Whoever said "fashion before comfort" clearly lived through the '90s, since every major trend seemingly had something incredibly frustrating about it. Chokers, big, blown-out hair, and jelly sandals, for instance, all made for uncomfortable '90s fashion. But boy, did they look good.
I was a child of the '90s, meaning I grew up when the snacks were better, the TV shows supreme, and don't even get me started on the movies. I was Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All. Shawn from Boy Meets World was my future boyfriend; he just didn't know it yet. Rachel Green was #hairgoals; Buffy was #attitudegoals; and All That was #squadgoals. Can we bring these things back again?
But beyond pop culture, fashion is really where it was at. Flannels, platform flip flops, mini skirts, Doc Martens, skater dresses, and, of course, jelly shoes were all the rage. We were, IMO, cooler back then what with that general "I don't care" attitude. Brown lipstick, metallic eyeshadow, and frosted lipstick thrived in the '90s, and now, we're giving our all to get it back.
But I have to admit that although these styled looked hella cute, many weren't exactly comfortable. While loose flannels and combat boots were amongst the easier aesthetics, plenty of styles required extra time, effort, and a little pain, these included.
1. Jelly Shoes
Listen, I was the queen of jelly shoes. I owned a pair when I was three years old. They were red with yellow sunglasses stitched on. But breaking these babies in was not easy. They cut up my feet each and every wear for days, until then they were super comfy.
These were so cool back in the day, but man, were they uncomfortable. Especially in the summertime, when they practically trapped heat in and accumulated sweat.
Platforms are arguably more comfortable than stilettos, but I had a blue pair that I insisted on sporting often as a teen. They would weigh me down when I was trying to play tag or Red Rover.
4. Mom Jeans
They looked so, so good, but rode up so, so bad.
5. Crop Tops
Crop tops are quintessential '90s, but I was always, always cold in one. I needed those extra inches.
Floral Early '90s Bodysuit, $46, etsy.com
Going to the bathroom those days was always a struggle.
7. Skinny Eyebrows
Admit it: We had super thin brows due to constant plucking. Ouch.
8. High Ponies
Topanga's hair was always on point. But honestly, this high of a ponytail hurt bad when you wore it all day.
Glitter practically defines the decade. But anyone who's put it on knows that it's nearly impossible to get off, itchy, and ends up everywhere.
10. Mini Buns
This hairstyle was lit. With style and also with pain. So many mini rubber bands.
11. Fake Jewelry
'90s Ying Yang and Smiley Face Fake Plugs Combo Pack, $19.24, etsy.com
My mom would only allow me to have one piercing, but I wanted double for major cool points. So I bought some clip-ones, which, in theory, should have been super cool. But when you're constantly checking to make sure they haven't fallen off, or they're pinching your ear... yeah, majorly uncomfortable.
12. Butterfly Clips
The more, the better. But also, the more, the more painful.
13. Jeans With The Waist Cut Off
Mariah's denim was everything in this video. But dang, was it uncomfortable! I remember cutting off the waistband on my jeans and constantly having to pull them up. Not ideal.
Did I take you all the way down memory lane yet? I'm seconds away from looking for my clear landline and calling my crush, all while playing Mall Madness. Although I miss the '90s dearly, I definitely don't miss having to wear these outfits for cool points. These days, I'm all about comfort before style.
Images: Columbia Pictures; ABC