Arguably nothing beats flipping through a giant album of baby pictures and seeing your mom's crazy wardrobe from back in the day. Sure, you're probably always going to be the star of the photo, given you were a baby and all. But the insanely uncool things our moms wore in the '90s also stand out quite a bit for all of the wrong reasons.
Every time I take a stroll down memory lane, I bust a gut laughing over everything my mom had on as she cradled me. Sure, she looked like a total babe wearing the popular trends of the time. And as cyclical as fashion is, her looks could even get many a stamp of approval during today's resurgence of '90s trends. But believe me: My mom didn't always get it right. I don't care how much her outfits mirrored what every other parent was rocking. Some trends our moms embraced in the era of grunge should have never made an appearance.
Our parents may have been dressed to impress back then, but few fashionistas would be caught dead in some of their signature looks today. If your mom dressed anything like mine during the '90s, I'm sure you saw her rocking these nine trends throughout your childhood.
Two-Piece Vintage Women's Salmon Stirrup Leggings and Tunic, $24, Etsy
Many moms had quite the stirrup pants collections. I know mine did. Paired with an oversized sweater and their favorite loafers, this was the ultimate '90s mama getup.
Although they were highly favored by our moms, stirrups didn't make a major comeback during the contemporary '90s revival.
2. Track Suits
Track suits were our moms' best friend when they wanted to keep things casual cool. They came in the loudest colors, although combinations of turquoise and purple definitely seemed to be the most popular. My mom even went all matchy-matchy by wearing a turquoise tee underneath her windbreaker.
3. Shoulder Pads
My mom was rocking an oversized blazer in half of my childhood photos. And a corporate woman like herself had many a shoulder pads stuffed into her suit jackets. I think she looks like a beautiful goddess holding my twin brother here, but man-oh-man do those shoulder pads make me cringe.
4. Baggy Cartoon Character Sweatshirts
Vintage Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Embroidered Applique Sweatshirt, $35, Etsy
A mom on the go definitely had a selection of oversized sweatshirts to throw on, most likely one sporting Mickey Mouse that she got during your family vacation to Disney World. I can picture both of my parents wearing these with a pair of retro all-white Nikes today.
5. Coordinating Culottes
'90s Abstract Tribal Print Two-Piece Tank and Culottes, $38, Etsy
Your mom probably had on her best mules when she ran errands, along with a pair of culottes and a matching top. Many of us channel our moms' style every time we slay in co-ords these days, but we've moved away from rocking the look with culottes. Sorry not sorry, mom.
6. Patterned Oversized Dresses
I get why moms wore oversized dresses during our childhoods. Many had to work, take care of us, manage a household, and look good all while doing it. Oversized dresses arguably made it possible for them to be comfortable and cute no matter what they had to tackle throughout the day.
And, of course, everything '90s was made in the wildest patterns. This look is just way too busy for me to be a fan of.
7. Neon Visors
'90s Bright Jelly Visor, $14, Etsy
Guys weren't the only ones into golf visors — usually worn backwards and flipped upside down. Our moms wore them, too. They were usually neon and plastic, and perfect for pairing with mom jeans, sneakers, and a fanny pack for a day of outdoor fun.
Today, we usually leave visors to the golf and tennis players. Just as it should be.
8. Chunky Clip-On Earrings
Moms had costume jewelry for days. Whether their ears were pierced or not, your mom's jewelry collection probably included tons of clip-on earrings. These certainly weren't your average studs, though. Clip-ons were loud and proud in the '90s, so your mom likely had the chunkiest gold hoops, drop earrings, and studs around.
I wouldn't dare wear a pair like these chandelier earrings these days. They are practically the size of my mom's entire cheek.
9. Vests In Wacky Prints
'90s Vintage Patchwork Vest, $30, Etsy
Vests are a lot more toned-down in 2016, which simply wouldn't do for our moms, who wore 'em in the most eccentric patterns during the '90s. I have no idea what enticed designers to make garments in such wacky, wild prints, but lots of moms clearly couldn't get enough of them.
As fashionable as my mom was back in the day, I'd be lying if I said I wanted to imitate her past style to a T. A lot of pieces in her wardrobe would honestly be considered plain uncool today.
No offense, though, mom. You know how it is: "In fashion, one day you're in, and the next day you're out."
Images: Summer Arlexis (4); Etsy (5)