10 ‘Ugly’ ‘90s Fashion Trends Making A Comeback

Platform sneakers, flannel shirts, and more.

See the top five “ugly” trends from the ‘90s that you’re going to want to add to your wardrobe this ...
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The biggest ‘ugly’ ‘90s fashion trends were all about grunge. Footwear and accessories were chunkier, denim was slouchier, flannels were oversized, and hair was pulled back with a scrunchie.

And while you may have thought those trends were nestled comfortably in the past, you couldn’t be more wrong. From platform sneakers to oversize plaid, the ugliest ‘90s trends are back, but with a more tailored, sophisticated twist. These reimagined ‘90s trends are a nod to the retro decade and a hint toward the future. In short? It’s time to rethink those childhood ‘90s trends and try them once more.

One way to reimagine the most popular retro trends? Start with how you style them. Instead of wearing your JNCO-style jeans with a grungy oversized plaid shirt, consider styling the denim with a sleeker bodysuit. Into the oversize flannel top look? Pair it with bike shorts or a denim skirt for a chic contrast.

And throw on the accessories with abandon. Whether platform sneakers or grown-up jelly sandals, your shoes are an easy way to dip your toe into the ‘ugly’ trends of yore. And for a low-stakes take on ‘90s trends, throw a scrunchie in your hair, whether you’re wearing a T-shirt and denim, or a slinky slip dress.

Ahead, find the top ten “ugly” trends from the ‘90s that you’re going to want to add to your wardrobe this year and beyond.


Grown-Up Jelly Sandals

Remember the jellies of your childhood? Well, they’re back, but they have an elevated air to them. Channel your favorite strappy sandals and go for a PVC version that brings back that youthful whimsicality, whether you’re wearing denim cutoffs or after-hours mini dresses.


Wide-Leg Jeans

When flares just aren’t enough, reach back into the archives and slip into a slouchier pair of wide-leg jeans. Think JNCO status. Top them with a slim bodysuit or classic white tee to balance out the proportions and you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time — but you’ll be re-doing your favorite trends in a chicer way than ever before.


Oversized Plaid Shirt

One of the mainstays of the grunge era is an oversized plaid flannel shirt. Keep it open and layer it like a jacket — or, rather, shacket. For this season, try pairing it with more sleek styling pieces, like bike shorts or skinny jeans.


Platform Boots

Whether you opt for high top or low top, chunky or sleek, platform boots are a fun way up the ante on your every look this season.



The only appropriate accessory to wear with that high ponytail is a scrunchie, right? Right. Elevate the stretchy jersey style by choosing scrunchies made of luxe velvet, silk, whimsical prints, or even leather.


Bucket Hats

If you haven’t rocked one of these since ‘99, it’s time to rediscover the casual coolness of bucket hats. For a relaxed, hanging-at-home look, pair this colorful style with cozy sweats and white sneakers. Going out? Slip into a little black dress and platform sandals.



Paging your inner child: When was the last time you spent an afternoon going down slides and hanging from the monkey bars? These distressed denim overalls have got recess vibes written all over them. They’ll go from the park to the post office (hey, you are technically an adult) with ease.



Justice for the skort! This nostalgic style doesn’t get nearly enough love or appreciation. It’s truly the best of both worlds. Plus, this neutral hue works well with other muted tones and textures.


Tinted Sunglasses

Black lenses are so 2020. Right now, shades with tinted lenses are a celebrity favorite. Whether you’re going for fiery red, neon yellow, or cool blue, the key is to add some color to your world — literally.


Lace-Up Tops

Looking for a top that’s effortless without trying too hard? Enter the lace-up sweater, which can work for just about any occasion. Pair with denim for date night or with a pencil skirt for your next networking event.