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Elevate Your Campus Style With These 90s Fashion Trends

Jennifer Dawson

Elevate Your Campus Style With These 90s Fashion Trends

If you’re wondering why almost everyone on campus these days seems to be dressing up like the R&B trio TLC, or like Alicia Silverstone’s Cher in “Clueless,” you’re not imagining things. Due to nostalgia for past eras, as well as the cyclical nature of fashion, it’s inevitable that some trends of the past will re-emerge in their original or updated forms. Fashion theorist and historian James Laver once said that it takes 50 years for a trend to be back in style. But with our pace of life getting faster and more people getting influenced on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, it now only takes 20 years for old fashion trends to become cool again.

Some of these trends are highly wearable and can be easily incorporated into your existing college wardrobe. To revamp your look, consider elevating your style with these 90s fashion trends that are making a comeback. 

90s Necklaces

Costume jewelry is back in a big way, and Gen Z fashionistas are sporting 90s necklaces at the moment. Wearing a necklace is an easy, low-commitment way to enhance an outfit, and you can swap it out whenever you feel like it. Some of the necklace trends that are making a comeback include the dog tag necklace. Back in the 90s, celebrities sported gold or jewel-encrusted dog tags from fashion houses like Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel. However, you can definitely get plain metal tags or tags with stamped letters or characters from accessory shops if you want something a little more understated and affordable. 

Another trendy item is the black tattoo choker necklace. This accessory can give a goth-lite vibe to any outfit, though it’s best worn with an all-black ensemble. Try it with a black off the shoulder top, black jeans or trousers, and black boots. Want something a little less goth? Consider wearing a leather cord choker with a tiny heart pendant. This type of necklace looks best when worn with a form-fitting top and jeans, or a tank dress. 

Knee Socks

The coquette aesthetic may be a recent development, but one particular element of this look was also widely used during the 90s. Knee socks, known by many Millennials and Gen-Xers as a Cher Horowitz staple, are back in style once more. Not only are they a great way to keep your legs warm, but they also bring a feminine touch to coquette or 90s outfits. Wear black or white knee socks with a plaid or plain skirt and a fuzzy cropped sweater or a tank top under a jean jacket, then add chunky platforms or mary janes to finish the look.  

For a modern and sophisticated look, try wearing a belted mini blazer dress with over the knee socks and chunky oxfords. Meanwhile, if you love the look of grunge, wear your knee socks with denim shorts, a logo tee, and a plaid shirt over it. Finish the look with a pair of combat boots, and lots of eyeliner.

Slip Dress

Is there anything that’s more 90s than a slip dress? Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe all wore slip dresses in “Friends,” and it was also the off-duty uniform of choice by many top models of that era. To make a slip dress appropriate for attending classes, wear a white fitted shirt under it and accessorize with classic white sneakers and a mini backpack. If you want to go all out 90s with this look, twist your hair and style it into a messy bun before securing it with a large claw clip. You can also wear a slip dress with an oversized hoodie over it for a more casual and relaxed look. Complete your outfit with a baseball cap or a beanie, and chunky sneakers. 

For a more polished and put-together outfit, try wearing an oversized blazer over your slip dress and accessorize with pointed flats and a structured bag. On cold days, wear a fitted turtleneck top under your slip dress, then top off your outfit with a long coat. Add over the knee boots and a leather bucket bag for a sophisticated touch. 

Some of the best style staples of the 90s have made a comeback, and they’re the perfect pieces to jazz up your college wardrobe. Add these 90s must-haves to your closet, and have fun switching up your look with these fun fashion items. 

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