How to Dress for a '90s Party
’90s parties are oftentimes filled with crazy prints and fanny packs, so we’re here to help you stand out from the pack! Check out five trends to rock at your next theme party with pages scoped out straight from iconic department store catalogs of the time.
JCPenney Fall/Winter 1991 – this mock-neck top is color-blocked and screaming “I’m from the ’90s!” so loudly, we can hear it almost thirty years later. We love how the skirt matches perfectly.
JCPenney Fall/Winter 1991 – this color-blocked button-up features oversized buttons. The look is complete with high-waisted bermuda trouser and a wide belt (all matching, of course). Don’t forget the gold statement jewelry!
Sears 1992 Fall/Winter – This color-blocked sweater dress features a cool color scheme and button-embellished shoulders.
While color blocking first became popular with Piet Mondrian’s paintings and the later inspired Yves St. Laurent Mondrian dresses of 1946, it is still considered to have inspired the trend throughout the ’90s. At this point, however, designers were also drawing from ’80s disco and the iconic fashion of the decade’s hip-hop scene. For your ’90s party, search for color-blocked pieces in rich jewel tones or primary colors.
Sears Spring/Summer 1993 – The fuchsia look is a wash of pure color from head to toe while the purple outfit is broken up with a blazer.
Sears 1992 Fall/Winter – this look is over the top and super 90s. Note the shoulder pads, the exaggerated lapel, and the Pepto-pink fedora.
JCPenney Fall/Winter 1991 – Match a wide headband to your entire outfit to really make your monochromatic look at successful as possible.
Sears 1992 Fall/Winter – this bold blue look is simple yet super 90s. With tunics all the rage, simply match a solid one with a pair of coordinating leggings.
Head-to-toe looks in one color never struck us as a ’90s trend until we were paging through the catalogs you see here. Monochromatic looks were everywhere! Whether it was a matching set or a slight variation of hues, this is definitely a look you can take to your party. The key is to find a pair of colored tights or leggings and build up from there. The more of one color, the better!
Sears 1992 Annual – This polka dots-on-dots look is a great ’90s look based on the pieces paired together—a tunic sweater layered over a pleated midi skirt!
From Sears Spring/Summer 1993, these button-up shirts feature ’90s patterns with a mix of floral and geometric elements. Also, jewel tones for days, right?
The wild patterns of the ’90s is something that comes to most peoples’ minds, and one of the standout trends we feature in our men’s section—you can find tons of 90s button up shirts with prints inspired by the decade. For your party, grab some Zubaz-inspired pants, a head-to-toe polka dot look, or the craziest patterned shirt you can find. Layer a turtleneck underneath and a fanny pack on top if you need an extra ’90s punch.
Leggings and crop tops with just a touch of chunky white sneaker – Sears 1992 Fall/Winter
Love the dolphin shorts layered over the bike shorts. Add a sweat band or two and you’re good to go.
If you’re down to bare it all, these unitards are a great way to go.
Petal-pusher length leggings and a printed tunic. Double points for making it a monochromatic look!
While you might think of the classic workout costume as an ’80s thing, the ’90s saw tons of the same leotard-over-tights looks as well. Wear an oversized tunic and leggings or tuck a turtleneck into your Zubaz. Add chunky white socks and sneakers and top it off with a scrunchie or cotton headband—you’re good to go! Or, if you happen to get your heads on a unitard, layer a graphic tee underneath a la Sears 1992 Fall/Winter.
High Waisted Jeans and a Turtleneck
Love these Lee jeans with western-inspired belts and mock-neck tops from Sears 1992 Fall/Winter
Sears 1992 Fall/Winter – do you see those iconic back-of-the-ankle zippers?
Pair your denim jeans with a cropped sweater for another ’90s look. Also, is that belted jumper not to die for? – JCPenney Fall/Winter 1991
There is no better ode to the ’90s than high-waisted blue denim, fondly dubbed the “mom jean” in recent years. Stone washed or basic blue, pleated or flat, any pair of high-waisted thick denim pants with a vintage cut (fitted waist, relaxed through the thigh) will do. Hot tip—we have tons of actual vintage jeans if you need a pair! Tuck a turtleneck, chunky sweater, or vintage t-shirt in and add a pair of 90s-inspired sunglasses, a fanny pack, or even a bucket hat. While this look is just as trendy today as it was back then, know that you’re rocking the ’90s casual look with the best of ’em.