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Oct 31, 2016
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One of the most well-known axioms about fashion is that it’s cyclical. It certainly doesn’t take an acute grasp of the field to understand: Trends come and go, and then some trends come again and leave just as quickly, only to return eventually.

But over the past few years, we’ve seen a greater surge in trend reprisals, particularly from the '90s. People are taking cues from Kurt Cobain and Will Smith’s Fresh Prince, among many of the era’s icons. Perhaps it’s because fast-fashion companies like Forever21 and H&M are keen to take advantage of the nostalgic nature of its main audience: millennials, whose fond, formative, childhood memories come from that decade. Now, we have access to clothes that reference the icons of our youth—and simultaneously, we’re seeing them on the runways, mixed in with more contemporary pieces or treatments.

So if you’d like to take part of this resurgence, consider the best of what has been resurrected—trends from your childhood that can look just as great (if not much, much better) today.


1) Big flannel

BACK THEN: 

TODAY: 

HOW TO PULL IT OFF: Go up one size when buying a plaid flannel shirt—don’t mind if the shirt’s shoulders are wider than yours. The idea is for it to look drapey, best over a pair of slim, light-wash denim. Feel free to cut and customize, as this type of shirt tends to look great when distressed.

2) Tie dye

BACK THEN: 

TODAY: 

HOW TO PULL IT OFF: If bright rainbow colors were all the rage back then, go for fewer, quieter colors today. Also, try not to wear any other pattern or print when you’re wearing a tie dyed shirt. Keep the textures and colors limited, so that only the tie dye pattern stands out.

3) Bucket hats

BACK THEN: 

TODAY: 

HOW TO PULL IT OFF: Take after hip-hop artist Schoolboy Q (who you never see without a bucket hat) pick out a bucket hat with a nice print or pattern, then pair it with a hoodie or some round-framed sunglasses.

4) Long tees

BACK THEN: 

TODAY: 

HOW TO PULL IT OFF: Back then, people would just wear large sizes of a regular t-shirt—that’s why it often looked long or disproportionate. Don’t make the same mistake. Today’s oversized t-shirts—like the ones worn and popularized by Kanye West and one of his favorite labels, Fear of God—are purpose-made. The proportions are naturally wider around the waist, chest, and shoulders, but the sleeves and torso are still the right length. Pick a shirt that’s really made this way—don’t just buy a XXL slim-fit tee. Then, try wearing it under a shorter jacket or shirt, so the hem of your tee peaks out just a little.

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5) High socks

BACK THEN:

TODAY: 

How to pull it off: In the height of '90s punk rock and the dawn of mainstream skate culture, when brands like blink-182 were all the rage and Tony Hawk was at his prime, high socks were in. Today, they’ve been brought back as part of a skatewear resurgence; most recently and notably by Russian streetwear label Gosha Rubchinskiy. Wear high socks with retro sneakers under slim cropped pants or shorts. 

6) Bomber jacket

BACK THEN: 

TODAY: 

How to pull it off: Just as athletics and fitness were a big part of the way people dressed in the '90s (remember the headbands and the short shorts? Yeah, neither do we), athleisure was and still is the code for modern men. A lot of today’s most stylish clothes draw from the aesthetic of sporting uniforms and gear, but with slimmer, more streamlined looks. Interpret this '90s trend by pairing joggers and a hoodie or a windbreaker in a single color.

7) Tattered jeans

BACK THEN: 

TODAY: 

How to pull it off: Tattered jeans have always been around, but not since the '90s were they as popular as they are today. Modern style, of course, dictates that tattered jeans are better cut skinny or very slim, and only distressed around the knee and front pockets. It’s not as extreme as it was back then, but the appeal remains.

 

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