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The 10 Worst Fashion Trends of the 90s

By Edited Oct 10, 2016 5 19

Whenever I look back at photos of my childhood I see my parents in horrible clothing, all the time. I grew up in the 90s and somehow that decade didn't had any fashion taste in it. Every fashion trend looks worse than the one before it. I am not sure why this is the case, because the economy was doing pretty well, internet was a rising thing and with the fall of the Berlin wall there was a lot more global awareness. But somehow, horrible fashion trends slip in. Maybe it were the music videos? Or was it the positivity which drove us to do crazy things?

In memory of my childhood and as an ode to all my childhood pictures, here are the 10 worst fashion trends of the 90s.

10 Worst Fashion Trends of the 90s

1. Chain Wallets

Chain Wallet

Typically one of the trends I wanted to take part in being 9 years old. I got my first wallet and I saw the cool chains on other people their wallet. It looks though, looks like you have something to protect. But let's be honest. It looks horrible. I am happy my parents talked this idea out of my head.

2. Sweatshirts from Champion

Champion Sweatshirts

Whenever I see these sweatshirts I see a picture of my father. This is the typical sweatshirt everybody wore in the 90s. The guys from Friends wear this sweatshirt all the time for instance. A typical sweatshirt where you even can put a collar underneath.. (Please don't, no not even you math teacher)

3. Butterfly Hairclips

Butterfly Hair Clips

Another picture thing. My little sisters had these. The thing with the butterfly clips is, it is meant for little children. Not for grown ups. And somehow when the 90s got hold of the adults they decided the butterfly hairclips looked cute on them as well. Let me be clear: they don't.

4. Neon Colored Clothing

Neon Colored Clothing

Another example of 'I understand why this would be popular, but no.' Yes being glow in the dark is nice, but most of your awake time it wouldn't be dark and in the daylight you just look stupid actually. Here in the Netherlands neon clothing was a big thing in certain circles.

5. Umbro Shorts

Umbro Shorts

I'm deeply sorry to share this picture. (No it is not my own, just a photo I found on the internet) But I think this picture describes the best what is wrong with these umbro's. The thing is, it isn't a speedo. But it isn't a short either. We actually don't know what it is and more important, we also don't know why it got popular in the 90s. But somehow it did, luckily this is over now!

6. Flannel

Flannel Mary Kate

Flannel is also something you see a lot in Friends. Flannel was big in the 90s, very big. I think flannel was one of the biggest fashion trends in the 90s actually. But in my opinion, not so much. Flannel look nice, but no more than that. It takes every figure a woman/man has away and it looks kind of corny.

7. Fanny  Packs

Fanny Packs

Yeah, I don't want to spend too much time on the fanny packs. They just weren't it, I think this guy demonstrates that pretty well. I think the Fanny Packs should have sticked where they belonged: Tourists.

8. Overalls


An overall is a piece of clothing that should have stayed at the job. They are a reason to come home and change. But again, it was the 90s and we had great ideas, so the overalls became a fashion trend.

9. Cut off Jeans

Cut Off Jeans

Alright, when I was 8 years old and I got the third hole in my jeans from playing outside my mom decided to make a short out of the trousers. Of course, because that is what moms do. But what moms in the 90s shouldn't have done is doing the same for their husbands! Cut off jeans are something for the kids, not for adults and it happened. Again. Just as the butterfly hairclips.

10. MC Hammer Pants

MC Hammer Pants

I want to close this list of awful fashion trends from the 90s with the MC Hammer pants. We all know this was something we shouldn't have done. But the thing is, they are coming back again! In the Netherlands I've spotted a few girls with this again. That is why I am closing this list with the MC Hammer pants!

Concluding Thoughts

The 90s were a great decade. Actually the decade I was born in. But it had its flaws, for instance the fashion trends. Now I am wondering, who participated in these trends? Who doesn't agree with me and still wears umbros? And which fashion trends did I miss in this list? I am sure most of the community here was alive in the 90s and maybe even in their fashion-aware phase of life. Share it in the comments!



Sep 30, 2011 8:44am
I was a teenager during the 90s. My answer to all of this was wearing black, avoiding pop culture and generally speaking feeling very sorry about fashion victims.

But you forgot to mention the "omg looking a like heroin addict, anorexic model" trend. That one did actually kill people, and makes a comeback regularly.
Oct 12, 2011 12:33am
Very interesting list. I'm not one who follows the trend so I was never caught in any of the above trend mentioned here.
Oct 12, 2011 12:38am
I love this article, but being a child of the 80's.....have / are you going to do one on that era too?
Oct 12, 2011 1:09am
funny and interesting article!!!BTW i stil have seen some young people wearing 'those' sweatshirts. Wonder if they belong to their dads??!!!
Oct 12, 2011 5:48am
:D I don't agree with some of the items but this is one great list though. *Thumbs up* for you.
Oct 12, 2011 6:43am
Congratulations on the Feature! Very interesting article on the fashions of the 90s. I wonder what someone will be writing about the fashions of today - pants hanging below the butt!
Oct 12, 2011 6:43am
Congratulations on the Feature! Very interesting article on the fashions of the 90s. I wonder what someone will be writing about the fashions of today - pants hanging below the butt!
Oct 12, 2011 6:43am
Congratulations on the Feature! Very interesting article on the fashions of the 90s. I wonder what someone will be writing about the fashions of today - pants hanging below the butt!
Oct 12, 2011 11:34am
This is a great article. While I did avoid most of these trends, I will admit to sporting a wallet chain for a while. And I still wear short Umbro-style shorts when jogging. Sorry neighbors!
Oct 12, 2011 4:00pm
DOn't forget that when we wore overalls we only had 1 side attached and the other was down low!
Oct 12, 2011 4:17pm
What a fun article-a blast from the past! The only fashion item I miss from the 90's is my banana clip...a great alternative to the regualr pony tail holder!
Oct 12, 2011 5:04pm
Being a child of the 70s, I guess I basically ignored that there were any fashion trends in the 90s. Thanks for this refresher.
Oct 13, 2011 4:02am
:D Just saw the other day one of my neighbors wearing or carrying a fanny pack. Nice article.
Oct 13, 2011 4:46pm

I think the fanny pack is the worst of all.
Oct 14, 2011 3:31am
Like aguy I also think the fanny pack sucks :D.

The flannel isn't so bad for girls that look hot :)).

Congrats for this article, it was pretty entertaining.
Oct 15, 2011 10:56pm
Fun reading this, glad chain wallets, are gone
Oct 18, 2011 8:16pm
Being a child from the 70's & 80's, your article brings back so many memories!.
Jul 21, 2012 11:45am
What's wrong with MC Hammer pants? I have six in different neon colors that I pair with a nice flannel shirt.
Apr 22, 2013 7:03am
Funny article. Brought back memories. 90s were a great decade despite some really awful trends. Thanks!
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