My so-called 90’s

The 90’s were a weird time, amirite?? When you look back on your 90’s, what do you see? Half shirts? Dark lipstick? Cross Colors? Babydoll dresses? The best thing about the 90’s, I think, is that we all lived our own version.

I’m having mixed emotions about the decade defined simultaneously by grunge and Saved by the Bell coming back into fashion. Lyn Marie has a hard and fast rule about purchasing new items that you already owned the first time a trend went around, which is probably a good plan, but how bad would it be, really, to dip back into your own fashion past? Let’s break it down by analyzing actual images of myself circa 1995:

Ok. In this first photo, we have a typical hanging-out-in-the-dorms look. Are those carpenter pants? HOT. Remember when work-wear was a thing? Sadly, I couldn’t find a picture of myself in one of my favorite shirts that was, seriously, a Dickees work-shirt with a name patch on it. Like I worked in a garage or something? I didn’t. We all remember thrifting flannel shirts in the 90’s, but work wear was also a thing- I bought many a pair of pants at hardware stores. Ok, back to the picture: a thermal top (??) probably purchased in the men’s underwear section, and a necklace I made myself in high school art class. Score: 5 (points taken off for eyebrows, but points added for Angela Chase hair.)

Ok- what is going on here? I’m having some kind of Walgreens parking lot celebration, obviously. Can I admit that those jeans are kind of amazing? The 90’s didn’t care about having new things- those were probably from Goodwill or just an ancient member of my own jeans family that naturally degraded. At least I had the decency to wear black tights under them. PS, it was summer. And what is that, dangling from my pocket? A fancy watch perhaps? No way- it’s my bad-ass biker chain wallet. And while I don’t have that hoodie anymore, I certainly have a hoodie, or 5. Ignoring my Cost Cutters Toad the Wet Sprocket hair cut, I would actually wear some of this again. I give it a 7. Hoodies for life!

Photo 3 is AMAZING. I was really hitting my stride during my goth phase, and on a weekend trip to Madison with my club friends and BFF, I was pulling out all the stops! I have no idea what I’m wearing as far as a…skirt? Probably? But look- I wore those black tights every day! IT WAS SUMMER. I am also wearing my favorite why-did-I-ever-throw-it-out Cure T-shirt. (Should’ve kept it- even if I didn’t want to wear it, it could score some cash on Ebay. Maybe it got smelly??) My accessories in this picture capture a special moment in time: pre-Hot Topic. That is an actual length of chain, purchased from a hardware store, secured with an actual lock. I had to remove it every night with a KEY. Maybe my clausterphobia has gotten worse, but that sounds kind of terrifying to me now. Other gems from the hardware store: you can’t see it, but I’m pretty sure I am also wearing a “ring” that is actually a hose clamp. Super industrial. Also worth noting is my spiked collar, which is a re-purposed boot-strap, because you couldn’t just buy spiked collars easily then. Obviously, the best part about this look is my classic, saved all my money from my summer job, had to road-trip to Chicago to buy them, 8 hole 1460 Dr. Martens. Sigh…. can we just… I need a moment.

Score: 9

Let’s not forget my go-to makeup of the time:

I’m sure this all did wonders for my skin.

The 90’s were a time of self-discovery, and as a girl transitioning into adulthood, the era will always have a special imprint on my heart. Black and grey are still my wardrobe staples, but you’ll be happy to know that I now embrace putting color on my face. If I could bring one thing back, it would be… my skinny legs!! But while I work on that, can I pleeeeeease buy these boots, Lyn??








8 thoughts on “My so-called 90’s

  1. What a beautiful old school goth girl! Unfortunately, due to life constraints (wallet, church and babysitting responsibilities, nerd reputation at a tiny rural school), I wasn’t really able to immerse myself much in 90s style although I was always intrigued by what I saw in Sassy magazine. I only started taking gothy baby steps during college, like 1997 and 98, and they were tentative and clumsy steps indeed.

    Sometimes I wish I’d lived in a world where it would have been okay to rock out in that 1990s slipdress, tattered fishnets. Docs, a moto jacket, chains and vintage, and dark lipstick. At least I got a chance for some of those things in the 2000s, at the Inferno. 🙂

    • Aww! I was pretty much done with this phase by the time I started going to the Inferno, but it was fun to dip back in from time to time! Speaking of Sassy, I am currently KICKING MYSELF for throwing away vintage issues (including the Kurt and Courtney cover!! WHY!!) only a few years ago. Sigh.

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  3. I just checked my basement. 31 issues of Sassy, including the Love/Cobain. You and Pam should come over and play sometime; we can revisit Sassy while drinking legally.

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