'll have to agree.
While I'd never want to give your mom another chance to say, "I told you so," in this instance, it just might be the case. So swallow your sartorial pride and consider the ways in which good old Mom set the bar high for your current fashion sensibilities — and never speak ill of those chunky sweaters she used to wear, because it turns out you wear them, too. Here are nine 1990s mom-approved styles you're bound to find in your contemporary 'drobe.
ASOS Striped Culottes, $42.36, asos.com
How Mom Wore It Then: Let's face it: Mom invented the culotte world, and you're just living in it. She styled them with chunky sweaters, tucked-in Polos, and a pair of her trusty loafers.
How You Wear It Now: Mom always has something to stay about your preferred culotte styling, which consists of a crop top and a pair of mules. You simply have to explain to her that it's 2016, and a lot has changed — or shall we say cu-lotte has changed?
2. Mom Jeans
How Mom Wore It Then: Like, you know, a mom.
How You Wear It Now: I imagine that a lot of you readers are probably groaning to yourselves, thinking that this style is completely dead and gone, never to return. To that, I say to you: Go to Brooklyn. Shop on ASOS. The hipsters have brought this look back from the damp, shallow grave your mom threw it in, and you might be one of them. That's OK, because I love how you styled them, rolled up with ankle booties.
Pimkie Mom Jeans, $50.81, asos.com
3. Big, Gold Earrings
How Mom Wore It Then: When I was a kid, my mom was an attorney at a large law firm. Every day, she styled up her shoulder pads and frizzy perm with an epic pair of gold earrings, and she looked great.
How You Wear It Now: Big, gold, and gaudy are still a pretty perfect trifecta, even if the styles have changed a bit. Whenever I see pieces like this in Forever 21, I say a prayer to Our Holy '90s Mom On High, buy them, and style them with a top knot and a red lip.
Forever 21 Etched Drop Earrings, $4.50, forever21.com
4. Chunky Loafers
London Rebel Tassel Chunky Loafers, $55, asos.com
How Mom Wore It Then: Mom's loafers went with anything: Her culottes, her mom jeans, those pleated shorts that you secretly wished would go away and never come back. To put it succinctly, mom lived that loaf-life, and it was comfortable as hell.
How You Wear It Now: Skinny jeans and an oversized white button-down, and you look damn good, too.
5. Brown Lipstick
Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Limbo, $6, colourpop.com
How Mom Wore It Then: Seeing mom twist up that tube of Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Color in Rum Raisin was a beautiful thing — it looked extra badass with her floral, button-through dress, too.
How You Wear It Now: The finish has changed (our generation seems to prefer an ultra-matte look) but the color remains the same. Brown lipsticks are happening right now, so just make sure to thank your mom before you thank Kylie.
6. Oversized Blazers
Double Breasted Blazer in White, $59.50, missguided.com
How Mom Wore It Then: It was her way to make any outfit all-business, and throwing on an oversized blazer with big shoulder pads made her feel pretty damn bossy, too.
How You Wear It Now: Thrown over a V-neck tee and a pair of shorts (or even a solid romper), an oversized blazer will take your look from Sunday casual to office-ready chic.
7. Plaid Midis
Kate Spade New York Woodland Plaid Midi Skirt, $202, 6pm.com
How Mom Wore It Then: Possibly with a chunky, square-toed shoe and a button-down shirt, and most definitely around Christmastime.
How You Wear It Now: Transitioning into fall with a pair of heels, strappy sandals, and a leather motorcycle jacket. Maybe you even wear your mom's old model.
8. Ditsy Florals
As If Store Vintage '90s Ditsy Floral Maxi, $29, etsy.com
How Mom Wore It Then: In the '90s, your mom had a lot of shit to do — including, but not limited to, taking care of you, your dog, your dad, the house... the list goes on and on. She needed a dress that would get her through the day and be comfortable, cute, and perfect with her favorite pair of Keds. This was that dress.
How You Wear It Now: Back then, you thought her looks was frumpy. Now you absolutely have to track a few of these down for festival season.
9. Chunky Sweaters
Vintage Cable Knit Oversized Sweater, $78, etsy.com
How Mom Wore It Then: The '90s were a very chunky time for sweaters, and mom had quite a few of them stashed in her closet. She styled them with jeans and loafers for the ultimate errand-running look.
How You Wear It Now: Over jeans and loafers, for the ultimate brunching ensemble.
You never realized how much of mom's '90s closet has made its way into yours, did you? Be warned: Now she might borrow your clothes without asking.
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Images: NBC; 20th Century Fox; Courtesy Brands