14 fashion trends from the ’90s that should never come back

Christina Aguilera in 1998.

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Christina Aguilera in 1998.
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Bob Berg/Getty Images

Fashion in the ’90s was unlike any other decade.

Bomber jackets were a staple in the wardrobes of many men, while overalls were favored by women. Plaid clothing, choker necklaces, crop tops, and bucket hats were also commonly worn throughout the ’90s, and are still popular today. But not all fashion trends from the decade are worth wearing nearly 30 years later.

From platform sandals to pinstripe suits, here’s a look back at some of the ’90s fashion trends that should never come back in style.


Throughout the ’90s, you could purchase just about any garment in a paisley bandana print.

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Beyonce performs wearing a bandana-style top.
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Mick Hutson/Getty Images

Though bandanas have a history that can be traced back to South Asia and the Middle East, according to Highsnobiety, the ’90s version of the accessory was meant to imitate the bandanas that were once worn by cowboys as dust masks.

People in the ’90s, including celebrities like Beyoncé, commonly wore the cowboy-inspired style in the form of headbands, bathing suits, and even shirts. Today, however, the style can look outdated.

To achieve a similar look in 2019, many are now wearing cow-print fabrics and cowboy hats instead.


You could wear platform sandals for any occasion in the ’90s.

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Drew Barrymore wears platform sandals in 1995.
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Kevin.Mazur/INACTIVE/Getty Images

But regardless of how well the shoes matched an outfit, there was always an added risk of twisting your ankle while wearing them. Simply put, they weren’t worth potential pain in the ’90s, and still aren’t today.


Studded belts were a popular addition to pants and skirts throughout the decade.

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Christina Aguilera wears a bejeweled belt in 1998.
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Bob Berg/Getty Images

But while the belts were technically practical, they were also distracting. With so many shiny studs and jewels attached to them, belts in the ’90s were a fashion statement all on their own.

Today, popular belt styles generally include a large buckle rather than rows of detail – like the famous Gucci Belt – which allows the accessory to support an outfit rather than fully takeover.


Chained sunglasses were all the rage in the ’90s.

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Sandra Bullock wears chained glasses in 1994.
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Mitchell Gerber/Getty Images

While chains are sure to prevent some people from losing their glasses, the accessory can be unnecessary for others.

There are also tons of new styles worth trying – both Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna have recently created lines of sunglasses – instead of continuing to wear this outdated trend.


Similarly, most sunglasses worn in the ’90s featured metal frames and colored lenses.

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Justin Timberlake wears blue lenses in 1998.
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Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

In modern fashion, plastic cat-eye frames have almost entirely replaced metal sunglasses. And because these colorful frames often feature bright lenses, it just doesn’t make sense to bring the metal style back.


Celebrities often wore casual T-shirts underneath chic blazers throughout the decade.

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Julia Roberts continued to wear the trend into the early 2000s.
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Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

At the time, the style looked cool and unexpected. Today, however, there are far more unique ways to stand out on the red carpet, like making multiple outfit changes and wearing four hats at once.


It was common to see women wear black tights with every ensemble in the ’90s.

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Tyra Banks wears tights and a summer dress in 1994.
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Ron Galella/Getty Images

While the look is fine for the fall, the trend should not return in the spring and summer of 2019. The legwear almost always looks out of place in warmer months, especially when worn with tank tops and summer dresses.


Plaid ensembles can look more like a costume than a trendy outfit.

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Alicia Silverstone wears a yellow suit while acting as Cher Horowitz in “Clueless.”
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Paramount Pictures

After being made popular by the 1995 film “Clueless,” plaid clothing sets have bounced in and out of style ever since – the look recently came back in 2018.

But even if a plaid outfit isn’t yellow, the style is consistently associated with the film’s leading character, Cher Horowitz, and can come across looking more tacky than trendy.

Read more: 16 trends you’ll only remember if you grew up in the ’90s


Loose-fitting pants were once a favored style.

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Two women wear baggy jeans in the UK.
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PYMCA/Getty Images

A brand called JNCO was especially popular, and sold jeans that were extremely wide at the legs. While some may have liked the style in the ’90s, extremely wide pant legs were never flattering. Rather than coming back in style, the look should remain a short-lived fad.


People commonly wore vests as shirts during the ’90s.

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Tori Spelling wears a vest in 1991.
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Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

The “no shirt” trend is already popular, and is typically achieved by wearing a chic blazer with nothing underneath. Vests don’t look as glamorous, and appeared more fashionable in the ’90s than they would today.


Slip dresses were typically made from silk in the ’90s.

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Naomi Campbell in the ’90s.
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Time & Life Pictures/Getty Imagea

According to retailer Silk Laundry, models and actresses like Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Gwenyth Paltrow helped to make the satin slip dress popular. Throughout the ’90s, the look was worn everywhere from weddings to after-parties, and was considered to be elegant.

But in today’s fashion world of monochromatic neon looks and “naked” dresses, the style would simply look underdressed and understated.


Men in the ’90s were known to wear full pinstripe suits.

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Shaquille O’Neal attempted to bring the style into the new millennium.
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SGranitz/Getty Images

Of course, wearing a touch of the print isn’t so bad – after all, the pattern did make a small comeback in 2016 – but pinstripes can look overwhelming when used to create a full outfit.


Layers were popular in the ’90s, most commonly in the form of pants under skirts.

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Gwen Stefani wears both a skirt and pants in the ’90s.
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Frank Trapper/Getty Images

In 2017, ASOS attempted to bring the ’90s trend back with a $72 bedazzled pair of pants, which were covered by a denim skirt. Shoppers were baffled by the garments, proving that this trend belongs in the past.


On red carpets in the ’90s, celebrities often wore gloves with their gowns.

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Angela Bassett wears gloves with a black gown in 1996.
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SGranitz/Getty Images

The arm accessory would look too formal at almost any red carpet today. While some celebrities like Lady Gaga have shown that gloves can work at some red carpet events such as the Oscars, most modern celebrities are choosing to wear valuable diamonds and leg jewelry with their glamorous looks.