5 'Ugly' '90s Fashion Trends Making A Comeback

Platform sneakers, flannel shirts, and more.

5 'Ugly' '90s Fashion Trends Making A Comeback
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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 and ready for action, but with a more tailored, sophisticated twist. These reimagined controversial ‘90s trends a nod to the retro decade and a hint toward the future. In short? It’s time to re-think those childhood ‘90s trends and try them out for size 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 five “ugly” trends from the ‘90s that you’re going to want to add to your wardrobe this year and beyond.


Grown-Up Jelly Sandals

Gianvito Rossi Metropolis Pvc Sandals
Gianvito Rossi

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

Maya High Rise Ankle Wide Leg Jean in Celestial
Rag and Bone Jean

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

Golden Goose Allen Check Shirt Jacket
Golden Goose

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 Sneakers

Platform High Top Sneaker in Lilac

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



Luxe Vegan Leather Scrunchie

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.