How to Wear the Nineties in 2016

It's been 15 years since the nineties, wet-look curtain hairdos, “Madchester”, grunge and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air faded into the annals of decades past. Like most decades, we needed a whole 10 years to get over the comedown, to forget the most heinous fashion crimes and to start feeling nostalgic about the 1990s. We then needed a further five years to turn this nostalgia into a bona fide fashion trend, welcoming nineties inspired looks back onto fashion runways and back into our wardrobes.

The problem with “throwback” fashion trends, is that they walk a very delicate line between looking like fancy dress and looking like contemporary fashion. It's only too easy to tip the balance and look like you're attending a nineties themed party. It's markedly less easy to make a subtle nod to the trend, earning fashion credentials with your on trend references, while staying on the stylish side of novelty.

Ready to learn how to walk the nineties line? Here's our guide to embracing nineties style in 2016…

1. Choose one reference

1There was a lot going on in the nineties when it came to fashion. From club culture and Nirvana, this was a decade where fashion seriously diversified, and distinct fashion “tribes” evolved. Embracing them all indiscriminately in your nineties-inspired look is one sure-fire way to look like a novelty act or a bad taste party attendee. Choose one reference and stick to it to earn fashion points and avoid mixing looks.

 

2. Know your inspirations

2Knowing your fashion history is a key part of ensuring you don't mix references. If you're channelling a Brit pop look (see: nineties Noel Gallagher for reference), don't mix your look with a Kurt Cobain-inspired grungy plaid. If you're all about oversized tees (a la Will Smith in the Fresh Prince) don't mix this bright and brash sportswear with a Brit pop parka.

 

3. Cherrypick with care

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Before you hit your local vintage store for authentic nineties style, a word of caution: Fashion is seriously Darwinian – especially when it gets nostalgic. This means that there is a whole decade worth of trends and styles which the taste-makers of today have conveniently forgotten about during the nineties revival.

Rewatch any early nineties episode of Friends and note the fashion stylings of Chandler Bing to see exactly what we're talking about. While key pieces like the parka, the bomber, the flannel shirt, the oversized tee and distressed jeans are all enjoying a comeback, heinous pieces like Chandler's wide-shouldered, three button suit jackets (and buttoned sweater vests) have been consigned to fashion obscurity.

 

Do you dig the nineties fashion revival? Which style tribe do you belong to? Have your say in our Facebook group or complete your look with a pair of shiny new Base London shoes from our latest SS16 collection.