The ‘90s may not have exactly been a simpler time, but it was an era full of straight-up style. What (or, more correctly, who) sent fashion-forward folx to the mall (or dELia’s catalogue)? In a time before TikTok or Instagram, our sartorial inspo came from the small screen: the stars of ‘90s TV shows brought the lewks we loved — and those ‘90s outfits are absolutely on-point inspiration now. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s gothic-chic accessories to laid-back looks inspired by Dawson’s Creek, these are the best style cues from our favourite ‘90s shows that we’d like to borrow today.
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Buffy’s silver cross on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
When she wasn’t vanquishing evil, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy Summers was absolutely slaying iconic ‘90s style. One of her signature accessories, naturally, was a shining cross necklace. Take a cue from Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibes by making a bold necklace part of your everyday look; if the faith-based feel of a cross isn’t your style, try a metallic necklace with a glinting pendant.
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Patchwork denim on Beverly Hills, 90210
The stars of Beverly Hills, 90210 were serious fashion icons, but many of their mid-’90s looks would be perfectly in style today. Push the nostalgia factor with your own look with a few quintessential ‘90s style details to your outfit. Tori Spelling and Shannen Doherty’s mix of graphic tees and high-waisted shorts are contemporary trends — but printed heart-shaped patches are distinctively throwback, steal-worthy details.
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Lisa Turtle’s embellished denim on Saved by the Bell
Portrayed by Lark Voorhies, Lisa Turtle’s bright, beautifully embellished, bedazzled style is totally underrated. Show her bold looks some appreciation by giving your basic denim outerwear a fresh update — Rachel Wong’s DIY denim jacket upgrade is a good place to start.
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Layers of comfort on Dawson’s Creek
The laid-back looks (a la ‘90s Abercrombie) the faux-town of Capeside shaped the weekend vibes of many teens in the late-90s, and we’d like to borrow some of Dawson’s Creek’s best looks today. First on our list? Dawson’s layered looks — from sweater vests over tees to plaid button-downs over tees to sweaters over tees… Dawson was ahead of the layering game.
See also: Nostalgic ‘90s fashion icons by zodiac sign.
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Ashley Banks’ preppy plaid on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Will Smith may have been the star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but Tatyana Ali’s character, Ashley Banks, was a true style star. While she may have worn a uniform to private school, her fashion choices remixed timeless patterns and styles —— like this head-to-toe plaid ensemble which is a trait worth tracking today.
You may also like: Style cues we can take from ‘The Craft’.
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Topanga’s eclectic mixes on Boy Meets World
With her iconic long hair and boho tendencies, Topanga was more than a love interest on Boy Meets World — she was a style icon. Here, actress Danielle Fishel channeled that spirit in totally ‘90s style by mixing a delicate lace slip dress with a corduroy jacket. Today, we’d copy the vibe by layering textures — like a silky tank top layered with a puffer jacket — for inspired juxtaposition.
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Twin accessories on ‘Sister, Sister’
Even if you don’t have an identical sister to mirror your look (like the twins portrayed by Tia and Tamera Mowry did on Sister, Sister), chances are that you can up your accessories game with a little ‘90s inspiration. In the 1990s, the sisters often finished their matching looks with bold hats (like these very-’90s floral chapeaus); today, you can get the same level of finish by accessorizing with a cute beanie, floppy hat or cap.
You may also like: Every movie that defined your teenage life in the ’90’s.
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The Salinger siblings’ relaxed fits on Party Of Five
As the first year of this decade has shown us, there’s value in comfort. While Party of Five was a family-based drama in the mid-’90s, the cast’s style perfectly captured #WFH vibes. Straight-up steal their looks — relaxed-fit denim teamed with tops finished with subtle details like stripes or ties — for a timeless casual-cool aesthetic.
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Mulder and Scully’s sleek The X-Files power looks
The truth is out there, and it’s this: The X-Files' David Duchovny’s Mulder and Gillian Anderson’s Scully were ahead of their time when it comes to sleek, minimalist style. Make their tendencies for grey-toned suits work today by matching athleisure pieces (like a hoodie and leggings) in neutral tones for a new kind of power suit.
You may also like: 20 beauty products from the ’90s that we can’t stop thinking about.
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Buffy’s tall boots and high hems on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy’s ‘90s style is so iconic, it’s worth another mention. This time, let’s focus on the footwear: Buffy may have been busy slaying vampires, but she often did it in babydoll dresses mixed with tall boots. Steal her look today by blending her vibes with an Ariana-circa-2018 mix — pair knee-high boots and a mini dress to put a little slay in your step.
Written BySharon Miki Chan