Plaid was huge in the 1990s. The print spread from the flannel shirts of grunge rockers to adorn everything from skirts to handbags. In "Clueless," fashion-conscious Cher and her stylish friends wear lots of plaid. One of the more notable ensembles is Cher's yellow plaid schoolgirl skirt with a matching blazer. Girls flocked to copy her look.
"Empire Records" also features a healthy dose of plaid skirts. Miniskirts inspired by schoolgirl kilts were very popular in the 1990s, so it's not surprising that they showed up in a style-charged teen movie. Liv Tyler's character pairs them with fuzzy cropped sweaters, which was a very popular look at the time.
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
In the late 1990s, metallic fabrics were huge. These started as a trend in the dance music scene, but movies like "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" and musical artists like The Spice Girls brought them to the mainstream. Romy and Michele's fashion-forward looks may have been bold for their hometown, but they weren't too bold for stylish teens in 1997.
10 Things I Hate About You
"10 Things I Hate About You" came out in 1999, just as the decade was coming to a close. It was a breakthrough role for its star, Julia Stiles, and her face graced the pages of many a teen magazine. Julia's character, Kat, wore lots of camouflage, cargo pants, and crop tops and teen girls flocked to copy her look.
Between 1996 and 1998, the Spice Girls was one of the biggest musical acts in the world and the girls were style icons. Although each individual member of the group had her own "persona" and unique style, they all had one thing in common: huge platform shoes. In the Spice Girls movie, "Spice World," the girls wear them from beginning to end.
"Reality Bites" is a classic that embodies typical Generation X frustrations circa 1994, but it's also an iconic movie in terms of style. One of the main characters, Vicky, works at the Gap, which is presented as the very embodiment of "prep" culture that she and her roommate, Lelaina (Winona Ryder) dislike. In contrast, Lelaina and Vicky wear plenty of floral dresses and denim jackets.
The characters in "Singles" have fairly similar styles to those in "Reality Bites." Like the latter, they wear plenty of floral mini-dresses paired with clunky black boots. Bridget Fonda's character, Janet, practically wears this look as her uniform, mixed with a selection of loose tank tops, hats, and leather jackets.
She's All That
For brief period around 1999, teen girls were wearing overalls left, right, and center, partly because they kept showing up on movie and television screens. They were the clothing of choice for Laney's (Rachel Leigh Cook) pre-makeover look in "She's All That." Although Laney was supposed to be the "nerd," Cook was a teen idol and the look took off.
Goth subcultures were huge in the 1990s. Although most people did not wear black from head to toe, looks from goth culture made their way into the mainstream. The characters in "The Craft" paired black clothing, dark makeup, and crucifixes with accessible looks like baby T-shirts and plaid kilts and girls flocked to copy the look.
The 1990s was more than just platform shoes and schoolgirl kilts. Looks from the 1970s also made a huge comeback at the time. Flowing, ankle-length skirts and other hippie-inspired clothing were everywhere. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman's witchy characters in "Practical Magic" wore these earthier looks, adding to their popularity.
Sure dinosaurs were rampaging all over a hidden island, but let’s talk about Laura Dern’s denim-clad wardrobe! After she appeared in the smash film wearing an all denim outfit, the casual-loving 90s was set for a new trend. No longer were jeans working or hiking attire, now they were for everyday wear.
Keanu Reeves’s iconic black trench coat sparked a fashion trend that turned the sometimes-shifty long jacket into a chic staple. Unsurprisingly, the most popular choices at the time were black leather trenches.
Uma Thurman’s black bob, red lips and nails, and chic white collared shirts in this cult classic inspired an androgynous style that combined sex appeal and power. Many businesswomen in the 90s recreated the famous look to bring a chic and fashionable twist to their work attire.
Romeo + Juliet
Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Shakespeare adaptation never shied away from loud and colorful images. Most notably, several character sport Hawaiian shirts as the cruise around the balmy Verona Beach. After the film, the shirts that were once thought of as the things your fat uncle always wears enjoyed a period of trendiness.