Chances are your mom still bought the majority of your looks back then, but with our teenage years coming right around the corner, we often started to develop our own tastes and our own eyes. With the help of glossy magazines and music videos, we slowly began to piece together what was cool and what was social suicide.
And when school finished and we had nothing but months of straight summer? Well, that's when we could really flex our sartorial muscles. Below are 11 fashion items we would spend all our money on during summer in the '90s. Let's revisit the good and the ugly.
1. Decorative Capri Jeans
There was nothing cooler than the cuffs of your jeans having a decorative trim that added a little summin' summin' extra to your off-duty outfit. If I remember correctly, my favorite pair featured a cow print band... so I have to live with that.
2. Matching Summer Sets
We were ready to bring our A-game to summer birthday parties and mall hangouts with these matching two-piece fashion sets. I mean, we could've shown up with separate bottoms, but we were more with-it than that.
3. Bucket Hats
Denim Bucket Hats, $16, headcovers.com
If your mother insisted you keep your head covered from the sun, you might as well have done it with a Tia and Tamera-approved, Blossom-vetted bucket hat. Bonus points if you managed to get a denim one rocking a massive plastic flower blooming dead front-and-center.
4. Skechers 4Wheelers
First off, Britney Spears wore them, so there was that. Secondly, only suckers walked to their friends' houses. Winners skated there in gym shoes on wheels. All you needed was a canvas belt and capri jeans and you might as well have been an extra on MTV. So. Cool.
5. Platform Flip Flops
They made running across wood chips extra hard, but the cool points you got from them were well worth the trade.
6. A Formal Slip Dress
What if a cousin was getting married or someone was having a bat mitzvah? If your mom had it her way, you'd be wearing some intense tulle contraption with a whole network of bows and ribbons. That was why it was imperative you have at least one of these formal slip dresses in your arsenal, to side-step any pending embarrassment.
7. Colored Lenses
Sunglasses became so much cooler when you saw everything in pink.
8. Platform Sneakers
They looked especially rad when paired with ankle-length denim skirts that were matched with graphic tees. Absolute perfection.
9. This Whole Outfit
Capris, graphic tees, shrunken cardigans, and bucket hats — bend a knee my friend, because you are standing in front of '90s fashion royalty. This was the crème de la crème of summer looks.
10. Plastic Headbands
No matter your style, you probably had at least 14,000 of these rock candy-colored headbands knocking around your room. They were near-impossible not to own, and the sheer amount of them put your Beanie Baby collection to shame.
11. Skirt Bathing Suits
For those of us who wanted to go down pool slides in skirts, these were our chance.
Even though these were largely the clothes of our childhoods, it's pretty cool to see just how many of them are still very much in fashion.
Images: Delia*s (5); Candie's (2); Sketchers (1); Bongo (1); Scunci (1); Headcovers (1)