The ’90s marked an era when clothing styles gained notoriety for unflattering proportions and tacky details. The typical adult woman favored tapered, waist-high mom jeans that eagerly transformed regular hips into blooming ones, whilst the preteens (yes, that’s all of us) experimented with fashion that screamed more “lost-little-child” than chic and unique. Together, the result was far from lovely. Luckily, we’ve grown up and, along with newly found extensive knowledge in Psych 101 and Econ 102, a natural fashion sense also caught up with us. In fact, we’ve even managed to recycle the blah style of the ’90s into desirable looks, bringing us glamorously into the 21st century. Witness us in our endeavor to go from the regrettable ’90s to the fabulous present!
Look #1: From Stirrups and Sweatshirts to Leggings and Tunics.
Think Granny Smith colored stirrups peeking out under older sis’s college sweatshirt sans hood. What were we thinking? People must have been too busy collecting beanie babies and “What Would Jesus Do?” bracelets to realize that resembling an unwashed potato sack perched on candy colored chicken legs is, if not un-cool, just plain unflattering to the silhouette. Those days are history as currently at Cornell, as this look has evolved into effortlessly fashionable three-quarter length leggings strategically softened with butt beautifying tunic sweaters — the über-chic top it off with waist cinching belts. I’d say that is a gorgeous take on the original, no?
Look #2: “From Skinny (make-you-look-fat) Jeans to Skinny (you-actually-look-skinny) Jeans.
There’s a real difference, we promise. ’90s jeans were characterized by high waists, often elastic for the ever-fluctuating waistline of the low maintenance, and harsh tapering of the legs. Let us not forget the attractive bunching of the hems upon contact of the sexy chunky Mary Janes or platform sneakers. So what’s changed since then? Firstly, designer jeans nowadays spend obscene amounts of money designing the perfect cut for the women population’s most obsessed-over body area: hips, butt and thighs. Secondly, the added stretch of the new denim fabric skims, yet still hugs, the female form. No longer is there the illusion of stiff, totem pole resembling legs. And thirdly, we’re become shoe savvy. Your best bet with skinny jeans is a pair of cute flats or the universally loved flip-flops. Better yet, when Ithaca’s winter hits, these jeans will look amazing tucked into the season’s hottest boots.
Look #3: From Layers to Layering.
Distinctively 90s, teens everywhere sported the grunge look rock concert t-shirts under plaid, flannel shirts and those unfortunately-baggy Jnco’s. Also popular were slip dresses worn over t-shirts, ala the chicks of Clueless. Let us not forget the tragic overalls, accidentally-cute when worn over a t-shirt by hooking one strap and letting the other hang open, or by unhooking both straps and wearing a belt so that the unisex boxers clash charmingly with the outfit. A decade later, we now understand the oh-so-important concept of layering. Everyone’s doing it, from the preps to the artsy fartsy kids, whether it’s hip-length wife beaters always kept two perfect inches below an Abercrombie and Fitch top, or layers of contrasting necklines, prints and boxy jackets, we managed to salvage the unfortunate look of the ’90s.
All we can say is: keep the fashion environment clean: recycle!