Top 10 90s Fashion Fails



Top 10 90s Fashion Fails

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
These fashion trends deserve their place in the discount bin. For this list, we'll be looking at the worst style trends that left an unfortunate mark on the 1990s. Our countdown includes Oversized Suits, Sweater Vests, Tinted Sunglasses, and more!

Top 10 90s Fashion Fails

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 ‘90s fashion fails.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the worst style trends that left an unfortunate mark on the 1990s.

Were you guilty of any of these fashion crimes? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: Oversized Suits

We don’t know what the heck happened to suits in the ‘90s, but let’s please never do that again. The ‘80s were filled with unicolored “Miami Vice” yachting suits and Wall Street power ones. Somehow, those eventually gave way to people mixing jackets and ties with jeans and sneakers. But perhaps the worst trend to come out of the ‘90s were loose, oversized suits that shot past the hands, pooled around the ankles, and created boxy shoulders. These were mostly worn by young, “hip” men who favored comfort over traditional style, but styles are traditional for a reason. Sure, maybe the wearers were comfortable, but they also looked like kids playing dress-up in their dad’s closet.

#9: Tube Tops

The general idea of tube tops actually dates back to the 1950s. Following a brief hiatus in the ‘80s, they returned in full force throughout the ‘90s and early 2000s. You couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing some celebrity rocking these tops, which are without both shoulders and sleeves. However, they failed for numerous reasons. Many parents didn’t let their teenage daughters wear them, and there typically wasn’t much other than tight elastic bands keeping them up. This meant a high degree of risk, not to mention lots of fidgeting and adjusting. Tube tops haven’t fully disappeared, but they aren’t as popular anymore. Luckily, we all eventually realized that shoulder straps weren’t such a horrible idea after all!

#8: JNCO Jeans

Blue jeans as we know them, with rivets and all, have been around since the 1870s. It took us over 100 years to get to JNCO, but there’s a reason no one thought of doing it before. “Street” looks and comfort were very “in” throughout the ‘90s, and JNCO was one of the trend’s big contributors. The company became known throughout the USA for its baggy, ultra-wide men’s and boy’s jeans. They started wide around the waist and only got wider, ending in ridiculous leg openings that swallowed feet and ankles. To make matters worse, they also featured embroidery like flaming skulls and ferocious dogs. You know, cool things that stuck it to the man, man. Thankfully, this fad died as quickly as it came.

#7: Sweater Vests

Sweaters are nice. Vests are nice. Sweater vests, however, are a fashion disaster. They were worn throughout much of the 20th century, and increased in popularity throughout the ‘70s. However, they were still very much around by the ‘90s. These vests are often sleeveless, feature a V-neck neckline, and flaunt either an argyle or striped pattern. They are typically found on golf courses and cricket pitches, or on the torso of college football coach Jim Tressel. If someone is primarily known by the clothing they wear, that typically means that said clothing isn’t often seen. Usually, there’s a good reason for that…Sweater vests have since started popping up again, because apparently we never learn.

#6: Sagging Jeans

Seriously, what the heck happened in the ‘90s? We suddenly decided to do away with the classics and started doing our own thing, which included revamping the jean. Not only were they now wide and emblazoned, but they were also sagging. Sagging jeans are exactly what they sound like - they sit well below the wearer’s waist and reveal most of their underwear. There’s bonus fashion points up for grabs if there’s a belt around the butt. This style became prominent in the ‘90s thanks in part to hip-hop culture, creating a generation of young nonconformists who didn’t adhere to grandpa's style. No, we flaunted our underwear and we were proud of it. Why, you ask? We’re not sure anybody knows.

#5: Platform Shoes

You can thank Vivienne Westwood and The Spice Girls for this one. Platform shoes were popular into the ‘80s, but like all fads, they eventually fizzled away and faded from the public consciousness. In came Vivienne Westwood, whose Super-Elevated Gillie shoes probably inspired The Spice Girls to wear their famous Buffalos. And because the Spice Girls were arguably the biggest girl group on the planet, platform shoes spread through the mainstream. But, once again people realized that they were both impractical and uncomfortable. Though we’ll never get tired of listening to the Spice Girls, we can’t say we ever want our feet reuniting with these shoes.

#4: Neon Windbreakers

Nothing screams 1990s quite like neon windbreakers. They were a cornerstone of the decade’s fashion. And granted, they have the power to elicit a strong sense of nostalgia. But we’d say our memories are where they should stay. The windbreakers featured sharp patterns and bright colors like blue, pink, and yellow. They were often quite wrinkled as well, even if they were fresh off the shelf. The bright colors and the accompanying swishing noise meant that you were never ignored on the street. You don’t typically see windbreakers all over the place anymore, let alone such bright ones. They have long been left behind in the fashion culture, a dusty relic of a simpler time when everyone embraced blinding gaudiness.

#3: Jorts

There are many types of classic shorts, but jorts are certainly not one of them. These aren’t quite Daisy Dukes; they don’t have the same sensual allure, and they’re often much longer. No, these are ridiculous pants-shorts hybrids that don’t really know what they want to be. A portmanteau of jeans and shorts, jorts are typically jeans that stop at the knee. But for what purpose? Why not either be an actual pair of jeans or denim cut-offs? Why stop at the knee and be some bizarre and ugly combination of the two? Truly, we don’t know what anybody was thinking wearing jorts!

#2: Tinted Sunglasses

Throughout the ‘90s, we collectively decided that classic black and brown sunglasses were out. We wanted to be different and colorful, so we added a pair of tinted sunglasses to go with our blinding windbreakers. They came in all sorts of colors, so everyone could find a hue they liked. Now, tinted sunglasses can definitely work, provided the color is nice and it matches the outfit. But this was the ‘90s, so we didn’t care about concepts like matching. As a result, these sunglasses typically veered from stylish into garish and unattractive. Even Justin Timberlake couldn’t pull them off, and that man pulls off everything.

#1: Low-rise Jeans

Nothing screams the late ‘90s quite like low-rise pants. The popularity of these jeans is often attributed to fashion designer Alexander McQueen, but the newfangled fashion eventually trickled down and percolated throughout mainstream society. Suddenly everyone - including A-list celebrities - was wearing them. As the name implies, these jeans sit below the waist and are often worn in combination with crop tops, which in turn exposes the entire midriff. This is a look that defined the late 1990s and early aughts. Yet like most new fashions, we eventually moved on, and midriffs were once again covered up. There have been signs that these oft-maligned garments may be making a widespread comeback. Here’s hoping their resurgence fails, and they stay in the past where they belong.