When we rang in 2010 three months ago, the first thing on my mind – besides my looming New Year’s resolutions – was the fact that with the dawn of a new decade arrived the dawn of a new vintage one, too: the 1990s.
Many of us were toddlers of the 80’s, meaning our formative years were spent playing Skip It and sipping Hi-C boxes in the last decade of the millennium. Some of our most personal childhood memories are marked by this decade – not to mention the television shows we grew up watching that influenced the style and slang of our generation.
I admit it: vintage of the 90s is hard to love. The most memorable styles haven’t made a return to mainstream trends, at least by today’s standards. 90s style was varied: Girls rocked anything from baggy Mickey Mouse shirts and stonewash denim (think TLC) to full-body cat suits and fanny packs (think House Party or Boyz in the Hood) to schoolgirl skirts, knee highs and Mary Janes (think Clueless).
But like any era, the few standout pieces are gems, and definitely deserving of a place in your 2010 wardrobe. Here are a few of my favorite 90s TV show or movie-inspired vintage pieces that I promise you’ll learn to love (or laugh at!) all over again.
The Inspiration: Clueless (1995)
Why We Loved It: Thanks to Clueless, we learned that giving is better than receiving (like, whatever!) and that the West Coast possessed a culture that we could totally learn to love (like, as if!). Throw an L on your forehead and the memories are sure to return.
The Piece: Cher’s bright yellow, plaid print jacket she wears with a matching skirt in the hallways of her Beverly Hills high school.
How to Wear it in 2010: Gossip Girl doesn’t even match plaid on plaid, and no matter what Cher did, neither should you. Pair preppy brights with solid colors – this blazer from my collection (link: http://shop.marketpublique.com/stores/sammydvintage) works great with a form fitting leather skirt.
Vintage Find: Sammy Davis Vintage Black & Yellow Houndstooth Blazer , $35
The Inspiration: Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
Why We Loved It: Jennifer Love Hewitt’s breakout role encapsulated her place in late 90s high school story movies. The cliché high school roles are strategically filled at the movies end-of-high-school house party that fueled our adolescent fascination with the drama filled world of high school.
The Piece: Tube top shirts
Where to Buy: You’d think a tube top would be easy to find in stores. Maybe we’ll see resurgence for spring, but chances are you’ll be hard pressed to find a tube top in a brick and mortar store. You’re better off grabbing one online, or a real deal vintage throwback from the 70s, when tube tops first materialized in fashion.
How to Wear it in 2010: Pair a shoulder-and-back exposing tube top with a loose, long skirt to balance the look. Avoid the Carmen Electra effect we all remember from her Singled Out days (another 90s classic!) – think tight on top and tight on the bottom, with way too much skin exposed above and below. Maintain body-flattering style with tight on top and loose on bottom, and you can bare those shoulders with a mature for 2010 comfort and ease.
Vintage Find: Madgirlvintage Pink Tube Top Sweater, $22
The Inspiration: Thelma & Louise (1991)
Why We Loved It: Not only was Thelma & Louise a very young Brad Pitt’s breakout role (a shirtless debut, might I add), but a breakout role for female empowerment and ditching useless men for the road less traveled.
The Piece: Stonewash denim jeans
How to Wear it in 2010: Stonewash denim can be totally un-sexy. T o modernize it for today, pair stonewash denim jeans with heels and a lighter fabric, skin-exposing tank in a bright color that pops against the lightness of the jeans. I rock stonewash denim with knee high boots and a cropped blazer for the winter (see the full look here) but this bleached denim wash is definitely more suited for the summer season. Or, grab any old pair of jeans in your drawer – and learn how to stonewash ‘em yourself with some simple bleach and a pumice stone.
Vintage Find: Sammy Davis Vintage High-Waisted Stonewash Denim with Tapered Ankles, $20.
The Inspiration: Dawson’s Creek (1998)
Why We Loved It: What can you not love about Katie Holmes on the WB network, Pre-Tom Cruise? Dawson’s Creek was a show that pinnacled the town’s drama from the viewpoint of its most attractive teens – and now lives as a DVD box set buried somewhere in our closets.
The Piece: Corduroy jackets that 90’s children rocked in all shades of brown, black and gray.
How to Wear it in 2010: Better to wear as a jacket rather than a jacket-shirt. Pair with high-waisted, wide leg jeans and a tucked in white shirt and welcome to definitive 90s Americana style.
Vintage Find: Beige Corduroy Jacket, $15
The Inspiration: My So Called Life (1994)
Why We Loved It: Who couldn’t not swoon over a young Jared Leto? As blossoming teenagers ourselves, we wanted his character Jordan to fall for us more than we wanted Angela Chase (Claire Danes) to finally get happy.
The Piece: Lace-up Doc Martens boots, in any and every color.
How to Wear it in 2010: Doc Martens are so fresh in style now that brands like Steven Madden are adding Doc-inspired boots to new collections. Pair Doc boots with ripped tights and a fitted black dress for chic rocker appeal a la 90’s fave grunge girl Courtney Love. Or, tuck your skinny jeans into the boots tongue to point all eyes on your 90s foot flair.
Vintage Find: Doc Martens Green Eyelet Boots, $48
– SAMMY DAVIS
For trendy ways to incorporate sustainable style into your own wardrobe and upcoming sales, visit me at my site (sammydvintage.com), follow me on twitter (@sammydvintage) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)