13 Huge Fashion Purchase Everyone Made In The '90s

by Melodi Erdogan

As '90s fashion trends become more and more popular in 2016, celebs, models, and fashionistas alike are paying good money to rock some of the quintessential pieces from the decade. There are 13 important '90s clothing and accessory items most of us splurged on back then that are resurfacing as well. From chokers, to white wash jeans, to those amazingly retro jelly shoes, you're probably either rejoicing that some of your favorite oldies are back in vogue, or regretting that you ever even threw them away.

Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm guessing you've noticed that the '90s fashion revival is making waves these days. Those '90s items like dainty toe rings and tiny under-arm purses clearly aren't going anywhere. I guess the saying "what's old becomes new again" has some truth to it, because the emotionally huge, statement-making purchases of our childhoods are seriously reminiscent of what we find ourselves shopping for yet again in the contemporary world.

Ahead you'll find 13 of the most important '90s fashion purchases most of us made when it came to trendy fashion and accessory pieces. We saved up for them, splurged on them, and absolutely loved to make statements with them. Be prepared to do it all over again.

1. Toe Ring

Vintage Silver Plated Adjustable Footprint Toe Ring, $3, Etsy

Back in the '90s, toe rings were whimsical, chic, and a total cool-girl accessory. So you were probably counting down the days until you had enough allowance saved up to buy a rad one. Even though I have yet to hear of them in 2016, I wouldn't be surprised if toe rings made a '90s comeback and I was buying one yet again.

2. A Tiny Purse


Ahh, the classic tiny purse of the '90s that made its way well into the early '00s. It's only a matter of time before we see it reemerging in 2016. Back in the day, I wanted one just like Jennifer Lopez is holding in the photo above, and didn't rest until I had it.

3. An Embellished Choker

Kate Moss wore embellished chokers with chains and pendants, so obviously you were willing to cough up whatever necessary to rock the same style and look just as effortlessly cool and sexy.

4. An All-Over Lace Dress

HAL GARB/AFP/Getty Images

A choker, spaghetti straps, and an all-over lace dress? Look no further for '90s ensemble inspiration because clearly Kate Winslet was killing the game. Alongside her funky up-do and her dark brownish red lipstick, this look was seriously coveted. I was definitely determined to get that dress into my wardrobe — someway somehow.

5. Jelly Sandals

Vintage Clear Plastic Jelly Shoes, $18.87, Etsy

It doesn't get more '90s than jelly sandals. These kicks were seriously popular, and they're making a comeback today. Just promise me one thing if you decide to make another such purchase: Make sure you break those babies in.

5. A Slip Dress

Jennifer Aniston didn't only have good hair in the '90s, but could also pull off a slip dress while looking effortlessly beautiful and sexy. There's no doubt we were all more than prepared and happy to make the look a huge purchase back in the '90s.

6. White Wash Denim


Beyond Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears' hideously wonderful ensembles (this photo is just too good to retire), their use of denim perfectly exemplified how important jeans were in the decade. No matter your style or tastes, you probably had a pair of nice white wash jeans in your closet.

7. Printed Leggings

1990s Grunge Pastel Floral Print Leggings, $10, Etsy

The chances that you bought busy, printed leggings like the ones above in the '90s and ended up wearing them with literally everything are very high. Under oversized shirts, paired with skirts, or even beneath a dress, these guys were easily worth every cent.

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8. A Chain Wallet

Vintage '90s Brown Leather Wallet With Chain, $16, Etsy

If you were more of a tomboy while growing up, you probably avoided the aforementioned tiny purse and instead reached for a chained wallet. While I never understood the appeal of a dangling chain from my pocket, there's no doubt it was a key, splurge-worthy accessory for any '90s kid who listened to Nirvana and had Marilyn Manson posters in their room.

9. Tinted Sunglasses

I remember seeing the photo of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen when I was younger and absolutely loving their tinted sunglasses look. The pink and blue lenses were effortlessly cool and gave any '90s ensemble the perfect addition of sass and vibrancy. These rose and blue-hued shades were without a doubt on every '90s fashionista's shopping list.

10. Flannel Anything

If you watched My So-Called Life, you're probably more than a little familiar with the flannel fad of the '90s. If not, here's the lowdown: Basically all the heartthrobs, cool gals and guys, and fashionistas wore flannel, whether it was around their waist or even draped over another shirt.

11. A Bucket Hat

Vintage '90s Cartman Bucket Hat, $30, Etsy

There were a lot of weird hat designs that prospered in the '90s, but if there was one that was widely purchased and super popular, it was the classic, menswear-inspired bucket hat. Cool but chic, these dudes came in fun colors and wild designs. But this bucket hat featuring an embroidery of Cartman from South Park is pretty fantastic. Do bucket hats get any better than this? I think not.

12. Chunky Platforms


Alongside jelly sandals, the other must-have shoe of the '90s was chunky platforms. These elevated kicks have been very popular as of late and come in a variety of styles. But back then, they were strictly overdone, statement-making, and positively cool. Shout-out to the Spice Girls for immortalizing the style through their wax figures and, naturally, making us covet them even more.

13. A Logo T-Shirt

Tommy Hilfiger Big Logo Vintage T-Shirt, $28.50, Etsy

Last but not least is easily one of the most memorable styles that we all bought in the '90s: The logo T-shirt. Whether you were more of a Calvin Klein girl, erred on the Tommy Hilfiger side, or preferred those quintessential '90s power pop brands, you were probably making a huge purchase on a brand-embossed T-shirt. And you never wanted to take it off.

So, commence the fierce search for these items in the back of your closet. Hopefully you decided not to throw them away or donate them. But if you can't find anything, at least there are plenty of '90s revival pieces on the market now to replace your classic gems with.

Images: Etsy; Courtesy Brands