Slip a cassette into the tape player, sing along to Hit Me Baby… One More Time, MMMBop or Wonderwall (you know you know the words!) and warm up your Macarena moves. The 1990s are back, but just the good bits. No one wants a world with slow-loading Windows 95, gangwars on Mumbai streets and TV shows like Superhit Muqabla. Instead fashion is reviving the very things that you wore when Beverly Hills 90201 aired on Indian TV. What’s old is new again, with a slight update. Here’s what to pull out from the back of your cupboard….
Women spent much of the ’90s in blue jeans that buttoned well above the belly-button and tapered down to the ankles. But the style, christened ‘mom jeans’ after Tina Fey’s hilarious 2003 SNL sketch, are back and hip again. “These denims work wonderfully as a tummy tucker,” says designer Archana Kochhar. Anisha Oberoi, Amazon’s fashion editor says they pair well with that other classic – the white T-shirt. “You can also style them with a linen jacket and high-heels for a semi-formal look,” she says.
Every generation has its ugly shoe, from the clog and the Birkenstock to the UGG and the Croc. The 1990s had one too — the ankle-length Doc Marten-style boot — and it’s back. They completed biker-chic looks and complemented denim dresses. Designer Nachiket Barve says the chunky boots are best worn with a lace slip dress and a choker. Oberoi suggests pairing them with a ladylike blouse and flounced skirt. But it also works for a long ride out of the city. “All you need are skinny-fit jeans, a bomber jacket, a T-shirt and a backpack,” says designer Narendra Kumar.
Steal them off the lumberjacks just like you did two decades ago. “My suggestion is to wear a long flannel shirt as a dress,” says Kochhar. “You can also wear a slip dress inside for a layered effect,” she says. Narendra Kumar has another idea: “Wear them with narrow denims, stilettos and hoop earrings.”
Dungarees and jumpsuits
Remember Jennifer Aniston’s dungarees in Friends? Or Kajol’s in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? They made dungarees a rage and we secretly wished they came back in style. Our prayers have been answered, but in a better way. Dungarees have a more stylist cousin in jumpsuits. They look leaner and drape better, with more leeway for structure and fit. Archana Kochhar suggests giving the outfit a twist. “Wear it with a sleeveless jacket made of chiffon or georgette in darker colour.”
Bold brown lipsticks
The 1990s was the decade upon which brown lipstick was built. But if the colour turned you off or washed you out then, there good there are more flattering shades of brown to ick today. “Go with frosted, matte or gloss finishes of barely-there nude lips that models sported on the runways to support the #NoMakeUp movement a few months ago,” says Rahul Taneja, Jabong’s Chief Business Officer. With summer just round the corner, going nude on the lips may be a good idea for a day look. “Soft or dusty pink outfits go well with them. The trick is to keep the palette same,” says Kochhar.
Remember 1990s weddings, where everyone’s lips looked like they’d raided Rekha’s make-up drawer? The look, whether it’s a deep plum or a softer cherry shade, is a huge fashion statement once more. “If you are not into bold colours, just apply some and wipe off the excess on some tissue for a bitten-look effect,” suggests Oberoi.
Mini back packs
Saddlebags, which slung from chic shoulders in the 1990s, haven’t resurrected yet. But mini backpacks are on chic backs again. Kocchar says pick one depending on your age. “A printed one suits college students. But avoid wearing printed clothes with them as matching print to print is tricky. Young professionals should go for a classy leather one.” Dhatri Bhatt, at H&M, suggests you team your mini backpack with a crop top and denim shorts. “This will get you the perfect Coachella look.” Millennials, take note.