11 Embarrassing Things We All Wore In the '90s — PHOTOS
If you ever need an emergency dose of shame, look no further than your '90s wardrobe. You thought people would forget, didn't you? From gaudy windbreaker jackets to your beloved pink neon fanny pack (the horror, the horror), it is difficult to imagine '90s fashion without its deliciously tragic trends. Forgive us sartorial gods, for we have sinned and wore embarrassing outfits in the '90s. And if you didn't... I don't believe you.
As for me — I'm still caught between alternating moments of nostalgia and humiliation when I think about my own '90s threads. Was I the owner of a denim Mudd bucket hat at age eight — AKA the style crime that I passionately despise today? Did I also wear sweater vests with tacky vacation tees? Unfortunately. Though certain elements of '90s fashion are emerging again — think chokers and slip dresses — there are a few that should stay chained in the past for good.
At this rate, it is probably better (and mentally healthier) to accepting your embarrassing ways than go into denial mode. Remember, you aren't alone: everyone had their '90s fashion phase, and with that comes a bevy of regretful wardrobe choices. Honestly, I would be very distrusting of people who claim they never endured one — are you even human then? Please, enlighten me.
Now, my next question is: When will '80s fashion have their moment of glory? Oh, the things I'd do to see scrunchies and shoulder pads make a modern return.
1. Bucket Hats
Tolerable if you were six and the year was 1995. Nowadays, bucket hats are a love/hate affair — I, for one, still get war-like flashbacks when I see Brooklynites sport these on the L train. All I'm asking is why???
Bonus points if your trusty denim overalls had A) Winnie the Pooh, B) funky floral prints, or C) all of the above. Even better? If they came in a flashy pastel hue.
3. Windbreaker Jackets
Best Days Vintage Crazy Print Windbreaker, $31.46, marketplace.asos.com
Nylon goodness that came in every color of the spectrum. You can't get any more '90s than that.
4. Slap Bracelets
Fun Express Slap Bracelet Assortment, $15.95, amazon.com
Alternative title: party favors at every seventh birthday sleepover. Perfect for both style and substance — slap on a dash of zebra print and you were good to go.
5. Low Rise Jeans
Before the comeback of high-waisted everything, denim was dominated by the low-rise cut. Britney had it down with some insane midriff-bearing business, and if you worshipped the Queen of Pop, you were probably guilty of the same.
6. Fanny Packs
No, I'm not talking about the suspiciously cute kind that "free-spirited souls" rock at Coachella. I'm talking about the '90s variety where fanny packs were — well, obnoxiously frumpy (unless you are The Rock, which is a whole different story).
7. Jelly Shoes
If strolling down memory lane involves the jelly shoe, I am out. While owning a glittery pair (or two) was the norm decades ago, I cannot fathom jelly shoes surviving the streets of NYC today. Sorry, but the concrete jungle might be too cutthroat for rubber action.
Let us never forget the iconic moment in American history when Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake showed up at the 2001 American Music Awards in matching denim-on-denim ensembles. Though you may have tried to give this combo your own spin, you get points for effort — it will be difficult to dethrone such a sartorial masterpiece.
Specifically, bandanas-turned-halter-tops. Also known as the unofficial cool girl uniform of the '90s, but perhaps one of the many outfits that now taste a lot like regret in 2016.
10. Sweater Vests
Don't get me wrong: I love a good vest, but a sweater vest? In unusual grandma patterns? I'd like to leave those trapped in the past — eternally, please.
11. Tube Tops
Defy your dress code back in the day by pairing your shiny tube tops with low-rise jeans! Add crimped hair and roll-on glitter for authentic '90s girl flavor.
Images: Giphy; Courtesy Brands