Quick, what’s the iconic garment of 90s fashion? For me, it’s the crop top — showing off miles of midriff above a pair of baggy, light wash jeans. Funny thing is, that outfit, which represents an entire decade of fashion, is completely impractical when winter pulls temperatures below 65.
It’s exactly 9 degrees outside in Missouri today. And there’s no way a crop top makes it into my rotation anytime soon.
But if you’re really feeling the ’90s vibe, you probably don’t want to put things on hold for six months until the sun shines once more. And you don’t have to! Because I’m taking the best trends from the ’90s and winterizing them. Read on for four outfits to channel your inner Spice Girl even when it’s cold outside.
90s Outfits for Winter
As you can guess, layering is the key to staying warm in your ’90s gear. It’s tricky with ’90s wear though, because the popular silhouettes either show off your natural shape or completely cover it up. A slip dress, for example, puts your whole bod on display. But then the oversized jeans and flannel shirt combo hides you behind a mound of plaid and denim.
As a general rule, balance is your goal. Pair the boxy, loose garments with those that hug a little tighter or reveal a little more. Now, let’s get to the specifics.
1. Slip Dress and Blazer
When Kate Moss wore a sheer slip dress, she was surely in a temperature-controlled room. I’d likely get frostbite just walking to my car in a dress that flimsy.
To warm things up, pair your slip dress with a long, heavy blazer. The difference in texture between your light, airy dress and structured blazer makes for an interesting combo and a modern take on an old trend.
2. The Skater Skirt & Fleece Leggings
On “Friends,” Rachel Green wore her tartan skater skirt with knee-high socks, but that just seems silly for anyone over the age of 12. Instead, go for a pair of black, fleece leggings and ankle booties. You can and should also wear a long-sleeve sweater over the top.
3. Overalls and Cowl Neck
Thirty years ago, we called them overalls. Today you might prefer the phrase “denim jumper,” as it sounds less like something a car mechanic wears.
Whatever the name, they’re classically cute with t-shirts. You could add a bomber over the top, but I also like overalls paired with a thick cowl-neck sweater. Choose a sweater that’s more fitted than bulky and wear it underneath your jumper.
4. Baggy Jeans and Bodysuit
Jeans in the ’90s were either high-waisted and kind of shapeless, or they were hip-hugging flares. Flares are easy to winterize: tuck in the long-sleeved shirt of your choice and add a blazer.
The baggy jean is more of a challenge because it lacks structure. There’s a reason everyone wore their jeans with crop tops after all. Mimic the crop top silhouette with a long-sleeve bodysuit that hugs your upper half. You can also add a calf-length blazer, which puts visual bookends on those roomy pants.
And that’s how you do ’90s fashion in the winter!
Need more 90s fashion inspiration? You’ll love these:
As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.
Thanks for stopping by! I'm Catherine, your Budget Fashionista style editor. I'm a bargain shopper at heart, as I love nice things but hate paying for them! I'm also a personal finance writer who's been featured on USA Today and MSN Money.